Franchise Philanthropy January/February 2019

Giving Back: Tutor Doctor

As a franchisee within the education sector, Jon-Anthony Lui understands the challenges fac­ing the future leaders of tomorrow. When he joined Tutor Doctor as the youngest franchisee in the network in 2009, Lui did so with a staunch belief in the growing franchising system’s mission: to change the tra­jectory of students’ lives through empowerment.

With global education sys­tems failing to meet expectations, demand for the supplemental edu­cation industry and private tutoring is growing at an exponential rate. Tutor Doctor serves a niche within the supplemental education indus­try, providing one-to-one in-home and e-tutoring programs designed to change the trajectory of student’s educational journeys.

At his Tutor Doctor franchise loca­tion in North Toronto, Lui is privy to the anxieties students face in their academic lives on a daily basis. It’s the job of Tutor Doctor, its franchi­sees, and dedicated tutors, to help students overcome these barriers.

“We hear it all the time from stu­dents who say ‘I’m not good at math or essay writing’,” Liu explains. “What happens is their choices are limited for the future if they grow up feeling that way. They will shy away from those challenges. We want them to face their fears. With the support of Tutor Doctor and the community, they can have a strong, confident outlook on life.”

At a Student Pep Rally event at a Dave and Busters in Vaughan, Ontario on August 18, Tutor Doctor celebrated the hard work of their stu­dents, families, and tutors, as they entered the new school year. As the students enjoyed the venue’s arcade games and tasty treats, Liu and the rest of the Tutor Doctor team stood confidently behind them knowing they are ready for what’s ahead in the academic year.

“There’s so much pressure that students are facing today. It could be emotional anxiety, it could be bullying, it could be low self-esteem or confidence,” explains Liu “We wanted to rally behind our students and help them to see that we under­stand these things are going on, but there’s lots to look forward to, there’s a bright future ahead of them. We’re all trying to support them so they can make their dreams come true so that the trajectory of their lives can be uplifted.”

With more than 17,000 tutors working in 300 franchise units across the world, Tutor Doctor guides students towards academic success with homework assign­ments and course materials that are used as the basis for one-on-one tutoring. One of the biggest benefits of owning a Tutor Doctor franchise, is its low-cost model. As a tutoring business, Tutor Doctor franchises do not require a physical location, and therefore franchisees don’t have to invest in real estate. Most impor­tantly, however, is the ability of fran­chisees to touch the lives of students and families within their territories.

Donna Tanner, who owns Tutor Doctor franchises in both Bramp­ton and Caledon, Ontario, says she enjoys the system’s flexibility. She can work from home when needed, and has the opportunity to expand and grow with the system at her own pace. What’s more, a franchise system that gives back to the local communities it operates in aligned perfectly with her values and her background in human resources.

Like all Tutor Doctor franchisees, Tanner makes a concerted effort to be an established community partner. She’s passionate about her Brampton franchise’s work with the annual Lucas Holtom Carnival, an initiative to raise money for a local church’s programming. Tutor Doctor is also a presence on sports fields throughout the city, sponsoring a variety of teams.

It all comes to a head at the Stu­dent Pep Rally: a day to celebrate how the franchise has positively changed students’ lives by break­ing down barriers and rebuilding their self-esteem. In keeping with the event’s theme, Juma Innis, the founder and director of The Mes­sage, a movement to empower teens to make positive life choices in a world powered by media, delivered a stirring “pep talk” to get students ready for the challenges ahead.

It’s all about letting students know that Tutor Doctor is behind them every step of the way, Tanner explains.

“Without building confidence, students can’t progress. One of the main focuses of our program is to teach students that they can really do this,” says Tanner. “Once we help them to understand that, and after we engineer some quick wins so that they understand material they didn’t understand before, we find that once we’ve restored self-confidence or rebuilt self-esteem, good marks will follow.”

By Andrew Schopp

Franchise Canada