Tiffany Win has been sharing her love for math and science in the CIANA Elementary After School and SONYC programs since February 2020. She is currently a lead statistician for a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., where she advocates for equitable internships nationwide.
This fall, she will begin medical school to apply her love for math to furthering health equity. In the midst of all her professional commitments, Tiffany shared some reflections on working with CIANA’s students.
What made you volunteer with CIANA, and particularly the SONYC and Elementary programs?
Some of my favorite childhood memories involve learning math and science, so I wanted to share that passion and excitement with others. I grew up in Astoria and I love how diverse the population is. I always knew I wanted to give back to elementary and middle school students in the Astoria community one day and CIANA helped me achieve that dream!
What has your experience working with students been like?
Tutoring elementary and middle school students is challenging but extremely rewarding. Every student has their own unique personality and learning style. It’s a fun learning experience working with each student to adapt to their distinct needs. My relationships with my students have grown significantly during the pandemic to the extent that I feel like I’m an older sibling, mentor, and a household fixture all in one!
My favorite part about tutoring students at CIANA is how I learn as much from them as they learn from me. I have a much more expansive knowledge of certain topics like K-Pop, Tik-Tok trends, and cultural aspects of South Asia and South America.
What were some challenging moments that you experienced during your volunteer work? Do you have any advice for future volunteers?
The most challenging moments I encountered were often due to the remote-distance aspect of tutoring during the pandemic. All my students at one point or another have felt more isolated due the yearlong social distancing measures. Not only does it make teaching certain concepts harder to do over video (hello, math!), it also means knowing when students need to take mental breaks from schoolwork so they can de-stress.
Do it - you won’t regret it! It’s challenging but fun. My best advice is to listen to what your students need from you and follow their lead.
Have the clients left an impact on you?
My students have left a major impact on me, my life, and my future career plans. I learned how to be more empathetic, patient, and understanding as a result of tutoring students with a variety of different needs. As a future physician and medical provider, I plan to take these skills with me when treating patients from a variety of different backgrounds.
We at CIANA are so thankful that Tiffany has donated her time and applied her skills to the virtual classroom, cultivating enthusiasm for learning, while challenging students to be problem-solvers.
We wish her the best as she continues to make a difference in the world.
Become a volunteer: https://www.cianainc.org/volunteer