College students are stepping up to help working moms during the pandemic with a virtual tutoring service called Project Matriarchs.
Two students on a gap year came up with the idea. After talking with parents about balancing work and remote learning for their kids, they found moms were shouldering most of the responsibilities. Some were resorting to dropping out of the workforce.
“It was just this reoccurring conversation we'd have where people felt so overwhelmed and so alone and we were like OK we just, we need to do something, not only for these women who are experiencing this right now, but also for ourselves in our peer group who are going to be inheriting these norms very soon,” said Lola McAllister, co-founder of Project Matriarchs.
Here's how it works. Forms to sign up are online. College students will be vetted to become tutors. Then, the site will match them with kids based on availability and what subject they need help with. The tutors can either volunteer or make $15 an hour, but most parents don't pay anything at all.
Project Matriarchs relies on donations to keep the service available for families who need it most.
“So many of these kids in different school systems especially are getting left behind, not on purpose or not because the teacher can help it, but just kind of having the one-on-one support that isn't a cost burden that is accessible to everyone I think has just proven to be really important,” said Pilar McDonald, co-founder of Project Matriarchs.
The founders are now in talks with employers about offering their service.