Black Tutors of Social Media is a new Black-owned nonprofit resource base that connects students, educators, and parents with fellow Black-owned tutoring companies.
Black Tutors of Social Media is geared towards helping students of color receive an education from mentors that share similar experiences and lead by example.
The organization will launch in a few months with an app and website to unlock a “new world of opportunities” with the click of a mouse or the tap of a touch screen. Visitors to the platform will be able to access a directory where they can filter their preferences for what they need.
The impact, however, is meant to defy bounds beyond the books.
“You have a real 360-degree enveloping organization that not only attacks the tutoring side and education to close the relief gaps, but also opportunity gaps and achievement gaps for students of color,” CEO of Black Tutors of Social Media Jay Veal says. “You also have all these other pieces of the puzzle for them to become great people of society by the time they graduate and become something that they want to become.”
The organization’s website will feature Black-owned tutoring services verified through INC Education’s interview process. Users will subscribe to the services that the site offers before entering the platform. After they are subscribed, they will be able to visit the site and begin tutoring services.
“The initial thought process was to create that avenue before in the beginning of the year to have a safe space or a safe place or a great place for these students to get what they need from people who look like them, walk like them, talk like them and are examples of greatness that they could look up to,” Veal says.
Veal began his journey in the classroom, teaching an accelerated math program that combined three years of math into one. After his students made perfect scores on their state exam, Veal knew that his gift for education could take him out of the classroom and into an entrepreneurial journey.
“I wanted something to be built where students could really utilize our help,” Veal says. “It’s being able to bring the students opportunity and experiences that they would not have had, had they not been able to be involved of Black Tutors of Social Media, and have other partners who can help us move the needle along when it comes to student success, student mentorship, and student and parental engagement.”
He says it’s grown to be known as the top Black-owned tutoring company in the southern United States, consisting of 83 tutors worldwide. Veal, however, wasn’t ready to stop there.
He envisioned a digital entity where tutoring could be mobilized—a place where students of color would be allowed to be something other than an athlete or musician, but instead a mathematician or scientist.
“My main thing was that, our Black and brown people and our Black and brown students are smart and as capable as any other race,” Veal says. “And at times we do things better and more innovative. We’re not out here just trying to provide music and entertainment and sports. We’re out here creating phenomenal art, being great educators, mathematicians, scientists, techies, entrepreneurs, doctors, philanthropists, and the like.”
Veal spent time asking parents and students what they looked for in a tutor. Questions like ‘Who do you use for tutoring?’ and ‘Are there any African-American tutoring companies in the city that are African American owned?’ were frequently asked.
The most common answer, however, concerned Veal. That answer was ‘No.’
As time progressed, the COVID-19 pandemic caused students to watch their learning environments morph from classrooms to their kitchen tables, changing the way that parents and students interacted with learning. Veal decided that his idea to make tutoring accessible through social media platforms could change the way that kids received information.
As school’s scrambled to find ways to make sure students got the resources they needed, Veal began paving the way to a new form of learning by creating Black Tutors of Social Media.
“I believe that the impact now, what’s been going on now, has impacted Black Tutors of Social Media becoming that organization that can be looked up to,” Veal says. “Not save education and tutoring at this moment but to be a great ally to the community to make sure they get what they need, and especially students of color.”
Not only will this platform make learning accessible, but it will also give students a chance to build relationships in a time when learning can feel isolating. Black Tutors of Social Media will be dedicated to building relationships with students in an effort to take the fear and stress out of education.
Whether it’s troubles with late night math homework, or simply a rough day at school, the nonprofit has a mission to put the students first.
“I mean there are going to be so many different things that I think are going to be important pillars of success to Black Tutors of Social Media to where the relationships are going to be the crutch,” Veal says. “And that through students, that’s through parents, teachers, donors, everybody. The relationships are going to be the crutch to the success of what’s to really come.”
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