CLEARFIELD -- As 8-year-old Lyliahna Enriquez worked on her second-grade classwork Wednesday morning at Hill Field Elementary School, she knew that any questions she had could be answered by 17-year-old Christian Jimenez, who was right by her side.
Jimenez is part of Latinos in Action, a class from Northridge High School that visits the elementary school twice a week to tutor the younger students in literacy and math.
"It's a really good program in two ways. It's a great opportunity for the teens to work with kids, because there is no better way to learn than to teach. Also, it helps our teachers in that it gives them the resources to have one-on-one tutoring for the kids," said Paul Bryner, principal at Hill Field Elementary.
The LIA program is geared toward helping Latino students graduate from high school and college by providing them with opportunities to excel through service and leadership.
It is available at 11 schools in Davis School District -- five high schools and six junior highs, according to www.LatinosInAction.org.
Students from these schools tutor at numerous elementary schools throughout the district.
LIA students have a 100 percent high school graduation rate and an 85 percent college enrollment rate, according to their website.
For the past three years, students from Northridge have worked with students at Hill Field. While their primary purpose is to provide academic tutoring, many students and teachers praised the mentoring aspect that accompanies the experience.
"The tutors are incredible young kids. They are a huge benefit to our school," said second-grade teacher Natalie Phillips.
She said the LIA students come well-prepared and trained, and her students look forward to their arrival each week.
Last year the program at Northridge had so many enrollees, it was divided into two classes for the 2012-13 school year. The second class now visits Vae View Elementary in Layton twice a week.
There are 45 students in the LIA program at Northridge this year, said Lisa Arango, LIA teacher at Northridge.
Arango said she uses the first three weeks of each semester to teach her students tutoring strategies before they work with the elementary students. She teaches reading strategies and problem-solving, and then has her students practice through role playing.
She continues to advise her students throughout the year with any questions or challenges they may encounter.
"I have a tutor who has worked with a tough, tough first-grader. We've talked about strategies of how she can help him. It teaches (the tutors) a lot of things like problem-solving and patience," Arango said.
Not only does Arango serve as an instructor for the class, she also serves as a mentor for her students.
Liam Torres, 18, said Arango works with LIA students on an individual basis to encourage them to graduate from high school and then pursue a college education.
"They encourage you to keep your grades up. (Arango) talks to us about our grades and tells us where to go to get help with our assignments or tests. She individually helps us ... They care about us graduating, and they make sure we do well in school," Torres said.
Torres said he plans to attend the University of Utah and eventually become a police officer.
"I get to mentor them, which is my favorite part about the class. I call these kids my kiddos. I love, love, love this class," Arango said.
Last year Arango had 19 seniors in the LIA program. She said all of them are now attending college.
"One thing about this class is that it gives them opportunities that they wouldn't have otherwise known about," Arango said.
"What I've seen is that the kids I'm involved with are much more involved in school-sponsored things ... it's really cool to see my kids branching out."