Mentoring with Meaning

Tim Shepherd (left) assists a student at the Omaha Home for Boys School with a chemistry assignment.

Twice a week you’ll find Tim Shepherd faithfully making the drive from his west Omaha office where he is a civil engineer to 52nd and Ames Streets. Rain or shine Tim hits the road with one destination in sight:  tutoring young men at the Omaha Home for Boys School.

Tim volunteers his time and talents to tutor the high school students in math and science, the two subject areas where the school has the most need for assistance. He works one-on-one with the boys or in small groups for two to three hours each session, explaining algebra strategies, chemical equations and geometry problems. But his mentoring goes well beyond helping students improve their grades.

“I love helping the boys understand that the concepts we’re discussing are things that they can learn and know,” said Tim. “They just need the confidence to realize it.”

Tim’s desire to tutor is twofold. He recently earned his master’s degree from South Dakota State University and moved to Omaha. He was searching for volunteer opportunities and found the volunteer tutor position at Omaha Home for Boys. His strong background in math and science and his passion for both subjects drew him to the volunteer position.

Tim also holds a special place in his heart for helping youth. As a youngster Tim spent time in the foster care system. Having walked the same path as many of the students at the Omaha Home for Boys School, Tim realized tutoring would be the perfect way to help guide young men who face many of the same obstacles that he once faced.

Tim has found his time as a tutor to be very rewarding, especially when he recalls where one particular student, Michael, was when the pair first began working together. “When I started a few months ago, Michael was really struggling with algebra,” said Tim. “And right now, as we speak, Michael is taking his final exam in the course. It’s so neat to see how far he’s come in learning the material and very rewarding to know that I was able to help him find success. I can’t wait to see his test results!”

The staff at the Omaha Home for Boys School are very thankful for the time that Tim puts in each week. “It takes a very special person to volunteer their time each week and Tim is that person,” said Dr. Anthony Dancer, Education Manager at the Omaha Home for Boys School. “Tim’s genuine desire to help students succeed was apparent from the moment I met him. He’s phenomenal in the classroom and the guys just rave about how easy Tim makes it to understand concepts. I wish we could clone him!”

Ready to Volunteer?

If you’re interested in joining Tim as a volunteer tutor at the Omaha Home for Boys School, we’d love to visit with you! Please view our volunteer opportunities and apply via VolunteerMatch.org.