Two organizations at Texas A&M are working together to provide free tutoring and scholarships for young students in Bryan-College Station.
In 2010, 99 Tutors, a tutoring service company, saw a need for tutoring children at College Hills Baptist Church. President and founder of 99 Tutors, Detrick Eaton, said while they have worked with numerous organizations on campus, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and Gents of Texas A&M have been the two most consistent groups.
“The guys with Phi Delta Theta and the Gents of Texas A&M have been relentless in their pursuit of helping mentoring and providing weekly tutoring to these students,” Eaton said.
Since the program began, both organizations have tutored students, ranging from elementary to high school levels, two nights a week. Electrical engineering senior and President of Gents, Dylan Peake, said the opportunity to help young students allows for the organization to grow as community leaders.
“This tutoring program touches on two things: one is a core value of A&M, which is selfless service, and one is a core value of Gents of Texas A&M, which is altruism,” Peake said. “If we want to be able to call ourselves not only a brotherhood organization, but a leadership organization, we actually have to be leaders in our community and step up. This is a great way to do that.”
Biology senior and Vice President of Gents, Drew Irion, said he has experience tutoring college students as a supplemental instruction leader, but there is something more fulfilling about tutoring children.
“Seeing the kids get into their schoolwork and have a passion for learning is what I do it for,” Irion said. “I tutor college kids all day, but they don’t actually want to be there, they just want a good grade and then you see the kids and they actually want to learn the material.”
Working with the children on a weekly basis and watching them improve has been fulfilling for both organizations, agricultural economics senior and Phi Delta Theta Chapter President Marshall Hammack said.
“We love to do this and we love to help out,” Hammack said. “Having this relationship with the church has been so fulfilling. Our principles are friendship, sound-learning and well-rectitude, and we thought this was a great opportunity to mix all three of our values together with the tutoring and scholarships.”
Along with weekly tutoring sessions, the two organizations collaborate on fundraising each year to provide scholarships for graduating seniors who have gone through tutoring at the church.
“[Phi Delta Theta] and the Gents provide a scholarship to students who have attended tutoring regularly and we work with the church to review the applications,” Hammack said. “Our chapter provides $850 to make sure they can get books and supplies so when they get to school, they have one less thing to worry about.”
The organizations have continued tutoring during COVID-19, offering both in-person options with masks and social distancing, as well as Zoom options. Peake said whether in person or online, this program helps younger students excel and helps those tutoring build passion for giving back to the community.
“Besides the fact that this program helps our community, it is able to develop our members and it gives them a long-lasting passion to benefit the community,” Peake said.