State of Texas Grants Emotional Intelligent and Bilingual Tutoring Platform Papaya Authority to Service Students in Need of High Impact Tutoring

(Oct. 17, 2022) — On Oct. 17, 2022 emerging education technology (edtech) startup and emotionally intelligent STEM tutoring service Papaya gained its coveted approval to become a Local Education Agency (LEA) in Texas. This certification now allows the platform to be a publicly known resource and serve as a full/partial service provider for year two of the Vetted Texas Tutor Corps Approved Provider Program for children in need of high impact tutoring.

Papaya founder and CEO Sandra LaPlante relocated from Miami, Florida to Texas this year to hyper-focus on servicing the state because the Texas education system is in dire need of assistance. In the city of Dallas alone, it was reported that local children need over 1 million hours of tutoring in order to recover from the time lost in the classroom during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Papaya provides affordable remote STEM tutoring for students in need. The bilingual platform currently offers services in English and Spanish. In the near future, Papaya will become a multilingual platform and offer services in a variety of languages so no child is left behind.

“I chose to relocate to Texas because I know this is where we can make a huge impact on the lives of immigrant students who are often overlooked and underserved in the education system,” Papaya founder and CEO Sandra LaPlante said.

Earlier this year, the Texas state Legislature passed a law mandating 30 hours of additional tutoring for students who failed statewide testing. This effort aims to help students who struggled to keep up with schooling during the Covid-19 pandemic have a fair chance at catching up. 

“When I first began building Papaya, I could have never expected for a global pandemic to hit, ultimately causing students to lose so much valuable time in the classroom,” Papaya founder and CEO Sandra LaPlante, said. “Papaya is the perfect tech-forward solution to fill this demand in Texas and everywhere else for that matter because our services are conducted remotely and can be pursued by individual students or entire schools.“

Since 2020 students have logged 40,000 minutes on the Papaya platform which has been used in over 20 schools and universities across the U.S. alongside five other countries.  

Papaya connects U.S. students and school systems to emotionally intelligent STEM tutors in Latin America (LATAM). This effort allows U.S. students to gain access to affordable and approachable tutoring services that in return allows LATAM tutors to earn a living-wage that otherwise would be unattainable to them. Tutoring services are available in English and Spanish. Overtime, Papaya plans to expand the number of languages it offers on its platform. 

Papaya’s effort to work with international students bridges the gap between tutoring cost and quality. By accessing the best talent from LATAM, Papaya is able to lower the cost of high-quality tutoring for students in the U.S.

Before joining the platform, potential Papaya tutors go through an Emotional Intelligence (EQ) test that lets the Papaya platform know if the tutor has both a high IQ and EQ. The test quantifies the tutor’s ability to explain complicated subjects in the simplest and friendliest manner. 

“As a Latina Immigrant, nothing was more important to me than bridging the gap between high-quality tutors in Latin America and serving disadvantaged students in the U.S,” Papaya founder and CEO Sandra LaPlante, said.

“Our decision to focus on offering emotionally intelligent and bilingual services was to ensure that disadvantaged students struggling with STEM subjects had a fair chance to learn these topics in a safe space. I know firsthand how hard it is to come to America, be an English-Learner Student and not have the money to afford highly impactful tutoring.  With Papaya, we’re changing that reality for good.”

On October 19th, 2022 Papaya representatives will be participating in the Texas Approved Vendor Tutoring Exposition (TAVTE) with aims to secure partnerships with K-12 schools in need of added support to meet the state’s tutoring mandate.

Papaya is a current partner of the Dallas Independent School District.

“There are over 5 million students in Texas and we hope to touch the lives of every single one,” Papaya founder and CEO Sandra LaPlante said. “In due time, we plan to expand our efforts across multiple states and make Papaya a global tool for anyone in need.”

Interested educators, principals and school representatives who want to explore opportunities with Papaya can email: 

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About Papaya

Founded in 2022 Papaya is a STEM tutoring platform that focuses on delivering emotionally intelligent and bilingual tutoring to disadvantaged students. Its low-cost model and dedication to equity in education has allowed for its services to be used by students who have logged 40,000 minutes  on the platform which has been used in 20 schools in six countries. Papaya is the future of tech-toward tutoring with a model that puts students in need first.