Horizon Education Alliance is on a mission to improve educational success in Elkhart County. That goal struck a chord with Dan Reiff, and he reached out.

Dan taught biology and chemistry for 10 years, both at Elkhart Community Schools and Goshen Community Schools. He works in the banking industry now.

Getting closer, step by step

Dan (left) with one of his students David (right) who is pursuing his high school equivalency (HSE).

“I still had a little bit of a desire to help people and help with learning, and Horizon Education Alliance (HEA) set me up with tutoring,” he said. “HEA got started when I was a teacher, and I really appreciated their mission and their drive to help Elkhart County and bring the school systems together and provide some things that were missing in our county as far as adult education and early education. That whole mission was intriguing to me.”

Dan has worked with two students so far as a volunteer tutor. One of them is David Gregg. David is pursuing his high school equivalency (HSE) through HEA’s Adult Pathways program. He and Dan work on the math component of his studies, meeting once a week.

“We go right to it,” David said. “We have an objective that we’re going after, and we look and see where we’re at, what we’ve been working on, and usually he can tell right away whether we need to review something or move forward.”

“He’s a very hard worker,” Dan said of his student. “David is very diligent, shows up on time, and is very committed to achieving his goal.”

David knows he has much work ahead of him. He has Dan for help along the way, though, and he’s making progress.

“He’s getting close,” Dan said.

“Yeah!” David added. “This material I’m working on now, without Dan’s assistance and guidance, I wouldn’t know what I’m doing.”

What skills should a tutor for HEA bring to the table? Background experience is important, according to Dan, but it’s not the key component.

“The biggest thing is the desire to work with people,” he said. “You’ve got all different kinds of people who are wanting to move ahead. People are at different stages in their life, different ages, different genders. They are wanting to get their high school equivalency, and you’ve got to be willing to work with them. If you have a desire to work with people and help them improve, HEA will find a spot for you.”

Learn more in the Adult Pathways section of our site. To learn more about volunteer and learning opportunities at HEA, contact us.