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🏆 Uplift Each Other 🏆

By Drew B on January 18, 2023

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Many companies say they’re mission-oriented. But what does that really mean? is not just mission-oriented. We’re mission-first. As a 501c3 non-profit, there are no shareholders to appease, no profits to maximize. Our mission is to connect the world through learning and to offer a free tutoring platform for anyone, anywhere. That’s what we maximize for.

In that regard, Schoolhouse’s value of 🏆 Uplifting Each Other 🏆 is baked into our mission. We want to live in a world where everyone can reach their full potential. Where everyone can receive world-class tutoring, no matter their zipcode. This is the “Why” of Schoolhouse.

But this value goes much deeper. It’s also the “How” of Schoolhouse. After all, how do we make tutoring free?

The answer: a global community in which students learn from and teach one another. As a peer tutoring platform, Schoolhouse is not just supporting students across the globe. It’s also powered by students across the globe.

We’re not just uplifting. We’re uplifting each other.

Uplifting each other can take many forms. Sometimes it’s about inspiring. For instance, a learner who attended one of Prabhvir B’s sessions remarked, “I’m just sad School House didn’t have the option of Super Duper Helpful, so the best I could go with was just Super Helpful... Not only did he impact my learning but he also motivated me to study more math to become as good as him one day.”

Sometimes it’s about recognizing and relating to the challenges that others go through in learning. A learner who was tutored by Emma A noted, “She is also not a native speaker, so it made everything easier for me, because she gets that it may be difficult for foreigners to understand math in a different language.”

And, most importantly, it’s about uplifting those who need it the most—low-income students without the means to pay for a tutor. The learner Sabrina Y put it best: “Before Schoolhouse, I thought that tutoring services could only be accessed by those who could afford it.”

Indeed, a surprising number of people still believe that. Yet, when we look back 10 years from now, let’s hope that Schoolhouse will have made it so that low-income students around the world can receive world-class tutoring services without paying a penny. It should just feel like a basic right — because it is.

To uplift others in the world requires taking an equity-first view and focusing on those who have been most under-served.

Source: Interaction Institute for Social Change, originally from Craig Froehle

This value extends further than just tutoring at Schoolhouse. Our volunteers and team prioritize equity across the entire organization.

One such volunteer was Uma G, a software engineer who saw the potential to make our platform even more accessible to students with disabilities. With our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) lead, Jackie L, she wrote a Guide to Assistive Technologies that we now include as a resource to all tutors.

In product team conversations, uplifting each other is at the forefront as well. It was because of a group of interns last summer that we finally embarked on a project to study (in aggregate) the regional locations of our users via self-reported zipcodes. This analysis, conducted by Jimmy H, helped us better understand the impact we’re having, and the room we still have to grow. We are working with state departments of education and schools to further reach the communities that need free tutoring the most.

In writing this blog post, I was curious about the impact that our most active tutors feel like they have had and the legacy they leave. So I asked several of them in our Slack volunteer community.

“What appeals to me most about schoolhouse is the international impact that we as tutors can hope to achieve. I personally want to bring the best quality tutoring to students from each and every country one day,” writes Navya M. “Usually, I host 30 mins of live help before 7:30. It is one of the best ways to start the day, knowing that you have made even a small impact in someone’s else’s educational journey.”

Another tutor, Adam G, writes, “I find in my tutoring that the greatest impact I can have on these learners is providing them with the confidence and support that they need in order to partially alleviate this stress and generally make the learners happier people.”

Adam’s reflection serves as a good reminder that when you’re tutoring or helping someone, you’re also uplifting in ways that go beyond the material.

Adam continues: “To me, this impact is more important than teaching them algebra or consolidating their knowledge of differentiation.”

“It’s really the emotional impact that counts.”

This is Part 3 in a four-part series on Schoolhouse values. See Parts 1, 2, and 4.

Thank you to Ishani B, Maya B, and Sharon V for providing feedback on this post.

Written by Drew Bent, Co-Founder of [email protected] peer tutoring, for free.


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