National Honor Society offers free tutoring

The logo for Tutes for Studes a tutoring website created by Bellaire students for the National Honor Society.

Ricky Kai

The logo for Tutes for Studes a tutoring website created by Bellaire students for the National Honor Society.

Anushka Ravi, Reporter

In late July, junior Ricky Kai approached fellow junior Maggie Schwierking with an idea to create an interface that would make online school easier and less intimidating. Less than two months later, they created Tutes for Studes (TFS), a free, online, peer-based tutoring program. 

“We both figured that this would be a perfect platform for all students to be able to seek and get help from qualified tutors looking to help others in need,”co-founder Schwierking said. 

Kai and Schwierking spent July and August working towards launching TFS but faced some challenges along the way.

“Online school is uncharted territory for both teachers and students, so trying to figure out how our tutoring program could fit in the current infrastructure most efficiently and effectively was definitely a challenge,” Schwierking said. “We brainstormed many different ideas, went through tests and trials for each one, and had to make modifications along the way, but I think it’s safe to say that we have created a pretty good foundation so far.” 

 In August, they created a proposal for Carleton Casteel and Baldemar Menchaca, the National Honor Society (NHS) sponsors, to promote their website to potential tutors from NHS in mid-September. After its launch, TFS received positive feedback from tutors and students alike, with more than 30 sessions last month. 

“I have had a good experience with TFS,” junior and tutor Abigail Goldenberg said. “I like that we are still able to tutor virtually and still be just as effective.”

Not only did tutors have good experiences with TFS, but students who have had tutoring sessions labeled it as very effective and helpful. 

“I liked how the session was very relaxed but still helped me prepare for my Algebra test,” freshman Naomi Wilson said. 

TFS accommodates students of all academic backgrounds and grade levels. For Schwierking and Kai, making TFS convenient, inexpensive and inclusive to all was the most important goal. 

“It was important for us to create TFS to equalize the playing field and take a step forward in getting rid of discrimination in the educational system caused by socioeconomic conflicts,” Schwierking said.

 Due to the success of TFS, both founders have larger goals for the program and are currently working on making the program more accessible and advanced. 

“Ricky and I hope to continue to expand the program into hopefully having a steady stream of students needing tutoring services,” Schweirking said. “We have an idea to create a curriculum-based tutoring program, which will act as a sort of supplemental to what they’re currently learning in class.”

Although TFS originated to help people out during COVID-19, Schweirking hopes to keep the program running past the pandemic.

“Post-COVID life is honestly unpredictable, however, no matter what happens we do hope to continue the program,” Schwierking said. “Tutes for Studes is easily adaptable to both the physical and virtual classroom, so as long as we have tutors and students, the program will carry on.”

For more information about TFS, check out: