Raul Araujo will be the first to tell you he struggled in school. The Reno High School sophomore used to be at the bottom of the class. "Before I didn't really think I was going to make it this far in school,” he admits. However, the soccer player now has a 3.2 grade point average. He credits his hard work, discipline and a special lady who believes in him.
Kim Carano started Inside/Out Outreach five years ago after coming across some kids living in motels. She noticed many students falling through the cracks - as first generation middle school students whose parents, often times, don't speak English. So she and her friend, Dalynne Moore, a former teacher and co-founder of Sage Ridge School, started a tutoring program in the office of an apartment complex. They quickly outgrew the space. “We couldn't find anything around this area; not a church, not a school, not an outreach center. So we decided to go ahead and rent one of the apartments,” explains Kim. Today more than 40 students meet at the Roselake apartment on Lakeside twice a week, where they are fed before doing homework.
The students are thriving; most are now reading at grade level. They are split up into three groups: elementary students, middle and high school girls and boys. Dalynne works with the first through sixth graders. "It's sitting down and listening to a beginner reader read a book. It's practicing math facts." Little first grader, Maricela Nava says, "She helps me with my math homework and that's why I love her so much." Dalynne says there are far too many success stories to count, but one story that stands out involves a first grade girl. She was practically failing school and after her first week attending tutoring session with Inside/Out Outreach, she earned her first 100% on her spelling test.
One room away, you will find the newest tutor to the group, Paige Wickum - who has a PhD in Chemistry. She helps middle and high school girls and says their time together is incredibly rewarding.
Meantime, Kim, who you will find working with a dozen teenage boys is beyond proud of all these kids. “It's a lot of time and commitment, but we love it and we see the success. As long as they're trying as hard as they are - we'll back them." That is exactly why students like Raul continue to make great strides. It is because these three women are more than just tutors; they are encouragers, cheerleaders and believers of these kids. "They know that someone believes in them, has hope for them and has a purpose for them."
The women reward the students for their accomplishments with parties, trips to Aces Ballpark and they even take them to the University of Nevada to expose them to their opportunities after high school. The program is a 501(c)3 under Outlook Christian Church. If you would like to make a donation to help the women get the tools (i.e. books) they need to better assist these students, log onto http://outlookccreno.org/.