Tag Archives: college

A note from the Executive Director

It’s college application season at City Links! We are so proud of our alumni for graduating college at twice the rate of their peers and hope that our current students can raise the bar even higher. We believe in our students and encourage them to dream big. We take students on several college tours throughout the year, provide college readiness workshops, and work closely with City Links seniors and their mentors throughout the college application process.

This year, we’ve piloted ‘Senior Workshops’, enlisting the help of our volunteer mentors to ensure our seniors have the specific supports they need to apply to college, complete financial aid applications, choose a major, and successfully transition from high school. This new component will ensure students are better supported than ever to apply to, attend, and graduate from college. In addition, we recently brought in 3 City Links alumni who recently completed or are pursuing college to share their experiences with current students and answer their questions.

We also recognize that a 4-year college is not always the best option for every student directly after high school. For this reason, we invite a number of alternative post-secondary education organizations like Year Up to come speak to our students. We want to ensure that all of our students graduate from high school with a plan to accomplish their goals.

I can’t wait to update you on the progress of each of our seniors as they make their way through their most important year yet. Stay tuned!

Ben Clark, Executive Director
Cambridge Community Services

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Tutor Responses: Alex

CCS asked some of our volunteer tutors a few questions about their tutees and their overall experience. Here is what they had to say:


CCS: What was one highlight of tutoring last semester? 

Alex: Towards the end of last semester, Jashim gave me a copy of his “autobiography” assignment he wrote for English class. He wrote about his experience moving from Bangladesh to America and the challenges of learning English. I appreciated his willingness to open up to me about his life and I learned a lot about him through what he had written.

CCS: What did your student accomplish that you both felt really good about?

Alex: Jashim has become much more confident in testing out new words. In our first few meetings he was nervous in writing his history essays that involved new (and sometimes fairly complicated) vocabulary. Towards the end of the semester, he was much more willing to try out new sentences and write about more abstract ideas.

Tutor Responses: Alexandra

CCS asked some of our volunteer tutors a few questions about their tutees and their overall experience. Here is what they had to say:


CCS: What was one highlight of tutoring last semester? 

Alexandra: One of the greatest highlights of tutoring Misam and Roan would be the enthusiasm and energy that they always had for learning new concepts from our discussions, or for coming up with their own creative methods of learning Chemistry (Periodic Table Scrabble, Chemistry jeopardy).

CCS: What did your student accomplish that you both felt really good about?

Alexandra: It was very satisfying to see Roan and Misam develop solid critical thinking/problem solving skills throughout the semester.  And I was also very glad to see that they had gained much more confidence when faced with difficult problems/course material.  Of course, I was also delighted to hear that they had both achieved excellent scores on their chemistry final exams (88% and 99%) 🙂

Tutor Responses: Tri

CCS asked some of our volunteer tutors a few questions about their tutees and their overall experience. Here is what they had to say:


CCS: What was one highlight of tutoring last semester? 

Tri: One thing I like about Irma is her enthusiasm in learning. She always gets excited when she figures out how to solve a problem. Irma was working on her homework, when she finally understood the concepts behind those assignments. She kept on working, and ended up doing almost twice the number of assigned homework problems.

CCS: What did your student accomplish that you both felt really good about?

Tri: Irma was able to apply Math concepts, such as Standard Deviation and Sampling Bias, to answer real life question, for example: how much do I sleep or how well do I perform in class compared to others.

Tutor Responses: Blaire

CCS asked some of our volunteer tutors a few questions about their tutees and their overall experience. Here is what they had to say:


CCS: What was one highlight of tutoring last semester? 

Blaire: One highlight of tutoring last semester was getting to know Irma [my tutee] better as a person. She’s full of energy and passion and it was really great to get to know that side of her as well as her fun, silly side. I really enjoyed spending a few hours with her each week. She worked hard but also made it fun and enjoyable for me as a tutor!

CCS: What did your student accomplish that you both felt really good about?

Blaire: I’m really proud of all the hard work that Irma put into her biology coursework. Whenever she received a grade that she wasn’t satisfied with she didn’t let it get her down and she kept working until she understood the material. While it’s her work ethic and not necessarily her grade that I’m proud of, the fact that she pulled her grade up 3 letters by the end of the semester is a wonderful testament to her dedication and diligence.

Tutor Responses: Somaliyah

CCS asked some of our volunteer tutors a few questions about their tutees and their overall experience. Here is what they had to say:


CCS: What was one highlight of tutoring last semester? 

Somaliyah: One highlight for me personally occurred when we were filling out questions on [my tutee, Hyreya’s] college application. It asked her to list her top 3 qualities and why. Her second quality was loyalty, and when I asked her why, she took a moment; bowed her head and folded her hands in prayer, summoning the right words, and said that it was the basis of her relationships with people. I thought it was so touching that the answers to these perfunctory application questions were being answered from the heart and with such care.

CCS: What did your student accomplish that you both felt really good about?

Somaliyah: Hyreya told me just a couple weeks before her college essay was due that she didn’t like the essay topic that we had been working on all semester. It took a lot of courage for her to tell me that and I appreciated her honesty. I told her if she didn’t like it anymore, then we would scrap it and work extra hard on submitting something that she could be proud of in the time remaining. It worked and she wrote an essay that was even better in a fraction of the time because she felt more connected to the topic and had already familiarized herself with the college essay writing process. It showed a lot of integrity and I was really proud of her.

Saby, City Links 2014-2015

Saby Samedy

“My name is Saby. I’m from Haiti.  I’m 16 years old and I moved in the US in October 2012.  Moving here was both a great and a tough experience.  It was a great experience because I had the opportunity to discover a new place, meet new people, and learn about a new culture.  I also had a tough experience because  I had to learn a foreign language, I had to learn a new culture, and most importantly I had to live there.  I had to leave my family, my friends, and my country behind.  It was a hard decision but it  had to be made.  I have now been living in Cambridge for two years.  I enjoy playing volleyball and tennis and I love reading.  For the future, I plan on on going to a four year college and earn my masters to be a doctor.  My expectations towards the City Links program are to have a mentor that will help me and advice me, and also for this program to help me spread my wings.”