TSC math tutor makes sure student’s lives add up to success

It’s been four years since Giovanni Vazquez became a mathematics tutor as a student at Texas Southmost College, and even though he graduated, he is still going strong.

The 22-year-old earned his associate degree in general studies in December 2018 from TSC and aced all of his advanced math classes such as precalculus and calculus.

It was this success that put him in the running for a math tutor position at TSC’s Learning Labs, where he has continued working even after earning his bachelor’s degree in mathematics in December 2020.

“Math is a tool you need in your daily arsenal,” said Vazquez. “I realized this in third grade, which was the same time I learned that I had the skills to pursue a career in math.”

The Brownsville native focused his attention throughout his schooling on improving his math and problem-solving skills, even experimenting in accounting and engineering before settling on a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and teaching.

“Tutoring has been an amazing experience for me,” said the 22-year old. “I enjoy teaching what I know and lessening the intimidation that comes when faced with a math problem.”

Vazquez said his time at TSC was most rewarding with not only the experience he has gained as a tutor, but because his instructors saw his potential and continually motivated him to push past his comfort zone.

“Helping others understand concepts and seeing that light bulb shine is the best. It really is a good feeling,” he said. “But that’s only possible when your own instructors encourage you and motivate you…and I got that right here at TSC.”

He added that TSC helped him become a better college student, to grow and be fully prepared to continue his education. He now shares the lessons he’s learned with those he tutors.

“My goal as a tutor is to not only help a student understand material, but it’s also helping them find success in everything they do,” said Vazquez. “That comes with teaching them the soft skills, such as time management, note taking and the study skills they need and can apply anywhere.”

Vazquez hopes to pass these same lessons onto his students when he becomes a full-time teacher.

He is currently pursuing his teaching certification to teach high school math and hopes to begin his career as a teacher this fall.

“My goal as a teacher, just as it is as a tutor, is to take the fear out of math,” he said. “I want students to realize their potential, change their mindset. I want to help them succeed. Math really is the future with all of these science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) careers coming up. I don’t want any student to feel held back because of math.”

Vazquez also plans on pursuing a master’s degree in math and/or education to work toward returning to TSC, this time as an instructor.

“TSC turned my life around and helped me find my passion in teaching,” said Vazquez. “It’s the place where I got my first job, and because of it I have found endless opportunity. I am now on my way to find continued success.”

TSC’s Learning Labs are open Monday through Saturday and offer tutoring services in numerous subjects such as mathematics and composition, and an open computer lab for student use.

Tutors like Vazquez can also assist students in setting up a Brainfuse account, a 24-hour online tutoring service.

Visit TSC’s Learning Labs for more information.

Registration for summer and fall 2021 is now open.