2020 was, by almost all accounts, a difficult year – but despite everything, we at Robin’s Nest have a lot to be thankful for.
Amidst all of the bleakness, 2020 was a year full of growth and development for Robin’s Nest, in only our second full year as an organization. And as 2020 comes to an end, we think it’s worth reflecting on how far we’ve come.
In early 2019 we were a fledgling organization, consisting of a few Lubbock High students who simply wanted to make a difference. We collectively understood the importance of education to students’ development, regardless of their means, and so at Godeke Library every Saturday from 1-5PM, we offered our free tutoring services to anyone who was interested. But we had greater ideas beyond the horizon; we had plans to develop our Saturday routine (at first called “tutoring at the library”) into an impactful and formal organization. Thus Robin’s Nest Tutoring as it is today was born.
We designed and printed flyers, distributing them across schools and libraries in Lubbock. We set up a bank account and gathered enough funds to build and publish our first website. We expanded to a second location at TJ Patterson Library and we spoke to Lubbock High’s AP and IB coordinator Erin Castle to recruit tutors as we found ourselves with more students than ever before.
Our plans for 2020 were ambitious and many: continue to expand to more libraries in Lubbock, partner with specific LISD schools to create after-school programs, work with hospitals in Lubbock to help children in long-term care, and as some of our tutors head to university, maybe even start new chapters in new cities. Unfortunately, those plans were forcibly delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We could no longer safely tutor at our familiar locations or expand to new locations, so we made the switch to online tutoring. With our focus now on maintaining and growing the organization, we decided to rebuild our structure from the inside.
We created teams to subdivide the work we had to do. The Website Team tore down our first website and created the website that you’re now visiting to read this article. The Article Writing Team grew and began to write and publish relevant articles on the new website for parents and students alike to learn from. The Fundraising Team formed to raise and manage money to fund our current and future initiatives.The Social Media team employed our social media accounts to expand out to a greater audience and notify followers of all of our upcoming events. The 501(c)(3) Task Force began the lengthy but foundational task of registering Robin’s Nest as a legal non-profit organization. The Outreach Team began reaching out to schools and organizations across Lubbock to establish lasting partnerships. And finally, seeing a need to further formalize and prepare for the year ahead, the Central Planning Task Force began creating curricula for our tutors, interviewing Lubbock educators for guidance, and planning for our development as an organization.
In 2020, we partnered with Lubbock STEM Club, an organization run by Lubbock High School students, offering free classes for academic competition preparation. We have partnered with the Lubbock Public Health Initiative, a Texas Tech organization that works with the Lubbock community to educate and address local health crises. With the help of members of the LPHI, we created the Robin’s Nest College Branch and held webinars to educate LISD students about the process and challenges of applying to college, and continued to offer private SAT/ACT tutoring and essay review services.
With our monumental growth over the past year in mind, we’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who helped Robin’s Nest reach where we are now. Thank you to Theresa Wilson for being one of our first supporters and directing our first students to us. Thank you to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal for writing an article about our nascent organization. Thank you to Brenda Lepenski for giving us the chance to appear on KLBK news. Thank you to Volunteer Center of Lubbock for giving us exposure on your website and for presenting us with one of your Get Involved Awards. Thank you to parents of Robin’s Nest students for trusting our organization. And finally, thank you to all of our tutors for your willingness to not only tutor, but also be active in our many teams and task forces.
We have great plans for Robin’s Nest’s partnerships, website, and expansion in the year ahead of us – so stay tuned! To all of our students and to all the parents of those students, we hope that our services have exceeded all your expectations. And to all of our tutors, we hope that you have enjoyed not only tutoring, but also being a part of our family. Here’s to a brighter 2021 for all of us!
The Robin’s Nest Team