This is the work Dr. King set out before us. It is hard work, but it is extraordinarily satisfying work as well. As a tutor or mentor, you find a priceless reward in the eyes and heart and mind of the child you help.
You also find a profound difference in your own life. We see in AARP Experience Corps how that one-on-one learning connection with a child changes the life of the volunteer as well as the child. Eighty-four percent of AARP Experience Corps volunteers report positive changes in their life such as increased motivation, knowledge, confidence and skills.
“An individual has not started living,” Dr. King said, “until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concern of all humanity.”
We embrace that broader concern when we reach out to a single child. Older adults have so much to give — experience, skills, patience, persistence, a hopeful outlook, guidance, even love. When we volunteer in our community, we honor the memory of Dr. King and help to build the kind of society he sacrificed so much to create.