A “Story” of Positive Change

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By: Liz Gutierrez

A “Story” of Positive Change


1 – make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify

2 – become adjusted to new conditions

You Got This written on asphalt

To say that we have all been challenged to “adapt” cannot be denied. For some, recent challenges of the past few weeks have been significant and accompanied by the feeling of being bent, pulled, twisted, turned, perhaps knocked down, and turned around again. Certainly, we have all been forced to adapt to new conditions and modify our normal behaviors and daily lives.

There are those few individuals who thrive on tough challenges. I would venture to guess there is a majority of us who would choose to avoid them. However…

Sometimes being forced to adapt requires us to dig deeper to find the courage, confidence, and commitment that we did not know we processed, only to discover a creative side of us that provides a solution for overcoming a challenge.

Such is the story of this year’s Laurus College Reading Tutor Program.

For the past few years, this fun and exciting program that runs late winter to late spring has offered a great opportunity for participating students to grow and develop skills and confidence while also serving their local community in a way that directly benefits some precious children and youth. Historically, our reading tutors have participated by completing assignments like developing a reading lesson plan, researching literacy needs in their local community, and ultimately working as a reading tutor at a local organization or group.

Much of the tutoring has taken place at the Boys and Girls Club of Mid Central Coast, a great organization that Laurus College has supported in multiple ways outside of the tutoring program. In addition to individual tutoring, tutors have also participated in special one day “Reading Round-Up” events at the Santa Maria Railroad site and Jim LeFevre site in Ventura.

We planned for the same this year and were already moving forward and participating in that way. That is until EVERYTHING CHANGED. No longer were sites open due to the need to “Shelter In Place”. There was no way for our reading tutors to proceed with their original plans. We were forced to “adapt” and come up with a different strategy to serve the boys and girls in the community. We needed to dig deeper; to come up with a solution that was “outside of the box” and a vision for our on-line college to offer on-line reading tutors was born.

Contacts to a few groups were made and we discovered the “Whatever It Takes” Virtual Club launched by one site we had been serving! Next, we had to get creative about how we could contribute and our plans for on-line tutoring came to fruition. Aaron Naugle is a current Laurus College Bachelor of Science in Digital Arts and Computer Animation student and Reading Tutor. He became the first reading tutor to “produce” videos that are being shared with children who are members of the Boys & Girls Club of the Mid Central Coast via their Virtual Club Facebook page.

His videos are also posted on the Laurus College YouTube Channel.

A short story narrated by Aaron Naugle. Book by Kobi Yamada.

Reading Tutors: “What Do You Do With an Idea?”

Reading Tutors: Snack Time with Aaron Naugle

Reading Tutors: Flower Craft with Aaron Naugle

Reading Tutors: Fish Craft with Aaron Naugle

I encourage you to take a few moments to enjoy his amazing creation. I believe your children will love it! There are more to come in the next couple of weeks.

What was first an obstacle, challenge, and hurdle to overcome resulted in a beautiful creation that was never planned. We could have given up, thrown in the towel, and just said, “Okay, next year.” I am so glad we didn’t.  Instead, we determined “What Do You Do with an Idea!”

Be encouraged, be creative—find a way to rise to the challenges of the times. Continue to adapt as necessary to remain on track. Keep moving forward in spite of uncomfortable adjustments and the sacrifice that is required. Try to be a beacon of light for others and know that on your own journey, you’ll find people along the way who are willing to help.

50 Kind Things To Do

We challenge you to perform as many kind deeds as you can via the Laurus College Kindness Checklist!
These acts of kindness can also be done virtually, through FaceTime, Facebook, Zoom – just to name a few!
Please remember to practice social distancing 🙂
(Click here to access the list!)


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