By Ava Millstone

Shavonne Johnson; Courtesy of Author

Last year, in partnership with Southwest Neighborhood Assembly’s Education and Scholarship Task Force, Community Scholar started a tutoring program at Amidon-Bowen. School administrators, students, and parents have praised the program and are excited for the program to launch and expand in year two. 

Amidon-Bowen students significantly improved on the PARCC Math test last year. Congratulations to the students, the teachers, staff, and tutors who supported their growth! One of the tutors who worked with students throughout last year is the Amidon-Bowen Tutor of the Month, Shavonne Johnson. 

How long have you lived in SW? 

Since Oct. 2014.

What do you do in your professional life? 

I’m a full-time student at Northern Virginia Community College.

What made you get involved in the tutoring program at Amidon-Bowen?  

The director of the program, Robert St. Cyr, lives in the same co-op as I do at River Park. He posted on our co-op community electronic bulletin board and I signed up.

Describe your favorite moment so far from the program. 

My favorite moments are when students continue to try even when it is a subject that might not be coming to them naturally. I loved sharing step-by-step tools to help them approach their reading assignments and questions.

What is one thing you enjoy, appreciate, or respect about your students?  

I appreciate how hard they work even after getting frustrated with a difficult concept and coming to tutoring after a long day of school.

Why should other SW community members consider joining the program as tutors next year? 

Volunteering in your own neighborhood builds a more connected community. The students have so much energy and I love watching them become fascinated by the subjects we read about each week.

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 SWMA 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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