Morgan receives President’s Gold Volunteer Service Award for creating tutoring academy

Published 12:10 am Thursday, August 12, 2021

By Betsy Ramsbotham
For the Clemmons Courier

Olympians won gold at the recent Tokyo Games.

In May, Ella-Brooke Morgan of Clemmons won gold, not in Tokyo, but in Forsyth County, for completing well over 250 hours of volunteer service to her community.

She was awarded the President’s Gold Volunteer Service Award for creating, organizing and running ViP, a virtual and in-person tutoring service for Winston-Salem and Forsyth County students.      

At age 15, she founded ViP when Morgan Elementary School, where she was an after-school tutor, began requiring tutors to be at least 18 because of COVID-19 safety concerns.

Recognizing that many students who were already struggling academically might fall even further behind, Morgan organized her own tutoring service free of age restrictions.

What started with a core group of seven student volunteers as an instruction aid for younger children quickly grew into a resource of  over 100 tutors who aided 120 K-12 students online and in person last year.

ViP’s tutors come from Winston-Salem and Forsyth County schools as well as Forsyth Country Day School and Calvary Day School. The application process is comprehensive, and those accepted must undergo thorough training provided by ViP and WFU.

Teachers and community groups including Big Brothers Big Sisters and Crosby Scholars often refer students for ViP’s tutoring services. 

ViP assists in all core subjects and some foreign language electives including both daily/weekly homework assignments and skill enrichment in a particular area.

Another recognition Morgan recently received for her work was The Governor’s Volunteer Service Award which honors the true spirit of volunteerism by recognizing individuals, groups and businesses that make a significant contribution to their community through volunteer service. 

Morgan was nominated for the award by Theresa Bryant, Key Club adviser at West Forsyth High School where she is a rising junior.

“Mrs. Bryant is an amazing supporter. She was also my journalism teacher my freshman year and has intensified my desire to become a journalist,” said Morgan.

To grow in her journalism and creative writing passions, she has participated in various programs offered through The School of The New York Times, UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University. Those programs have also enriched her knowledge of global, national, state,and community disparities. 

It would seem like someone who runs a large non-profit organization would have little time for anything else, but Morgan takes a rigorous course load of honors and AP classes at West Forsyth. She is also vice-president of Student Government, president of the Speech and Debate Club and secretary of Key Club.

This summer she has spent time with friends, and she has continued her passion for tutoring students to get them academically up to speed.

Ella-Brooke is now accommodating approximately 30 students over the summer in both in person and online sessions,” said Mike Morgan, her father. “She has an amazing heart and character,” he said.

Morgan gets asked if she is interested in expanding her program outside the county.

“I have chosen not to grow ViP because my team is like a family, and I love the close bonds we have,” she said.

“In June, I had the honor to present our tutor of the year award to Lenore Williams, a Crosby Scholar and rising senior at Parkland High School. It is amazing and heartwarming to be able to help my high-achieving peers have the leadership opportunities they have with ViP,” she said.

Students who would like to apply for academic help through in person or online tutoring can get more information at https://www.viptutoring.org/freetutor. Those who are interested in tutoring can access the application at https://www.viptutoring.org/join-our-team.