‘Early Learning Wit Da Wrks’ with Ms. Stephanie

As families near the one-year anniversary of students packing up their backpacks and leaving their in-person classrooms due to COVID-19, Stephanie Whiteman ’17 (Psychology; Black Studies) is continuing to impact young learners’ lives through the successful tutoring business she started last fall.

Whiteman made her entrepreneurial dreams a reality by creating Early Learning Wit Da Wrks, a private tutoring business focused on giving children a head start in literacy acquisition that can benefit their learning for years to come.

“Many students are still stuck in March 2020,” said Whiteman. “We need to work together to get them back on track.”

Through one-on-one tutoring sessions offered to elementary students in The Bronx, Whiteman tailors lessons to individual needs and reinforces what teachers have taught in the virtual classroom.

“We all knew that this school year was going to be really tough on teachers and families,” said Whiteman. “Most importantly, we knew that we needed to focus on helping our young children maintain their foundational skills.”

Whiteman’s business has grown exponentially since she began last September. She has hired three tutors to supplement her work and has received donations from other New Paltz alumni to support free services to children in need.

As Whiteman watches her business grow, she remains focused on her mission: giving back to the people in her hometown.

“Of course, we all want to have generational wealth, to escape poverty, to change our financial family history, I get that,” she said. “But I want to do that in a way that I’m proud of. I wish I could just tutor everyone for free, but I’m finding a middle ground with the support of my community and I am proud to be able to give back.”

Whiteman previously worked as a teaching assistant and now teaches Grade 4 with New York City Department of Education. Learn more about her tutoring business online.

 Stephanie Whiteman ’17 (Psychology; Black Studies) was featured in the College’s Alumni Interview Series on Feb. 2, 2021. If you would like to learn more about how to participate in the series, email alumni@newpaltz.edu.