Grade 10 student Taya Lee is using her drive and self-motivation to lend a helping hand, by starting a non-profit online tutoring organization called ‘School Helpers.’ The organization offers free one-on-one tutoring and support for students across Vancouver Island in Grades 4 to 9. They provide educational resources and a drop in question forum for students as well.
“For many students and families, extra help, enrichment, or drop in support may not be accessible,” explained Taya. “In addition, as a result of school closures, many students are in a position where they have to learn independently, and many younger students require parental assistance. As a result, I felt it was necessary to start offering support to these younger students as soon as possible.”
It has been a busy time for Taya, as she has put ‘School Helpers’ together by herself. From recruiting to organizing, and much more she has put a lot of time and effort into helping others.
“Creating this organization has been an ongoing process,” she said. “I have been conducting research, creating a website with forms, advertising, managing a social media account, recruiting tutors, and emailing various schools around Vancouver island to find student interest.”
There has already been a large amount of support from GNS students who have signed up and volunteered to be tutors (Grace, Thu, Amanda, Defne, Eya, Ella, Hopper and Hannah). Taya is also collaborating with Ian Kunka, the creator of the GNS Peer Tutoring Program. Students from other high schools on Vancouver Island are all encouraged to volunteer as tutors.
While many online tutoring services are geared toward high school students, Taya says what makes ‘School Helpers’ stand out is the range of students they can help. Also, their services are free and require no long-term commitment.
“Students are welcome to sign up for one or multiple tutoring sessions and also have the option of having help with just a single question using our drop-in question zone,” she said. “ At the same time, School Helpers provides leadership experience to high school students. The organization and its tutoring services are flexible and catered towards supporting parents and students.”
Taya encourages students and families to promote Student Helpers to anyone who may be interested in tutoring services or volunteer tutoring positions.
Way to go Taya for thinking of unique ways to help the GNS community and beyond!