Today we’d like to introduce you to Chrissybil Boulin.
Hi Chrissybil, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I am passionate about education and youth empowerment. My mission is to support development in communities by helping children actualize their dreams through learning. Still, in my twenties, I have dedicated most of my life to supporting children in my community and internationally through education. This includes founding Merkabah International Foundation to support pre-existing schools in Haiti, serving as a United Nations Global Youth Ambassador for education, raising awareness about girl’s education issues and economic development as an Intel for Change Education Ambassador for India and starting Jump Start Tutors.
As a Haitian American woman, I live in different worlds. My perspective has ensured that I experience myself across various social, economic and cultural spheres. I was conceived in Haiti but was born in the U.S., one of the most technologically advanced countries on the planet! This juxtaposition has allowed me to formulate a unique perspective on life, as I have come to see the beauty and potential, both latent and obvious within these realities.
At a young age, I struggled to understand the poverty that children in Haiti experienced. At six, I told my father I would come back to Haiti to help children. My need to understand how to be a part of the solution inspired me to work very hard in school and led to my decision to study politics, economics, and development.
After graduating with my master’s degree from the University of Cambridge, I asked my career-defining question: “What is the key factor to help a community grow economically?” The answer: education.
At 21, my dream came true as I started my non-profit organization, Merkabah International Foundation. We have collected thousands of supplies for Haitian schools and have held free summer camps to empower children to reach their full potential. My love for the children of Haiti has been my lifelong inspiration to give back. I will continue to use my platform to support children with the gift of education and I look forward to impacting many, many more lives in the future.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I grew up in New York with a single mother. As a little girl, I would visit my father in Haiti each summer. My days were filled with coconut water, beautiful sunsets on the beach and vibrant landscapes for horseback riding. As I got older, I started to notice that my paradise version of Haiti was not the full picture. I slowly realized that my friends in Haiti were not afforded the same opportunities as me and my classmates in the States.
One night, after spending the day at the park with my dad, I noticed children barely five years old chasing after my father’s car. They frantically ran after the old Toyota in the hope of earning some spare change. I started to cry, feeling the anxiety in their voices. I frantically asked my dad why they were not out with their families. My dad explained to me that these children were so poor, they could not afford to have a childhood. For every question my dad answered, it seemed I had a million more to ask. There was no explanation he could give me that seemed acceptable. I just could not understand why these kids could not simply be kids. I vowed I would one day return to implement positive change; this is a promise that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
As a Haitian American woman, I live on fridges of poverty and innovation, compassion and capital, technology and warfare. This exciting vantage point has given me the most beautiful gift; my insatiable passion for discovering and inventing initiatives that merge these colliding worlds. Now that I am the founder of JumpStart Tutoring Center and Merkabah International Foundation, these lessons are invaluable in my personal and professional life.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Jump Start Tutoring Center is an award-winning educational company that makes learning easy. We support students in grades Pre K through 12 with one-on-one and group tutoring services customized to fit each child’s individual needs and learning styles. Our mission is to provide students with a customized learning experience that empowers them with the technical and critical thinking skills they need to reach their fullest potential. Jump Start Tutors work with hundreds of students each year, logging in thousands of hours of learning. Before the pandemic, we took pride in providing one-on-one, in-person learning. Recognizing the shifting needs of our clients, we have pivoted our business model to include in-person and online learning services.
Our flagship Jump Start SAT Program is customized to target academic strengths and weaknesses. This design prioritizes a tailored approach to learning and helps students master pattern-based thinking strategies. In under three years, we have helped our students increase their scores by over 180 points on average, saving local families hundreds of thousands of dollars on college tuition costs. As the cost of college has increased over 20% in the last ten years, the average graduate owes $32,700 before starting their first job. Although SAT prep is key to college entrance and scholarship funding, the average cost for private tutoring is between $45- $100 per hour, making test prep inaccessible to those who need it the most.
To make test prep more accessible, affordable and effective, we are expanding our services to include education technology software products- that do not require the assistance of a private tutor. We are currently conducting research and development to launch our redesigned SAT Program to incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies. Pivoting into ed-tech allows us to create an innovative software product that is programmed to adapt to the individual learning needs of each student, leading to higher score increases with shorter prep time. Our goal is to increase opportunities for college entrance and scholarship funding, allowing those who cannot afford the high costs of private tutoring to benefit from an adaptive learning experience. With future funding, we will expand our virtual platform to include more AI/ML ‘ self-learning’ courses focused on test prep, vocational development and emotional wellness. This will allow us to bring a holistic learning model to education.
Jump Start is beyond proud of the local partnerships that allow us to provide direct tutoring and test prep services to the children who need it the most. In under three years, we’ve built and extensive network of partnerships through the Broward County Public School Systems, the 6th largest school district in the nation, Broward County Public Library, the Urban League of Broward County and the Children’s Services Council of Broward County. These partnerships allow us to provide low to no cost services to disadvantaged youth. We have also supported thousands of children through our free SAT workshops for families, SAT/ACT boot camps for kids, science projects and financial literacy courses.
Specializing in assessment testing, educational consulting and career development, we don’t just help students study for a test. We nurture our students with holistic learning practices to give our kids the tools they need to achieve their dreams. We have received over $40,000 in grant funding and support from local, national, and international organizations, including Facebook, Visa, IFundwomen, Mielle, United Way of Broward County, Fiserv, The Haitian American Chambers of Commerce of Florida and the Spanx Red Backpack Fund.
What does success mean to you?
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart as it is filled with constant challenges, endless learning curves and accepting uncertainty as a part of daily life. Yet, there is nothing I would rather do. Success to me is waking up each day doing what you love and creating a positive impact in the lives of others! I have found my calling through entrepreneurship and I love the discipline and creativity that it has brought to my life.
Starting Jump Start and having the incredible opportunity to support our students is an accomplishment that I am the proudest and grateful for! In under three years, we’ve worked with hundreds of students, saving families thousands of dollars on college admissions through our SAT test prep program. Most importantly, we are proud to help children of all ages gain confidence, think critically and believe in themselves!
- In Home Tutoring ($60 – $70/hr)
- Online Tutoring ($50 – $60/hr)
- Homeschooling ($40 – $50/hr)
- Education Consulting ($65 – $75/hr)
- Group Tutoring ($30 – $35/per person)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.jumpstarttutors.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jumpstarttutors/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartTutoringCenter
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/TutorsJumpStart
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJYuBO-BHKa2YUz1FGmohMQ/featured
Dmitry Zhitov – Photographer for portraits Moise Pierre – Haitian photographer