Building our future: for students by students

Posted by on September 5th, 2014

By: Bernhard Hofer | @bhofer

Organization: talentify

talentifyIn Austria and a lot of other European countries, educational opportunities are heavily dependent on the socio-economic background of families. At the age of 10, children are divided in two school models – a higher quality and an average one. Which leaves 83% of children from lower socio-economic families at lower quality schools, where they lack access to relevant and top quality education. Thus, they are not able to compete with their more affluent and privileged peers at high quality schools. They will not realize their full earning potential – especially in Austria, like recent studies from OECD show.

Austria and other European countries invest significant euros annually in every student in the education system. However, we are stuck in a political discussion with minimal progress. This has driven many parents to seek outside educational inputs through tutoring – a big business. But a lot of students from lower socio-economic families do not have access to this critical educational resource. Even half of households that can afford tutoring say it is a huge financial burden for them.

We are very passionate about equal educational opportunities for all children. Furthermore, we deeply believe in the huge potential and individual talents of every child. That’s the reason we founded talentify. The concept is simple: needy students get connected to affordable tutoring resources. It all started with a project over 10 years ago, when we were still at school. Today, we work with students, parents and teachers to connect not only students to events, workshops and online resources, but we also harness the talents of skilled students to provide peer-to-peer tutoring. Which brings us to another fact in the current situation: students know they need more in life than they learn at school right know, we asked them. They want to have a positive impact on their community and would also like to have a meaningful work experience.

Therefore talentify provides unique career and educational programs and help skill build high-school students to become tutors and connect them with students from lower socio-economic families. The result is a peer-to-peer network where the cost of tutoring is accessible and relevant. On the one hand students strengthen their social skills and build a resumé and on the other hand students improve their learning outcomes. A win-win scenario. By providing an online platform with easy matchmaking and implementing gamification components as well as an attractive incentive systems we try to draw young people in.

By building a sustainable peer-to-peer network, we can graduate future leaders, increase social cohesion and support those in our community in need to fully realize their potential.

So let’s build our future, TOGETHER: for students by students!