JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Many college graduates are happy to put all thoughts of tests and studying in the rearview mirror as soon as they’re handed their diploma, but not Jaeiza Smith.
Jaeiza, a graduate of Johns Creek High School and Georgia Tech, has spent her summer starting a tutoring business to help other students succeed, thanks to Tech’s Create-X program.
Create-X is an entrepreneurship program that culminates with students taking a semester to launch their own startups, thanks to the connections and capital provided through the program.
“They teach us everything from how to create an LLC to how to talk to customers,” Jaeiza said.
Students who are accepted into the program receive a $4,000 grant, business coaching, pro-bono legal advice, free accounting services and access to investors.
Jaeiza, who had tutored part-time throughout high school and college, thought the Create-X program would be a great way to expand her side gig into a new business, and she had the perfect partner in mind.
Jaeiza’s sister, Jira, was valedictorian at Mount Pisgah and is now a rising junior at Stanford University in California.
“During school, we started tutoring,” Jaeiza said. “We never thought this could actually be a job because it was nice to help people get to their goals. It felt good to help other people achieve.”
The two women said they’re passionate about providing education access to everyone, and they like working with schools in low-income areas.
“Our family cares about education a lot,” Jira said. “My grandmother is a teacher, and two of our aunts. It’s very much a family thing.”
So the sisters started Brainstream Tutoring. Their model focuses on small online classes, with up to five students to one tutor. This model makes tutoring more affordable and more accessible, they said, while still allowing an individualized approach to each student.
“Once I started really tutoring more, I got booked fast,” Jaeiza said. “I couldn’t reach all the people who wanted my help, so I wanted a way to expand and make sure more people get the help they need.”
For the upcoming year, Brainstream has partnered with Atlanta Adventist Academy to offer tutoring to its students. Brainstream is focusing on high school sophomores to seniors, especially science, math and ACT and SAT prep.
“That’s when math starts to get hard,” Jaeiza said. “Science gets harder. I had many students that once they got to chemistry, they freaked out.”
The sisters think with their model the business has exponential potential to grow, with an ultimate goal of expanding nationwide.
“Our goal is definitely to increase access to either people who don’t know that this tutoring is out there or don’t have a way to get to a tutoring location,” Jira said.