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AfroPreneurs: Educational Services

In this AfroPreneurs profile, BlackSpeaks.com decided to feature TutorforGood.org, the offspring educational nonprofit website of parent company Felicity Motivational Group, which, in turn, is the official nonprofit corporation (child) of Felicity Tutors, L.L.C.

TutorforGood.org is part of the Pharm Psych network, a medical and educational company, which is all anchored by PharmPsych.net and includes six other sister websites.

The other sites not mentioned thus far are the three medical portals, PharmPsych.com, MediPreneur.org and PharmaPreneur.org.

The website provides tutoring services and promotes education for disadvantaged youth, especially for the fundamentals of math, algebra, geometry and pre-algebra. Other subjects such as reading, language arts and history will be added at a later time.

A portion of all proceeds from the for-pay services on the other sites in the Pharm Psych network are used to support TutorforGood.org and Felicity Motivational Group.

Founded in early 2008 in Tennessee, TutorforGood.org — as well as Felicity Motivational Group — was inspired by a work experience that its founding president and owner, F. Zaria Chinelo, Pharm.D, CNP, a nuclear pharmacist, pharmacy law instructor, web designer and enterpreneur, had.

The experience involved her serving as camp counselor for a group of teen-agers after herself graduating from high school.

Chinelo created and developed all of the website’s elements as well as that of the rest of the Pharm Psych network. In producing TutorforGood.org, she kept in mind her memories of working with the teens, who were severely behind in their mastery of the basics of math, reading and language arts as well as other academic disciplines required at their level.

The educational plight of camp youths inspired Chinelo to launch her own business and recruit staff to assist other academically underachieving children and youth.

In 2015, the TutorforGood.org team will expand the Forum chatroom feature to challenge schoolchildren and youth into learning math basics by offering access to the database of answers to questions for pay.

The following are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that the TutorforGood.org team anticipates from potential visitors of the site:

1) What qualifies the founder and owner to start it?

F. Zaria Chinelo, Pharm.D, CNP, a nuclear pharmacist, pharmacy law instructor, web designer and enterpreneur, started the website to serve members of her field of pharmacy in their studies, careers, finances and overall morale. Dr. Chinelo conceived and designed all of the site’s components and features as well as that of the rest of the network.

Chinelo has six years of teaching and web development experience, both of which she used to start her site, having begun TutorforGood.org in 2008 and engaged in previous web-based ventures in the state of California. She holds two degrees in molecular biology and general chemistry.

After being hired by Vanderbilt University, Chinelo served as camp counselor for high school students before starting the nonprofit Felicity Motivational Group. She has been honored as a National Merit Scholar, by Business Professionals of America, the College Board, NAACP and Texas Instruments.

2) What are the tutoring services offered and who can benefit?

TutorforGood.org provides free online, mobile tutoring to students, regardless of location. Volunteer and paid tutors provide tutoring services on demand, when students need it most. Students, their parents, schools and institutions can contact website staff if they are interested in its services and want to learn how this nonprofit can serve them.

The tutoring services were developed with today’s competitive academic environment in mind where good scores are paramount. They are designed to guarantee that students receive instruction and supervision from an experienced tutor, adhere to national and state standards of curriculum and use standard American textbooks to ensure they are teaching properly.

The tutors don’t perform the work for the students. Instead, they employ alternative methods of seeking answers to questions for such subjects as math.

The website cites the individual qualifications of each tutor and affords visitors to apply as prospective tutors.

The paid tutors are U.S. and Canadian citizens who have passed a comprehensive background check. Tutors complete a rigorous application and training process, which includes subject exams, training sessions on teaching techniques and a mock service session. Tutors and their clients work via a digital whiteboard with instant chat. Personal information is never exchanged.

The site contains a graphic describing the application and recruitment process of tutors and visitors may view a video demonstration online. The graphic and video content instruct on how students can enroll, obtain a tutor, learn about hours of operations, schedule for tutoring sessions and find a list of tutoring subjects. There is also a list of FAQs to browse.

TutorforGood.org also provides a separately tracked learning solutions service. These are services provided to other organizations for a licensing fee. This affords the user unlimited accounts and sessions.

Additionally, the nonprofit provides licensing options in which another organization can use TutorforGood.org’s tutors or provide its own tutors. Organizations or institutions can have their logos featured prominently on the site, depending on the licensing or sponsorship arrangements made between both parties — TutorforGood.org and the group in question.

The whiteboard software used can be integrated with separate software of a client or other organizations. Depending on the equipment used, extra charges may apply.

Time logs are kept for each tutor so students, parents, schools and institutions can keep track of the amount of time spent tutoring. Only a secure Internet connection is required and hardware and system requirements are spelled out on the website.

Viewers can schedule a custom presentation for their institutions or nonprofits online.

Each tutoring session includes a focus on individualized attention, test preparation, home support, review of challenging concepts, customized presentation, efforts to introduce new concepts, organizational skills and learning analysis. TutorforGood.org hosts tailor-made lesson plans on its pages upon request, regardless of age or grade level.

The average length of a tutoring session is a half-hour and there is no limit to the number of sessions a student may take and benefit from. Additionally, a student can log on to a session when he or she is ready and can pace himself or herself.

Additionally, TutorforGood.org provides school supplies to nonprofits and needy communities in the following sister sites, particularly in Tennessee: Germantown Middle School; Shelby County Schools; Neighborhood Christian Centers; We All Be Group; Booker T. Washington High School Methodist; Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering; Millington Central High School; Cummings Middle School; Collierville Literacy Council; Concord Academy; Idlewild School; Southside Middle School; Millington Elementary School, and; Middle College High School.

3) From viewing the site, I see that TutorforGood.org offers advertising on its site as do the other six. Who can advertise on the site and under what conditions?

Since the launch of TutorforGood.org, its leadership and management team has sought sponsorships and advertisements from relevant companies, manufacturers and other organizations devoted to health and educational information.

The sponsorships serve as a form of advertising and enable staff to provide students with tutoring for free. TutorforGood.org affords sponsors opportunities to market and promote their products and services by publishing their content and links on the site. Interested visitors may contact the site about opportunities.

Sponsors benefit from such partnerships because the website draws students of all ages who view text and visual material online and are the prime targets of marketing content. Potential sponsors are asked to specify their marketing needs when contacting the nonprofit.

The following organizations are sponsors, affiliates or partners of TutorforGood.org: E-mail-Tutors.com, FelicityTutors.com and PharmPsych.com.

FelicityTutors.com provides in-person math and science tutoring in select cities. A percentage of all proceeds are donated to TutorforGood.org.

PharmPsych.com is an online magazine that provides informative and trade-specific content on pharmacy- and medically-related topics. The website’s editorial team includes professionals in the fields of pharmacy, medicine, education, technology, and publishing.

4) The site also seeks professionals to fulfill other roles beside paid and unpaid tutors. What are they?

TutorforGood.org contains on its pages a form to apply to become a Volunteer Tutor or a paid Online Tutor.

Aside from these, the website also seeks a Director of Information Technology, Fundraising and Development Director, Social Media Marketer and Public Relations Specialist.

Visitors are welcome to apply for these positions online.

5) The site also offers high school students to perform community service for credit. How does this occur?

Students may need community service hours to give back to their communities, log before graduation, fulfill legal requirements or enhance their college applications.

They may obtain such hours by volunteering with TutorforGood.org. After their period of service, volunteers will receive a certificate of documentation, confirming the number of hours performed.

Volunteers can serve as paid online tutors, marketing or social media experts, fundraisers or organizational volunteers.

If volunteers are under the age of 18, they must be juniors or seniors in high school. They must undergo a background check. This may include a copy of their ID, transcript or report card, driver’s license/learner’s permit or Social Security card. The background check is free.

Students must then complete forms online titled Volunteer Waiver and Tutor Code of Conduct as part of the application process.

Parents or guardians are required to co-sign the waiver and tutor code of conduct. They must also complete a parental consent form for their underaged children.

6) The site also has fundraising pages. How can a visitor participate in fundraising with TutorforGood.org?

TutorforGood.org maintains fundraising pages that describe its current campaigns, fundraising goals and methods and opportunities for direct donation.

Visitors can view a video presentation of the website’s spokesperson.

Additionally, after a tutoring session has ended, parents or guardians of students are asked electronically to donate by clicking a link on the site. They are also asked to evaluate a tutor’s performance electronically.

7) The site also has a Forum section. Is this a chatroom? If so, for whom? Who can participate?

The Forum section will contain questions and answers to common math problems on all elementary and secondary high school levels to include pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, geometry and calculus. Students must log onto the site first.

In the future, after the feature is revamped, may pay a fee to view the questions and responses as a matter of policy.

8) Online tutoring must involve special technology. What type of equipment, software or hardware is involved for a tutor and a student?

To engage in online tutoring, a student and a tutor both need computers with a broadband Internet connection. No special equipment or software is needed beyond, possibly, a microphone or a set of speakers.

TutorforGood.org provides a tutor all that is needed to teach in multiple subject areas with all online resources protected by security software.

The website empowers a tutor to create new student and tutor accounts, receive detailed log and use reports, make edits, assign usernames and passwords and create or delete subjects to teach.

A tutor can also view past sessions for all students, produce tutoring packages for any time frame, connect with an online whiteboard, chat, draw math symbols, transfer files and image or talk for free by VOIP or voice conferencing.

A digital writing pad is recommended but not required. This will enable students and tutors to type, write or draw on the whiteboard but it may hard to use a mouse.

Additionally, the website contains a link to purchase a digital writing paid from nationwide suppliers. They include Amazon.com, New Egg, Ebay and Overstock. No particular brand of digital writing tablet is required.

TutorforGooC44a-A02cT03a-Z_transparentNOTE: (BlackSpeaks.com offers up AfroPreneurs, a news series featuring medical and nonmedical white-collar enterpreneurs and professionals. AfroPreneurs are leaders and managers in a variety of medical and non-medical fields who often use their talents to start their private practices or businesses or challenge themselves to transform and improve employment opportunities, goods and services as board members, group founders, mentors or college professors. Our AfroPreneurs series seeks to draw on and explore the expertise and experience of these medical and non-medical heroes and put them in the public spotlight, one professional at a time.)

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Vladimire Herard, M.S.

About Vladimire Herard, M.S.

A print journalist for 21 years, Vladimire Herard freelanced for the National Senior Living Providers Network, (nslpn.com), the Guidance Channel and Longtermcare.com. Under CD Publications, Ms. Herard wrote about senior health, substance abuse prevention, and elderly housing. Under Inside Washington Publishers, she covered health care financing for Inside HCFA and food and product safety issues for FDAWeek. Ms. Herard also covered education, crime, and county affairs for daily newspapers such as the Chicago Defender. She currently covers senior long-term care, the pharmaceutical industry and issues and education. Ms. Herard resides in Chicago.

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