Helena Almassy graduated in 2017 from San Diego Mesa College. That same year, she
was awarded the 3CSN Learning Assistance Project Tutor of the Year Award at Tutor
Expo. While she was a student at Mesa, she held positions as a Peer Navigator and
as a Tutor for Math and Spanish in the MT2C. She is currently in her first year at
UCSD and thinks often of her time at Mesa.
“I grew so much from my experience at Mesa - I arrived right after high school - and
it has led me to where I am today, with a strong passion for education and in particular
math education,” she said.
Becoming a tutor never really crossed Almassy’s mind, until her mentor and supervisor
asked if she would be interested. She also happened to see a flyer at Mesa at the
same time, and thought should consider the opportunity. Her experience as a tutor
began in the Writing Center, and then she started to focus on helping students with
Spanish and Math. She states that the reason she loves tutoring so much is because
she likes to make a difference in the lives of the individual students. Recalling
from her own experience, she feels that math anxiety is a real thing, and she likes
to reduce that anxiety for other students.
In addition to helping students in a one on one setting, she also takes time for opportunities
that assist in educating larger crowds. Almassy will be keynoting a portion of the
upcoming two-day 2018 Southern California Tutor Expo at Santiago Canyon College in
Orange County, CA from April 13 – 14.
With her background speaking four different languages (French, German, English and
Spanish), she states that she can easily relate to students and people from other
countries and communicate effectively with them, particularly if English is not their
first language. She believes that the growing confidence she sees from these students
and the community is a win-win, as it helps everyone build their knowledge of these
subjects. Almassy also feels that is helps her reach her goal as a tutor, which is
to create a supportive and empowering atmosphere. She mentions that math does not
come easy to her, and she even tells her students that math makes her laugh.
“I tell people that math makes me laugh. Mostly because it can look as if it's beating
you up and putting you down with an overwhelming amount of information, but then there's
a point you reach that helps ’reveal’ the simplified version of math. So you could
say that I like math because it makes me laugh.”
During her free time, she still stays busy with other creative projects and activities
that she’s enthusiastic about – like surfing, aerial skills, and writing. One specific
project she’s currently working on is a research project through her Education Studies
course at UCSD. The course aims to improve tutoring techniques and programs so they
are of the highest quality.
If you would like more information about the free tutoring offered at MT2C (Mesa Tutoring and Computing Centers), please contact the Instructional Learning Assistance Coordinator, Mark Manasse at
Tags: MT2C, Southern California Tutor Expo, Peer Navigator, Student Tutors