Charlottesville, VA — February 2014
A University of Virginia student is being called, a role model, mentor, and hero. In this week’s Stephanie’s Heroes, CBS19’s Stephanie Satchell is featuring David Tinta, who’s mentoring children in Albemarle County. He’s helping them with school work and boosting their confidence.
David Tinta is a busy 4th year student at UVA but still finds enough free time to give back in between classes.
Once a week, he volunteers in the Southwood community in Albemarle County.
“These kids are just looking for someone to give out a hand and to help them out in their time of need. This is the time to enlighten themselves and feel excited about education and I just want to be a part of that,” said David Tinta.
Tinta is a member of the Latino Student Alliance at UVA. Members of the organization mentor and tutor children in the primarily Hispanic community.
“We saw a need. There were so many children in the Southwood neighborhood that come to Cale school that needed extra help,” said Gloria Rockhold, Community Engagement Manager, Albemarle County Public Schools.
Tinta spends most of his time reading and working on math problems with 1st grade student Brayan Chico Esteban.
“The best part about working with David is that at the end, we get to do another homework and play games,” said Chico Esteban.
Tinta says it’s important for him to be a role model to children here.
“I would look to the television and see people just like me doing successful things like going to college and being a lawyer or whatever it might be. As a child, I never found these role models and I felt that because i’m going to college and because I’m in the place that I am, that it’s my duty to go and be a role model to these kids,” said Tinta.
Cale Elementary School principal Lisa Jones says the mentoring program is making a big difference for lots of students.
“When students get any extra support at home, it’s going to show in the classroom. If you are coming in the classroom ready to learn, you are more confident. So, any help that you can get outside of school, I feel that it’s going to have a positive impact on how you perform inside of school.
Although David Tinta doesn’t think “hero” is the right word to describe him, many others in and around the community do.