Grad Made Tutoring Kids a Team Effort

Now that she has her high school diploma, Sadaf Sehati has her sights set on UCLA, and beyond that to a career in teaching. She already has a head start.

For nearly a year, the studious 17-year-old volunteered her time tutoring younger children at the West Valley Boys & Girls Club in Woodland Hills. She enjoyed it so much that she persuaded 50 members of Taft High School’s honors society--and two nonmembers--to do the same.

“We thought it would be a really good experience,” she said. The idea was initially suggested by counselor Linda Zimring, who sponsors Taft’s chapter of the California Scholarship Federation.

With classmate Melissa Sturm, Sadaf persuaded almost one-third of the group’s membership to spend a few hours each week helping elementary and middle school children with their homework or playing games.


“Knowing that you actually helped them learn something, it’s a big deal,” she said.

Suhail Mulla, who has worked as program director at the club since it opened in January 1995, was grateful to have such an enthusiastic group of volunteers.

“They put in over 1,000 hours over the last seven or eight months,” he said. “They’ve been an excellent help. It’s worked out real well.”

Staff members at the club were so impressed with Sadaf’s dedication and professionalism as a volunteer that they offered her a summer job. Before she begins college, she’ll help plan and implement the club’s many recreational programs.

“She’s very friendly, very nice,” Mulla said. “She relates well to children. The kids look up to her.”

Sadaf hasn’t declared a major but said she’s leaning toward becoming a teacher, a profession she says honors people in ways other than a paycheck.

“The kids really give you the rewards. It doesn’t necessarily have to be money.”