New tutoring app helps high school and college students struggling during pandemic

We have a problem, literally.  How do you take these set of numbers 4, 20  15, 15, 5, 8, 7, 12, 3, 10, 5, 1  as a parameter and stack them in non-decreasing order from top to bottom?


Computer coding is not a language many of us have to master but for teenager Hawa Drammeh, it’s enough to keep her up at night.

"Sometimes I’ll spend like 6 hours on one problem thinking it through," Drammeh said.

Drammeh is a college student majoring in Computer Science. She said overcoming academic obstacles is a lonely and harder process for students during the pandemic.

 "The lack of help, motivation if you miss one thing you feel behind, you don’t know how to catch up," Drammeh said.

The creators of Kadama understand that sentiment well. The new app matches high schoolers and college students with tutors.

The tutors who sign up are most of the time around the same age as the students they are teaching.

Drammeh said that’s a feature she loves about Kadama.

 "I benefit the most when I do learn from someone my age because they are so close and they understand exactly what you’re going through," Drammeh said.

Drammeh started using Kadama at the start of the pandemic when she was a senior in high school.

 She remembers one stressful night reaching out to a tutor at 1 a.m. over a calculus issue.

"There were tutors available and I was surprised it was very helpful," Drammeh said. 

 The mastermind behind Kadama are three Generation Zs-- or Gen Z's--from Western Washington.

"We’ve had 150,000 users and this is all over the world as we’ve been marketing on Tik Tok and Instagram," creator Marwan El-Rukby said.

The other creators are brothers Amin Shaykho and Dani Shaykho, one of whom just turned 19-years-old. 

Personally understanding the struggles students are facing right now helped them create the app's features.

"They want fast, instant gratification. They want to be able to jump on the app and say 'Hey I have an exam tomorrow, please help me save my grade,'" Amin said.

Amin said through the app, tutors are encouraged to do a full background check, although the check is optional. The tutors who go through a background check will get a green verification check and showcased more on the app.

So the big question is how much does an hourly session cost?

"Our average prices is around $20 to $25 so all of our students are saying they feel more comfortable," Dani said.

Some say before Kadama, private one on one lessons were out of their reach.

 "We are talking about big packages where it ends up being a $1000 and I told myself look I would rather fail than lay a $1000 for this," UW student Rami Wallaia said.

Wallaia said the affordability is what he appreciates the most about Kadama making him a frequent user

 As for Drammeh, remember the stacking question she was wrestling with. She says this is the answer 20,15,15, 12 10 5, 1.

Yes, that is still hard to comprehend for many not majoring in Computer Science. But at least Drammeh figured it out with the help of a tutor.

"I saw everything fit into place exactly how I wanted it, it was one of the happiest moment in a while," Drammeh said.