Name: Homeroom Project
Location: North America: primarily nationwide in the US, but also with Canada and Mexico
Year Founded: March 2020
Tell me about your launch story; how did your organization get started?
Homeroom was created immediately after schools were closed due to COVID-19. As a student, I was frustrated when they announced schools were closing because it felt almost like a betrayal to the future generations. I think school means so much to young people – education, of course, but also a community, a place for meals, safety, etc.
I immediately wanted to be able to step in and support students everywhere, and I thought creating a student community could be the best way.
What challenges did you face, if any, while launching?
The hardest part is communicating with as many people as possible, especially since we are all on lockdown at home. Everyone is flooded with emails now too, since that is our primary source of contact, so it is hard to make sure we can communicate with as many parents, teachers, and students as possible.
Tell me about its mission/goals and the primary populations you serve?
HOMEROOM connects students in need of peers who tutor them free of charge and provides students with resources to fill gaps in their curriculum due to COVID-19 (for grades K-12 in all subjects). Multilingual tutors have been recruited, and services are now available in English, Spanish, French, and Italian. College application support is also available.
Homeroom provides a student community for collaboration and academic continuity, but it also allows for support and a sense of unity among tutors and tutees.
What does your organization do best?
Peer tutoring to help students with material they are not comfortable with and cannot review in their online classes. This can be especially helpful for students learning a second language and cannot practice with someone from their household.
What are you working to improve?
We are still trying to reach out to as many students as possible. We want to be able to reach all the struggling students who may not know about the resource. We are also preparing plans for the upcoming summer, which will be a critical time for students to make up any gaps in the curriculum before school starts in the fall.
What does collaboration over competition mean to you?
Collaboration is extremely important, especially now. Collaboration over the competition, to me, means putting aside any feelings we may have, any worries, and focus on getting through the tasks at hand together. This makes me think particularly about juniors who are worried about upcoming college applications and may feel like their classmates are only competition for them. This is not the case! We will all be able to reach happy futures together if we support each other.
Now, we are no longer living in a divided education system by school ways or classroom levels – we are all in the same boat of remote learning. So, Homeroom allows us to join the classroom of remote learning – one giant support system!
Final words of wisdom to all the young women out there who are strategizing to reach their education and career goals?
More than anything, I believe this time has taught us about patience and accepting what we can and cannot control. Ultimately, as long as you stay positive, persistent, and determined, you will be able to accomplish what you set out to do. There is a lot of uncertainty, so make the most of what you can.
How can our readers reach you, get involved, or learn more?
Reach out if you or a child you know needs tutoring or is willing to tutor. We are students who understand what other students are living through right now. We are here to support students, parents, and teachers.