High school volunteers host virtual summer courses for young students

In order to break down educational barriers and provide academic support for under-resourced students, some students have expanded their philanthropic organizations.   

Founded by Hope Shinderman  ’21 after the COVID-19 outbreak, Bored of Boredom is an organization that serves elementary and middle schoolers. Shinderman said Bored of Boredom strives to bring enrichment opportunities to those who have historically been denied them.

Bored of Boredom administers classes daily on Zoom in varying subjects and languages.  The organization hosts about 25 classes each weekday and around 10 classes on Saturday and Sunday.

Bored of Boredom has partnered with the University of Southern California Caruso Family Center for Childhood Communication to provide opportunities for hearing-impaired students.  The organization also began a high school program over the summer, which includes Advanced Placement course “check-ins” and standardized test preparation.

Bored of Boredom has grown over the summer to about 850 student learners and 400 mentors and has members from every continent except Antarctica.

“Having people from other time zones has helped us provide a broad range of classes time-wise, which I think makes it more accessible to more people,” Art and Miscellaneous Co-Head of Bored of Boredom Shoshie Bernstein ’22 said. “Summer break has definitely allowed countless new people from different backgrounds to get involved in this organization.”

Lyon Chung ’21 founded another charitable organization, Leaders United for Change, in March of 2019. When the pandemic prevented mentors and students from meeting in person, Chung created an online summer program consisting of weekday enrichment classes. The program ran from June to August and concluded with student-made projects in each course.

Leaders United for Change mentor Helen Graham ’21 said she hopes to serve more disadvantaged students.

“I would love to focus more on reaching out to students from lower-income backgrounds and who attend schools with fewer resources,” Graham said. “We want to make sure that we’re helping people who need the most help.”

Now consisting of over 600 mentors and students from across the world, Chung said he is looking forward to Leaders United for Change partnering with international schools this school year.

The organization will host chef and Kogi taco truck creator Roy Choi for a cooking class over Zoom on Aug. 29. All proceeds will help provide students with academic support.