By Annie Arnone
With colder weather and final essays, those end of the semester blues are coming — but a simple S.O.S may save your sanity.
Ryerson’s Students Offering Support (SOS) is a chapter on campus that is part of a non-profit organization. It provides guidance to students, mainly in first and second year, that are having a harder time in school. Members prepare mock tests to prepare them academically. The goal is to empower students and provide them with the resources they need to succeed.
Exam-AID are peer-support groups led in three-hour sessions by students who have previously taken the course they are tutoring and excelled in it. The volunteers offer take-home review packages and regular focus groups. These sessions are held just before mid-terms and final exams.
Braydon Francis, a second-year nursing student, said that he had great success with the Exam-AID program.
“I thought the Exam-AID sessions were really beneficial,” Francis said. “The tutors had already gone through the course, so they helped me figure out what to expect without telling me directly what was on [the exam].”
Hania Siddiqui, the president of Ryerson SOS, said that for now, Exam-AID only focuses on specific programs. She said that so far, they have sessions prepared for business, nursing, science and have recently expanded to engineering.
In return for academic support and preparation, SOS asks students to make a small donation to help support the organization.
“We ask for small amounts of donations, worth around your lunch money, to be able to fund sustainable education-related products in Latin America,” Siddiqui said. “Once we raise these funds, we bring our volunteers with us and we go on outreach trips to complete these projects.”
Through the Exam-AID donations collected throughout the year and with help from their partner organizations, SOS is able to fund construction projects that support schools. Last summer, SOS funded a learning center in Honduras.
“I was fortunate enough to go on the trip to Honduras, and realized the demand for higher, or a more adequate learning environment is so high,” Siddiqui said. “When I saw that, I realized all the work done at Ryerson makes a huge impact.”
SOS has tutoring chapters in over 30 Canadian universities and has raised approximately 1.7 million dollars up to date for development and education projects in Latin America.