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Tutor Story: Jorge Del’Angel

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“Cooking. My all time best meal is tacos.”

Meet Jorge Del’Angel, a third year student at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Jorge is from Orrville, Alabama, he is studying Biological and Agricultural Systems Engineering, and he is a Knack Tutor.

We sat down with Jorge to find out how he has been able to find so much success tutoring on Knack. As it turns out, he already had plenty of experience helping his peers before signing up as a Knack Tutor.

“The first memory I have of tutoring was back in high school when I was helping a friend in trigonometry. They were having a really hard time in the class but I had already passed the class with an A. We got together every other day so I could break everything down for them.”

When asked what he gained from this early tutoring experience, Jorge explained that it helped him learn how to share his knowledge with others.

“I learned how to convey what I know to somebody else so that they can get to know it.”

Today, Jorge is one of the top tutors at FAMU, qualified for more than 40 courses and consistently helping students multiple times per week. That said, he does admit to being a bit skeptical leading up to his first Knack session.

“It was kind of strange meeting up with somebody through an app, but we gained momentum from getting to know each other. We gained a connection from realizing we’re in the same year.”

He went on to say that the student was taking the course for the third time, but he assured them that “this has gotta be the last time.”

After working with his first student, Jorge was able to grow his clientele quickly. The second student he worked with said that she learned better from him than she did from her teacher.

“That made me feel good, and then it was really a snowball effect from there. I started trying to find people, people were finding me, I was able to fit things into my schedule, and now most evenings and weekends I’m tutoring people.”

Another way that Jorge has been able to extend his impact on campus is through group sessions.

“The first person I tutored still works with me but more people have been adding on to the sessions and now I have six people coming. They’re all going through the same class together but with different teachers. It’s through that common bond of learning that I was able to make something positive — having people improve their grades in the class and giving them the social experience to understand that they’re not the only one going through this who needs help.”

As it turns out, Jorge has started to realize the additional benefits that students receive from group sessions.

“They can also talk to each other. One of the most positive things that came out of it is that they actually became friends from meeting with the group. Not only friends but study partners.”

Jorge went on to recount a story of his students deciding to meet to study without him one day when he was busy.

“That was a good feeling. I’m like, okay, if y’all don’t need me that’s actually a good thing.”

He saw this team dynamic at play in his most recent session with the group.

“I gave four problems on the board, so I told the two students who sat out to help their partners if they see them struggling. Everybody knows something different and I was actually able to watch them work and fix each other’s mistakes without me needing to intervene.”

When asked to reflect on his experience tutoring so far, Jorge gave some great advice for new tutors who are just starting out.

“Don’t go in there thinking that they aren’t capable or that they’re failing or that they’re out of their league or anything like that. Go in there and talk to them like you would your friend, your cousin, what have you… Get to know what their mindset is and make sure you establish a connection with them so that they can trust you. They will learn better if you are able to connect with them as a person instead of just being up at the board with a marker telling them this is what you need to know.”

As for Knack, Jorge said that he’s found a new source of motivation to take his studies even more seriously.

“A lot of people go through college thinking that knowledge is unrewarding and that being smart doesn’t pay off. It does pay off later on in life, but Knack helps you get some pay off right now. That makes me even more motivated to go to class and learn so that next semester I will be able to go on Knack and share what I’ve learned with somebody else right away and not have to wait three years to be able to apply it. So, instead of learning something and forgetting it, I am now able to reinforce it by helping other people so they can get to the point of retainment.”

Beyond this, Jorge also noted that he’s enjoyed the opportunity to connect with students on campus from different majors and backgrounds.

“It helps me get out of my major of people that are all engineers and get to know somebody who is a physicist, somebody who wants to be a nurse or a doctor or a veterinarian. I even met some people that want to be physical therapists. It just exposes you to everybody and now you have a network of people. Who knows, maybe one day you might be in their office and they say ‘I remember you — you used to tutor me’ and have something to relate on.”

Before we wrapped up our conversation, we wanted to know what else Jorge has a “knack” for besides tutoring.

“I’ll say that I have a knack for cooking. Growing up in Alabama, we all have gardens and we all have somebody cooking in the kitchen. From my mom and grandma, I learned how to look in the cabinet, look in the fridge, and put two and two together to make something. I have a knack for making a good meal out of whatever I can find.”

Apparently, there’s one dish in particular that Jorge is known for.

“My all time best meal is tacos. I love tacos and my friends and the people I cook for say that my tacos should be on the menu somewhere.”

It’s safe to say that Jorge has all the right ingredients to succeed with whatever he decides to do after graduating next year. As of right now, his plan is to “travel to developing countries to help with their agricultural needs and food insecurities.”

While we are excited to see what the future holds in store for Jorge, one thing is certain. Whether you’re preparing for your calculus exam or you’re solving a complex agricultural systems engineering problem (or even just want some tacos), Jorge Del’Angel is ready, able, and willing to help.