Tutors for All

Tutors for All bridges the achievement gap one student at a time. 

Through the creation of partnerships between colleges, public schools, and community agencies, Tutors for All offer underserved urban adolescents the systematic one-on-one instruction they need in order to thrive. Students in the Tutors for All programs have shown dramatically improved MCAS scores, significantly higher grades in their high school classes, and renewed and deeper confidence in their academic abilities. Tutors for All is committed to helping all Boston area youth excel in high school, graduate from college, and thrive in life.

Although the city of Boston has a deeply rooted academic heritage and many college institutions, a significant educational gap has existed for underrepresented youth throughout the city. In 2005, Tutors for All set out to provide tutorial services committed to helping students throughout greater Boston be successful in school, continue on to college and excel in life.

The organization seeks “to bridge the achievement gap one student at a time through the creation of partnerships between colleges, public schools and community agencies.” This approach offers under-prepared urban adolescents the opportunity to get the systematic one-on-one guidance that they need in order to thrive.

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

Mark Destler, the founder and director of Tutors for All, explains that the organization works with 20 colleges and universities that provide tutors for one-on-one instruction for students that struggle to meet the basic educational requirements necessary in order to be successful in their grade.

The nonprofit offers affordable sessions in partner schools during the fall and spring semesters. The tutoring takes place during the school day and is scheduled like any other class. The nonprofit also offers programs during the summer. All programs are focused on lifting each student to the proper educational level.

Destler explains, “The program is called ‘Tutors for All’ not only because its services are available to all students in need but also because ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’. This model creates a mutually reinforcing system and a functional culture for growth for the school as a whole.”

Growth and Achievements

When the organization was founded in January 2005, it served one school, City on a Hill. Today, because of the success it has brought to so many students, Tutors for All has grown to serve 6 other Boston area charter schools with plans to partner with the area’s district schools in the next school year.

The success that Tutors for All has experienced – in its very brief history – has been impressive. In 2007, Mark Destler was named 2006-2007 Educator of the Year by Boston Partners in Education, partly as a result of the tutorial program’s role in City on a Hill receiving the highest MCAS scores in its history.

The nonprofit also teamed with MATCH School and won the $25,000 Innovation Prize at The Charter School Growth Funds Education Entrepreneurs Showcase. The Scott/Ross Center for Community Service has also recognized Tutors for All as an “Outstanding Community Partner.”

In addition to other awards and grants, students in the Tutors for All programs have shown significant increases in MCAS scores, higher grades in their high school classes, and a dramatic boost of confidence in their academic abilities, all of which have long-term impact for the participants.

Finding a Home

Tutors for All’s Destler cites working with Third Sector New England as a fiscal sponsorship project and tenant as beneficial to its growth and success. “Coming on board … was perfect for us, because we were finding inefficiencies as we added more schools,” he explains. “Fiscal sponsorship has given us a set of resources that have been a catalyst for our organization.

“Being at the NonProfit Center has been wonderful for us. It has given us a base of operations from which to further our growth. We are proud to have a home among so many driven nonprofit organizations and professionals.

“This opportunity of bringing together all that Boston has to offer with education to its schools has been a gift to me.”