Jack Tregar grew up in Rhode Island and has watched it evolve and grow over his lifetime. He has spent years connecting with others and finding ways to help people, whether that was through the social work he has done in the past or when he was on a local school board for nearly two decades. Jack is a person who believes in community. Even after retiring from a 30-year long career, Jack hasn’t stopped working with others. It was serendipitous circumstances and a desire to serve that led Jack to Dorcas International.
For the last three and a half years, Jack has dedicated several hours of his week to be a volunteer classroom aide for low level ESL courses and as a GED math tutor. He helps adult learners reach their educational goals while also getting to know them. He asks about their day, their families, and has formed great bonds with the individuals he sees regularly. And Jack, full of energy and a great sense of humor, loves to make others laugh, knowing laughter is a powerful way to connect.
“It has made me so happy. My connection with these people will never go away.”
Jack says that one of his favorite and most wholesome moments here was when he was in class and a group of students who were from the Congo began singing in unison. He was taken aback by this impromptu moment of joy and song and watched as other students started to sing along, even if they didn’t know the language. It moved him. For ten minutes he had listened in awe with others who had gathered in the classroom to witness it as well.
“It was the most amazing thing that I have ever seen in my life.”
Jack has also built relationships with our teachers, quickly becoming a reliable classroom aide who is commended for his positive energy and his knack for explaining course material in a way that’s easy for students to understand. In this role, he has developed skills for helping students retain and understand the lessons they learn in class; he makes sure to go over materials at a pace that is best suited and appropriate for the students. Jack does not have an official teaching background in ESL or in a classroom setting, but he says that learning by observation and practice has become a welcomed challenge, and he is constantly working on improving as a classroom aide and tutor. When Jack talks about his time at the agency, he does so with a smile on his face and sometimes even with tears in his eyes. He says that all of his friends and family know about his work here.
“I am so lucky.”
Jack says that he is grateful to be a part of the Dorcas International family and to be able to do this important work. To many students, he has become known as “Teacher Jack.” He loves this and feels honored to be seen as a resource for students. Jack is known for his warm nature and amiable personality, and we deeply appreciate his constructive, kind, and patient approach to helping students.