Eva Cambre Bisso ’91 is the national director of At-Home Tutoring Services, an educational company based in Houston, Texas, that caters to the needs of families. She graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans with degrees in economics and Spanish literature.
Why did you decide to launch At-Home Tutoring Services?
My youngest child was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was in third grade and he needed support. I wasn’t able to arrange consistent, reliable tutoring, although it was recommended by his school and diagnostician; there just wasn’t anything in our area that offered tutoring specifically for students with learning differences, so I decided that I needed to find a way to make those services available to our community. I organized a handful of highly qualified tutors, covering Lower School and Middle School academic tutoring and specializing in reading and dyslexia. In three years we’ve grown to the greater Houston area, Austin, Dallas, New Orleans and Denver. We have hundreds of tutors on the team, we serve students from PreK through graduate school in all academic subjects and often assist adults who want to learn a world language. We tutor children with dyslexia — of course that’s still close to my heart — but we’ve expanded to cover pretty much any educational need with different teams that we have in place. We have teams of academic educators, we have teams for SAT/ACT/ISEE test prep, and we have a team of six credentialed admissions counselors who guide students throughout the college selection and application process.
What makes At-Home Tutoring Services stand out from similar services?
We cater to the family’s needs, and the family doesn’t have to accommodate a tutor’s schedule. We take it from a different perspective and offer the most service-oriented tutoring option out there. We’re a curated service. We ask what the parents envision as far as what’s best for their child — we believe that parents do know best. Together we work with parents, schools and educators, and family doctors, asking that they each share with us their best recommendation, and then we make it happen for the student.
How has your work changed or expanded due to the pandemic?
Since COVID it’s nonstop. Along with many businesses in these times we adjusted from a strictly face to face model and moved to include a virtual option. Last spring we decided to develop our own proprietary classroom. It has been exciting to step into the business of technology and virtual interaction, which is something I didn’t know too much about before March of 2020! We pivoted immediately to virtual during the shut down. We didn’t miss sessions, students received help and we were able to serve the community in a time when meeting in person wasn’t possible.
We now work with companies to offer an educational benefit to employees in the form of tutoring support. When working parents have a tutor available to their children it allows them to be fully productive during the work day and our corporate partners have seen an incredible benefit to company culture as a result.
What are you passionate about at work?
Student success is what drives us. There is no better feeling than to help a child who tells a parent that they aren’t “good” at a subject find success with the right tutor in their corner. It doesn’t matter if they’re itty bitty or in college, but if a student thinks that they’re not capable of achieving a goal and we meet with them, guide them through the process and give them support, the responses are amazing. These incredible emails or texts that we get make us weepy. “I earned an A this semester; I can’t believe I went from a D to an A. I feel confident. I’m interested in a field in math and science now where I was intimidated by the subjects before.” We see how tutors who have a passion for their subject can share that passion with a student and influence how they envision their future. So a child who’s scared of sixth grade math because they’re not performing well isn’t going to be interested in an engineering degree, but if we can get them the foundation that they need in a way that builds them up, then they just shine, and it’s amazing. It’s the best feeling in the world.
What was your experience like at Tower Hill?
I was a very average student at Tower Hill. I struggled. I had to work really hard. It wasn’t easy for me to perform at the level that was demanded of us, and I’m sure it hasn’t changed. It was hard for me at the time. I think when I realized that I was fortunate to have had that experience in high school was when I got to college. College was a breeze. I knew how to write a paper. I knew how to be organized. I knew how to study. I knew how to take notes. I knew how to manage my time. I could actually participate in activities outside of the classroom, whereas many of my peers would struggle just trying to keep up with the workload.
How do you feel that Tower Hill influenced your life and career?
Tower Hill set me up for success in every way. Many Things Done Well. We’re not one trick ponies, right? Hillers really learn to do things, to participate, to be part of the community, to appreciate the arts, to have some form of athletics or physical fitness be a part of your life. I hope that’s all still the same today. I wasn’t permitted to opt out of any of those experiences, and it set me up for an appreciation of having a fuller life. I have a great family life, I am able to spend lots of time with my children, spend time contributing to school and the community, compete as an equestrian and have a successful career ... in many ways that’s because of my experience at Tower Hill.