Hometown Academy connects current and former students for a community-based tutoring experience


Tutoring has had to adapt to the world of online school, and Hometown Academy, a new online-tutoring company offering local college and high school students who excel academically, is attempting to do that for Pelham students.

“It just feels special that you can give back to your high school,” said Emma Johnston, a Pelhamite who attends Columbia University and tutors in the sciences and math. “You get a more substantial meaningful connection.” 

Hometown Academy is unique in that most of the tutors are current Pelham students or recent graduates, so their tutoring can be catered more specifically to a student, as they know Pelham Memorial High School and might share knowledge of a teacher’s grading style. 

Co-founder and PMHS alum Ben Hurd said, “The one differentiator between this and other tutoring platforms that we’re really trying to get across is the community/hometown aspect. One of the biggest things we saw is that it’s really helpful for a tutor that has had the same teachers and the same programs to know the community well.”

Hurd pointed to the significance of a shared high school experience, saying, “Being able to pass that down and have other people learn from that is really valuable, and I’ve had sessions where we took a break for 20 minutes to talk about a student’s life goals.” 

Hometown Academy’s ability to create a student’s tutoring program that is catered to specific classes provides benefits for both the tutor and the tutees.