By Robert St. Cyr

Johnny Beason; 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. Tutors have completed training and are now working with students for the second year of this successful program. 

Thank you to all of our neighbors who are tutoring young people at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School this year for their service to the community. This includes our Tutor of the Month: Johnny Beason! Learn more about Johnny: 

How long have you lived in SW? 

Mr. Johnny Beason has lived in Southwest D.C. for more than 26 years. He was born in Washington D.C., and spent much of his youthful time in Spartanburg, S.C., his mother’s hometown. 

What do you do in your professional life? 

He has been a Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) for over 30 years, quantifying and qualifying cancer data for many hospitals and university healthcare centers in Washington, D.C., and along the east coast.

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

Beason is the father of 3 sons and 3 daughters, a total of 19 (blended-family) grandchildren, and his love for his family pushes him to love the children that his children may encounter one day. He feels that children should meet on cool terms instead of cold terms, sharing and caring for each other as they grow into amazing adults. Beason understands that we must work much harder for all children, as kids today must think clearer and faster than ever before. The world is speeding forward at near light-speed into an ever more amazing and progressive future, and Beason says that these days “a mind is now a terrible thing to pace.” Ergo, he has taught and tutored adults and children in reading, writing, and mathematics in and around the Metropolitan area since 1989. 

Describe your favorite moment so far from the program. 

For Beason, entering into the atmosphere of learning at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School is the most rewarding sensation, knowing that a young mind will be shaped. 

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

Confidence can be imparted in anyone and at any age. Seeing that light come on when a young man or a young lady gets confidence in learning creates an awesome happiness.

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

We all need to make a difference! If we want something different for our communities, then we have to do something different in our communities. Reading The Southwester, Beason saw an announcement for tutors at Amidon-Bowen. During the initial volunteering session he was excited that so many men and women showed up to offer assistance to the young people at the school. However, that excitement waned as so few educators remain at the tutoring program. There is a dire need for more motivators, inspiring adults and dedicated tutors in all our schools.

To learn more about the program or sign up to participate as a volunteer, contact Robert St. Cyr at To make a taxdeductible donation to support the program, visit enter SWNA in the search bar at the top 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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