distance learning

Tutoring Website Helps the Children of Healthcare Workers Learn From Home

Sophia Dsouza, a freshman at UCLA, wanted to help healthcare workers like Amarillas, so she set up the website Tutoring for Heroes. 

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Helping your kids with their homework is one thing, but now so many parents are feeling like part-time teachers -- something that can be especially challenging for healthcare workers. 

Local college students are stepping in to try and help those frontline workers and their families through a website called Tutoring for Heroes. It links tutors to the children of healthcare workers to help them with school work when their moms or dads can't. 

Michelle Amarillas has been an emergency room nurse for 18 years, and while she’s great at her job, she recognizes she falls short when it comes to teaching. 

“I don’t know how to teach my kid to do math. It’s not -- I can’t do it,” Amarillas, currently employed at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, said. 

Both of her kids are distance-learning at home.

“It’s a balancing act. We switch off,” she says of her partnership with her husband, who is also a healthcare worker. They split time with their children, while staying in hotel rooms.

“It’s just a matter of trying to minimize the risk, minimize the exposure to our family,” Amarillas said. 

So when it comes to helping their kids with school work on top of everything else, things can get hard. 

“It puts a strain on mine and my son’s relationship. I get frustrated with him, he gets frustrated with me,” she said.

Sophia Dsouza, a freshman at UCLA, wanted to help healthcare workers like Amarillas, so she set up the website Tutoring for Heroes. 

“The tutors are organized by elementary, middle school and high school and it’s any subject," Dsouza said.

Nearly 170 tutors, mostly UCLA students, offer their services free of charge through the website. 

Dsouza hopes the website alleviates some of the stress for healthcare workers and helps their kids get through this tough time. 

“Having that one-on-one interaction with someone where you can really focus on your studies and also talk through it with somebody is definitely something that I think we are all missing,” Dsouza said.

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