The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


SMU students found tutoring organization for underpriviledged students

This past February, several members of the Dallas and Southern Methodist University community started Apollo Tutors, a community outreach tutoring service that provides after-school educational services to at-risk communities throughout Dallas.

 SMU junior, Jaison Thomas, was sitting around one day with his three soon-to-be co-founders, looking for a way to give back to the Dallas community.

 Thomas along with one of his co founders, SMU junior Asad Berani, has grown up in the Dallas area and realized that the area had a lot of potential for community outreach.

Thomas and Berani started the group along with SMU senior Shameel Thawerbhoy and first-year Arvind Venkataraman.

“We saw that we grew up in areas where we had the opportunity to get great education and tutoring where as other students don’t have access to this,” Berani said.

Thomas said the groups motto is, “for every child we tutor at SMU we will provide an hour of free tutoring for underprivileged students.”

It is a buy one get one type of deal.

“It is really important for these children to get access to more education then what they get in school,” Thomas said.

The group has recently partnered with Community Light House.

Dallas Community Light House was established outside SMU but the organization has begun to increase their presence within the SMU community.

Students involved in Greek Life and other student organizations on campus have been increasingly volunteering through them.

Dallas Community Light House mission is “assisting at-risk youths in discovering pathways to success by concentrating on their social, educational, personal and environmental issues.”

“We saw that we had the same goals and they were providing after school tutoring services to average children in East Dallas neighborhoods,” Berani said

“We thought this was a great opportunity for both of us to grow together so we have been sending our tutors their way to help out,” Berani said.

Apollo tutors is comprised of SMU students who must go through a screening and interviewing process before being accepted into the program.

Tutors are then paid to tutor SMU students and for every hour they tutor a student here on campus an Apollo tutor will tutor an at-risk child through Dallas Community Light House.

“We try to find tutors who are not only interested in making some extra cash but that they are interested in giving back to the community,” Thomas said.

Apollo tutors only offers one-on-one tutoring and strives to provide qualified tutors who specialize in the subjects the students need help in.

“We have seen great results so far on both ends on our tutoring,” Thomas said.

“We have gotten great reviews back from the people we have tutored at SMU and they said that we sent amazing tutors that have helped them increase their grades and they have liked their service on that end,” Thomas said.

“For these students its difficult to get them out of their community setting, so Dallas Community Light House saw that it is important to go into the community and really break down the walls that would otherwise prevent them from accessing education and so they found that by going into their apartment complexes or going to where they worship that those are the best places to provide education for these students,” Berani said.

Dallas Community Light House has classrooms made in apartments and in places of worship within these underprivileged children’s communities.

“It’s important for children to have access to more education than they get in school, especially these children growing up in average areas who may or may not have this extra push,” Thomas said.

For more information on Apollo tutors visit or email the organization at [email protected]

More to Discover