The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Buena Vista Youth Scholars Club bridges educational gaps with tutoring services

courtesy Audrey Fan
A Buena Vista Youth Scholars volunteer helps students with their homework.

For the past five years, volunteers of the Buena Vista Youth Scholars (BVYS) Club have provided a tutor system to foster educational confidence for kids in the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park.

“Our big mission is just to grow equity in education for the kids in Buena Vista,” BVYS President senior Audrey Fan said.

The Buena Vista Mobile Home Park is a low-income and largely immigrant community within one of the most expensive areas in the world. Recognizing the families’ struggles in finding educational resources that are easily available in other Palo Alto neighborhoods, BVYS volunteers commit time and purchase materials to tutor and host events in the mobile home park.

This school year, they held book drives using donated books and hosted holiday parties to celebrate the end of the year. In past instances, the club advertised its program at Barron Park Elementary School, a local school in Palo Alto, by giving presentations. They have also gone door to door in the mobile homes in the area to publicize their service.

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On Mondays and Wednesdays of the school year, they hold the tutor service – also called ‘homework club’. In a small mobile trailer, students gather to do homework with the help of tutors. Their program stems from the basis of accessibility.
“Education is really dependent on outside resources, yet for a lot of these kids, it’s just not tangible — they don’t have the space and support,” Audrey said. “Having our tutors tell them that they can achieve these things, that they aren’t limited, really helps them see they aren’t limited to what they think they are.

Through the efforts of BVYS’ tutoring program, children have experienced distinct changes in both attitude and ability.

“The first kid I worked with would just say really negative things,’” Audrey said. “He reads 500-page books now.”

The first kid I worked with would just say really negative things. He reads 500-page books now.

— president senior Audrey Fan

Although the number of kids who participate in the program fluctuates weekly, BVYS strives for a nurturing community.

“You don’t have to do homework here. You can also play a board game, or just talk to high schoolers; it’s really about the relationships kids build with their tutors,” Audrey said. Some tutors even end up going to their students’ concerts or graduations.

“When I’m able to help a kid, when I’m able to guide someone through a worksheet or a math problem and they have their ‘aha!’ moment, I’m able to go home satisfied with myself,” BVYS Event Chair senior Daniel Sagatelian said.

The club plans to expand its impact by continuing its tutoring program, hosting its annual summer camp in July and attracting more students for next year.

“Allowing as many students as possible to receive special individual attention in academics is highly important to me, and is something that I want to spread to other areas and continue to do,” 2024–25 co-president sophomore Olivia Kwok said.

For more updates, join the Buena Vista Youth Scholars Club at Los Altos High School next year, or find them on Instagram at @bvys_lahs.

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