Barbara Drake

Daily Point of Light # 4568 Aug 10, 2011

In Salt Lake City seniors and retirees take an active role in shaping the community. Barbara Drake is one of these special citizens who volunteers for the Bridges Tutoring program, serving the educational needs of the community and changing the lives of youth.

As a city, Salt Lake is diverse and growing. Culturally, many of the community families are large, which puts an increased demand on the public school system. That fact, coupled with increasing immigration and shrinking budgets has created a crisis in education need vs. funding over the past two decades.

The Bridges Tutoring Program was begun in 1991 and has become a long standing solution toward this educational problem. The program places seniors and retirees in high-need schools to help high-risk students across five districts bridge the gap between failure and success. Bridges continuously identifies changing need and continues to adapt in order to best serve the community needs.

Barbara Drake has been a committed volunteer tutor at the Bridges program. Currently Barbara serves with 59 other active tutors working one-on-one with students to find and address deficiencies in math and language arts.

On average, Bridge program students make great progress–often by more than a grade level in one year. Overall, they self-report gains in self-esteem and teachers report that their behavioral attitudes change dramatically. Barbara and the other tutors track progress through state testing, self-esteem and behavioral testing modules. It is amazing what a little hard work, hope and personal investment can do for a child headed towards disaster.

The Bridges Tutoring Program is lucky to have such a devoted and caring volunteer like Barbara who works hard to get results. Barbara Drake changes youth lives through dedicated tutoring.

Her nominator says, “When you are changing the lives of children, it is hard to fully express the impact of changes–especially in the long-term. Changing the life of a child is really changing the entire world.”