Q&A with Ed Slavich

Tell us why you got involved with Building STEPS?

I moved to Baltimore not long before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and my office closed, so I was feeling isolated from the community. Tutoring over Zoom seemed like a pleasant way to engage with people.

Tell us why it’s important to you to share your expertise with our students?

As Mahendra well knows, it’s an exaggeration to refer to my “expertise” — more often than not I’m learning and re-learning alongside the students. I do it because I enjoy it. It’s as simple as that!

Can you tell us in what way your relationship has grown with Mahendra since you first began?

I learned that Mahendra is super well organized and over time have realized that I am not, so at this point he is carrying the full weight of directing our tutoring sessions. I have no doubt that he submitted his answers to these questions before I did!

What would you tell someone who is on the fence about tutoring or volunteering with Building STEPS?

If there’s an academic subject that interests you, I say go for it! The students are curious and smart and it’s a joy to talk to them. Also, don’t be afraid that your knowledge of the subject is rusty; it probably is, but that won’t matter. I think a tutoring session is most valuable when you work through tricky problems as a team, so it’s not necessary to show up with all the answers.