DELRAY BEACH, Fla., Sept. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Inspired by the work she did with her cousin teaching SAT classes to peers at her local temple, Deeksha Kumaresh, a sophomore at American Heritage School in Delray Beach, Florida, created an online academic enrichment program with the same idea in mind - students teaching other students. It's called BrightScore Academy, and a quick browse through the website reveals a range of course descriptions and teacher bios; the common trait is that all teachers are high school students.
BrightScore Academy launched during the last quarter of the 2019-2020 school year when students were quarantined at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over a short time and mostly through word-of-mouth, enrollment grew from 4-5 students in each class to 20-30 students; now students log in from all over the U.S. and even around the globe.
"Through this experience, I learned about how students can grow from their own peers outside of school," said Deeksha Kumaresh, BrightScore's Founder. BrightScore offers subjects such as math, physics, coding, writing, and chess, and maintains the motto: Be able to learn it today, and teach it tomorrow.
"We motivate our students through our STEP Program, or Student Teaching Experience Program," said Rohith Karthik, AHS 10th grader, BrightScore's STEP Manager and Math Academic Games teacher. "Our teachers select star students who apprentice the second half of the course and become BrightScore teachers the next session," Rohith explained.
Python teacher and Technology Director, Anshuman Seetharaman, AHS sophomore, said, "Teaching has helped me learn to communicate my ideas to other students and inspire them to keep learning."
"We keep online learning fun!" said Baano Galawala, AHS 10th grader and Outreach Director. Baano teaches Creative Writing and uses breakout rooms and a point system culminating in gift card prizes at the end of each session.
Student testimonials tout the "fantastic teachers," "great learning experience," and "excellent preparation" they received from BrightScore. The online education platform is not-for-profit and sponsored by Vconnex Services, so all classes are free of charge.
Deeksha's end goal for BrightScore is to educate as many people as possible by giving students the opportunity to learn from other students and become teachers themselves. The organization she built with her friends should be able to sustain itself long after they graduate and go off to college.