Zoey Colston ’22 recently won a Violet Richardson Award from the Soroptimist International of Oakland-The Founder Club. This award recognizes young women between the ages of 14 and 18 who make the world a better place through volunteer efforts, especially those that benefit women or girls. This special Oakland club award is named for the very first Soroptimist Club President.
Colston’s volunteer work has focused on tutoring local elementary and high school students because she firmly believes that empowerment comes with being knowledgeable.
“As a student, I strive for academic excellence, and as a tutor, I am able to help other students be academically successful. This is important to me, especially because I am able to assist students in a lower-income area of Oakland. Studies have shown that urban schools serve a majority of students of color from disadvantage homes where it is more likely that they read less frequently, are exposed to less complex language, and are surrounded by adults with lower-levels of education,” she said.
“This is a socioeconomic issue that impacts grades and test scores, and contributes to how students feel about school, their abilities and their futures. It brings me joy knowing that helping other students understand their school work, complete their homework, and prepare for tests can bring about a change in them that may positively affect society. I make it a point to encourage my tutees with positive school messages and to give them examples of school-ready behaviors and attitudes,” Colston added.
In addition to receiving the Violet Richardson Award, Colston received certificates of commendation from the United States Senate and the City of Oakland.