SAN MATEO Co., Calif. - A high schooler in California has launched a website that's making the college preparation experience seamless for Latin American students looking to study in the United States.
“There is a huge market for international college admissions," says 16-year-old TucánAyuda founder Shubham Mohole, who's a junior at Crystal Springs Uplands High School in San Mateo County.
Research shows that students in Central and South America prefer studying in the U.S. based on reputation, location and the work opportunities available after graduation.
TucánAyuda's free online step-by-step specialized plans ensure that all students are given a fair shot at continuing their education in the United States regardless of their socioeconomic status. The website and portal serve as a 2-in-1 for students and college recruiters.
A school trip to Costa Rica in 2019 inspired Mohole to start this service after volunteering with Spanish-speaking students. When the AP scholar arrived back in California, he put pen to paper. At a young age, this single, motivated founder was determined to build a helpful resource.
Being a one-man show, Mohole wears many hats at TucánAyuda. From content creation to designing web pages, to keeping track of finances while outsourcing help to get the job done, Mohole works hard to turn his vision into a reality.
“These kids don't have access to the greatest college admissions counselors or services, nor do they have the funds to invest in those. So, I’m just making it free for them. It’s universalizing college advice. You don’t want just the top 1% of students who are rich enough to be the only ones getting the best college advice. It should be for everybody," said Mohole.
With TucánAyuda, students are encouraged to start their college planning in their freshman year of high school. For every area of study - whether it’s mathematics, mechanical engineering, journalism or history - there are plans to suit everyone and keep them on track. Mohole is currently going through the college prep process, so he has first-hand experience and understands the importance of having a guide or counselor to ease the process.
He hopes this academic tool can serve as another bridge between international students and universities.
“The college admissions process isn’t about, ‘How much money I can spend on this?' It’s really about your planning and your efforts. If you use TucánAyuda and pursue your passion and work hard, you have a fair chance of getting admitted into the college of your choice," Mohole adds.
Click here to learn more about TucánAyuda and its mission.
This story was originally published by WTKR in Norfolk, VA