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Supplemental Education: A Resistance to Failures in NYC Public Schools

Project Overview

Combatting educational inequity in the Bronx by providing one-on-one, individualized, in-home tutoring to minority students from kindergarten through high school.

Identifying the Problem

During his HIA Fellowship Program in France, Joseph was exposed to the educational inequity in Paris, especially the struggles of less-privileged students to gain access to elite educational institutions in secondary and post-secondary school. As both an immigrant and a product of the New York City public school system, it dawned on Joseph that the struggles of inner-city minority students to gain admission to elite educational institutions was global in nature. He realized that anywhere in the world, a person’s socio-economic status determined his or her choice of education. Joseph was motivated to contribute to the fight against the pervasive and endemic educational inequity in the United States, especially in low-income communities, in which inner-city minority students were attending “failing schools.”

Creating A Solution

Joseph knew he wanted to provide one-on-one, in-home, individualized tutoring in reading, math, writing, study skills and SAT and state-wide exam preparation to low-income students from kindergarten through grade 12. To make this a reality, he partnered with Champion Learning Center to become a tutor, providing individualized, one-on-one, in-home tutoring to students from low-income communities, and serving as a mentor, educator, role-model and an inspiration to students who attend designated “failing schools” by the U.S. Department of Education. 

Joseph administered academic diagnostic assessment to measure the strengths and weaknesses of each student and develop educational plans to address the needs of each student. He commited to about six hours of tutoring sessions for each student, while engaging the parents as partners, through progress reports and weekly conferences.

The experience motivated Joseph to remain committed to mentoring children, especially those who encounter language barriers in their academic pursuits. He hopes to one day establish a Mentoring Institute in low-income neighborhoods in New York City, which will foster academic excellence of minority students while grooming future leaders.

Lessons Learned

Joseph encountered numerous challenges in the course of his project, including sudden tutoring cancellations by parents and students, as well as commuting to student homes, which were mostly in notoriously dangerous neighborhoods in New York City’s inner-city.


In order to successfully tutor these students, Joseph required K-12 workbooks, daily session logs, pre and post-test student response forms, folders and binders. These were all provided by Champion Learning Center.

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About This Project

HIA Program:

France France 2011

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