supporting Cambridge public school students

Say Hello to CSV Tutor Courtney Cox!

Courtney Cox works with committed students, guiding them towards achieving their academic dreams
and goals. Cox was a key tutor mentor in the CSV College Planning and Essay Writing Program (CPEW), and
worked with students regularly from October through March as they crafted their college essays.
Furthermore, she volunteered as an after-school one-to-one tutor as well as classroom assistant.


Her CSV Tutor Courtney Cox works with senior Kira. Kira will be attending Mount Hoyoke College.They share a wonderful connection and mentoring relationship.

Cox also attended the CSV training workshops, which provided a way for volunteers to stay current
with tutoring and teaching strategies and best practices. Cox adds that the workshops connected her
with other English and reading tutors. “I found it reassuring to hear they were encountering the same
challenges I had been.”

Reflecting on how the workshops helped her in after-school tutoring, Cox says, “Since I had no formal
training and minimal experience teaching, we spent most of our time making outlines for essays.”  Initially, Cox relied on handouts for jumping-off points for generating discussion that would both gauge her student Ashley’s understanding of the subject matter and inspire her to become a more active reader.

With Cox’s aid, Ashley raised her grade before the final exam, and did well in her other classes, too.
Ashley asked Cox to tutor her in history for the spring semester. For the fall semester when she is a
senior, Ashley intends to join the College Planning and Essay Writing Program.

Cox also volunteered in the CPEW, which she calls “an incredible experience.” After working for months on college and scholarship essays with her mentee, Kira, her student began to identify the problems in her writing without her tutor’s help, “which is just so rewarding to watch,” Cox says. Cox also encouraged Kira to use her talents and think about summer internships that could lead to a career after college.

After the sessions on Kira’s essay were complete, Cox kept in touch with Kira as she went through the
selection process. Kira eventually chose to attend Mount Holyoke College, where she will be joining the
crew team as a coxswain. Cox and Kira also worked together on an essay for the City of Cambridge Award,
which Kira won! Kira won two other scholarships as well.

Cox later went on to do a classroom placement with English teacher Jennifer Hogue and worked
with three students who needed individual guidance on assignments and essays. Courtney has “built a strong positive rapport with students, has been amazingly flexible,” says teacher  Hogue. She has “created real hope that these two young people will not only pass English this year, but will actually master the skills needed to move on in life and in school.” And she adds, “I’m so grateful!”

“Getting to know those students,” Cox says, “has also been a really important part of my experience at CRLS.” Moreover, Cox still keeps in touch with Kira and Ashley. “Both girls worked incredibly hard this year and were so
committed,” Cox says, “I know they’ll go very far in the future.”