Comets and PEAC

Nadia Wakil | June 29, 2020 | University of Texas at Dallas

Hello all! My name is Nadia Wakil, and I am the President of the UT Dallas P.E.A.C chapter, otherwise known as CometTutors. I am currently a senior pre-med student in my undergrad at UTD hoping to graduate in the spring of 2021. To me, the most important work I am doing in my community is undoubtedly my involvement in CometTutors. I became involved with CometTutors at the beginning of Fall 2019 after finding the organization through social media.

Ever since then, I have fallen in love with our purpose and mission in the community, and my passion for the organization has only grown over time. The specific mission of our chapter is to further democratize higher education. This is truly an important cause to me especially in today’s reality of inequity in education. Educational stratification has proven to be an undeniable factor in social and economic disparity in communities. What CometTutors does in our own community is partner with Richardson ISD to guide underserved students. From a

young age, many of us are taught to pursue a postsecondary education, however, there are numerous students who do not grow up with that kind of guidance. CometTutors provides consistency in the lives of students who do not have this type of guiding voice at home. Our organization does what it does in order to encourage these students to see their future in a different light. We promote the idea of postsecondary education and facilitate this by providing tutoring geared toward many aspects of preparation needed for college such as application, essay, and scholarship help. In addition, we partner with the AVID program to tutor students in a socratic style that encourages them to seek answers to their own questions and to think for themselves. I have been involved with CometTutors for the past two semesters as a tutor, however, I also devoted myself to other aspects of the organization, such as fundraising and social events. Only recently have I been appointed president, which is a position that I am honored and overjoyed to undertake as it is a way that I can more directly inspire positive change in my community for a purpose that I am passionate about. My roles now are big-picture aspects that include grant-writing and coordinating with the P.E.A.C national chapter and other organizations to expand our reach. These grants and other fundraising routes are ways that CometTutors can accomplish the goals we have set for the coming year, which include, among many other things, awarding academic scholarships  to Richardson ISD high-school students. My passion for this organization truly blossomed in my first semester of tutoring after interacting one-on-one with students. It is one thing to merely tutor, but changing a student’s perspective has always been my goal. I may not influence every student, but just getting through to one all semester was enough for me.

Seeing first-hand one student in particular who struggled with chemistry begin to flourish by the end of the semester really allowed me to conceptualize my impact. Hearing her ask for me by name at after school tutoring showed me that we have both gained tremendously from our interaction. These initial moments sparked my belief in the importance of CometTutors in our community.