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ALSA Tutors at the El Puente Learning Center

El Puente | Photo by Arden Reimer | The Wright State Guardian


This past Thursday, the Amigos Latinos Student Association visited the El Puente Learning Center to aid Spanish-speaking students in educational opportunities. 

The event

On Nov. 17 from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Wright State University’s ALSA traveled down to the El Puente Learning Center in Dayton and spent some time with students. 

According to ALSA President Mariangely Bonilla Custodio, the organization helps students with challenges ranging from homework and reading to grammar and pronunciation. 

“We are giving back to the community and tutoring ESL children who may only know Spanish, like Spanish is their first language. So, sometimes they struggle in grammar, pronunciation, and their parents are also Spanish speakers,” Custodio said. “Sometimes they might not have the help they need when they go home to get their homework done.”

Vice President Isabel Nicolich reflected on personal experiences that act as motivators to do more. 

“As a first-generation student myself, I know some of the struggles these children are experiencing. Before I volunteered, I told myself, ‘If I could just help one student with their homework, that would be enough.’ Seeing a student’s face light up when you help them is motivating in itself,” Nicolich said. 

Being a part of the Latin community heightens Custodio’s desire to help people succeed and feel comfortable in the United States.

Latino Center Assistant Director Catherine Hernandez Hogan mentions a constant search for opportunities to connect students to the local Latino community. 

“It’s a natural opportunity for us to connect them and let them see Latino college students succeeding and let the Latino students be a part of the solution of helping them improve their reading comprehension so that they can have awesome opportunities,” Hogan said. 

According to Nicolich, many first-generation students feel a ‘catch up’ dynamic in regard to fellow peers, so this event gives ALSA the opportunity to connect with and support the Latino children in the community. 

How to get involved

For students interested in volunteering and getting involved in the surrounding community, there are upcoming opportunities in ALSA. According to the president, the organization volunteers around two to three times a semester and will have more El Puente tutoring events and volunteer events this upcoming spring. 

Students do not have to be a member of ALSA nor know Spanish to lend a hand.

“It is open to everyone,” Custodio clarified.

Hogan and Custodio are the contact points for more information.