COLORADO SPRINGS — It started as an idea from a couple of local students who wanted to give back during the pandemic and now their efforts have led to hundreds of hours of affordable virtual tutoring to uplift struggling students.
Back in July, News5 spoke with two Discovery Canyon High School graduates who aimed to break down the barriers of tutoring. Their idea was to offer virtual tutoring to students everywhere for just 99-cents an hour.
That idea has now transformed into a non-profit organization called Tutors For Change. During the last five months the organization has managed to virtually tutor more than 100 students, build a staff of more than 75 volunteer tutors, and provide more than 500 hours of tutoring for less than a dollar an hour.
"The transition from 5th grade to 6th grade he's missing out on a lot," said Desiree Barzan about her son Tiago who was in desperate need of tutoring when she learned about Tutors For Change after seeing it on the news. "So we saw the opportunity and I'm out of work right now. I'm a substitute teacher. I usually work at the "Y", but we are furloughed right now. I wanted a tutor, but I couldn't commit to anything."
Tutors For Change gave them an opportunity to get math tutoring without worrying about a bill and Tiago is now thriving in a subject he used to despise.
"I've seen a light in him come alive," said Tiago's mother Desiree. "This has been a lifeline for us. I don't know how we would've done this year."
Co-founder of Tutors For Change Arjun Kudinoor says in 2021 his team aims to provide support for even more local students.
"When we started this venture it was two of us with an idea and a few friends. So we took that risk and we took that leap of faith and it has gotten us to well beyond where we thought we were going to be and looking into the new year we hope to continue growing," said Kudinoor.
News5 is told the most expensive part of offering this tutoring service is paying for the extensive background checks of volunteer tutors to keep everyone safe.
To sign up for tutoring, become a tutor, or to donate to the cause you can visit tutorsforchange.org.