Perfect ACT Scores. National Merit Scholar candidates. Winners of prestigious math and science competitions.
These are the 13 students from three Williamson County high schools who are helping other students survive the pandemic academically through their online company Wilco Tutoring.
According to a press release, the idea emerged from the WCS Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, an elective course available to high school students across the county that pairs teams with mentors from the local business community.
Three students — Brentwood High senior Nelson Rose, on track to be the school’s valedictorian; Independence High’s Jacob Stromatt, a 2020 National Honor Society inductee; and Ravenwood High junior Ana-Laura Morales, president of the school’s Culture Heritage Club — were originally working on ideas such as a teen-focused marketing consulting firm and a salsa company that incorporated generational family recipes. But the pandemic provided a pivot point.
Lodestone Legal Group intellectual property attorney Jeromye Sartain, the group’s mentor at the EIC, encouraged their shift in response to market demand, helping them set up the business and its operations. Now, 13 tutors from three different high schools are offering video-based, one-on-one tutoring for K-12 students in subjects ranging from chemistry, geometry and English to ACT preparation.
“As a patent attorney who works with entrepreneurs every day, a common trait I see in such folks is recognizing an opportunity or a path to market (or even a whole new market), and then executing on that vision,” Sartain said.
“This student team did just that in quickly pivoting this year to their Wilco Tutoring business and launching the service within a few months, meeting a very real need heightened by the pandemic for supplemental educational support with so much remote learning going on.
“I'm very proud of the students capitalizing on this and am privileged to be working with them."
The group recognized quickly that the transition to remote learning was difficult on everyone, particularly those struggling with a certain subject, and that personal instruction often helps students thrive.
Tyler Myers, a Brentwood High senior now working with students through Wilco Tutoring, finds helping others through his work to be very rewarding.
“I’m glad to have the opportunity to use the knowledge and skills I’ve learned through my high school career to help others succeed in learning,” he said.
Wilco Tutoring is available seven days a week, with flexible afternoon and evening scheduling. Visit www.wilcotutoring.com for more information on the tutors, their methodology, services offered and pricing.