Jolina Dong co-founded a tutoring business in September with one of her close friends, Kiara Paulino. The pandemic caused many students to suffer academically and Teen Tutors of Goshen’s goal is to help students overcome academic learning problems.
Dong said fellow honors students at Goshen High School loved the idea of being able to help other struggling students.
In their system, parents contact Teen Tudors of Goshen about their child’s weaknesses. Dong said they match honors students with students who work with students wanting help.
The charge is $15 an hour with $3 of every hour donated to the non-profit, The Children’s Scholarship Fund. Each tutor receives $12 an hour. All the tutors are honors students at Goshen High School.
Tutor knows what it is to struggle academically
Dong said she often struggled in school and had a hard time paying attention during class. She said she didn’t always understand the content. She said she tried “my hardest” while the circumstances were “very frustrating.”
She said her family is “incredibly supportive and have always tried to find ways to help me.” She said her family found tutors for her, but they were never perfect matches.
“Many of my teachers were generous enough to give me tips and tricks to learn different concepts,” the young woman said. “I am so fortunate to have had all of the support I have had. I don’t know if I will ever be able to repay the kindness of those who have helped me.
“Now that I am in high school and have worked so hard to become an honors student, I wish to pass everything I have learned on to students who are where I once was,” Dong added. “Since the ongoing pandemic began, I have seen the toll it has taken on many students. The pandemic has not only caused students to worry about their academic status but also their mental health.
“We are all living through this crisis, and the only way that we are going to get through this is if we work together,” she said. “I may be only fifteen years old today, but I believe that I am capable of giving back to the community that has helped me all my life.”
‘This sense to drive myself in every sense of the word’
As a child, Kiara Paulino said she was motivated by her family and peers to strive academically.
“Being surrounded by other well-performing peers encouraged me to focus on my academic career,” Paulino said. “While I had this sense to drive myself in every sense of the word, my lack of direction began to get the better me when the pandemic started. School and my extracurricular involvement grounded me and kept me sane, to say the least, and watching those two things vanish from me made me suffer.
“Our efforts are centered around making the learning process for others within the community as effortless as possible,” Paulino added. “Education is a stepping stone to understanding society, and we feel that today’s circumstances shouldn’t derail the purpose of education.’
Tutoring isn’t solely based on a need for academic success; how Teen Tutors of Goshen functions provides a full circle of aid to students of all age levels during the current crisis.
“We always take precautions, use hand sanitizer, wear gloves and face masks,” Dong said. “We require the child wear a face mask as well. We always put the child’s needs first. We have had cases where either the tutor or customer has been quarantined. We require everyone to be very open and honest since we are living through a pandemic. If this happens, tutoring will be shifted online.”
Paulino said Teen Tutors of Goshen are accommodating to families experiencing financial hardship with flexible payment options and flexible payment times.
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