Student-led tutoring service provides online educational opportunities


Priya Maraliga and Annabella Ferraiuolo

The founders of Iridium Tutoring, freshman Charles Tang and sophomore Gracie Sheng aim to provide online educational opportunities for all students. Iridium Tutoring has expanded its reach, tutoring students in many different subjects across countries.

Sofia Abdullina, Assistant Social Media Editor

When the pandemic first hit, many students found it hard to adapt to online learning and succeed in schoolwork during this difficult time. Noticing these struggles, freshman Charles Tang and sophomore Gracie Sheng founded a nonprofit tutoring service called Iridium Tutoring in late June to help K-12 students adjust to new learning methods.  

Iridium Tutoring’s main goal is to provide equal individualized educational opportunities to all students. 

“We thought that the transition from in-person to online learning was bringing feelings of uncertainty,” Tang said. “We felt like the community found it difficult to adapt to this new learning environment.” 

Although the nonprofit began with only Sheng and Tang, there are now over 30 volunteer tutors who specialize in various subject areas at Iridium Tutoring. 

 “I can tell that what we’re doing is effective, and that makes me really proud of the volunteers we have and the students who are using the service,” Sheng said. 

Iridium Tutoring offers tutoring for all K-12 curriculum subjects, including AP courses. In addition, students can receive test prep help for the SAT, ACT and AP exams, as well as advice on college admissions. Tang and Sheng developed a strong network of students and tutors. 

“At first it started from just my circle of friends,” Tang said. “It expanded to people I knew; I reached out to them, and they were happy to join.” 

Junior Alex Wang, who has tutored before in the Math Honors Society and at Kumon, joined Iridium as a tutor to help students in need.  

According to Wang, Iridium Tutoring strives to reduce educational inequality.

“I feel like I’ve helped a lot of students,” Wang said. “If there are students that can’t get the education that they deserve, then they can always sign up for a session with Iridium. We can provide assistance for any topic that they need help on.”

The success of Iridium Tutoring has grown rapidly since June getting the attention of various news websites and WCVB Channel 5 Boston. 

 “We got featured on the news, and that brought a lot of attention to us,” Tang said. “A lot of volunteers wanted to help out with our cause.”

As of late November, there are about 35 tutors and 150 students with a total of 830 hours worth of free tutoring. On average, there are six sessions a day, each lasting an hour. 

“Some of our tutors are Ivy League college students, from miscellaneous colleges in New England and some other states as well,” Tang said. 

Aside from tutoring American students, Iridium Tutoring has provided service to students in China, Japan and countries in Central and South America. 

“We’re trying to expand our reach as well,” Tang said. “We have reached quite a few states in the USA, but we are hoping to reach even more states in the near future.” 

Tang is proud of what Iridium Tutoring has accomplished so far, and encourages those who are interested to get involved.

“We’ve made so much progress; our growth is really insane,” Tang said. “If people want to volunteer or sign up for tutoring sessions, they can visit our website for more information.” 

Wang looks forward to personal and Iridium Tutoring’s future goals.

“One of my goals is to keep serving the community, and to use feedback to improve,” Wang said. “We hope to spread our message and expand to other communities.”

Sheng believes individualized tutoring makes an impactful difference on students.

“If there is more time dedicated to learning, there is a bigger chance of improvement,” Sheng said.