As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted learning for students across America last year, we were two recent college graduates caught up in the uncertainty of a global pandemic. In the midst of that uncertainty, we saw Tennessee families and students who were trying to balance learning at home with work and family life. With our previous job offers on hold, we rallied hundreds of college students to serve as tutors.

Our friends and classmates had expressed a desire to get involved, so we recruited them to provide free, virtual, one-on-one tutoring for undeserved K-12 students in the Nashville community. One year later, we have built on the momentum of those early efforts and founded BrightPath Tutors. The mission of our 501(c)(3) is to use high-dosage tutoring to reduce the education achievement gap that disproportionately impacts students from low-income backgrounds.

In the wake of the disheartening, but not unexpected, declines revealed by recently released statewide standardized test scores, we know that the time to make a difference is now. In the upcoming school year, BrightPath is looking to support up to 7,000 Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) students by providing them with free high-dosage tutoring through the Accelerating Scholars Initiative. This program positions MNPS to become the first district nationwide to implement a high-dosage tutoring model at scale; but we can’t do it alone.

We are calling on the broader Tennessee community to join our program and serve as academic tutors and supportive mentors during this time of need. By volunteering to tutor virtually for less than two hours each week over the next twelve weeks, you can help Tennessee students recover from lost instructional time, reverse course, and begin to make real academic gains.

As a volunteer, you will be paired to work one-on-one, virtually, and on a recurring basis with an MNPS student. You will have the option of working with an elementary school student on literacy or an eighth- or ninth-grader on math. Training and support will be provided throughout the course of the program, so you don’t have to be an expert in the topics — just ready and willing to make an impact in the lives of students. Tutoring sessions are thirty minutes long, three times per week for the duration of the program, September 7-November 19.

To participate in the program, visit and click on “Apply to Tutor.” Have questions about the program? Send them to

Thank you in advance for your help and support. We hope that you will spread the word to people in your network and encourage them to participate. We look forward to seeing the positive impact our community can make in the lives of our students.

Brad Gellman and Samantha Margolis are innovation fellows at SCORE.