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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

    Caught in the ACT

    <rleton, “campus” jobs extend beyond the borders of campus. Many students apply for paid work-study positions in the community. These positions entail tutoring in the Northfield Public Schools through a program called Northfield Reads and Counts or working in local non-profits through Community Based Work Study.

    Grace Strome (’11), works with Ms. Mehrkens’s 5th grade class at Sibley Elementary. She spends her time tutoring writing, reading, math, and hosting a book club. According to Grace, she has formed close relationships with many of the teachers she has worked with. In her words, “The teachers at Sibley are truly amazing! I have a great relationship with Ms. Mehrkens….The more I work with her, the more responsibility she has given me. I have worked with other teachers at Sibley and they are equally awesome. They are all truly excited to have the help and work hard to make sure the experience is beneficial for both Carleton and Sibley students.”

    But it’s the students who really make Grace’s job special. “I love the students I work with and tutoring them has quickly become the highlight of my week. I feel like I know each child in Ms. Mehrkens’ class. I’ve learned their academic strengths and weaknesses. I’ve learned their career aspirations and their favorite cartoon characters. We’ve managed to find a balance between authority figure and friend that I think makes them comfortable (and hopefully excited!) with having me in the classroom every day. Every day I am surprised by what they are willing to share with me and how well they accept my help.”

    Through tutoring and community-based work study, Carleton students are developing new skills and building impressive resumes. But some of the benefits of working in the community are less tangible. As Grace explains, “Working with kids is simultaneously the most challenging and rewarding experience there is and I have learned so much from my time at Sibley. These kids I work with inspire me every day. I am constantly surprised with how much I have been affected by my tutoring experience. They give me hope for the next generation and encourage me to continue to learn how to fight for a better world for them. They keep it real and force me to keep it real, too. I never cease to be amazed at how simply they see things and how it can make me look differently at a world I had come to see as only complex. I hope the kids I tutor have learned as much from me as I have from them.”

    If you are interested in tutoring or community based work study, go to and click on Community Work Study. You can also stop by the ACT Center and talk to Diana Dargen, the Community Based Work Study Coordinator.

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