Sophomore tutors young cancer patient in math, history

An upper school student is tutoring an eighth grade student from another school who has cancer. The eighth grader’s mother called Director of Community Service Jan Stewart asking for help in finding a responsible student to tutor her son through his illness.

“She said she knew Harvard-Westlake students were responsible kids, so she wanted someone from our school to help her son,” Stewart said.

The mother offered to provide transportation for the prospective tutor to and from her family’s house. After Stewart put an announcement in the bulletin, seven students responded.

Of the seven, Dennis Cho ’09 was chosen. He now tutors the eighth grader.

In addition to Cho, the eighth grader also has a home-school tutor. Cho has been tutoring the student for four weeks. Cho meets with the eighth grader once a week during the weekends for one and a half hour tutoring sessions.

They go over math for one hour and spend the remaining half hour reviewing history.
Cho, a new sophomore, is no stranger to community service through tutoring.

He tutored children living in an orphanage when he lived on the East Coast and was enthusiastic about the opportunity to tutor the eighth grader.

“At first, I kind of expected him to be bummed because of his illness, but I realized right away that he was very confident in himself and quick with learning, and I was impressed with his passion to learn,” Cho said.

The eighth grader, whose illness is not terminal, will be attending high school next year. “He has a great character and he’s very polite and motivated,” Cho said. “I learn a lot from his motivation. I just hope to acknowledge how blessed I am and to be able to help someone else.”