We interviewed Kae and Ky Park about their experiences founding Tutorly Ed: a free virtual tutoring service for students, by students. Learn more below!
The idea of education may bring several of the same stereotypical pictures to the forefront of one’s mind: two dozen students sitting behind rickety desks, those in the back row intent on carving their initials into the wood. A particularly unpleasant memory from elementary school may even resurface, dominating over the rest. That, at the very least, is the visual associated with learning that comes with a quick Google search.
But Kae and Ky Park are changing that. To them, learning should be a tool for empowerment: a celebration of one’s strengths and a growth opportunity for their weaknesses. Their one-on-one tutoring service, Tutorly Ed, was founded on that exact premise. Tutorly Ed, which celebrated their first birthday this past summer, is a completely virtual–– and completely free–– community for students to learn what they love, and what they don’t, in a personalized and engaging manner. Clients can schedule a session via their website, and then meet with tutors through Zoom or Google Meets at a time most convenient for them. And, in addition to the traditional maths and languages and sciences, the organization offers a variety of unorthodox classes: Beauty & Style, Cooking, and Healthcare, to name a few.
“We firmly believe in the fact that education is not limited to core academics and conventional studies,” say the brother-sister duo. “It also expands to exploring the things that bring you joy, the passions that you could rave about for hours on end, [and] the interests that give you that spark.” They hope that, through their platform, they can inspire growing changemakers to “invest in their curiosities and dive deeper into the potential fields they would like to explore in their academic and professional careers.”
The inability of students to fully engage in this exploration, say the Parks, became even more apparent to them during the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic opened our eyes to the major amount of unemployment and struggles [across the globe]. It has altered lifestyles, put families in isolation financially and physically, and changed everything,” they share. “It has become extremely difficult for many students to maintain focus and motivation to retain the information presented to them in class.”
That was the catalyst for Tutorly Ed. By providing individualized support to these families and students free-of-chage, they realized they could better engage with youth than many schools, struggling to find a new normal while supporting thousands of students, could. So, Kae and Ky began their search for tutors to assist them with their program. The response was overwhelming.
“We have been able to help so many students not only receive educational assistance, but also provide [our tutors] an outlet to volunteer, give back, and receive credit for their service,” say the Parks. “Our team of volunteer tutors [is] a community of high schoolers looking to give back and make a difference in the lives of those who need it.”
In recent months, the team has grown to over fifty tutors, each enthusiastic about sharing their unique experiences and passions with their students–– but it’s undeniable that part of this community-wide vibrance stems from Kae and Ky themselves, who describe Tutorly Ed as a project that brought them “meaning and worth” during a “period of uncertainty.”
“This platform started out as a vision, a mere idea that we had as young students struggling in the midst of a pandemic. Come one year later, we have been able to meet so many new people and help them through our service,” the siblings share. “It is the most gratifying feeling knowing what you are doing is helping someone and making a difference in their life, even in the smallest way.”
Truly, the framework for Tutorly Ed already sounds like the ideal learning environment: but there’s one more component to the company that makes them stand out against like-minded organizations: their commitment to kindness, in and outside of tutoring sessions. One look at Tutorly Ed’s social media accounts reveals a plethora of motivational reminders, mental health check-ins, and positive reinforcement.
“[Kindness] is essentially what we have built our entire service around since day one,” say Kae and Ky. “[We have] an opportunity to use our voice, and we will take full advantage of this privilege to make a change for the better and do our part to help spread kindness in our world. If a single one of our [posts] is able to help even one individual in the smallest way, that is a small change in someone’s life that could impact so much more.”
Going forward, the pair hopes to expand their reach to a more global level, even past the four-hundred students they currently assist. They see Tutorly Ed as “an outlet of creativity, passion, and empowerment for the future of our generation,” and they’re excited to further this mission in any way they can. To their students, who may one day hope to become leaders in or outside the educational sphere, they advise: “With every step you take, spread love and positivity into the world, to those around you and to yourself, and follow your passions and ambitions. You can do anything you set your mind to. Remember: this is your life and your purpose.”
Thank you to Tutorly Ed founders Kae and Ky Park for sharing their story with our team! Learn more about Tutorly Ed by visiting their website, tutorly-ed.com, and following them on Instagram @tutorly.ed. Their email is email@example.com.