I never dreamed that I would be a CEO in undergrad. My sister Krisha, is 13 years old and an 11th grader in high-school, and she loves teaching kids (even though she’s still one herself)! She started tutoring one of our family friends for free through Skype last summer, and I still remember how excited the little girl was to have Krisha teach her. She’d squeal and say “Oh my gosh, Krisha! After our lesson, can you draw a picture for me?” and the lesson itself would zoom by in anticipation of being able to draw on the screen.
Evidently, it got to the point where the student loved the tutoring sessions so much that she told her parents, and at the end of June 2019, Krisha was teaching 8 children every week. I remember I was barely involved with her tutoring program at this point and would post in neighborhood Facebook groups here and there asking if anyone needed tutoring for their child. One day, she told our family that she wanted to make this tutoring program bigger, and my dad’s immediate response was “Why not make a nonprofit, it’ll legitimize the whole thing.”
If I’m being honest, my other sister (Diksha) and I kind of just laughed because we thought the whole idea seemed silly. Neither of us knew anything about nonprofit management, but since Krisha was 12 at the time, she needed someone over 18 to sign the paperwork to form the organization, and so I shrugged and filled out the form with her. I thought that the organization would just be used to recruit 2 to 3 volunteers to help Krisha with her classes. Krisha wanted to grow the organization to help people on a much larger scale, and I remember we sat at the kitchen table arguing about what to name the organization. We settled on Global Guru, as we decided that we wanted to keep our options open of helping children around the world, but I didn’t really think we’d reach anyone outside of the United States because there were only three of us involved.
Fast forward to October of 2019, when I was in college taking organic chemistry, and Global Guru was helping 12 students. O-chem was difficult, and I ended up looking for tutors for the class, and when I did, almost all of them had starting prices upwards of 40 to 70 dollars an hour. I ended up finding a relatively lower costing tutor for the class, and I was extremely grateful to have the means to pay for the resource; but it essentially flipped a switch, because it was appalling to see how tutoring was a service not available to people who couldn’t afford it, even though it poses such a high benefit to students everywhere.
Now, Global Guru helps 125 students (more join classes each day) in South Korea, rural villages in India, Australia, China, and 10+ states in the U.S. What started with 3 people has now grown to include 100 team members that work on curriculum development, social media management, scheduling management, and website development. I know that education has proved to be difficult for many children to engage in after schools closed, and I think Global Guru as an organization is posed to help people.
The tutor-student relationships that I have witnessed growth in since the beginning of quarantine have honestly left me speechless, as the mutual closeness is just amazing. One of our tutors, Anjalika, graduated from college this May, and her student Sadhvi was so sad that she wouldn’t get an in-person graduation that she drew a picture for her on Zoom before her weekly tutoring session to surprise Anjalika.
So many students have signed up for these services since the pandemic started because of school closures, and we are now working with four other nonprofits and have a mini-grant from Peace-First’s COVID Rapid Response to provide aid to students whose academics have been affected by the pandemic.
Not only is the lack of accessible tutoring a problem, but a fundamental lack of technology for kids to utilize for online education is prevalent right now as well. I, and Global Guru, want to reach as many children as possible during this time who may not have access to these services or technology and provide them with it, as we believe that education is something that has the potential to shape a child’s entire future if they can develop a love for learning. Our website is www.globalguru.net and you can also check us out on Facebook and Instagram! Below is a video of Anjalika and her student, Sadhvi: