Amy Wang has found her niche through the National Honors Society


Amy Wang

A picture of senior Amy Wang in her last year of high school.

Senior Amy Wang finds it difficult when she is faced with a question that she can’t answer. At the start of high school, Amy found a passion for helping people, and ever since her sophomore year of high school, she has been a part of the National Honors Society (NHS). 

“People ask me a lot of questions I don’t know,” Amy said. “[They] will ask, ‘If I tutored someone for two hours and thirty-nine minutes, does that count for three hours or two hours?’ [Sometimes], people call me down in the middle of the hallway and ask me a random question.” 

When Amy first heard about NHS, it struck her as something new that she wanted to try. However, over time, it became a long-lasting hobby that has helped her gain a community. This has provided her with the opportunity for a lot of tutoring experience.

“I found out about [NHS] because it was an event that everyone does,” Amy said. “I wanted to have a platform where I can volunteer. For [NHS], I can count it towards something while practicing leadership.” 

Amy first joined as a tutor and got nominated as an officer her junior year. She works alongside other officers and NHS director Patti Richardson. Her role as an officer is to connect tutees with tutors, and lately, this means rarely tutoring students of her own.

After high school, Amy wants to major in either music performance or business and hopes to tutor English in college. Although, before Amy became an officer, she most enjoyed tutoring others in math.  

“Math is more concrete,” Amy said. “There’s only one answer, you [either] get it or not. I enjoy tutoring math.”

Although tutoring has allowed her to build a relationship with students, other factors contribute to helping a student succeed in class. What feels most important to Amy is to not make yourself seem superior to the student and to make sure that they can successfully apply what they’ve learned. 

One experience that sticks out to Amy was when she had to help a student speak up when they were struggling. She wasn’t tutoring the peer but instead finding ways for the student to ask their teacher questions when they couldn’t understand something. 

“There was this one instance where I taught a kid geometry,” Amy said. “I didn’t really tutor them, but I mostly gave the [kid] advice on how they should approach the teacher and how to ask for help.” 

NHS is not time-consuming, but on average, Amy sees herself committing one to three hours per week and can teach up to three students at a time. With great power also comes great responsibility, which means accommodating students and adapting to their schedules. 

Being a part of the NHS community has allowed Amy to make better use of her time along with being able to see students’ academic growth. It’s not only seeing their grades improve that is rewarding; noticing that a student finally comprehends a topic is as well. 

“I like how students get that ‘Aha’ moment,” Amy said. “[Some] students don’t understand the fundamentals, [so] you help them understand them. That will help them later on.”

Although, there have been moments in Amy’s tutoring career in which students have more difficulty understanding a topic. These moments help her to expand to different methods of teaching.

Amy’s first approach when a concept isn’t clicking is to first try and put herself in the student’s shoes. She tries to figure out what they’re not understanding and then starts asking questions that help find their weak spots.

I like how students get that ‘Aha’ moment. [Some] students don’t understand the fundamentals, [so] you help them understand them.

— Amy Wang

“I try to understand the situation first,” Amy said. “I ask them questions when I tutor because I don’t want to straight-up tell [students] how to do the problem because it’s kind of counterproductive that way. In the end, when I finally explain it, I give them another problem that’s similar to that to let them do it with no help.”

In cases that Amy is not able to understand the concept, she will turn to external sources such as videos that her tutees can either watch and learn from or that Amy can learn from and then convey her understanding to the student. 

“I find resources for them,” Amy said. “I would find YouTube videos that say the exact problem or something similar.” 

But If Amy had to choose one thing that she loves most about being a part of NHS, it’s that she’s a part of a community that’s working toward a common goal and is in a position where she can not only guide students but also be able to help them one on one. 

“[Being] [an] officer allows me to be a leader, but [being] a tutor allows me to be a friend,” Amy said. “You don’t want to make yourself seem like you’re above them because it’s going to make them seem less secure. You want to [be] on equal ground so that you can help them.”