High School Junior Eli Richmond has Created and Launched a Program to Connect Parents of Young Kids With Well Qualified High School Mentors
Eli Richmond is entering his senior year at Newton North High School outside of Boston and he is an impressive young man. Last year he created a company MentorBuddies (www.MentorBuddies.com) that provides a technology platform that enables parents of young children (typically ages 5-13) to find and hire talented high school mentors across a broad range of skills (academics, sports, music, art, etc.).
With MentorBuddies, young kids are taught by high school varsity athletes, AP/honors students and talented musicians, developing strong relationships with successful teens.
Since the website opened for parents last November, several hundred lessons have been provided, with over 100 mentors in town across the Boston area, including Newton, Needham, Wellesley, Brookline, and Cambridge, and over 35 skill areas available for teaching.
One way of thinking about MentorBuddies is that it’s kind of like AirBnB for parents of young children looking for qualified high school mentors.
The idea for MentorBuddies arose from several years of teaching chess to younger kids in Newton, which helped Eli realize the need for teen role models who have unique skills or expertise and can offer personalized lessons at a much lower rate than adult professionals.
MentorBuddies Parent Testimonials
Here are just a few of the numerous testimonials Eli provided when I asked if he had any to share.
“I love MentorBuddies. It made my life with 3 children so much easier. I used to ask for tutor recommendations through Facebook. Sometimes I would get good recommendations, but other times, I did not. MentorBuddies makes it really easy to connect with great tutors and schedule sessions. The rate is always the same, and very reasonable. Your credit card gets automatically charged after each lesson, so you don’t have to remember to take out and leave cash every time a tutor comes. Great system for busy families!“
“My daughter loves math and wanted to go to the next level, so we hired a sophomore at Newton North through MentorBuddies to do math with her once a week and show her some advanced concepts. It has worked out great! My daughter loves the 1:1 attention, and it is great for her to have a female role model who excels in math.”
“Our son is always excited for his weekly session through MentorBuddies for homework help and more recently, coding. Our son looks up to his mentor, both accepting and putting to use his suggestions and strategies for academics. The last few months of school were incredibly positive for our son as a result of these sessions. We’ve also continued throughout the summer with a focus on coding. This is such a valuable service- the caliber of mentors available is excellent. We are so glad to have found MentorBuddies!“
“I have been using MentorBuddies for the past 8 months for my kids. Both the tutors (Jake for English Language Arts and Leo for tennis) have been completely amazing. They are both very professional in interactions yet friendly and personable. My kids look up to them as true mentors and are more motivated to go to lessons as compared to other classes I have tried for these purposes. Eli is extremely responsive for any trouble-shooting which makes it a smooth process. I am grateful to have this resource and look forward to using current tutors and more through MentorBuddies.”
It's such a pleasure to be able to share a success story like this. We wish Eli lots of luck with this undertaking – he's off to a great start! Hopefully this model can spread well beyond Boston.