Saturday, June 1, 2013

There is a little 'Captain' in All of us

I was broke. No, scratch that. I was very broke. My life was a life of melancholy, misery and unhappiness. I was drained in complicated problems that I never saw myself getting out of. There needed to be a way out but I didn’t know how.  I didn’t know what to do. I looked around me and it seemed like nothing was working. During these turbulent times, I had worked at several menial jobs that needed to keep me afloat; however, it seemed like the resources I had only alleviated a little percentage of my major problems.

In the midst of these problems, I would log on to Facebook and find my friends and colleagues updating statuses of major successes with a million likes to celebrate these accomplishments. In addition, friends would post pictures of recent travels overseas and other major celebrations but I had none to show.  Things needed to change, and all I needed was to discover the little ‘captain’ in me. I was patient. I understood that the difference between becoming what I dreamed of being and my current position depended on the steps I took. So I went soul searching to determine what I could do. In preceding years, my love for math and science had increased (thanks to my father who never relented to instill the fundamentals of math and science) and I enjoyed teaching these subjects to friends and family members. I knew I was patient with people, especially during tutoring sessions but I didn’t know how I could integrate these observed qualities to mold my life the way I wanted. Before I go any further, I must say I had worked as a student tutor at my undergraduate institution and I absolutely loved it. In addition, I volunteered in different tutorial programs including some minor pro bono operations. I think I might have worked as an indentured servant during one of those times, but hey, I was learning.

On one sunny day during the spring season in Houston, Texas, I was driving back from classes with a friend of mine when a discussion came up. We had been driving on highway 59S, one of the busiest highways in Texas, enjoying the view of the tall buildings, nice cars and huge F-150 trucks when my friend said, “Toye, what are you doing this summer?” I told him about my love for tutoring but expressed my fear of launching.  By the time we arrived at Richmond and beltway 8, our discussion had convinced me to take a step of faith. That night, Lazio Tutoring was officially launched….in my mind. All I needed to do was to actualize these thoughts.

Yes, capital was very low, ($20) but that did not stop me from going forward with my plans. Within a short period of time, I met with my partner and we planned, and planned. I must say the President of ETN.CONNECT (my business mentor) brought out the entrepreneur in me that I never knew existed.
Our first client was a potential MBA candidate who had failed the GMAT twice. Out of desperation, she asked us to tutor her in the quantitative section of the GMAT. Our shared commitment to academic excellence led to weekly meetings for two months. During this time, a weekly progress report was filled out and marked improvement was demonstrated. Today, she is a proud MBA graduate.  Her strong belief in Lazio Tutoring’s teaching methods honed our teaching skills and fostered my love for learning.
The rest is history. Profits made from Lazio Tutoring paid a significant portion of my undergraduate tuition. We have tutored students of all demographics all across the country.  As the President and lead tutor of Lazio Tutoring, we are humbled to have tutored several demographics including blacks, whites, Asians, kindergarten students and adult education students. We have prepared students for the MCAT, GMAT, GRE, SAT, NET, ACT, GED and counting.  Some of our students matriculated to top schools like Duke, Case Western, Ohio State, University of Cincinnati, University of Missouri and many more. A couple of our students have also received the award for “The Most Outstanding Student” in their respective high school graduating classes. Others are published researchers at Cleveland Clinic and have received awards as “Most promising Urological researcher in the world” without completing an undergraduate education. Our tutors have won national awards and have participated in the grading of national scholarship essays for companies. Overall, we are grateful, humbled and resilient.
So, whenever you think you are a little confused about life, just remember there is a little ‘captain’ in you. This little captain is ready to do great things in the world, the only thing holding it back is you. So, get up! And use the little ‘captain’ in you to go out there and change the world!
P.S. Filled with hope and optimism….All is well

With love and respect,