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 a freshman at Illinois State University where she will be majoring in Secondary History Education. She was highly invested in the teaching program at Wheeling High School, where she interned in local elementary, middle, and high schools. She also has three years of numerous tutoring experiences. Stephanie is employed at Organic Life, Nino’s Pizzaria, and just ended her three-year position at the Little Wildcat Daycare. She aims to provide as many students as possible with support and resources, so they may grow as both students and individuals. 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.
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.
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.
Isabelle is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, double-majoring in Music Composition and Data Science. An active musician, she is a cellist in the University Symphony Orchestra and has been recognized Internationally and Nationally for her compositions. She has also been recognized nationally for her involvement in STEM outreach. In 2019, she received a grant through the National Center for Women & Information Technology and created the first-ever Introductory Artificial Intelligence Workshop for Middle/High School students in Wisconsin. Isabelle is excited to be part of a team that strives to create better access to education and hopes to continue working to impact students’ lives across the world.
Social Media Manager
Sofia will be attending Purdue University for this upcoming school year with a major in ecology. They attended Wheeling High School and were a part of the band, drumline, and orchestra! Besides music, Sofia is a member of the National Honors Society, World language honors society, and Be the Change Club. Besides school, Sofia loves all things animals and nature. She often visits forest preserves to look for frogs and visit the botanical gardens in Chicago! Her goal is to help provide tutoring by spreading the word through social media!
Meghana is a senior in high school going to UNC Charlotte to study computer science and business. A few things about her are that she likes to play tennis and volleyball. Meghana loves to bake in her free time and paint/draw. She also likes to be a part of any clubs and organizations that have a positive impact on our community. Meghana has been tutoring for a year now and she absolutely loves it. She strongly believes in helping others and spreading knowledge is important for everyone to grow. She is so glad to be a part of BST and to be providing everyone a chance to an equal education.