Peer Power Mission

Peer Power is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization innovating the public education system by inspiring and empowering youth to take control of their academic success. A successful entrepreneur and dedicated philanthropist, East High School graduate Charlie McVean founded the program in December 2004 to address the poor performance of Memphis’s public schools. Combining an incentive-based compensation model with the influential 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.

 

After a decade, Peer Power streamlined its strategy and enhanced on the methods demonstrated to be most effective. This process culminated in the Memphis Model, a partnership between Peer Power, the University of Memphis and Shelby County Schools, that recruits high-performing college students known as Success Coaches to tutor public high school students in the classroom. This model improves grades, standardized test scores, and college and job readiness. In addition to academic benefits, Peer Power provides an opportunity for college students to gain job experience and the financial means to stay in school. The Memphis Model incorporates two Success Coaches per classroom, which reduces the student-to-adult ratio from 1:30 to about 1:10. This lower student-to-adult ratio improves the job satisfaction and performance for full-time teachers, leading to higher job satisfaction and retention of valuable teachers.

I must always work harder than others.

Cortney C. Richardson

I am a Native Memphian, East High Graduate, and University of Memphis Alumnus who takes pride in being able to say that I serve where I was raised. As a Peer Power Program Director, I have the opportunity to impact the lives of students who share similar beginnings as I do. These scholars benefit greatly from my experience as a student leader during college, my years of international travel as a gospel singer, and my lifelong dedication to GOD and my local church. I am a walking billboard of what is possible regardless of where you come from. It is from this philosophy, that I work to create, grow, and sustain programs that help hone youth into the people they were created to be. I started with Peer Power at its inception and I am honored to continue through our glory days.