Watching a student go from an F in math to a strong C or B by mid-term is a powerful motivator for Jay Washington, Energy Services consultant, Ameren Missouri, who volunteers his time tutoring and coaching for the Mid-County Youth Association. The organization largely supports students in Ritenour, Normandy and University City school districts. Washington has been involved with the group for four years, and says he got started because he saw a need for tutoring assistance in these areas. “Some people may think that illiteracy only plagues inner cities,” he says. “But with working single mothers or dual working households, homework and understanding math and science gets put on the back burner to video games and hanging out. I just wanted to do whatever small part I can to help the younger generation.
Washington’s outreach is his way of giving back. As a student himself, he benefited from the mentorship of Mathews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club co-founder Martin Mathews. “Mr. Mathews did it for me. He gave his life fostering community relationships and going from a shade tree to multi-million-dollar facility to provide young people with alternatives to idleness,” Washington says. “Seeing the impact you have on a child is a really big deal. They become more confident in school, no longer remaining quiet and scared of being wrong, because they know they may just be right.”