A tutor from Montreal reflects on the challenges youth face with education

Posted: 2022/05/10

The group of youth studying “Book 7: Walking Together on a Path of Service” in Montreal, Que.’s Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood did not initially plan to dedicate a full-time period of service during the summer months of 2021, but as the needs of their neighbourhood increased, the youths’ weekly study circle meetings transitioned into daily efforts to meet those rising needs. The youth learned from a visit by a more experienced team from Ottawa, Ont. that they did not need to finish studying Book 7 to begin tutoring the courses of the institute process. From then on, the youth began taking other young people in their neighbourhood through the institute materials, and on the weekdays, they visited families and met new youth. The following story highlights the experience of one of these new tutors, Rhadika Khera.

IMG 2333 Cropped 300x174Last summer, several youth in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood gathered to study Ruhi Book 1: Reflections on the Life of the Spirit. Some of these youth are graduates of the junior youth empowerment program and others had been met just a few days before. (Rhadika pictured second from right).

Rhadika, a college student, began tutoring Book 1: Reflections on the Life of the Spirit in the summer months. Her motivation for dedicating her time to tutoring comes from her experience with falling in love with education during her own initial study of Book 5: Releasing the Powers of Junior Youth.

Rhadika always had an urge to help others, and she spent much of her time volunteering with various organizations in her community. These values aligned with what she was learning in the institute materials. “As I was learning Book 5,” she says, “it just dawned on me that I desired to continue learning the material because it was really interesting – it also matched my hopes to make the community better.”

As Rhadika serves with younger youth in her neighbourhood, she reflects on the challenges they have with their education. She knows it is difficult for them to view learning in a positive light. She says: “In our society, education is perceived very negatively, everyone hates school. I also went through the phase of seeing education in a negative light, but I eventually fell in love as I started to study the Ruhi books.” The negative experiences with some teachers at school, and a bad relationship with study contributed to Rhadika’s own negative feelings towards education. As she began a personal search for God, Rhadika was drawn to the Ruhi Institute materials. “In school, the concepts are not life concepts – there’s math, science, etc.,” says Rhadika, “In [the] Ruhi materials, you talk about life.” She hopes the youth she tutors may similarly develop a love for learning.

Cote De Neige Jy Service Project Cropped 300x183Junior youth and their animators cleaned the street in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood as part of their service project for the community last summer. (Rhadika pictured second from left).

While Rhadika is happy to be serving her community now, she expresses her frustration at not having the opportunity as a junior youth to be part of the junior youth program. She says: “I was so mad that unbeknownst to me, my tutors had a junior youth group beside my locker at school, and they had activities outside in the park where I always hung out, but they never found me. They got to me a bit late, but that’s okay. I’m glad they found me eventually.” Because of this experience, Rhadika sees the urgent need for her service as a tutor in her community, which she knows will contribute to more young people in her neighbourhood having access to the educational activities of the institute process.

As for her advice to other young people that want to dedicate their time to tutoring the books of the institute process, Rhadika says:

Get out your curiosity and try to learn as much as possible. It is going to be difficult, but get out of your box, get out of your comfort zone. I had good and bad experiences with tutoring, but I cherish them all because that’s how you become better. If there are challenges, seek help from other tutors and friends – I always seek help from others. Prayer is also another thing, my own tutor got me into prayer, and it’s been helpful.

Cote De Neige 3 Cropped More 300x177At a community gathering in Côte-des-Neiges last summer, a Ruhi Book 1 tutor and the Montreal Institute Coordinator introduce Book 1 and talk about a recent institute campaign. Afterwards, the participants from the institute campaign also shared what they learned from their study.