2021 was an exciting year for UpSkill. After launching UpSkill in Fall of 2020, we had a lot of work to do to make this organization what we envisioned. We met success and setbacks, which I think we can all relate to living through a pandemic. We originally started UpSkill to provide free online access to academic support in the midst of schools transitioning to online learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the course of 2021, we worked towards this goal as well as many others as we adjusted to the academic needs in the face of ever-changing circumstances.
In the Spring of 2021 we successfully established a group of students at Syracuse University to help us accomplish our goals. Members organized fundraisers, worked on establishing our online presence, and our executive board worked together to navigate how to run and develop an organization. We recruited a team of tutors who tutored students over zoom, helping them navigate online education. UpSkill was featured in The Daily Orange, a SU student run newspaper.
We were so proud of what we accomplished in the Spring, but we knew that there was more work to do. Over the Summer of 2021, Julianna Mercado, our previous Vice President, took over as President. Kate Loveland became the new Vice president. Hunter Mirer, our original president, is still highly involved. He works with Ofek Shmool to expand UpSkill to other Universities and Colleges, including Boston University and Dartmouth. Over the Summer, we realized that UpSkill could offer more than just online tutoring services. Thus, we created committees to focus on different projects of interest. Our projects address educating the SU community and our members about educational inequities, philanthropic donations, and providing support for prospective first-generation college students.
In the Fall of 2021, we focused on further establishing our organization at SU and in the Syracuse community as well as implementing our new projects and goals that we developed over Summer. We were accepted as a registered student organization at Syracuse. Through this, our board members attended various workshops to educate ourselves on different topics and skills of running an organization. Additionally, we established a partnership with North Side Learning Center. NSLC is a community center in North Syracuse that aids in youth and adult education primarily for the refugee community in Syracuse. Members and tutors from UpSkill volunteered at NSLC to offer support the students at the center. This was such a great experience for everyone involved and we are excited to continue to be involved at NSLC.
2021 was an amazing year of growth for UpSkill, and we are looking forward to another year of sharing our services and resources with the Syracuse community!
Read our article in Daily Orange here: