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Meet Ralston Medouze of Strive Academics in Smyrna

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ralston Medouze.

Ralston, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve always been an avid learner. When I find something new, I want to learn more about it, take it apart and figure out how it works and relates to the rest of what I know. Learning this way showed me how to break concepts into the most important parts and helped understand key details. Because of this, I was always drawn into teaching roles no matter what I did because I was able to communicate the most important details quickly and easily. Early on, I realized I had a skill for teaching.

I began tutoring in middle school, helping my peers after school with Math assignments whenever I wasn’t meeting with the Academic Team. In high school, I continued these activities along with the Beta Club and Latin Club. In college, my Arabic teacher asked me to become one of the tutors for his class, so I began tutoring professionally as one of Emory University’s student tutors, working with groups of students after class to refine their understanding of the material. The next year, I began tutoring students privately in Math, English, and Latin. Over the years, I brushed up on more subjects and taught myself a few others. I now tutor in 50 different areas. Since 2011, I’ve helped hundreds of students achieve their academic goals in core subjects, foreign languages and test prep.

As I got busier, I realized that I needed to grow my business to really help students and families and have a truly great impact. I founded Strive Academics as a way to provide students with tutoring that caters to their unique strengths and challenges. While learning programs have their own merit, I believe that tutors should adjust to meet the students’ needs and tailor lessons based on student and parent feedback. One of the things that I find fun about learning is seeing how subjects connect to the real world. This is one of my greatest strengths as a tutor, and my tutors always look for ways to tie students’ interests and real-world examples into their lessons. Students find learning much more interesting when an educator starts pointing out the links between what they’re learning in class and their passions.

Through my company, I want to change the lives of students by helping them accomplish their academic goals while giving families the tools and information they need in order to accomplish related goals that are important to them, whether that is staying on top of deadlines, having a framework for working through applications, finding funding for college or private schools, and more.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No road is completely smooth. While I have been tutoring for many years, I thought about many other things I might want to do. As someone with many interests, it’s sometimes easy to get distracted and think about the “what-ifs.” Though I had a knack at teaching, I was never really drawn to teaching in a classroom environment. I liked working with students one on one more, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to tutor forever. I considered other professions such as becoming a Psychologist or doing something with my language skills.

When I decided to expand and start Strive Academics, that only brought on more challenges. Suddenly, a lot more work was piled on my plate. Now, in addition to managing my own schedule and checking in with my students, I needed to vet tutors, manage the people I brought onto my team, follow up with more clients, do marketing, create plans for my projects and many other administrative tasks. I have many plans for the company and few hours in the day to work on these projects. And last, running a business always has its challenges and always requires you to learn a lot, learn fast and act fast at times.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Strive Academics – what should we know?
Strive Academics is a tutoring service that connects clients with experienced tutors to provide personalized, one-on-one tutoring. Our services include SAT prep, ACT prep, Math tutoring, English tutoring, Science tutoring and private in-home tutoring and personalized lessons in about 40 other subjects.

Once we learn more about a student’s challenges, we connect them with one of our tutors who will come up with a plan specifically for that student. We then reinforce basic concepts and help your student get ahead. Because our plans are tailored specifically for each student, our students tend to see a lot of success in their studies. We don’t like cookie-cutter lesson plans because we recognize that every student is different, has different questions, and may need a different approach to learning. We’re confident that clients will be satisfied with their tutor too, so we offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

Using our service is also a lot more convenient. Instead of having to fight through traffic and figure out when you can possibly make time to commute to center, our tutors travel to you and will work around your schedule. We can even do odd hours as long as it fits the tutor’s schedule. We have tutors who can work during the days or afternoons, weekdays or weekends, and even have some who do 11 pm sessions now and then! Whatever your schedule is like, we can usually match you with a tutor that is great for you and can work around your schedule.

We’re always glad to hear from a student who is ecstatic because they achieved the score they wanted, got accepted into the college of their dreams or can breathe a little easier because they see their grades rising. We’re also passionate about giving students and families the tools they need to accomplish their goals, so we’ve built a scholarship database for college-bound students and we’re working on courses and interactive tools. We care about the community too and try to get involved with non-profits like My Next Big Adventure to help kids succeed and support the kids and families in our community.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The tutors who are a part of our team deserve a lot of credit because they care just as much as I do about our students’ success and put in a lot of effort to make sure that students get on track to achieving their goals. My family and friends have also been supportive. And of course, our clients. All of these people help me work through the many ideas I have, give me valuable feedback and help us create products and services that not only benefit them but many others as well.

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