Spotlight: Project Northstar

We’re excited to launch a new series called Spotlight where we will regularly highlight the charitable endeavors of CRC CARES members.

Our first spotlight focuses on Project Northstar, where CBG Building Company Marketing Associate Gabby Migliara has spent the last four months volunteering 6:30 pm to 8 pm every Wednesday night. Founded in 1989, Project Northstar provides one-on-one tutoring and mentoring to homeless and low-income children in Washington, DC.  Gabby has been working with sixth-grader Jacqueline to overcome her challenges in Algebra.

What motivated you to volunteer by tutoring for Project Northstar? 

“Without homework or studying to keep me busy during the week, I found myself a lot of free time since graduating from UNC last spring. Instead of watching yet another season of Scandal, I figured my time could be better spent by giving back to the DC community which I now call home.”

What is your favorite memory from your time tutoring? 

“I tutor Jacqueline each week. After the first week, her mom came up to me and was so excited that Jacqueline got all of her Algebra homework correct. She was really so thankful, as was I, that I was able to successfully help Jacqueline with her homework. Middle school was the first time math really blew my mind and was hard for me, so I'm thankful that I'm able to actually communicate these complicated Algebra concepts to Jacqueline!”

What did you learn about yourself while tutoring? 

“I really enjoy working with kids, so this is a great weekly opportunity for me.”

What did you learn about others while volunteering for Project Northstar?

“It's so wonderful to see how students light up when they find their tutor in the crowd each Wednesday. The relationships created at Project Northstar are really inspiring, and I am happy Jacqueline and I have developed such a special bond.”

Is there anything else you would like to share? 

“Jacqueline and I take dance breaks during each tutoring session. Usually it's to celebrate figuring out a tough question or just to take a mental break, but it always makes us laugh.”

Project Northstar serves approximately 75 students by pairing each student with a caring, successful volunteer from the community. Each week these student-volunteer pairs meet at the Josephine Butler Parks Center for two hour tutoring sessions. During this time, pairs work together to ensure the student’s homework is completed and to focus on any concepts the student needs extra help with.

In addition to serving as tutors, our volunteers act as mentors to our students. Pairs meet on a monthly basis to participate in activities ranging from visiting a local museum or the zoo, to sporting events and going to the movies. These mentoring sessions not only help to strengthen the tutor-student relationship, but expose our students to activities they might not otherwise experience. To learn more, please visit the Project Northstar Facebook Page.