“I was born and raised in Eugene,” says Jasmine Darmadi, now a senior at South Eugene High School. “My mom immigrated from China and my dad from Indonesia. They met at the University of Oregon, where she studied business and he studied computer science.” During three years of grade school at McCornack Elementary in west Eugene, where she was often the only person of color in the room, Darmadi felt the weight of microaggression, much of it unintended. “Then we moved to south Eugene when my dad got a job at the UO,” she continues. “I noticed a cultural difference that includes academics and being treated differently.” She completed grade school at Camas Ridge Elementary, then middle school at Roosevelt. “During the pandemic, it’s been tough for many students,” she reports, “to have motivation for homework after online classes from 8:30 am to 1 or 2 pm. You had to stay tuned in the whole time except for a 10-minute break here and there. I fell behind, but luckily I had my sister Megan, who is four years older, to help me out.” She also started reading online news reports about how online schooling had negatively affected BIPOC and low-income students. “Now more than ever, these students need help,” she emphasizes, “and they don’t all have someone like my sister. It’s easier to understand something when you’re being helped by someone of a similar age group. That’s what inspired me to start Hygge Tutoring.” Hygge, pronounced hue-gah, is a Danish term that denotes a feeling of well-being. “The first thing I did was to contact the 4J school district’s equity and inclusion team,” she explains. “A member of the team, Alma Reyes Guillen, advertised on elementary and middle school websites to find students who could use free tutoring services.” Darmadi herself was the very first tutor. The second was a girl from Los Angeles who started a Hygge Tutoring branch in that city, and the HT community has grown from there. “Last year, we had about 10 tutors in Eugene,” she notes, “and 75 tutors in eight states around the country. For a while I was a tutor, but now I am an administrator. I’ve learned a lot about the components that create a successful organization.”
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