College Student Starts Free Online Tutoring Service For Kids In Low-Income Families

A sophomore at the University of Michigan is offering free virtual tutoring to help kids in low income families with their school work.

Alina Bardwell said she wanted to get involved with volunteering over the summer, but because of the pandemic, in-person volunteering was impossible. So, she got the idea of becoming an online tutor.

As schools transitioned to online platforms, Alina realized that now is the time to help students keep up with school, especially for low income families who might not be able to afford typical tutoring rates.

“We all know that lower-income families have been hit harder than anyone by the pandemic. Some have lost their jobs, some have been forced to quit in order to help their kids with school, many are essential workers working long hours and cannot be home to help their kids with school,” Alina told Mlive. “We want to give back in the best, safest way we can: by helping their kids perform better in school for free.”

Alina drove around Ypsilanti over the summer and hung up posters with her contact info promoting free virtual tutoring.

As the demand for online tutoring grew, Alina asked a friend to help. Soon the two realized they needed more volunteers.

So, she and more than a dozen other UM students created MiTutor, a free online tutoring service.

After posting in a local Facebook group, Alina said the interest in MiTutor has grown significantly. The post had over 40 responses from interested parents.

Alina says the students are doing their best to accommodate the demand, but they hope that as the program grows, more tutors will be available to work with students.