The Soundararajan brothers utilize technology to spread the gift of knowledge

by JACKIE WIBOWO

As a middle schooler, Preetam Soundararajan would tag along whenever his older brother would volunteer. The two would use their skills in academics and music to serve at local community centers. As Preetam interacted with disadvantaged youth, he realized that many of them had hidden potential. “Basically, they were good kids stuck in a bad environment and desperately needed a helping hand to break out of the cycle,” he explained.

With that, Preetam and his brother founded Education Beyond the Classroom (EBTC), a nonprofit organization that provides free online lessons to K-12 students. “Our long term goal is to provide a strong educational foundation for children and youth, preparing them to be valuable, contributing members of society,” said Preetam, who is now an incoming senior at Francis Parker School.

EBTC_presentationSince EBTC uses online technology such as Skype and iDroo, lessons can be conducted almost anywhere. Most tutors are high school students who are adept in certain subjects and want to give back to the community. Preetam believes the organization benefits all participants, as those who are being tutored have access to help outside of school and volunteers can see that they are making an impact.

Beyond just providing tutoring services, EBTC also works to provide computers, laptops, microphones, webcams and other technologies to students who may not have access to or the funding. EBTC has no administrative fees for running the organization, fundraisers and donations go toward providing internet services in remote locations as well.EBTC_setup

As EBTC continues to impact more students, the organization has also secured a few partnerships with the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE), A Su Futuro (ASF) and REACH. While slightly different, all share a goal of setting up disadvantaged youth for success through education.

Like many accomplished high school students, Preetam maintains a flawless academic record and holds leadership in various school activities. However, what truly sets him apart is his dedication to making an impact, as he continues to open up opportunities for disadvantaged youth. To learn more about EBTC, visit www.educationbeyondtheclassroom.weebly.com.

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Name of Organization: Education Beyond the Classrom (EBTC)
Founders: Preetam and Gautam Soundararajan
Mission: To provide students from kindergarten through 12th grade with free online lessons using state-of-the-art technology.
Website: www.educationbeyondtheclassroom.weebly.com
Address: 11575 Wannacut Place, San Diego, CA  92131
Email: ebtcinc@yahoo.com

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