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Simply Learning offers free tutoring to the community

By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Derek Chen

Photo left to right top row: Nihaar Gupta, Naman Kapasi and Nandan Murugesan; bottom row: Derek Chen and Charlie Fu.

Simply Learning, a nonprofit started by two community residents and Rock Canyon High School alumni, offers free tutoring in a variety of subjects. Everyone on the Simply Learning team not only has very strong academic accomplishments, but they also have a variety of interests and passions, including volunteering and giving back to the community. Pictured from left to right top row: Nihaar Gupta, Naman Kapasi and Nandan Murugesan; bottom row: Derek Chen and Charlie Fu. Not pictured: Riya Bhat.

When Derek Chen and Charlie Fu attended Rock Canyon High School, they were surprised to learn how expensive tutors for the SAT and ACT standardized tests could be. Knowing how important these tests were to a student’s future, and feeling it was unfair that tutoring was so costly, Chen and Fu decided to make tutoring accessible to all. The team launched Simply Learning, a nonprofit free tutoring service run by students, for students.

Since its inception in 2018, Simply Learning has expanded beyond SAT and ACT tutoring and has provided more than 400 hours of free tutoring in many subjects to more than 60 different students ranging in age from 5 to 18.

Chen is now a sophomore at Duke University and Fu is a sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley. The co-founders of Simply Learning have assembled a team of tutors who have a variety of skills and interests. All are high-achieving students who have the ability to tutor many different subjects. The team includes Nandan Murugesan, a junior at RCHS; Nihaar Gupta, a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University; Naman Kapasi, a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley; and Riya Bhat, a junior at Mountain Vista High School.

Chen pointed out that summer is a great opportunity for students to strengthen their knowledge, whether it be to bridge a learning gap or excel in an area of interest. Chen said that many students struggle to find meaningful and productive activities over the summer, especially with many camps, jobs and activities canceled. Parents who are continuing to work from home might find it mutually beneficial to have their children tutored.

Chen said, “We want to help out the community and give them free access to quality tools to reach higher education. Having the tools to reach higher education should not be exclusive to those well off enough to pay for personalized tutoring – it should be open to all.”

“With Simply Learning, I’ve been able to help raise students’ test scores, increase students’ academic confidence, and even help a student reach academic eligibility for a much-needed athletic scholarship. Having students and families thank the Simply Learning team and me for the impact we have had on their lives has been equal parts humbling and motivating. To know that I have the ability to make a difference is what fuels me to keep running this company,” Chen added.

Simply Learning offers free tutoring for our community but welcomes donations to keep the nonprofit running.
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