Within days of Bollimunta and Ghuniem’s conversation, Brainwave Online Tutoring was born. The team quickly developed a website and tutoring platform. They started recruiting volunteers through their own social networks.
Now a month after launch, Brainwave has recruited 36 volunteer tutors who have tutored 76 students.
Many UC students have volunteered, including seven in UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science.
“Education is what brings us here to UC,” Bollimunta said. “It's important to share the wealth of knowledge. That’s how we bring community together."
They even have volunteers from the University of Wisconsin, Case Western Reserve University and Kent State University.
Students can sign up for services on the Brainwave website. Brainwave connects a tutor with the student based on availability and subject specialty (e.g., quadratic equations). One-hour tutoring sessions are hosted in Google Hangouts.
Brainwave is working toward establishing partnerships with Ohio schools.
Starting with their high school alma maters, Mason High School and Lakota East High School, they are reaching out to superintendents across Ohio. They especially want to connect with populations that may not have access to services like Kumon, Mathnasium, or Huntington Learning Centers.
Bollimunta wants to leverage existing networks rather than duplicate efforts. He hopes to collaborate somehow with the Bearcat Buddies, a volunteer program offered through the UC Center for Community Engagement (CCE), in partnership with GRAD Cincinnati, the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati and Cincinnati Public Schools.
The team plans to expand Brainwave services, including free mental health resources curated by professional counselors and an open forum for students to share experiences and coping strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This virus continues to impact people in different ways," Bollimunta said. "This is a way for us to show that we are all here for each other, and we will get through this together."
To learn more about Brainwave, request tutoring, or apply to be a tutor, visit the Brainwave website.