Tom Ferretto’s story

“For plenty of students at Xavier College, the Friday Night School program has developed into a weekly ritual. Every Friday afternoon that I’ve passed by the school chapel while at the Senior School, I’ve been struck by the sheer multitude of students who, after surviving an entire week of their own schooling, are willing to lend what usually amounts to be their entire evening to tutoring other children.  The benefit of so many tutors is obvious at the venue itself, where every one of dozens of children has a personal instructor.  The students we assist vary as much in skill and work ethic as the students who come as tutors.  Some, usually the younger ones, need every ounce of your attention.  Others are particularly focused and driven; they vary between those who breeze through their work, explaining that they don’t actually need any help, and those who ask questions and take advice with such a fervour that the tutor can’t help but feel a modicum of pride that this individual is so genuinely pleased that they are spending their Friday evening with them.

In all kinds of tutees the benefit provided to these students is balanced by what the program fosters in the tutors themselves.  Regardless of whether students are able to commit every week or attend whenever they’re free, that so many students commit to the one altruistic activity speaks to an ingrained good will in the student body as a whole.  From what I have seen at Xavier College, at least, what inclinations have been cultured by the school are counterpointed by what students extract for themselves at FNS.  I won’t end on such a corny note as ‘everyone takes a lesson away from FNS’, but a crucial component of the program is how it nurtures and rounds-off the characters of the students who tutor as much as it does pragmatically teach the students who attend as tutees.”

Tom Ferretto, Xavier College