Eastview High School junior Tanisha Kota has turned her love of learning and passion for high-quality education into an opportunity to serve her peers and help them be successful in their academic pursuits.
Geniusprep, an idea that percolated in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, is a free virtual tutoring service available to students in grades K-6 who need support, with a special focus on English and math.
“After reading numerous articles about how many students were falling behind due to the pandemic, I knew I had to do something to help,” Tanisha, 17, said. “During those uncertain times, I wanted to make sure that every child was able to receive the help they needed with school.”
She enlisted the help of her fellow Eastview classmates and eventually grew her tutoring roster with student-volunteer tutors from Minnesota, New Jersey, Florida and Georgia. Last year, the team provided more than 115 tutoring sessions every week, and had more than 40 tutors.
“Tutoring is much more than a student sitting one-on-one with a tutor,” Tanisha explained. “It is an opportunity to dive deeper into information and ask questions that are specific to a student. It’s also an opportunity to build a relationship with a potential mentor and friend for the future.”
Tanisha, who is also a student representative on the district’s Gifted and Talented Advisory Council, said she has a long-term vision for Geniusprep, which includes expanding subjects, hosting a day camp for girls to explore STEM and creating a public speaking course.
“It is incredible to see students take their learning to the next level by not only accelerating their own education, but also helping their peers along their own academic journey,” Superintendent Mary Kreger said. “This is an incredible accomplishment.”
With the summer fast approaching, she said she expects the need for tutoring to grow.
At Geniusprep, we place an emphasis on tutoring students in a fun way,” Tanisha said. “Teaching students that learning is fun helps them develop a lifelong passion for education. This also allows students to be more excited to learn knowledge in the classroom.”
Students in grades K-6 who could benefit from free summer tutoring are encouraged to sign up by June 11 at www.geniusprep.org.