A Love for Learning: Helping Kids Find their True Potential
Change Maker Sponsor - United Way of Greater Toledo

A Love for Learning: Helping Kids Find their True Potential

United Way fights for the education, health and financial stability of every person in Lucas, Wood and Ottawa County.


“Mom, I hate school!” Yelled 9-year-old Josiah as his mother questioned him about his low grades. “You just don’t understand. I’ll never be as smart as the other kids.”

Tonya knew that her son could achieve anything he put his mind to. She had seen his vast creativity through the stories he told at the dinner table and the pictures he drew which currently decorated their fridge. She was so confused why his teachers did not see her son’s potential the way she did every single day.

She sat back and listened to Josiah as he explained, “My math teacher talks too fast and her instructions don’t make sense to me. Everyone else in the class seems to understand what is going on, but I don’t get it. I just sit at my desk and keep quiet, so the other kids don’t know how dumb I am.”

Seeing the look of defeat on Josiah’s face and hearing the sound of disappointment in his voice just destroyed Tonya. She knew he we was capable of achieving anything, he just needed to realize it himself. Tonya worried because she didn’t have the funds to pay for a personal tutor at school. She had utility bills, house payments and food to budget out, yet she knew Josiah’s education was also a top priority.

The Learning Club DataTorn, Tonya began looking for alternative options. That’s when she found out about The LEARNING CLUB® of ToledoTonya was thrilled to find out about The LEARNING CLUB®’s interactive tutoring program and discovered they could provide Josiah with after-school programming for additional help with math and reading at no cost to her.

Without a doubt, Tonya knew this was the perfect opportunity for her son. He deserved to understand just how bright he really is.

13 years seemed to have passed by in a flash. Today, Tonya sat with tears of joy in her eyes as she watched Josiah among his classmates, dressed in his cap and gown, impatiently waiting to receive his diploma. Nostalgically she thought to herself: At age 9, if I would have told him he would graduate college, he would have said I was crazy.

She knew, her son would not be standing where he was today without the help of the gracious, determined and friendly people at The LEARNING CLUB®.

Though he was apprehensive when she had first suggested it, Josiah’s tutors ultimately became his trusted friends. They helped him realize he was smarter than he ever could have imagined. Thanks to The LEARNING CLUB®, Josiah fell in love with learning, so much so, he was now only minutes away from receiving his education degree—an early childhood education degree to be exact.

Tonya heard Josiah’s name called and watched proudly as he accepted his diploma. Walking back to his seat he turned to her with a smile and waved. The young man he had become, was worth every struggle they had faced together. And now, just as The LEARNING CLUB® of Toledo had done for him, he could move forward in his life and help kids for generations to come find their own love of learning and reach their true potential.  


CHANGE MAKER ACTION: Because of your support and strong community partners, like The LEARNING CLUB® of Toledo, children are able to reach their academic potential through free after-school tutoring.

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*This blog post is based on a true story / success narrative from The Learning Club of Greater Toledo. All identities of submitted success stories are anonymous for privacy and story details have been added in order to provide a better understanding of the individual’s successes and struggles.


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