When a student from a wealthy family doesn’t understand an academic concept, it’s common for her parents to hire tutors to help her get up to speed. But what happens to students from lower-income backgrounds whose families don’t have the cash to pay for the extra help?
John Stamm, a 20-year-old student at the University of Missouri, Kansas City began to ask himself just that question while working part-time at a for-profit tutoring company. That access to tutoring is tied to families' ability to pay bothered him so much that Stamm decided to quit his job and start his own nonprofit venture. Now his organization, Achievement Tutors is working with low-income students throughout Kansas City.
Stamm is now an official partner of the Kansas City Public Schools with a contract to provide tutoring to high school students. The need is huge: The district, where more than 80 percent of students are low-income, saw its superintendent jump ship for Detroit, lost its accreditation last fall, and has a dismal 45.7 percent high school graduation rate.
"No one has to pay anything. We absorb all the costs through our fundraising efforts,” Stamm told local television station KCTV. Now he needs more funds to keep the project going, plus additional tutors and other volunteers. Let's hope the Kansas City community rallies around Stamm's initiative and helps him get students on track regardless of their family income.
Photo courtesy of Achievement Tutors