WATERLOO -- A youth-led tutoring hub based out of Waterloo is keeping students connected and helping them reach their academic goals.

About a year ago, 16-year-old Paris Cai noticed her younger brother needed help with school, especially with having to learn online, so she and her friends came up with HomeworkHub.

“He was struggling a bit with the hybrid learning model,” said Cai, president and founder of HomeworkHub.

Homeworkhub was also created to help high school students seeking volunteer hours during the pandemic.

“We decided to come together and make something that could help all parties,” said Cai.

HomeworkHub provides free virtual one-on-one tutoring for elementary students, while also providing volunteer hours for tutors.

In the past year, the non-profit organization has grown to more than 650 students, and nearly 400 tutors from around the world.

“A lot of our students are in Canada and the United States, but we also have tutors from Kenya, India, the Philippines, China, and a few others,” added Kai.

Tina Faez serves as HomeworkHubs’s tutor and volunteers director. The 16-year-old said the experience has grown beyond getting volunteer hours.

“It makes me feel really happy and at the same time it makes me feel like I'm actually accomplishing something since I'm helping other people in the community,” noted Faez.

While 11-year-old Ria Dasani from Peel Region said HomeworkHub has helped her get good grades, and has made her feel more connected to others during this pandemic.

“It’s benefitting me. It’s benefitting them. So it works out perfectly,” said Dasani during a virtual interview. “It feels like they are there for you. You can feel comfortable with them.”