Phil Waters

Boston, MA

"Uniting an older adult with a child to provide literacy tutoring is my calling."

The threads of service and education have been woven throughout my entire life. As a native of New York City and an only child, education, a strong work ethic and service to your community was instilled early in my life.

My parents migrated from the South to New York City in the 1940s to find a better way of life. Having little education themselves, they always encouraged me to do well in school and serve in our local Church. The Church is where I was mentored, guided and supported.

In the 1960s I was among the first wave of African-American employees hired at Verizon (formerly New York Telephone.) I took a number of college courses, gradually progressing through the ranks from mail clerk to management. I wanted my daughter to know the importance of education as a path to success so I finally completed my Bachelor’s/Master’s degree and retired, all in the same year. My desire to work in higher education led me to a second career as a recruiter for Lesley University, where I provided support to prospective students.

After my second retirement, my eagerness to serve my community and a new interest in educating children led me to Generations Incorporated. A friend mentioned that she was serving as a tutor in the Boston public schools. The concept of uniting an older adult with a child to provide literacy tutoring was just the kind of volunteer program I was looking for. As I began serving at the MLK School in Dorchester, I began to really understand how much the children needed our support to increase their reading level. It’s great to be needed. It’s great to serve!

My time as a tutor led me to observe the need for professional, patient and committed volunteers working with our students. As team leader, I had the opportunity to serve with a wonderful group of volunteers with many of these qualities.

Having great volunteers is the backbone of Generations Incorporated. Without strong volunteers, the organization would falter. Given my professional background, I am proud to say that I am now on staff at GI, working with the team to recruit quality volunteers for the AARP Experience Corps program and support the volunteers’ training needs.

Generation to Generation Stories

Read stories of intergenerational relationships and how their lives were changed.

“We worked together to tackle tough words, and at the end of the year she felt more confident." - Berte, volunteer tutor at Reading Partners

Berte Schachter

New York, New York

“I saw the piano as another form of literacy. Music is its own language.” - Norma, volunteer tutor at JCL

Norma Tarrow

San Mateo, CA

“I love being a part of the progress they make with reading over the course of a year.” - Tammy, volunteer tutor at Oasis

Tammy Kelly

San Antonio, TX