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Our Heroes: Debbie Anderson and Bridge teens taking on the ACT

October 20, 2014
Volunteer Debbie Anderson tutors Bridge teens in preparation for the ACT exam

Volunteer Debbie Anderson tutors Bridge teens in preparation for the ACT exam

Debbie Anderson was a retired high school teacher, looking for a way to get involved with the community, when her neighbor, Jan, let her know about Bridge Communities. Jan, a longtime volunteer for Bridge’s program partner Families Helping Families, told her about the teens served by Bridge, and Debbie knew just the way she could help.

“The one thing I’m really good at is the ACT, and I thought it would be fun to volunteer,” says Debbie. As a teacher, she spent decades preparing kids for the exam, and personally received a perfect score when she took the test. She also spent a few post-retirement years teaching ACT preparation as part of a class, and was able to see flaws in the system that she knew she could fix.

“When I taught an ACT class with 6 kids and 2 teachers, it just didn’t work,” she says. “When you tutor one-on-one, there’s no place the student can go. The student has to answer the questions, and you see much higher results.”

Debbie also has found many patterns in the ACT over the years, and concentrates on particular areas of study for the teens. She also teaches the kids how to think more logically with multiple choice tests, and as a result, their scores improve considerably.

She currently tutors two Bridge teens for free, meeting each of them once per week for an hour at Bridge’s Learning Resource Center (LRC) in Naperville. They will both take the ACT in April 2015. “It makes me feel good to volunteer, and that this can make a difference for these kids,” she says.

Thank you, Debbie–you certainly are making a big difference in the futures of Bridge teens and their families!

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