Will O'Brien, '14 - Leader
It is hard to isolate the effects of Tutoria because Tutoria has become such a central part of the Priory experience. From the first moment that I met my tutors in the seventh grade, I was experiencing all that Tutoria could and can provide for the school. The older members of the school took time to get to know me and to spend time with me, and that made me truly feel that I belonged at Priory. I was not just a new seventh grader to them, but an important part of the entire student body. Tutoria, to me, is ultimately all about a strong community with God at its center. It takes devoted members to form a community, and I believe all the tutors who participate in the program are devoted. Every high school tutor voluntarily chose to be a part of the program, and sacrifices a late start every Tuesday so that they can participate inTutoria. This shows that all the tutors who are in the program are truly interested in being there, and it takes that kind of commitment to form worthwhile bonds between students. The Tutoria community is beneficial to all members: members of the junior school now have older students who can help guide them, older students get to meet the new members of the Priory community, and it helps all members access a different perspective on things. And the effects of Tutoria permeate the entire school by making lasting friendships across grade barriers and making the whole school more of a welcoming environment
Louis Garvin, '14 - Leader
Back in 6th grade when I was considering Priory, Tutoria had no impact on my decision. In fact, like everyone else in my class I didn't even know what Tutoria was and was completely caught off guard by it in 7th grade. However, through my experiences with Tutoria in the Junior School and High School, Tutoria has been one of the most rewarding parts of the Priory experience and without a doubt the most unique. Adopted from Chilean schools about 10 years ago,Tutoria develops community between the Junior School and High School through scripture and games. When I was new to Priory, it was great to have high school tutors giving me advice about Priory and making me feel part of the community, not just the Junior School. I can still remember their names, Quinn Underinner and Peter Jochens, and can only hope I've carried on their standard as a Tutor. Stories like this are not uncommon as many students have great memories from Tutoria. From playing sports to eating donuts to spiritual insights, Tutoria can have an impact on anyone at any time. There is no doubt that if I had known about Tutoria back in 6th grade it would have made the decision to attend Priory that much easier. No school in the St. Louis area has any program like Tutoria. Who wouldn't want to be part of that?
Tucker Hively, '14 - Leader
For me, it is difficult to talk about one particular aspect of the Tutoria program specifically because there are so many awesome parts working in conjunction to make the program such an amazing experience for all the people involved and surrounded by it. Tutoria is a program that originated in Santiago, Chile. It was brought about at Priory by Fr.Michael Brunner about ___ years ago, and is arguably the most important program that has ever been brought to the school. Priory is centered on a strong sense of community, which is exactly what the Tutoria program brings to the table. Every tutor that goes through the program has an opportunity to visit Chile to observe the roots of the program in hope of bringing what they learn back to Priory to share with the community. Tutoria isn't just a club. Tutoria is a lifestyle. The high schoolers that take part in the program do so by volunteering; it isn't required of them. This means they want to be there and they want to create a relationship with the junior-schoolers.
I chose to be a part of the program when I got into high school because of the immense impact it had on me in the Junior School. I strive to create a relationship with the guys that is completely horizontal. I want them to feel like they can talk to me about anything and everything without feeling uncomfortable. I think this is important because sometimes it is hard to find someone that you can open up to, but I have been through almost all the things they are going through, and if I haven't, then I know someone who has. There is nothing better than having someone you can relate to and feel comfortable enough to talk to. I, like all tutors, want to strengthen the bridge between high school and junior school by creating a bond with God at the center. Through Lectio Divina(reflection on the Gospel), we can all experience God while sharing our stories. After that, we just hangout and/or play sports because, I mean, what guy doesn't like a little athletic competition? I have found through my work in the program that it is beneficial for everyone, not just the Catholics and Christians or those who are more vocal. Boys that don't share the same beliefs can experience the thoughts of those who do, and vice versa, and everyone (especially those who are less vocal) can be brought into a sense of community that they might not have otherwise experienced. Due to my work in with the program, I now tutor some of the guys I have met, I have given some of them rides, I attended their retreat with them, and I look forward to seeing them in the halls and hanging out with them every Tuesday. I love this program, and want to do anything I can to make it the best and the strongest that it can be. Tutoria is sweet.
David Holmes, '16
I initially chose to take a leading role in the Tutoria program because I wanted to meld the environment into a more comfortable, profound, and meaningful experience for both the seventh and eighth graders as well as the tutors themselves. I entered into the program already in love with Lectio Divina, inspired to encourage those younger than me to grow closer to God in mediation through relationships with their fellow students persevering in the same journey only situated further along the path. I yearned for a fully open atmosphere where everyone involved could learn from each other and feel free to express any thought, feeling, or concern. I quickly learned that, through the grace of God, Tutoria creates lasting ties which lessen the burden and pressure of life's obstacles on its members, reminding us that, above all else, we always have God and each other to assist us.
Taylor Dubray, '14
I joined Tutoria at the beginning of my junior year, and I regret not being a part of the program during my freshmen and sophomore years. I always liked Tutoria when I was a scrawny little junior schooler but just never got around to signing up when I entered the highschool. My experience as a group leader has been great, and being in Tutoria has definitely opened my eyes to see how important the program is to the Priory community. Now when I see one of the kids in my group in the hall, I stop to talk to him or give him a high-five. Tutoria strengthens the faith and relationships between Priory students from 7th grade to seniors, and that is why it is such a great part of Priory.
Parker Ferguson, '15
To me Tutoria is one of the coolest things about Priory. Every Tuesday morning when I get together with my group of seventh graders, it's a great way to start the day. Every week their ability to reflect on God's words improves; it's so awesome watching them grow in their faith and become closer to God. It's not just about the bible though; the friendships that I have with all the kids are priceless. The conversations we have about random things can be so funny, and I truly consider them to be my friends. I can only hope that I'm making a difference in their lives, because I know they're making a difference in mine.
Stephen Millsap, '15
I joined tutoria for two reasons. The first reason was to be a mentor to 7thand 8th graders. When I was in the junior school the tutoria program offered me a way to interact with high schoolers. I was amazed at how my tutoria group leader became my mentor, so when I entered the high school I knew that I wanted to become a mentor for young kids. The tutoria program is the vital liaison between the high school and the junior school. The second reason was to help young kids grow spiritually at a time where praying might seem "not cool." Without the tutoria program I believe the junior school would be spiritually deprived. That is why I joined tutoria.
Nick Millsap, '15
I chose to be a part of Tutoria because I believe that it plays an important role in the functioning of our school. It is the glue that holds the junior school and high school together. Without this special time to come together as tutors and Junior Schoolers, to connect on a personal level with not only each other but with our faith, Priory would not be the same place that it is today. I had an amazing experience with Tutoria in the junior school and as a tutor I want myTutoria member to have that same experience. Tutoria is the livelihood of this school and really exemplifies Priory's motto, Work hard, Play hard, Pray hard
Fitz Freeman, '14
I became a part of the Tutoria program because, as a Junior Schooler, I had a Tutor who showed me what it meant to have faith in God. It was the Tutoria program that helped me find God. I enjoy being a Tutor because it gives me a way to give back to kids and get to meet some kids who are great people that I normally would never have gotten to know. I know what some of these kids are going through it makes me feel as if I am making a difference. Overall Tutoria has been a very important part of my life and has helped me find my faith and God.
Brian Dunbar, '15
My interest in Tutoria really began in eighth grade. This is when my brother was assigned to lead my group in Lectio Divina. I thought it was pretty nice to be able to spend time with my brother and read the gospel early every week, so I decided to follow his footsteps and become a leader myself. But now that I'm a junior, three years deep into volunteering with the program, I now know that Tutoria is about a lot more than that. When I visited Chile to learn more about the Manquehue movement (the movement that our entire tutoria program is based off of), I learned that Tutoria is not only about finding God's connection to your own life, but also about making relationships with the younger and older kids. And ever since I joined the Tutoria program I feel that I have been able to make friends, and be a friend, to kids in every grade at Priory.
Cole Wagner, '14
My decision to join the Tutoria program was an easy one. Having by then been a part of the program for two years, I had already witnessed just what an impact it could have. Thus, when I was offered the chance to take on an even larger role, I jumped at the opportunity. For me, the Tutoria program represents all that is great at Priory. It is the combination of camaraderie, learning, and growth which has come to embody my Priory experience. Being a part of the program is more than just an opportunity for conversation and the occasional doughnut. It is the chance to make a difference in the future of the school, to raise up the lower classes in maturity and bring everyone closer together.