Louise Damberg '74
Through the SCU Tutoring Program, Louise Damberg '74 helps devoted children reach their dreams.
Louise Damberg '74 started volunteering with the Los Angeles Tutoring Project in 2004 and has continued with the program every year. Through the SCU Tutoring Program, Catholic high school students team with SCU alumni to tutor 8th graders who attend inner-city schools to prepare for the Catholic High School Entrance exam.
These young 8th grade girls and boys arrive on time, in their Catholic school uniform and eager to learn--and it is at their own discretion. Tutoring sessions are on Saturdays, with arrival at 8:30 a.m. and dismissal at 12:30 p.m. This is a great deal of time to devote, especially because many of them take care of younger siblings, make meals, do odd jobs to help out with family finances, and would otherwise prefer to be doing anything else.
But they are there--attentive, respectful, and wanting to realize a better dream that their parents have worked so hard for and told them they can achieve.
What these children have given Damberg is profound. While she was trying to give these children her slam-dunk formula for how to figure out math percentages and clues to the meaning of a word through its root, they were giving her their hearts and trust. It is not an equation that adds up in any other universe except for the volunteering one.
"I am on the shy side," she says, "But SCU alumni are the most embracing community imaginable and brought me out." She was also inspired to "take that step" because of her mother, who, she adds, "is the most gregarious person you could ever hope to meet." Damberg's mother has volunteered for Little Company of Mary hospital in Torrance, California, for 30 years, and has logged more than 32,000 hours in that time.
Damberg says, "As anyone who has ever volunteered will attest, the gift is returned many-fold. Take the plunge! It's Holy Water."