About Us

Peer Power is a non-profit organization that recruits high-performing high school and college students to tutor younger public school students in a variety of subjects to improve their standardized test scores and college or job readiness.  

East High School graduate Charlie McVean founded the program in 2005. A successful entrepreneur and dedicated philanthropist, Charlie had grown increasingly troubled by the poor performance of his hometown’s public schools and believed that the American free enterprise system held the remedy.  Combining a performance-based compensation model with the powerful effects of peer groups, he launched his unique student-to-student tutoring method at East.  The program was an immediate success and swiftly evolved into Peer Power.

Structure

Each Peer Power chapter is independently managed by its school's principals and teachers in order to maximize flexibility, local involvement, and financial sustainability. 

Tutors are paid an hourly wage. The program pays the applicable payroll taxes, social security/ Medicare, state and federal unemployment. The hourly rate is adjusted for experience and responsibilities.  College tutors are paid competitively. Peer Power helps college students learn on the job and helps them have the financial means to stay in college.  

Faculty Champions/Teachers are paid for their extra work. The foundation employs the teachers and determines selection, duties, hours and retention. Teachers must be dedicated and available, and strive to inspire students. The program pays applicable payroll taxes, social security/Medicare (7.65%), state and federal unemployment (2.4%). A teacher must attend all Peer Power activities for supervision and liability reasons.

All programs use a mix of financial incentives, field trips, athletic tickets and snacks. Incentives are earned and distributed according to the success of each scholar and the team.  Each scholar on the team learns how to be successful, as well as about the importance of personal responsibility and competence.

Mission

Peer Power’s mission is to inspire and empower youth to take control of their academic success. 

Our Assignment

Peer Power recruits, employs and trains high-performing high school and college students to tutor and mentor their peers, encourage active learning, value education and be personally accountable for their futures. 

I want to make my future TEN TIMES BETTER!

Tutor

April L. Jones

During my time with the program, I have had the privilege of working with outstanding individuals and future professionals.  From being involved in the program, my whole perspective of involvement and service oriented learning has grown.  The program can be analogous to wearing contact lenses; imagine that your doctor has given you a prescription to wear corrective lenses.  If you only wore one contact lens, your vision would be foggy and unclear.  Before Peer Power came to many schools, the aspirations and mental pictures of the many were bleak, foggy, and dim.  Yet once the fusion of Peer Power and the Memphis City School systems began, the goals and expectations of students became clearer and more focused in the same way as a great pair of contacts.  I am convinced that this program will continuously reach new pinnacles as fresh ideas and different individuals blend.  I am an eye witness to this each time I meet a new scholar and college mentor.