Adam is struggling in his math class, and his teacher has little time to help. Guide on the Side will support Adam in catching up, making sure his foundation is solid, and then transitioning to periodic phone, text, or email check-ins. This might initially mean two one-hour sessions per week for a month, with the understanding that Adam may again, at some point in the future, want content-specific instruction to successfully master a new topic/standard.


Brittany has become increasingly miserable at school. Her attendance is slipping and the work is piling up, but when her parents ask, she just says, “I hate school.” In this case, it may be possible to find out and shift what is not working for her — to arrange with school staff to modify her schedule, allow her to take some classes at the local community college, or to encourage her to avoid her abusive ex-boyfriend by switching to another science class. In this scenario, we would first expect to meet with her to try to understand what is going on, and then decide how we might be able to help. The total time involved might range from 2-4 hours, depending on whether a follow-up meeting with school staff is warranted.


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Carolina has spent a year in college, but is unengaged and her grades are poor. What she really wants is to become a fashion designer, but she has little idea what that entails. We might work together to identify the kind of fashion she is interested in, contact a few local designers who can give her some perspective, develop questions for an informational interview, and go together to meet these designers so that she has a more vivid understanding of the role her current education is playing in her dreams for her future. This might take 4-6 hours in total.

It is the summer before senior year, and Dominic hopes to go to a private college out of state. Guide on the Side would meet with him, evaluate his current academic and community involvement, suggest useful classes for this last year of high school as well as meaningful opportunities for volunteer work and extracurricular study. We would research and discuss the various possible school options, choosing four or more to apply to, including at least one “safety” school. Working collaboratively on the application essays we would polish them in order to ensure that Dominic has the best possible chance of being accepted to his first choice. We would also spend some time preparing for an interview at the school, if it appears that would increase Dominic’s likelihood of being accepted. This bundle of services would likely take roughly 15-25 hours total.