Fellows After School Program: Starting new clubs should be simple and rewarding


Rachel Kim, In-Depth Edtior

Fellows After School Program (FASP) is a one-on-one mentoring program between Ames High students and students at Fellows Elementary. The program was initiated by seniors Nadia Huffman, Rachel Kim, and Grace Mills during their freshmen year in efforts to share enthusiasm for an intellectual challenge with young students.


“FASP began with just three tutors and two students in 2011,” explains co-founder Nadia Huffman. “We meet once a week with them and help them with their homework, mastering their math skills, reading to them, and helping them understand topics that they need extra help with.”


Semester by semester, FASP surprisingly grew at an exponential rate. By the founders’ junior year, the one-on-one program had over 20 high school mentors and 30 elementary school students filling the Fellows library with an erudite synergy.


But, numbers are not the only factor that represent success. The most rewarding part of the Fellows After School Program is that there are mutual lessons learned and rewards earned between both the tutors and students.


Daniel Andreotti, who has been part of FASP for two years, says, “What has been really beneficial about the program is that the ability to simply explain ideas is useful [in so many ways]. Practicing [the ability to explain ideas simply] where it’s absolutely necessary [in a program like FASP] is extremely valuable.”


“As a previous student, I found the Fellows After School Program to be very beneficial. The relaxed environment made for better comprehension of the topics and at the end of the process, I was truly grateful for the guidance I received,” freshman Selaam Dollisso shares.


Though the program is centered in learning, both the mentors and students don’t forget to have fun.


Diana, currently a fourth-grade student at Fellows, mentions, “It’s really fun, and I get to be with people I’ve never been with before. I get to hang out with my tutor [Rachel], and she’s very nice.”
If you have a club in mind that you believe has a unique and meaningful mission, don’t fear setting it up. Don’t worry about not having enough members or not have the adequate resources. Like FASP, having nearly no members shouldn’t put out the fire. Simply be clear-minded, be passionate, and carry on with the mission you hope to pursue, maintain, and expand. Starting a new club should be simple and ultimately a gratifying experience.