Student Named Student Laureate

Kelly Thoes

Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate Kelly Thoes

CHICAGO, IL (February 17, 2009) – One boy Kelly Thoes started tutoring had already flunked second grade two times. Now he is getting all As and Bs.

That kind of success is what the North Park University senior hoped for when she started an after-school tutoring program in the city’s Humboldt Park neighborhood two and a half years ago. For her work, the Lincoln Academy of Illinois named Thoes a Student Laureate last October. The academy presents the awards to college seniors across the state for their excellence in curricular and extra curricular activities.

The program Thoes initiated has since become part of the North Park’s Urban Outreach Ministries. An elementary education major, she normally tutors three times a week during the school year and five days a week during the summer. Thoes is now completing her student teaching in Skokie, Ill., and although she has been unable to tutor this semester, she continues to organize the program.

“It’s gone so well, I’ve been able to practice my teaching,” she says. The after-school program includes a Bible lesson and group activities in addition to the tutoring. About eight North Park students now volunteer each semester.