Founder and President
Rachel is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is double majoring in Education Policy Studies and Gender and Women Studies with certificates in Public Policy and Disability Rights and Services. She participates in the co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega as well as the fraternity Zeta Tau Alpha, where she serves as a member of their national DEI committee. Rachel has interned for a local middle school and works as a childcare provider and tutor in her community. She is a graduate of Wheeling High school where she served as the Treasurer and Vice-President of the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society. She is passionate about mental health and DEI policies in schools and strives to provide an equitable education to all students.
Co-founder and Vice President
Stephanie is an Illinois State University sophomore majoring in History Social-Science Teacher Education. She is a graduate of Wheeling High School, where she graduated with highest honors and received the Life Studies award. She is currently in Kappa Delta Epsilon, an honor fraternity for education majors. In addition, Stephanie is a part of Students Supporting Individuals with Disabilities and the Deaf Redbirds Association, which are organizations rooted in volunteering with children and broadening knowledge of special education and ASL. She has years of tutoring experience with all ages, specifically in English and history subjects. Stephanie aims to provide as many students as possible with support and resources so that they may grow as both students and individuals. She spent this past summer on personal leave from BST, where she nannied for a student she used to tutor through BST, and studied teaching in Brighton, England. Her goal is to support those around her mentally and educationally so that no one ever feels alone. Stephanie has realized it is not a specific grade she loves but the act of teaching that she cherishes.
Sophianne is a freshman at Rice University. She plans to combine her love for math, biology, and physics as a bioengineering major. Her many other interests include cross-country and track, playing the violin and piano, and, of course, tutoring. In her free time, you can find her hiking, journaling, and reading. Sophianne has had prior experience volunteering as a tutor for John Hersey High School and as a TA for her local Chinese school. She strives to help students believe in their ability to achieve academically and extracurricularly, as well as help provide a step-by-step action plan to do so. Sophianne is passionate about using this philosophy to create opportunities to succeed for students around the world through Best Step Tutoring.
Victoria “Benny” Benavides is a first-generation student who attends the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on a full ride and will graduate in 2024. She is majoring in social work and plans to attend graduate school for a master’s in social work. She plays D1 club ultimate frisbee at UIUC and also serves as the secretary. During the school year, she works as a barista at a university cafe and as a gardener in the summer. Benny enjoys painting, sculpting, sitting in her hammock, and hiking. Benny attended Wheeling high school and graduated from there with honors in 2021. She values social justice and advocating for those from underrepresented groups, which is why she is passionate about the mission of Best Step Tutoring. She believes every student deserves a quality education and that Best Step Tutoring can help achieve that.
IT Director, Program Director of TEP
Adithya is a junior who believes in the power of education. He began his journey in education as a tutor and is now planning to pursue medical school. Adithya is a nationally ranked debater and an avid STEM student. In his free time, Adithya works out and practices baseball which he currently plays with his high school. Adithya has also designed numerous websites including a nationally acknowledged debate website that sets the standards for statistics and rankings. Adithya hopes to help students connect with their tutors as easily as possible through a redesigned and updated web interface.
IT Director, Program Director of TEP
Selina is a senior at William Fremd High School and is a member of the National Honors Society, badminton team, and Public Forum Debate Team. In sophomore year, she went to the state semifinals with her debate partner. She also placed 4th at IHSA State in her junior year. Outside of school, Selina plays piano and volunteers for a non-profit organization in order to teach piano to younger students over Zoom. She has played piano for 12 years and passed the Level 12 AIM Exam in freshman year. In her free time, Selina has a passion for photography, digital art, fitness, and baking. She is passionate about working with BST to ensure that all students have access to quality education and can excel.
Sam is attending the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, where she is a James scholar. She is a political science major with a minor in Spanish. Sam is involved in the ultimate frisbee club, pre-law club, and Latino Student Association at her college. She’s been volunteering in tutoring opportunities for over five years from tutoring at school, the public library, and online. She also volunteers a the CU home in Champaign. Sam has worked at babysitting and dog sitting. In her free time, she enjoys reading science fiction and playing water polo. Sam wants to become a lawyer and help advocate for immigrants and those who have language barriers in the United States.
Emily is a junior at Quakertown Community High School. She is President of her school’s STEM Club and enjoys competing in STEM competitions. In her free time, she loves to read all kinds of books and play lacrosse. She also volunteers at her local hospital and is part of her school’s Mandarin Club. She plans to pursue a career in the medical field, as she especially enjoys studying neuroscience. Emily is passionate about working with BST. She believes that every person should have access to zero-expense tutoring and quality education.
Makayla Cheng is a rising Junior from Southern California. She hopes to pursue a future career in the STEM pathway, specifically engineering. Makayla enjoys doing anything art-related, whether it be graphic design, journaling, painting, or even jewelry making. She loves to meet new people in her free time, and she is also an avid reader who has read over 250 books during quarantine! Makayla has worked as a tutor for a long time, and she truly enjoys helping young kids continue to grow and develop. She believes strongly in helping future generations flourish.
Social Media Manager
Ziyan is a rising junior at Amador Valley High School in Bay Area, California. Ziyan believes in using her voice to create positive change, which is why she participates in many public speaking organizations such as Model UN, speech, and debate. She currently works at a hospital and a medicinal research facility as a part-time intern to gain experience and is interested in joining the medical field in the future, as she has a passion for saving lives and helping her community. In her free time, she loves to spend time with friends, read a book, or spend time on Tiktok. As a social media manager, she hopes to use social media to connect with other students and to bring new tutors and students to Best Step Tutoring.
Social Media Manager
Emma is a sophomore at the University of Michigan studying economics. She is a prospective School of Information student interested in UX Research and Design. She is a member of Alpha Delta Pi and is involved with the Ronald McDonald Charity House in Ann Arbor. Emma is a graduate from Wheeling High School where she was Editor-in-Chief of yearbook, setter of the girls’ varsity volleyball team, Literacy Lab tutor, and member of the National Honor Society. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends, running, reading, trying new restaurants, and creating Tik Tok vlogs. As social media manager at BST, she strives to use her creative skills to promote the tutoring program for equitable education.
The Edvantage Project Administrative Assistant
Zoe is a junior at Brentwood High School. Planning to become an author, she is the editor-in-chief of The Bruin Print and writes for the literary magazine The Walking Shadow. She is also an active participant in over nine clubs, leads a small group, and serves as a student athletic trainer. Outside of school, she works two jobs and is part of UNITE Nashville, an organization that works to unite diverse communities within Nashville. She is passionate about volunteering in impoverished areas, believing that education and compassion can make a difference.