Daxton Gutekunst is currently a senior at The Bishop's School. At school, between classes, you can probably find him playing either ping pong or Super Smash Bros. Outside of school he likes to 3D-print, SCUBA dive, play chess (not well), and program. He had to write this entire website and he does not like speaking in 3rd person.
Message from the Founder
The education gap is well-documented among refugee, immigrant, and ESL children, and after seeing it first-hand and knowing I could make a difference to this outcome, compelled me to do something about it. Existing tutoring models were limited to adults, while student tutors remained a significant untapped resource. I had an ‘Ah ha’ moment.
I was resolute in building something bigger than myself but didn't know how. I'd spent Fall 2018 articulating my vision. In January 2019, I found a free social entrepreneurship program for kids (Davidson Institute) that, for the next 18 months, helped me refine my project and build a strong foundation. I focused on community partnership, developing relationships, website design, and marketing. Then came technical aspects like incorporation, trademark, securing a domain, and KBK's 501(c)3 filing. A dedicated process and many hours to get KBK's infrastructure in place enabled our first in-person tutoring session - Fall 2019.
Everything went perfectly for six months, then came COVID-19. Knowing help was needed more than ever, I spent the next three months reprogramming KBK's website from an informational platform to an interactive one; reaching Learners and Tutors in a novel way required imagination. I've been coordinating KBK's weekly online one-on-one lessons since June 2020.
The transformation of an idea to a living, breathing organization was a challenge, as was KBK's necessary evolution to a virtual model due to COVID-19. The end result was the creation of a new student-led, distance-learning paradigm. After an innovation or shift, it's always easy to think, 'it's always been that way...kids helping kids.' But, this had not been the case. KBK has been a vanguard in the space as a student-led non-profit of 'kids helping kids' for over three years. I made a change, created a solution and continue to share my ‘lessons learned’ with other youth change-makers for youth-lead education...with the goal of enabling as many kids as possible to help other kids on their educational journeys. I consider KBK’s recent milestone of 10,000+ 1:1 tutoring hours to be a proof of concept; one that can be duplicated and multiplied...
KBK continues to reach milestones, but numbers are just one story. KBK is tackling educational disparity while also supporting cultural integration. KBK's Learners are new members of our community and country...KBK helps these new beginnings. Tutoring helps refugee and immigrant children interact, understand and familiarize themselves with the culture of their new home. KBK Tutors are actually ‘peers’ - kids just a few years older than the Learners themselves; a byproduct is a ground-up approach that helps shift the ecology of mindsets toward a more supportive climate for refugee, immigrant, and ESL communities. KBK lessons and interactions are discussed at Learners and Tutors dinner tables. KBK has created a scalable education platform where more dialogue and meaningful experiences promote mutual respect and understanding within our community. I’m using my experience, voice, vision and 2-year position as a public servant on the City of San Diego Youth Commission to infuse new thinking into facilitating cultural understanding and a new approach to educational equity.
Whether you are a prospective learner/tutor or someone who is interested in starting their own organization, feel free to reach out. I look forward to your message!