New club helps tutor students using Skype

Rebecca Katz

The Bridge to a Brighter Future completed its first month of tutoring sixth graders at the Valor Academy, raising the student’s math grades by an average of 11 percent.

This is Bridge to a Brighter Future club’s first year, as it was founded last spring.

The club was founded by Andrew Ravan ’15, Alan Yousefzadeh ’15 and Elijah Akhtarzad ’15.

The group of friends came up with the idea in the spring of last year.

“We knew we wanted to have a real impact on whoever we were helping,” Ravan said. “We wanted to serve as role models.”

With the help of Assistant Director of Admission Melanie Leon, eighth grade dean Karen Fukushima and Director of Student Affairs Jordan Church, the students decided to tutor sixth graders in math at Valor Academy using Skype and other forms of technology.

The club meets every Tuesday after school in Chalmers 308 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The tutoring is one-on-one and uses Wacom Bamboo Pen and touch tablets.

The co-founders held a bake sale last summer in order to provide the tablets  for both the tutors and the students at Valor Academy.

“I think it’s important for the kids to get a chance to use technology like we do,” Ravan said. “It’s a unique opportunity for them.”

The club currently has six volunteer tutors.

Beginning in February, the tutoring program will accept applications from students, who must commit to tutor for at least a month. This way, the Bridge to a Brighter Future club can aid as many Valor students as possible.

“We want Harvard-Westlake students to know that it’s an easy and fun thing to do, and a great way to fulfill your community service [requirement] while also getting the rewarding feeling of improving a young student’s education,” Yousefzadeh said.