Guest blogger: John Stamm
My Why is a series of Lean Lab stakeholders who we feature as guest bloggers. They describe their "why," or inspiration, for becoming involved in social change and reform. We hope you find similar inspiration in their stories
I’m a huge John Green fan. The YouTube star (Vlog Brothers, Crash Course) and author of “A Fault in Our Stars” has a huge amount of influence over the minds of young adults, and he (along with his brother, Hank) is wielding this power honorably.
The brothers have been so popular, in fact, that John’s brother Hank Green was chosen to interview Barack Obama after the 2015 State of the Union.
While following the Vlog Brothers, I came across an interview that John did with Bill Gates. During the exchange, Bill Gates stated:
“Capitalism is a weird system. I mean, it’s a fantastic system - it provides an incentive for people to work - but it means that somebody who, by having certain skills and creating a company at the right time, can end up with a mind blowing amount of resources.”
This struck a chord with me. By having the right skills and the right timing, the system we are in can bestow a “mind blowing amount of resources.”
One of the most valuable skills to have right now is test taking. Outside of this precise time in history, this skill would be meaningless. But right now, being able to fill in the correct bubbles quickly is incredibly valuable.
Yet, test taking skills do not reflect intelligence. Test taking skills do not indicate grit. Test taking skills would have very little to do with a person’s success in life, if standardized tests were not the gatekeeper to higher education.
The fact that it is the right skill to have, right now, is why I started Tutorious. I happen to possess the random, generally meaningless talent of test taking, and it is my goal to teach it to as many students as possible.
I despise the fact that this random skill has so much influence on a student’s life, and from that stems my daily motivation. Had I been born in a time where the ability to sing acapella were the gatekeeper to success, I suspect I would teach people that too.
- John Stamm (@JohnStamm) is the founder of Tutorious, a nonprofit ACT prep service in Kansas City. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More info: Tutorious.org