A South Lakes High School graduate decided to create an organization called Student Impact, attracting the attention of teachers around the East Coast looking for extra student opportunities.
Student Impact hosts writing contests, book drives for underprivileged kids, peer support groups and leadership programs, according to founder Ana Stanisavljev.
The program launched in April and is now introducing a new tutoring program next Tuesday, Stanisavljev said.
Though there will be a fee for most tutoring opportunities, Stanisavljev said that she is asking volunteers to also donate a few hours of their time a month to help students whose families cannot pay.
The program has gained traction outside of the Northern Virginia area. New Jersey public schools noticed the program and tweeted about it, letting students know about the upcoming writing contest.
The writing contest asks middle school and high school students to write a collection of stories between 500-1,000 words for young kids. Cash prizes will be given to finalists, and the deadline for submission is Friday, June 5.
This summer, Student Impact is gearing up for a high school leadership program that will help students build valuable skills, according to Stanisavljev.
“It’ll give them the opportunity to engage with their communities and actually have an impact,” she said.
Around 70 people are already involved in the program. People who are interested in volunteering can sign up online.
Though everyone is “involved on different levels,” according to Stanisavljev, she said people from college-age and up can apply to be in a tutor or mentor position.
“We are constantly coming up with new projects and initiatives to create resources for students and teachers, so stay tuned for even more opportunities,” Stanisavljev said.
Stanisavljev said she started the program as an immediate response to the needs of students and teachers struggling with distance learning but hopes it continues to grow depending on the needs of students.
Stanisavljev is currently studying business at the University of Virginia. She said that she wanted to launch this program to give back to her home community of Reston.
Attention High School and Middle School Students!
Express your creativity and storytelling skills by writing a story to entertain young children while allowing them to practice reading skills during the COVID-19 Crisis.
— New Jersey Department of Education (@NewJerseyDOE) May 29, 2020
Photo courtesy Ana Stanisavljev