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Team of students working with Flyte Scholastics
From left to right, from front to back row: Tracy Zhang ’23, Lukas Oldenschläger ’23, Sherry Wang ’23, Dorina Barna ’23, Emily Murphy ’23, Eric Gui ’23, and Yale School of Public Health student Hamza Saleh

Making A Difference: Recruiting Tutors for New Haven Kids

We talked with Tracy Zhang ’23 about what she and her classmates learned by hosting a recruiting event for a local academic support organization.

In this series, Karen Guzman talks to Yale SOM students about how volunteering complements their business education and connects them to their community.

Student: Tracy Zhang ’23
Organization: Flyte Scholastics

Zhang ’23
Where drew you to this particular volunteer opportunity?

In our Global Leadership class, one of our group projects is to create positive social impact for at least 50 people. All my teammates are all enthusiastic about youth mentorship and expanding access to quality education to underprivileged children. So we sought out the organization Flyte Scholastics, which has been providing free tutoring to a school in New Haven for more than 10 years. We organized and hosted a recruiting event for Flyte to raise awareness among potential student tutors. 

What are the values that motivate you to volunteer?

We believe in the importance of education because education can liberate people and increase their opportunities in life. For many less fortunate children, quality education and private tutoring are just too expensive. We decided to contribute to a solution right now, right here, in New Haven. As Mother Teresa said, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”

How does volunteering complement your Master’s in Global Business and Society education?

Life at SOM can be very busy and challenging as we juggle coursework, recruiting, and social life. But by volunteering, we left our “bubble” and got in touch with a part of New Haven that we would otherwise have had little chance of encountering. We also got other GBS classmates engaged with the topic, which enhanced the cohesiveness of our entire cohort. 

What’s one surprising thing you have learned through volunteering?

We were pleasantly surprised that there is so much good will in the Yale SOM community. So many people showed up and expressed interest in becoming tutors. The outpouring encouraged Flyte to expand their outreach program, which had been recruiting just undergraduates as volunteers, to other graduate and professional schools at Yale. Some of the new volunteers have already begun tutoring. Maybe that’s the charm of volunteering—you give out one handful of love and receive so many more back!

What have you learned about the City of New Haven through volunteering?

We have come to understand the interdependence between the city and the university, and we now feel responsible to make the city a better place. During this journey, we’ve also learned that there have been many predecessors before us and there are now many peers who would love to join us.