A Miracle For and By Irvine Youths


Nate Taylor

The Miracle for Youth tutoring service aims to provide one-on-one digital meetings with student volunteers and staff. Elementary students in need of tutoring as well as interested volunteers can apply via the website.

To combat the loss of in-person education, students across Irvine launched Miracle for Youth, an online tutoring service and educational non-profit. The co-founders and executive board of the organization consist of Portola High sophomores Shaun Baek, Parsa Salahshori and junior Rohun Durvasula, Northwood High sophomores Helena Zhou, Yun Seo Lee, Erica Yee and Justin Kim and Orange County School of the Arts sophomore Nara Park. 

“We didn’t want to just sit around doing nothing playing games,” executive director Kim said. “We wanted to do something to impact our community. We want to step out, try to find ways to innovate our business and make it widely available to the public.”

We wanted to do something to impact our community. We want to step out, try to find ways to innovate our business and make it widely available to the public.”

— Justin Kim

The advisory board is made up of a mix of college students and graduates headed by Dr. Sharon Chappell. This team plans to help develop the math, science and language arts curriculum offered though the tutoring service. 

Since Miracle for Youth’s launch in March, the executive board has received over 200 volunteer applications and requests for one-on-one student tutoring from around the country. 

“Students have applied coming from around the country, so it’s not just in California. We’re kind of growing nationally. I have stage presence from Texas to Washington State, North Carolina, Nevada, New Jersey,” Kim said. “We find in these communities there is that need for educational promotion, and there has to be a stronger educational foundation for the students, and that’s something that we want to give out to them.”

“We don’t want to see people who just want to do it just because their parents are telling them to or just because they want to volunteer,” associate director Baek said. “We just want people that are really passionate about the things we are doing.” 

The organization was recently sponsored by the video communication platform Zoom, which gave volunteers access to a shared subscription plan. As the program expands and quarantine is lifted, the group plans to host social events such as carnivals and education fundraisers.

“We have a lot of things planned for the future as well that are not just things you can find from other non-profits or other clubs or meetings,” marketing director Park said. “We’re always trying to keep up with the trends and keep up with all of our unique ideas and creativity.” 

Interested volunteers must complete a vetting process to maintain the quality and safety of students involved. Students can apply on the website by filling out a Google form. The board then reaches out via email to schedule a digital meeting time to interview the candidate. Volunteers must be over the age of 14, have strong academic grades and work well with children.