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Academic achievement is strongly correlated to family income

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Our Innovative Model


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Two groups helping each other

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Success comes in many forms

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For those who have, and those who will.

Those impacted the most are our greatest advocates

How real people speak about Elevate Tutoring

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Elevate Tutor

"It was the first time in a very long time that I felt proud of myself. This was my new beginning!"
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In the process of pursuing higher education, I came across Elevate my sophomore year at San Jose State University. I was determined to be selected as a recipient so I can support my education as well as pay it forward by tutoring disadvantaged youth in math. Throughout my journey with Elevate, I have seen first-hand how important it is for these kids to have a consistent and genuinely caring role model be present in their lives to help them thrive academically.
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“I plan to not only help students who are struggling academically, but also help them find the best ways that they can learn. I truly believe that each individual has a certain way that they learn best, and together we can work to find an individual’s best mode of learning.”
ElevateShoot_Jan16 (148 of 500)


My main motivation is to help low-income students get to college like I was once helped to get here. I believe that anyone is capable of being successful if they try hard enough to do it.”


Without the extra help I sought through tutoring, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Mother of a student receiving free tutoring

"I believe with ongoing tutoring [my son] will develop the problem solving skills he needs not only for geometry, but for other subjects as well. Thank you again.”

DCP Coordinator

“Your tutors are the best... we'd like to fill as many classes as possible with Elevate tutors."


Academic achievement is strongly correlated to family income

Not enough low income children dream of going to college. Not enough low income children are prepared for college. Not enough low income children get into college. Not enough low income children graduate from college. Why? It is not their ability or work ethic, it is not talent or resolve; its family income.

• There is a strong correlation between family socioeconomic status and student academic achievement. [1]
When children from families of means falter, there is a built-in support system. When children with less means falter, families may try, but it takes a near-impossible amount of focus to succeed.

• That gap in achievement between families of means and those with little is growing at a staggering speed--30-40% since 1970. [2]

• In the United States, family income is nearly a strong indicator of a child’s success as his or her own parent’s education level. [2]

And the impact of family income extends beyond primary and secondary school: even among those low-income students who graduate from high school, the college attendance rate is 37% lower than that of their high-income peers. [3]

These lower rates of academic achievement and college attendance have long-term effects that perpetuate a vicious cycle of low-income: the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that those with only a high school diploma earn 40% less and are 70% more likely to be unemployed than those with a college degree. [4]

Learn how Elevate Tutoring strives to break this cycle and improve the lives of low-income students by increasing academic achievement for tutors and tutees, improving college acceptance rates of tutees, and providing financial and emotional support to tutors to enable on-time graduation.

[1] Coleman, James S., et al. 1966.Equality of Educational Opportunity. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Education.
[2] Reardon, S. “The Widening Academic Achievement Gap Between the Rich and the Poor” Whither Opportunity. Ed. G. Duncan, R. Murnane. New York: New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2011. 91-115
[3] “Digest of Education Statistics.” (http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_302.30.asp)
[4] "Earnings and Unemployment Rates by Educational Attainment." (http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm)

Our Model

Elevate’s innovative pay-it-forward model provides comprehensive tutor training, work experience, and financial support to in-need college students while bringing free, high-quality STEM tutoring to low-income middle and high school students.

Elevate Tutoring’s mission is to close the achievement gap by providing financially disadvantaged students with free tutoring, training, scholarships and work experience.
Elevate Tutoring’s innovative pay-it-forward model provides comprehensive tutor training, work experience, and financial support to in-need college students while bringing free, high-quality STEM tutoring to low-income middle and high school students.

Growth Mindset

Growth mindset is the perspective that one’s abilities, specifically in understanding and applying new material, can be developed through effort and embracing challenges. Often, it is better understood to consider that a growth mindset is the opposite of a fixed mindset: where a student believes that each person has a limited amount of ability in any given area and that cannot be changed. A struggling student with a fixed mindset will believe they are stuck and that no amount of effort or hard work will change what they know or understand. Even historically good students can suffer from fixed mindsets if, when they face a significant challenge, give up – believing that they cannot overcome it and that they have reached the limit of their fixed abilities. Fostering a growth mindset allows students of all abilities to increase their confidence, attack new and challenging problems with vigor, and embrace the learning process. In Elevate’s Tutor Training Program, Tutors not only learn to develop their own growth mindset, but also recognize fixed mindsets in their students. Such awareness creates an academically safe environment that promotes hard work and helps convert damaging mindsets to growth mindsets. When comfortable, our students are able to try, often for the first time in a given class; and, when this effort pays off, students learn for themselves that they have the ability to improve their own abilities through effort.


Two groups helping each other

Academic achievement for underserved students is a priority. Elevate Tutors are first generation college students who have already overcome enormous obstacles to attend college- now they need to complete college with new skills and vision.
Elevate Tutees are high school and middle schools students who, with assistance and a role model, have the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

Student Specifics

• Elevate serves low-income, high-potential Bay Area students
• 100% of Elevate tutors have been/will be first generation college graduates
• 90% of Elevate tutees will be first generation college students
• Served community is >80% Latino
• Elevate provides tutoring primarily through partnerships with Downtown College Prep (90% of students are low-income) and Breakthrough Silicon Valley (76% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch)


Success comes in many forms!

Elevate Tutors and Tutees have overcome immense obstacles every day to continue their educations. Their successes, as a result of Elevate Tutoring, are:

  • Elevate Tutees receiving 1:1 tutoring had, on average, a 1.5 letter grade improvement.
  • All Elevate Tutors eligible for graduation have done so on time.
  • Elevate tutors, with mentoring from the Board of Directors, have helped place Tutors in four paid engineering internship positions

As Elevate has continued to grow, so has the need for rigorous measurement of its results. Starting in early 2015, outcome measurements were defined and are being collected.

Here is our Impact Tracker:

10949Total Tutoring Hours
376016Scholarship Funds Distributed
5651Total Training Hours


For those who have, and those who will

Elevate began as a grassroot organization which has now received the recognition and support from the local philanthropic community.
Elevate is on a growth trajectory for impact in our community. How can you help increase that impact?

• Volunteering
• Events
• Individual donations
• Receive newsletter
• Volunteering

Elevate tutoring is an all volunteer organization. You can see what has been accomplished so far, please consider donating your valuable time to the effort.
Email us at support@elevatetutoring.org

Specific Project Ideas:
Translating website into Spanish to increase accessibility of free tutoring.
Assist with the Annual Tutor Graduation
Provide graphic design services for events and marketing