Sydney Burckhardt, 18, of Denver, Colo., a senior at George Washington High School, founded a tutoring program that has grown from a two-week math boot camp at her former middle school to a permanent biweekly after-school program covering all subjects at four schools. It all started when Sydney heard that students at her former middle school were performing unsatisfactorily in math. She decided to conduct a two-week boot camp at the school to help, and when she achieved a breakthrough with her very first pupil, she realized the impact I could have on the education of inner-city students, she said.
Sydney worked with the school to implement a similar program for the summer, and then recruited a couple of fellow high school students to help her conduct ongoing after-school tutoring sessions. With close to 100 students receiving assistance from Sydneys program during the first year, the school registered an impressive increase in assessment test scores. The program has now expanded to two other middle schools and to Sydneys high school. She now has 12 tutor leaders to help lead and coordinate tutoring sessions. I believe that in the face of profound income inequality, an effective education system can equalize the playing field for all students regardless of their economic background, said Sydney.