CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – After realizing something was missing from the tutoring scene, Horace Greeley High School junior James Sclafani did the only thing that seemed logical to him: create his own tutoring company.
Sclafani started Mountain’s Peak Tutoring Services earlier this year with the belief that nobody is better at understanding the studying struggles of students better than other students.
“The most effective studying I've ever done has been when I studied with a peer,” Sclafani said. “Student tutors are able to add this quality to the knowledge of the course material required in tutors. They have the memory of learning the material themselves still fresh in their mind.”
According to Sclafani, Mountain’s Peak is completely comprised of juniors and seniors at Greeley and works mostly with material from fifth to 10th grade.
Before deciding to bring on any tutor, Sclafani said he extensively reviews their application. As a benchmark, tutors must be in Honors or A.P. for the area they tutor, and they must have completed each course they wish to tutor with an average of 95 or above.
While he holds his tutors to high academic standards, Sclafani knows that is not all it takes to teach. According to Sclafani, the main goal for Mountain’s Peak is to help his fellow students improve their learning skills rather than cram for specific material.
“There is much more to be an effective tutor than just knowing the material,” Sclafani said. “To evaluate their teaching skills, I had each prospective tutor give me a lesson in the course they wish to tutor.”
Sclafani said his own struggles were a main motivator in creating the company. While he currently is a member of the Science Research Program at Greeley, it did not always come so easy.
“I remember the extent I struggled in my introduction to science research course,” Sclafani said. “I had no idea how to read or understand the science research papers or locate a mentor, and it was very difficult to meet the demands of the class. I know that all students entering their high school science research programs could definitely use assistance.”
Along with math, science, and other general education classes, Sclafani also has tutors for subjects such as music theory, Latin and computer science.
“After talking with other students at school, I realized there was a large need for tutors in these areas of study,” Sclafani said.
Prices vary for tutoring sessions, which can be done in either the library or the student’s home. Appointments can be scheduled through Mountain’s Peak’s website.