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 must always work harder than others.

Chris Xa

 I am a native Memphian with a unique passion for Economics. I am a proud son of immigrant parents. Currently, I am pursuing a PhD in Economics at the University of Memphis specializing in Labor Economic, Education Economics, and Econometric. I have the honor to serve Peer Power as a Doctoral Fellow, where I study education data and school environments to better help the kids we serve. My topics of research (both within and without of Peer Power) include: Labor policies within educational settings, Teacher incentive policies and retention rates, Human capital measures, and Public funding allocation efficiency. Outside of school and work I love to cook and cheer on our Memphis Grizzles.