Office of Civic Engagement

Meet Jamie Derkacs


Meet OCE Viking Corps & America Reads Tutor, Jamie Derkacs

" I chose to attend CSU because all of my siblings went here and I liked the campus and the idea of being in the city."

Jamie hired by the OCE as a Viking corps tutor, is a Freshman majoring in 'Early Childhood Education' was looking for a job role that would gain experience for an overall teaching experience.

What do you like about tutoring with the OCE Viking Corps and CPL America Reads program? 

Tutoring with the OCE Viking Corps and CPL America Reads program provides college student tutors with the flexibility to manage their tutoring responsibilities alongside their academic pursuits and personal commitments. This adaptability stems from the program's understanding of the demands placed on college students, allowing tutors to adjust their tutoring schedules around their class schedules, unexpected events, and personal needs. This flexibility empowers tutors to maintain a healthy work-life balance, preventing burnout and fostering academic success. By accommodating the diverse demands of college life, the flexible schedule enables tutors to thrive in their dual roles as students and educators..

Why should other CSU students consider getting involved in programs/jobs like this?

Participating in tutoring programs like OCE Viking Corps and CPL America Reads presents CSU students with a remarkable opportunity to seamlessly integrate financial gain, practical experience, and academic focus into their college journey. These programs offer a flexible schedule that caters to the demanding lives of college students, enabling them to balance their tutoring commitments with their academic coursework and personal endeavors. Through tutoring, students can supplement their income, gain valuable hands-on experience in their chosen field, and enhance their academic understanding, all while preparing themselves for a successful future.

How is this job experience making an impact on you as an individual or on your time as a college student at CSU?

Tutoring as a job experience offers a multitude of benefits that extend beyond financial compensation. It provides invaluable teaching experience, enriches your resume, cultivates personal growth, and fosters empathy. Through tutoring, you gain a sense of accomplishment, boost your self-esteem, and develop valuable skills that will benefit you throughout your personal and professional life.

Have you learned anything about yourself or about working in the community so far from working in this program?

Working in this program has revealed a depth of patience, understanding, and problem-solving abilities within me that I never fully recognized before. As I've navigated the challenges of guiding students through complex concepts, I've discovered a capacity for empathy and a willingness to adapt my teaching approach to accommodate different learning styles. This newfound understanding of my own capabilities has instilled in me a newfound confidence in my ability to tackle challenges and connect with others on a deeper level.

What is your most memorable moment of the job so far? 

The most rewarding aspect of this job has been witnessing the transformation of students from hesitant learners to enthusiastic participants. As they begin to grasp concepts and experience the joy of academic breakthroughs, their excitement becomes palpable. It is this infectious enthusiasm, the spark of curiosity ignited in their eyes, that makes every interaction truly memorable. Witnessing their growth and the trust they place in me as their guide is a source of immense gratification.

Are you reading any books with your students? How are you making a difference to a student by reading with them?

Guiding students through the intricacies of reading has been a remarkably rewarding experience. As we delve into the pages of captivating books together, I witness firsthand the transformation power of reading. With each sounding-out exercise and each passage read aloud, I observe a remarkable evolution in their reading skills. As they gain confidence in deciphering words and constructing meaning from sentences, their faces light up with newfound understanding. The ability to witness their progress and nurture their passion for reading is a privilege I cherish deeply.

Do you have any students coming in regularly for tutoring? 

The genuine recognition and enthusiasm displayed by my students when they see me fuels an immense sense of fulfillment within me. It is an honor to witness their eagerness to learn and their passion for knowledge as they approach me for another enriching learning session. The realization that I play a pivotal role in their academic journey, igniting their curiosity and expanding their horizons, is a humbling privilege.

What subjects are you finding yourself tutoring the most?

My journey into tutoring has led me to discover a passion for guiding students in the essential skills of English, reading, and writing. These fundamental tools of communication and understanding have opened doors to a world of knowledge and self-expression, and I find immense satisfaction in empowering students to navigate these linguistic landscapes with confidence.