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Learn more about all of our great tutors!

Fall 2017 Tutors

Name: Sophia Sordilla

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest High School
Year in school:
Senior

About Me: Hi! I’m Sophia Sordilla. I love school in general, but I especially enjoy science and math. This year, I’m taking all honors and AP classes, including AP Physics and IRDI, which is a class dedicated to a year-long research project in STEM. I’m also involved in Chemistry Club, Climbing Club, Ultimate Frisbee, and I hope to join Science Olympiad. Other than those clubs, my hobbies include reading, knitting, and hanging out with my friends. I’m very excited for my senior year, and I’m looking forward to working with the kids at the Learning League!

Why I am a good learning coach: I have plenty of experience in working with kids. I have been tutoring since last winter and have taught the third grade class at my church for two years. I take challenging classes in school, including AP Chemistry and Calculus BC, and I do well in all of my classes. I love helping others understand material, and I enjoy the challenge of explaining topics in away someone younger than me can understand. I know how valuable an enthusiastic and dedicated teacher can be, and I try my best to embody those characteristics.

Name: Theo Trefonides

School Attended: Oak Park and River Forest High School
Year in school:
Junior

About Me: I am a junior at OPRF and am active in Ultimate Frisbee and choir. I am a huge Cubs fan and love music, especially Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe. I especially enjoy math and science, spending time with my friends, and spending time with my younger cousins.

Why I am a good learning coach: I genuinely enjoy spending time with children. I think kids are smarter and funnier than some adults give them credit for. I find interacting with them very rewarding. I love seeing a kid figure something out that was difficult for them. I’m grateful for the opportunity to connect with kids in this way.


Name: Emily Cole

School Attended: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Senior

About Me: I am a current senior at OPRF and I have loved high school! I moved from New York in the eighth grade, which has made me a much more outgoing and adaptable person. I was on a competitive dance team for eight years. This year I am the varsity drill team manager at my school! Each week I attend my church's youth group and have made many great memories through the program! Next year in college I will major in elementary educations with a minor in ESL (English as a second language). I'm currently in my seventh year of Spanish classes. My love for the language grows each year! This year I was selectively chosen to be in the Leadership Program at my school. We get to mentor the freshman class during their study halls! I am also SILCing (a form of student teaching) for a freshman Algebra class!

Why I am a good learning coach: This is my third year tutoring and second at The Learning League! I love getting to know the students and building relationships with them. I think it is extremely important to remember that everyone learns at a different pace and with different styles. I struggled with reading and math for most of my elementary and middle school years. Because of this I love tutoring these subjects. I truly understand what is going on in the student. I believe it’s extremely important to power through and not to become discouraged. Through tutoring I have discovered that this is what I would like to do for the rest of my life!

Name: Lauren Maldonado

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Junior

About Me: Some things to know about me are that I am really passionate about music, art, and science. I am someone who has always been more interested in arts than athletics, though I enjoy running and would like to get back into track and field and cross country when I have more time. As of now, I really enjoy playing guitar and piano. Music is something that I am very interested in and is a big part of my life. In school, my favorite classes have always been science and I would like to do something in the science/chemistry field in the future. Last summer I went on a service trip to Costa Rica where I did a lot of volunteer work. While I was there I realized that volunteering is also one of my passions as well, and doing work abroad is another goal of mine.

Why I am a good learning coach: My interest in tutoring first started when I started helping my little sister with her homework and I really enjoy helping others and seeing people improve over time. I was a tutor at the Learning League last year and I really enjoyed the environment and the opportunity to help kids with subjects. Before I officially started tutoring I was a volunteer at TLL for the middle school club, a group where I help middle school kids with their homework and organization.

Name: Emily Wunsch

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Senior

About Me: I grew up in Argentina and moved back to the U.S. at age 13. I am interested in gender issues and am part of the Youth Committee at Sarah’s Inn, an organization in Oak Park that helps people facing domestic violence. I also tutor at Kidz Express, which is an after school program in the neighborhood of Austin. During the fall, I run on Girls Cross Country at OPRF and on the off season attend spinning classes with my mom. I am looking to studying political science with an emphasis on human rights.

Why I am a good learning coach: For the past three years I have been volunteering at Kidz Express, tutoring kids from the 1st to 5th grade. I think it is important to cater your teaching to the kid’s learning style. I also believe it’s important to be creative and engaged when teaching because that positivity will transfer to your student. Many of the kids at Kidz Express had learning disabilities and trouble focusing so I had to find ways for them to get excited about what they were learning. For example, one kid I tutored was having a hard time in math with adding coins until I took out some actual change for him to count. Overall, I just want to create a fun environment in which the student is not afraid of making mistakes and feels guided in his or her learning.

Name: Madeleine Brisben

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Senior

About Me: I am involved in both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. I love camping, backpacking, and being outside. I am also a part of Acting For a Cause as the assistant technical director. When I'm not occupied with homework, I like studying German and spending time with my friends.

Why I am a good learning coach: I enjoy working with children and am enthusiastic about learning. I also had a tough time with homework and tests in middle school and I believe I can use that experience to help students who are struggling.

Name: Nate Olsen

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Junior

About Me: I go to OPRF High School as a Junior, and in my free time I enjoy playing guitar both at School of Rock and at home, doing backstage crew (with a specialty in lighting) and playing ultimate frisbee! This past summer I took a two-week study abroad trip to Spain, which was a really great experience. In school, my favorite classes are math and science, and in college I want to focus on software design/engineering.

Why I am a good learning coach: I am a good learning coach because I have a real interest in working with kids, and love watching them succeed. In middle school I did PRIME Time tutoring, and I really felt that I had developed a good relationship with the student I was tutoring, which is part of the reason that I decided to continue my tutoring career. I know that every student has a different learning style, and I want to teach them in a way that will help them understand best.

Name: Lauren Flowers

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Senior

About Me: I spend the majority of my free time learning! Whether I’m reading the newspaper, immersing myself in different cultures through travelling, hearing people’s stories while doing social justice work, or just going to school, I’m always picking up something new. I’m a go-getter who loves to explore any and everything… but I do enjoy a good after school nap every once in awhile.


Why I am a good learning coach: I’ve volunteered tutoring elementary school students in impoverished neighborhoods, led kindergarten bible study for years, and have been editing my friends’ papers for as long as I can remember. I’ve also gone to many different tutors myself to help with my ADHD. Through these experiences, I’ve learned many different ways of teaching depending on what works for that person. I come with strategies, experience, and patience to be the best tutor and mentor I can be.


Name: Catherine Farlee

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Senior

About Me: I am a Senior at OPRF and this will be my second year tutoring for The Learning League. At school I participate and have participated in girls lacrosse, Students for Peace and Justice, Chemistry Club, and Model United Nations. Outside of school enjoy spending time with my friends, drawing, watching documentaries, and volunteering at the Adler Planetarium. I am really interested in math and science and plan on studying environmental science or engineering in college.
Why I am a good learning coach: I really enjoy working with children and have a lot of experience doing so. I have babysat for many years and last year I worked at the Learning League as a tutor as well. I historically have taken rigorous classes at my high school and this year am taking Calculus BC, AP Environmental Science, AP College English, AP Computer Science, and several others. I really enjoy teaching kids skills to allow them to find solutions to problems on their own. \\n I think it is very important to be excited about the material you are teaching and to have fun while learning. Tutoring is an incredibly rewarding experience and I am thankful for this opportunity to do so!

Name: Ruby Mead

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Senior

About Me: Hello! I'm a sophomore in high school and have loved the experiences I've been through this past year. I love English and math in particular but have had positive experiences in all subjects! At OPRF I have challenged myself in academics and extracurricular activities, pushing myself to get high grades in honors classes and expanding my interests through clubs and other opportunities. I'm a dancer at The Academy of Movement and Music and a lot of my time outside of school is spent there. In school, I've done French Club and Tau Gamma (the schools service club) and hope to try out more this year! My hobbies include reading, writing, drawing, and spending time with my friends!

Why I am a good learning coach: I would like to be able to use my past experiences in middle school and elementary school towards helping others. I understand what it's like and I know how to help those kids with the learning material they're facing. I absolutely love working with kids and assisting them with their education is a true privilege. For me, helping others understand something or helping them expand their knowledge is extremely beneficial for everyone. I'm excessively organized and I've learned how to manage a number of things at once while still achieving highly, something I would love to share with kids that could benefit from it.


Name: Leeson Wells

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Junior

About Me: I am super outgoing and social. I moved to Oak Park in 6th Grade, and mastered the transition and find myself extremely adaptable in all situations. I like making creative film of family vacations, road trips and nature. I hope to attend college where I can pursue a career in film making. I have taken Spanish for 5 years, and looking forward to AP Spanish this year to increase my conversational Spanish. I enjoy watching cooking shows like Master Chef.

Why I am a good learning coach:
I really enjoy watching children learn. I help my sister with homework, and find it rewarding when I can help someone work through a difficult problem, solve it, and then understand how they got there. I struggled with math, and other subjects in middle school, and was able to overcome these struggles. I believe that through this journey of understanding my learning process, I know how to help kids who are going through the same problems.

Name: Izzy Lisak

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Senior

About Me: I am a senior at OPRFHS. My favorite classes are English and history. I am also the News editor for my school newspaper. Outside of school I love to read, listen to music, volunteer, and spend time with family and friends.Why I am a good learning coach: I have lots of experience with children as a babysitter and an older sister. I tutor my sister in math and help her do her other homework as well. I have been at The Learning League since my sophomore year and love it. I am very passionate about learning and can't wait to help kids with their own academic journeys.

Name: Monica Bradford

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Sophomore

About Me: Hi! My name is Monica. I really enjoy learning new things, and my favorite subject is math. I just started pre-calculus, and I am very excited for the year! I am a very active member of the ultimate frisbee team, the track team, choir, and HYPE, a club focused on educating my fellow OPRF students on the benefits of living a drug and alcohol free life. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, reading, running, and sewing.

Why I am a good learning coach: I have been helping my friends and siblings with their homework for a very long time, and I have always really enjoyed it. I love helping others solve problems they have been struggling with. In addition, I love interacting with kids. I have many younger cousins who I would give anything to spend time with. I strive to be a role model and make a difference in as many people’s lives as I can. I understand that everyone has a different way of learning, and I want to help discover the best method for each individual student so that their school experience can be enjoyable.

Name: Grace Johnson

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Senior

About Me: I am proud to say that I’m finally a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School! I am eager to mentor and guide those younger than me throughout their educational careers.Being involved in my school’s Spoken Word club since Freshman year has helped elevate my voice when it comes to self-expression and knowledge of one’s self. This has led me to speaking and performing at school assemblies and events across Chicago, as well as competing in Chicago’s annual Louder than a Bomb poetry festival. I love to try various activities and clubs within my school to make sure that I get the most out of my experience. I enjoy reading (my current favorite author is Toni Morrison), performing slam poetry, getting birthday cake milkshakes from Oberweiss (even when it's not my birthday), creating, and spending time with family and friends.

Why I am a good learning coach:

I can connect with any type of personality on some level and find a common ground. I find this useful when it comes to tutoring because the person that I’m coaching knows that I am human, and that I was once where they are! Being the “big cousin” to many children in my family has always exposed me to the varying personalities and needs of those younger than me, leading me to realize that everyone has a different approach to processing and understanding both life and school concepts. This summer I worked as a tutor and teacher’s assistant in OPRF’s 8 to 9 Program. I have been a certified tutor and mentor since 2014 through a local program hosted by Triton College.


Name: Spencer Gallager

School Attending: Fenwick High School
Year in school: Junior

About Me: I am a member of the math team, the cross country team, the WYSE team, Blackfriars’ Guild (drama club) and Friar Mentors, Fenwick’s peer tutoring program. I also volunteer at Elmhurst-Yorkfield Food Pantry, and I am involved in Bam Theatre, a high school/college community theatre program in Hinsdale, as an actor and intern. My main hobbies are theatre and math, both of which I’ve been lucky enough to pursue in high school through Fenwick’s drama program and through Fenwick’s math team, with whom I won 1st place in the Individual Geometry and Two-Person events at the ICTM Regionals, and tied for 10th place in Geometry and won 7th place in Two-Person at state.

Why I am a good learning coach: I started helping out my little brother with his homework when I was in 5th grade, and ever since then I’ve loved to help tutor others and help them succeed where they might have been otherwise struggling. I’m lucky to have received experience as a tutor with Friar Mentors, a peer-to-peer tutoring program at Fenwick. I’ve also had experience working with children as a theatre camp counselor. I greatly enjoy working with younger kids, and enjoy how often I’m surprised by how smart some kids can be without anyone realizing it. I’d love to be the one who helps bring out the smarter side of kids that they don’t easily show.

Name: Anabel Heinig

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Senior

About Me: Hi! My name is Anabel. I am a senior at OPRF and can't wait to close out my high school career getting to help others learn here at The Learning League! My favorite subjects in school are English and science. I enjoy reading and writing, and I have from a young age. I do well in school because I love to learn, I am organized and a hard worker. In addition, I played piano for seven years and thoroughly enjoyed it. I like photography and also recently took a wheel-throwing class over the summer. I love to travel and spend time with family and friends. I can't wait to go out and experience the world!

Why I am a good learning coach: I am a good tutor because I challenge myself to be the best I can be and extend that same idea to others, knowing that everyone has a unique and unmatched potential for learning. I love working with kids and have experience being a leader at a summer day camp where I was in charge of a group of 5th and 6th grade girls. It was a blast, and it increased my love of working with kids. I am passionate about making a difference in the community, and helping kids learn at The Learning League is a great way! I value hard work and honesty, and I bring out those characteristics in my daily life.

Name: Meredith Revsine

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Sophomore

About Me: Hi! I’m Meredith and I am a sophomore at OPRF. I enjoy watching and playing all sports and I am a big Northwestern fan. I am a member of the field hockey team and I am a pole vaulter on the track team. My hobbies outside of school include baking, traveling and photography. Some of my favorite classes are AP US History and Honors English, but I also enjoy math.

Why I am a good learning coach: I am a good learning coach because I was tutored myself and I love helping kids reach their goals. I have a lot of experience with kids, including babysitting and teaching Sunday school. I have two younger sisters and have been helping them with their homework for a couple of years. Helping my sisters and friends with homework and studying made me realize that I really love tutoring! I love building relationships with kids and getting to know their unique learning style. I am motivated to help kids reach their full learning potential while still being able to have fun.

Name: Sara Bey

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Senior

About Me: Hello! My name is Sara Bey. I’m a senior at OPRF, and I genuinely like school- especially buying new school supplies. I love to take advantage of all the opportunities OPRF has given me, including taking classes such as Woodworking, Child Development and multiple AP classes that pique my interest. I am Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, and have played upright bass in the school’s jazz band. You may see me around Oak Park a lot, because I sell tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market and bike everywhere. When I go to college, I want to major in Early Childhood Education, so I want as much experience working with children as possible before I leave.

Why I am a good learning coach: I love children, whether they be the babies in my family, or a child who waves “hi” to me in the grocery store. I have plenty of experience working with children. I babysit my little cousins, tutor at Beye Elementary during the school year, help my grandmother during Vacation Bible School at my church, and I worked at OPEF’s BASE Camp this summer. I was a shy and quiet girl growing up, so I understand kids’ stress when they’re too scared to ask for help. I want to create the warmest environment possible for the students I tutor so they are able to thrive and have a successful school year.

Name: Claire Marko

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Sophomore

About Me:  Hi! I am a sophomore at OPRF and this will be my first year tutoring at The Learning League. Ienjoy playing piano, drawing and painting, and spending time with friends and family. I like to playbadminton and tennis for fun, and I love to travel. I am very interested in history and Spanish, but I alsoreally enjoy math and science. I am looking forward to this year at TLL!
Why I am a good learning coach: I really enjoy working with kids, and I have a lot of experience withbabysitting. I like to apply what I have learned in school by thinking of creative ways to explain theseconcepts. I feel that it is very fulfilling to help others learn, as it makes it feel like the work I put intolearning in school is really worth while. I am currently in all honors classes, including Pre-Calculus, andAP American History.

Name: Cecilia Doyle

School Attending: Oak Park River Forest
Year in school: Junior

About Me:  I believe that an education is one of the most important tools for success. I recently had the opportunity to visit a school in Guatemala where they showed me the difference an education can make and the opportunities it can bring. As a tutor, I hope to be able to share with others the importance of learning, and the joy that it has given me. As a junior at OPRF, I am taking a number of challenging classes including AP Calculus, AP English and AP Biology. I especially enjoy my engineering and math classes. I have been a member of the varsity gymnastics team at OPRF for the past 2 years. I also belong to the pole vault team, and am a member of Tau Gamma, my school's service club.
Why I am a good learning coach:  I am excited to be a tutor at The Learning League! I have had lots of past experience in tutoring, including participating in clubs like P.R.I.M.E Time Peer Tutoring, and Cats and Dogs Homework Club. I have also privately tutored students. I love working with kids, and I have many younger siblings and cousins, with whom I spend lots of time. In addition, I am a gymnastics coach for young children and often babysit around the community. I find teaching and working with kids to be incredibly exciting. There is nothing like the moment when you are working on a concept and the student finally understands it!



Name: Joseph Babbo- with us in November!

School Attending: Fenwick High School
Year in School: Senior

About me: I love learning and teaching. I try to challenge myself academically and am I straight A (4.7 GPA) student in all honors/AP courses. I play soccer for Fenwick High School and the Chicago Edge and I am a part of Fenwick’s Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Team; Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science Team; and Math Team. I also take part in the Fenwick German Club and assist students through Fenwick’s Write Place Program. I enjoy volunteering and have helped out at Hephzibah’s After School Day Care and Summer School programs, the Oak Park AYSO VIP Program, and the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels Food Pantry. I love music and have been playing the guitar since I was five years old. I am also very interested in technology and have built multiple computers.

Why I am a good learning coach: I enjoy teaching and working with children. I routinely help out my younger brothers in various fields from math to English. I have lots of experience with younger children having two younger siblings and fifteen younger cousins. I have also worked with children through various volunteering endeavors and as a coach with the Chicago Edge.



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