There is a saying that people always dismiss — “everything happens for a good reason.” I myself rolled my eyes at anyone who said that to me, believing it was a failed attempt at false hope and comfort. At the beginning of my journey at Teens Tutor Teens, I signed up as a tutor, thinking it would be something easy and give me something to do in the midst of 2020 online learning. Little did I know that Teens Tutor Teens would give me the ability to challenge myself and expand my horizons while immersing myself in my community.
At the end of my first year in high school, COVID-19 inspired me to find issues in my community that I could volunteer for while at home. For me, a student in 2020 digital learning, it was not so difficult to find. Coming from a school emphasizing digital learning, adapting to an online platform during COVID-19 was not difficult. This, unfortunately, was not the case for all students. I came across Teens Tutor Teens through a friend and joined the Georgia chapter as a tutor. Driven by the passion to contribute to this organization’s goals, I created worksheets to help students attain extra resources every week. With many hours dedicated to creating these resources, I was given the opportunity to move up to Georgia chapter president. This is where my real journey filled with growth began.
As I worked to redevelop the chapter, I created deep connections with my team, and by enhancing teamwork, our chapter started to blossom. I learned how to outreach to local organizations, and though this was a daunting task at the beginning, I was able to develop life-long skills on proper communication and outreach. The only way to learn is to do, and Teens Tutor Teens forced me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to really be a businesswomen in the real world. With the help of my team, we achieved our first partnership with a local foster care home called Christian City. Here, I learned how to write a contract and legally secure a partnership — something I would have never imagined to do as a teenager. As I continued to work and communicate with Christian City, I was able to help numerous foster care kids access free tutoring services and work directly with foster parents to make this happen. This was truly a heartwarming experience. With more and more experience, I learned the proper ways to reach out to media publications, and here I gained the true understanding of patience and dedication.
My work as GA president shined through, and after long and challenging assignments for a “survivor” competition, I was awarded the position of the Chief Human Resource Manager of Teens Tutor Teens. Here, I was really able to work on areas I was strong in and loved. I completed 1:1 check-in calls with tutors to uphold mental health within the 501c(3) and also worked directly with chapters to provide extra support and communication. Talking to so many tutors all over the U.S. helped me realize the different types of lives people live and the different issues people go through. I even had the opportunity to speak with other TTT members in a YouTube interview for Slice of P.I.E Teen Thursday, highlighting the links between mental health and education. My most proud moment was obtaining a TEDx license, which taught me the importance of perseverance. With many failed attempts, hours spent on brainstorming and planning, and little to no help from Gabby, Samarth and I successfully obtained a license to host a TEDx event this summer of 2023. From hosting national workshop meetings to working closely with the executive team to manage TTT nationally, I learned so many valuable lessons regarding community and leadership. As the CHRM, I truly learned how to be an effective leader.
From the moment I joined Teens Tutor Teens to now, I have seen the company grow incredibly. Not just the company, but all the people in it as well. I saw the growth and development of the student I was tutoring. I saw the growth and development of new chapters that just started. I saw tutors start at the same spot I did and work their way up to amazing things. Teens Tutor Teens has allowed me to blossom in leadership and engagement and become a strong business woman, working hard to achieve her goals. I am so grateful for the fantastic people I got to work with, especially Gabby, who has guided me through this journey every step of the way. I have made life-long friends and connections that I will always cherish. I am proud of where this organization has gone and everything that the amazing people within have achieved; I hope to continue to watch TTT grow in more ways in the future and continue to change the lives of many students and children. Thank you.