By Ava Millstone

Sadia Fatemi; Photo Courtesy of Community Scholar

The Southwest Neighborhood Assembly’s Education and Scholarship Task Force is leading an effort to provide tutors to Amidon-Bowen Elementary School students. The program was originally started by Robert St. Cyr, executive director of Community Scholar, at Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan, and expanded last year to Amidon-Bowen. “The Southwester” is proud to feature Amidon-Bowen’s Tutor of the Month: Sadia Fatemi.

How long have you lived in SW? 14 years

What do you do in your professional life? I am a Structural Engineer (i.e. I build buildings!). 

What made you get involved in the tutoring program at Amidon-Bowen? As a product of the DCPS school system and a longtime SW resident, I had been looking for a way to give back to the community for a while. I used to tutor math during and after college, so this seemed like the perfect fit.

Describe your favorite moment so far from the program. There was one session where we all learned the concept of “area” and “volume” by measuring the table we were using to study. They were so excited to measure and apply the concept together; it was a really enjoyable and productive session.

What is one thing you enjoy, appreciate or respect about your students? I work with Josh and DeAhrria: they are both incredibly intelligent and awesome students. I love the excited energy that DeAhrria brings to every session and Josh’s extremely analytical mind which keeps all of us on our toes!

Why should other SW community members consider joining the program as tutors next year? I believe it is important for kids to have a support system and the bigger that system is, the better. When they see members of the community invest in them, they feel more encouraged to do well. The tutors can also help guide these students into success, help them see their full potential as well as expose them to different people and professions. It’s truly rewarding!

To learn more about the program or sign up to participate as a volunteer, contact Robert St. Cyr at To make a tax-deductible donation to support the program, visit, search for Southwest Neighborhood Assembly Inc. and select the SWNA Education Task Force as the recipient. You can also write a check to the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly, note “Education Fund” in the memo line and mail it to: SWNA Attn: Education Fund, PO Box 70131, Washington, DC 20024.

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