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Volunteer with Heart: Peter Daniel

April 29, 2016

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Peter is a Managing Director in the Leveraged Finance Group at Wells Fargo. He has been on Heart Math Tutoring’s Board of Directors since 2014 and believes that tutoring a student one-on-one makes an incredible impact.

Why did you become a volunteer?
“Public education has always been very important to my wife and me. We are from New Orleans and grew up in public schools, and then she was a New Orleans public school teacher for a number of years. I originally got involved in Heart as a Board Member because of my passion for Heart’s mission and because I like the startup aspect of the program: this is somewhat untested but is having extremely positive results for students while growing its impact. Tutoring was an easy decision once I considered that you can work with a partner. It has been a great experience.”

What was your favorite moment from working with students?
“Sometimes my wife has to go in my place, given my travel schedule. My 2nd grade student Reuben works well with her, but if I am not there, he is grilling her as to my whereabouts and why I was unable to make it (especially when he has a positive development to share, like passing an assessment). It is proof to me that the mentorship aspect of the program is even more important than I initially appreciated and a testament to the impact you can have as a tutor.”

What is one thing you and one your students have in common?
“My second grade student and I both like to laugh and joke, and we are both general sports fans. We are also both African American males and I think he identifies with that, and it makes the mentorship even more special to him.”

What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming a volunteer?
“This is a highly efficient and effective use of your time. We are all very busy, but this is an extremely well-used hour of the week – well worth it.”

Peter and his second grade student have developed a strong connection. Over the course of the year, his student has gone from coming to school upset on a regular basis into a having a much more stable mentality, with optimism towards his learning. He is making strong academic progress. Heart is thankful that Peter spends Wednesday mornings with the program at Piney Grove!

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