What is SOS?
Students of Strength, Inc. is a corporation with a hybrid business model, committed to tackling pressing issues within education by providing first class, affordable tutoring to students of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
What is the SOS Mission?
Our company strives to improve personal development and academic success for students by: providing online tutoring in math and with comprehensive test prep. We also give students personalized mentorship and guidance through the college application process. Our exceptionally talented and motivated tutors come from the nation’s top colleges or directly from the field of education, and tutor through our innovative and engaging online platform.
Who is the SOS client?
Our clients are students in grades 6 through 12 from any state within the United States of America as well as from across the globe. We work with schools, school affiliated programs, school districts, and individual families.
Because we firmly believe that brilliance can be fostered in any eager young mind, and that a lack of resources should never stand between any student and their academic success, SOS has established a sponsorship program through the SOS Foundation in order to ensure that the company can provide its services to students who cannot afford to pay, allowing the company to have sustainable impact in the communities that it works with.
Where is SOS based?
We are based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a second office in Houston, Texas. Our tutors come from all corners of the United States, from all walks of life.
Does it work?
Yes. In fact, intensive tutoring is the only pedagogical intervention proven by research to dramatically improve results on end-of-year math exams.
Is Students of Strength a for profit organization?
When SOS was founded, we were just a small network of young tutors. Originally, the founder and CEO imagined SOS as a nonprofit entity. Over the years, however, we learned that creating a ‘social enterprise,’ a for profit company aimed at bettering the world, was the best way to grow and reach more students. SOS aims to keep tutoring affordable for a students of all backgrounds. We also work closely with The Students of Strength Foundation to subsidize the costs of tutoring and college prep for students needing additional assistance.
What is The Students of Strength Foundation?
The Students of Strength Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides a variety of educational services, including sponsoring the cost of one-on-one tutoring, for students in need.
Study after study has shown that minority and low-income students in the US are not getting the education they deserve:
50 percent of Latinos, 53 percent of Native Americans and 62 percent of Black students scored below grade level.
Minority students’ math and reading scores lag 20 to 30 points behind their white counterparts, equal to approximately two grade levels.
Students eligible for free or reduced price lunches scored 20 percent lower than their peers.
Addressing this achievement gap is the mission of The Students of Strength Foundation.
The Students of Strength Foundation operates independently of Students of Strength, Inc.
How are we different?
Students of Strength is more than a matching company for tutoring services. We are a company committed to building communities of strong students through taking an empathetic and innovative approach to education and learning. Our commitment to our social mission is one of the main things that sets us apart from others in the industry. We firmly believe that brilliance can be fostered in any eager young mind and that a lack of resources should never stand between any student and their academic success. Because this belief lies at the heart of who we are as a company, Students of Strength is committed to providing premier academic services to students of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Further, unlike any other company, Students of Strength focuses not only on students’ academic success but their personal success. Our recruiting process and training ensures that our coaches are not only able to master and teach their material effectively, but that they are also able to relate to, engage with, and motivate the students they serve.
What is it like working for Students of Strength?
At SOS, we place a high value on empathy, diversity, acceptance and innovative thinking. We strive to create an environment where all teammates feel that their voices matter. Our goal is for SOS to provide the career satisfaction that is obtained from working for Fortune 500 corporations like Goldman Sachs; the innovative and hip vibes that are offered by economic powerhouses like Google; and the emotional satisfaction and sense of fulfillment that comes from working at a non-profit organization like the Salvation Army or your local YMCA. We plan to offer maximal opportunity for growth and financial upward mobility. In order for our employees to care about the future of SOS, we need to care about our employees’ future and wellbeing.
Where is SOS headed?
For the time being, SOS will continue to establish its customer base nationwide in the US market, by partnering with charter, private, at-home, and public schools systems, universities and nonprofits as well as other like-minded for-profits. We will also work to partner with new universities to increase our tutor base. We plan to expand internationally to tap into the multibillion global private tutoring markets. We also intend to develop new products and curriculum as well as expand our technical capacity via software and mobile phone applications as to make our services and products more accessible and user friendly, as well as continue to create an online classroom to connect students and tutors around the world.
How do schools implement SOS into their classrooms?
With a new account, schools will be given a login to their administrator account. They can create student accounts, schedule sessions, create teacher accounts (which can also create student accounts and schedule sessions), and distribute credits among teachers.
When administrators log in, they have access to a implementation guide, which will consist of a series of on-boarding videos:
- Creating student and teacher accounts
- Scheduling sessions
- Using a student account (from the student's perspective: how to log in use the whiteboard, etc)
as well as an FAQ document, and a document with the system and implementation requirements (e.g. Google Chrome, headphones for each student.)