University High School in Tucson has the same new student, again! No, this isn’t a rabblerousing comedy in the vein of the silly Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Adam Sandler’s bemusing Billy Maddison, or Rodney Dangerfield’s blusterous Back to School, but rather a story of symmetry staring Arizona Serve’s Karime Verdugo, in which she provides tutoring and mentoring to grades 9-12 students at the high school she graduated from just 2 years ago. No, this isn’t a cliché mockery of the education system, this is a story of compassion, sustainability, and giving back: this is…

Back to University

300-hour member Karime is currently in her 3rd year at the University of Arizona, where she is studying Psychology and Law, with a minor in Spanish. Late 2021, her former guidance counselor at University High School, Ms. Thomas, contacted her about the tutoring position through Arizona Serve, where she would use her skills to help students with English, Social Studies, Psychology, and other subjects. Told of the opportunity to give back to her high school, Karime jumped on it and applied, subsequently receiving the position and starting in January.

Her role and responsibilities include working with students after school hours and on Fridays for lunch-time activities, is available for students who need help with various subjects or guidance on how to position themselves to life after high school. The latter is what Karime finds especially rewarding, as she can use her experience as a first-generation college student to help high schoolers prepare themselves for college by guiding students who are in the same position as she was just a few years ago to resources that can better position them for further study.

But not only are the students rewarded by having her back on campus, but this work has also been valuable for Karime because it allows her to help the University High School community continue to grow and give students more opportunities to follow their ambitions. Karime’s ambition is to go to law school after she graduates, and she feels that serving as an AmeriCorps Member will continue to help her decide which direction she wants to go with her future.

Arizona Serve Connection

Interestingly, though a fairly new Member, Karime’s connection to Arizona Serve was already inevitable. She has volunteered over the last year with Owl & Panther, a refugee service organization that will start hosting an AmeriCorps VISTA in June. During her time there, she has acted as an intern, helping organize meetings for kids, assisting in facilitating projects, acting as a communication liaison for a resettled family, as well as helping in both fundraising and partner development.

What About You?

Wondering what to do after high school or college? For a gap year? Are you in college, like Karime? Or are you still figuring out what to do after retirement? Serving as an AmeriCorps member through Arizona Serve might be the right option for you! 

Would you like to have a resource, like Karime, at your school? Do you have an education non-profit that you want to grow? Or do you need help with accessing or developing non-profit resources outside of education? Hosting an Arizona Serve member like University High School may be the right start for you!