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UCalgary students helping youth with CanShine Tutoring

By Kristy Koehler, August 13 2020—

A student at the University of Calgary is helping low-income and disadvantaged youth access high-quality tutoring.

Kayleigh Yang, a student in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program, started CanShine Tutoring, a non-profit initiative to provide subsidized tutoring for youth.

“CanShine is a federally incorporated non-profit that myself and a few friends started during our first year of university,” said Yang. “We officially opened in 2019 and our main goals are to give back to the community by providing free professional academic help.”

Yang says CanShine uses the profits from their paid tutoring, as well as donations and sponsorships, to subsidize wages for their tutors who assist low-income students.

“The idea for this started from my own experience as a private tutor for almost nine years,” said Yang. “Something I noticed was that, quite often, my students who really needed the help from tutoring to succeed in their academics, were the ones who were struggling to afford it.”

Yang was part of a club at her high school that offered free tutoring to younger students, but noticed that, as tutors became busy with their own schoolwork and after-school jobs, the club was the first thing they’d drop and the younger students were left without anyone to help them.

“That really highlighted the importance of having tutors who are held to a higher standard of a paid job,” said Yang. “Through CanShine we’re able to do that.”

CanShine is offering its first full-length course, providing a free Math 10 prep course that runs from Aug. 10-31. The need for a full course came as a result of COVID-19.

“A lot of the students that we have are going into high school and one of the main things that they’re struggling with is the fact that COVID-19 threw a wrench into things with a lack of preparation that they had during their grade nine math education,” said Yang. “They aren’t prepared for the jump between junior high and high school.

“We’re really happy to be able to offer this for free to everybody who wants to join. The silver lining of being forced to go virtual during coronavirus is that its completely open to anyone from Alberta. We’ve had quite a few enrolments from outside of Calgary.”

Most of the tutors are U of C students. CanShine is actively seeking more tutors and is ready and willing to take on more students who need academic assistance. More information is available on the CanShine website.

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