23 Aug 2014
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Tutoring Group Reaches Out to Younger Peers

High school students tutor and mentor their middle-school cohorts.

Johns Creek High grads Sudarshan Muralidhar and Alan Zhang may be headed off to college, but they still want to make sure the student-run 121Reach gets off to a good start this year.

Founded several years ago by  students, the tutoring program has expanded to and .

Muralidhar and Zhang helped start the Johns Creek branch last year, and serve as co-presidents.

They explain that the program pairs more than 100 high-schoolers from Chattahoochee, Northview and Johns Creek with middle-schoolers from , and , respectively.

But it's not just about academics. These tutors, or mentors, guide their students socially through the rough waters of middle school, as well.

"A lot of these students are going into high school soon – they're not sure about their classes, which parties they should go to," Maralidhar said. "We give them someone more near their age to talk to."

The pair recently hosted a 121Reach retreat at Muralidhar's home, bringing together group leaders from the schools to plan and discuss the upcoming year. (See video accompanying this article.)

Added Zhang, "I struggled in middle school, I found an outlet – martial arts [which helped develop leadership skills]. I didn’t know how to distribute priorities – school and friendships. I knew that middle schoolers needed that kind of mentorship."

For more information on 121Reach, visit  121reach.org.

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