Bob Waller loves to teach. That’s why after a 39-year career in the business world, followed by a second career teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), Bob is only semi-retired. He still teaches ESL part time and also volunteers twice a week as a homework helper at one of SAY San Diego’s after school programs. Bob says, “I keep volunteering because of the students. They are so smart and fun to be around. I love that they treat each other equally and don’t see differences. It’s refreshing.”
Bob could easily kick up his feet and relax in the afternoons, but instead he chooses to spend every Tuesday and Thursday helping kids in SAY’s after school program complete their homework. While he admits he’s not an expert in New Math, he’s always available to provide much needed homework help to any child who needs or wants it. It’s not uncommon to see several kids rush over to him at study time, which makes him feel appreciated. And he’s making a difference.
Student success stories motivate Bob to keep volunteering. He remembers one student a few years ago who was always struggling in school and had disciplinary issues. Bob started working with the student regularly and helped focus her energy on school work. It didn’t take long for the student to become more interested in her homework than acting out. Currently, Bob is helping a second grader catch up to his peers. “The kids are very bright. Sometimes they just get a little behind. It feels good when I can help bring them back into the fold.”
Beyond loving his volunteer experience, Bob enjoys being part of SAY San Diego and is a fan of the staff. “I have nothing but good things to say about everyone that I’ve worked with. SAY is a very well-run organization and a nice place to be two days a week.”
With nearly 4,000 students in SAY San Diego’s before and after school programs, we are fortunate to have dedicated volunteers like Bob who help our kids succeed every day.