Science & Tech

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Learning For Charity logo. Image: Meghan Jefferies/ Provided
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With midterms rapidly approaching, it’s not too late to reach out for some additional academic help. Luckily for University of Ottawa students, we have support from organizations like Learning for Charity (LFC).  

The Fulcrum reached out to the LFC executive team to learn more about what types of services they provide to students, in addition to what we can expect from them this year. Among them were co-presidents Meghan Jefferies and Emma Vaillancourt, as well as senior advisor Matthew Redmond.

What is LFCs role in the U of O community?

According to Jefferies, the LFC is a non-profit student-run organization that offers affordable, volunteer-based tutoring for U of O students. All the proceeds benefit the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). The club also provides mentoring programs and events to those who are interested in connecting with other students on campus. 

In terms of sessions with tutors, students have the option to choose between a private or group session, where prices drop as you add more to your group. On the LFC website, group sessions are recommended for the following reasons: adding to your study group can benefit everyone’s learning experience, because you are able to bounce ideas off one another, and organizing a session with a group of friends can reduce any anxiety regarding tutoring. 

In addition to tutoring U of O students, the LFC offers tutoring to high school students where they can choose to go over course material, practice problems, guidance on lab reports, and offer general tips for success in the classroom.

Interested students can also join the LFCs free mentoring program, where they will be placed in groups based on their similar interests and year of study. The groups are led by senior mentors with the purpose of providing academic advice in addition to facilitating general discussions and check-ins with students.

To learn more about other events hosted by the LFC you can follow their Instagram account here.

What sets you apart?

When asked what separates the LFC from other tutoring services, Jefferies responded, “Unlike other tutoring organizations, we are a volunteer-based charitable organization. That means that our tutors are not profiting off students in need. Instead, the money goes towards advancing pediatric research that not only supports the local community but has global implications as well.”

Redmond added, “Many of our tutors have provided a short blurb to introduce themselves on our website. This way, unlike other tutoring centres, students can choose a tutor who has similar personal interests to them.”

Before becoming co-president of the LFC, Vaillancourt was a previous student seeking tutoring support. When asked why she chose the LFC, she explained, “Their mission really resonated with me. It felt great to know that accessing the service would also benefit the local children’s hospital in my area. Since LFC tutors are uOttawa students themselves, they have first-hand, recent experience in the courses they teach. My tutor came to sessions well prepared, and could offer helpful insight into expectations specific to uOttawa courses and profs.”

Who are your tutors?

To ensure tutors are well equipped to be working with the LFC, the team mutually confirmed that, “we ask that prospective tutors must have scored an average of 80% or greater in the class they wish to tutor. To ensure that tutors feel supported and are fit to teach, we have pre-recorded (bilingual) training materials. This session allows us to instruct tutors on necessary tools and can be used as a reference throughout the year.”

Recurring mistakes and study advice

In terms of some common mistakes seen by students, Redmond noted, “Being too intimidated to ask questions or admit when they might need help. For these reasons, our club helps to alleviate any intimidation by having tutors who are fellow students.”

Jefferies added, “Believing that they have a full grasp on a concept because they have taken, and read over, notes on it. A great way to ensure that you have fully understood a topic is to either teach it to a peer or explain it out loud to yourself.”

Parting words of wisdom stressed by the entire executive team was to first find what works best for you, and experiment with different techniques, because there is no one-size-fits-all style of studying. It’s important to figure out as soon as possible which type of learner you are, and find strategies that support your learning style and strengths. This can be anything from watching videos, teaching peers, drawing concept maps, and more.

For more information on the LFC, visit their website here


  • Emma Williams was the Fulcrum's science & tech editor for the 2021-22 publishing year. Emma is a passionate third-year environmental science student at the University of Ottawa. As a returning editor she hopes to continue sharing her love for science with the U of O community. When she isn’t studying, she can be found outdoors hiking in Gatineau Park, reading or biking with friends.