After working in public schools for 20 years, Amy Gortsema knew that students needed a different approach to tutoring in order to truly boost student progress. Gortsema, who had started her career as an elementary school teacher and worked her way up to principal, started Achieve Tutoring Center to provide kids and teenagers with goal-oriented tutoring sessions in which tutors evaluated the progress made in each session.
At Achieve Tutoring Center, tutors provide students with one-on-one sessions in comfortable, private rooms to work without the distraction of iPads or computers (unless needed for a specific class). Tutors use a curriculum designed by content-area experts and educators.
Gortsema was able to rent a beautiful tutoring center and learn how to market her business. In January, Achieve expanded to provide TOEFL prep for exchange students. The center even provides a course on beating test anxiety and has a therapy dog and trainer on staff.
“Starting your own business is very complex and the support that SCORE provides helps new business owners to navigate through all the challenges and decisions,” says Gortsema. Through phone calls, emails, and face-to-face meetings, mentor Ken Baker helped her avoid financial pitfalls in developing a business plan and leasing a rental property. He even went with her to look at some potential rental properties.