Learning for One is Learning for All
by Athena Hamilton, Horizons Alumni
Education was valued in the Lauretti household. Gabi's mom, Louise, taught math in the middle school program. This is one of the reasons Gabi Lauretti, 24, developed so much passion for the Horizons program. Gabi was a high school volunteer at Horizons and she took to Horizons Savannah for the diverse community. "The community in general I loved," says Gabby. "It was interesting to branch out from my high school and network with other students that weren't in my area."
Gabby attended high school at The Savannah Country Day School, a private K-12 institution and home of the very first Savannah Horizons program, opened in 2002. As an annual program, the success of Horizons can be attributed to the retention of enrolled students. Lauretti loved to witness her student's academic progression from summer to summer, noting their motivation inspired her.
"I loved to watch them grow from not being able to write a sentence to seeing their grammar and communication get so much better," she exclaimed. "They really took to me or I took to them."
One of her most notable experiences revolves around assisting a middle schooler with writing. As a child, Gabby suffered from a mild auditory-processing disorder that made reading difficult. By sharing her own academic struggles with this middle school student, Lauretti created a thriving learning environment, building trust and confidence along the way.
"I think he was embarrassed to ask me for help," she observed. "I sat with him and explained my situation and I think it broke down the barrier where he may have thought I was the perfect volunteer that knew everything--- which I wasn't."
By making this connection, she was able to help this student be successful, and the student would come to her for more advice later.
Currently, Lauretti is Head of Marketing for Dance Body, a fitness company based in New York. As a young professional, she credits Horizons for helping to strengthen her patience and willingness to share with others her own struggles and successes.