From the Greener Side of the Grass
Sumana Hiremath, President of Teens Tutor Teens California
How many times have you found yourself wishing things were different? I mean, what if the pandemic never happened? What if George Floyd was still alive today? And what if Quill just waited for 2 more seconds before he decided to? (Tony would still be alive… mR. sTaR LoRd!) Well… that is a whole lot of what-ifs. In fact, each one of these has so many possibilities
that are in conflict with one another, that I cannot begin to imagine the alternate reality.
The excitement and satisfaction I experienced when I moved to the United States felt like a whole new beginning as I left the comfort of my home in India, two years ago. Thinking back to that overenthusiastic 13 year old me, I had no idea what was going to happen in just 8 more months. Within that short period of time, I had to learn the social life and culture of this new
country and surprisingly it went really well. I was able to build a great number of new relationships which was a rewarding experience. And now, behold… the pandemic.
3 months into quarantine, I realized that life is all about perspective. Believing the inability to physically be with someone to be a great opportunity, I decided to get involved in the community, and began my search for online nonprofit organizations specifically targeting online tutoring. Main reason for that key term was my long found interest in teaching kids and spending time with them. Soon I came across Teens Tutor Teens on google and signed up to be a tutor. Given the opportunity to open a chapter in California, I quickly took on the responsibility to recruit people, owing it all to my believing in myself to have the ability to take on a team and lead them in helping the community.
Distance learning, certainly has been one of the hardest walls children and students in general, have had to face during the course of this pandemic. Alternatively, students can often find themselves understanding a concept far better through an explanation given by their friend or coeval, in comparison to their teachers. A perfect combination of this produces a tutoring organization that consists of teenage tutors… almost like Teens Tutor Teens! Furthermore Teens Tutor Teens is a community of people who strive to help low-income students with limited resources. My favorite and foremost belief in this organization originates from the very core value of it: providing underprivileged students easy access to resources and tools to learn without having to worry about fees and time constraints.
Luckily, I also found myself interested in entrepreneurship, thanks to Shark Tank. As I dream to have a business of my own one day, being a President at Teens Tutor Teens has been extremely helpful in teaching the different aspects of business and the fundamental skills required to be successful. Not to mention the positive environment that reminds members to understand that all is part of the learning process, which makes this organization so much more realistic, transparent and trustworthy.
As president of the California chapter, I have recruited members through several means, such as social media, posting flyers, taking part in Club Day while integrating the Chapter as a school club itself (at University Preparatory Academy Charter School). With the help of Iman Noor, the Vice President of TTT California, I was able to establish a diverse chapter of 14 members, not just from California but also from Washington State all the way to Texas. Apart from managing the chapter, I am also responsible for website and social media management, organizing files and documents, hosting monthly meetings, communicating with the Chapter
head and updating the members with the latest information. In addition to this, I also tutor math for a middle school student in India and the United States.
So, at the end of the day, if the pandemic never happened, there are a lot of possibilities, but maybe…just maybe, I might not have had the privilege of sharing the very beginnings of my story with you.