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Who is Jean McKenzie? Founder of Impact Tutoring

Jean's personal journey that lead her to starting Impact Tutoring

I consider my journey a ‘Journey of opening doors’. It’s about finding something you care about and care deeply.  We can sit back and do nothing – or make a difference. This is a personal fit for me.

As a Deputy Principal my leap of faith into the business world 5 years ago was considered unusual and ‘crazy’ by many but I have never looked back!

My first year of Impact Tutoring included a Finalist in the Waipa Business Awards Excellence in New and Emerging going on to win the same category the following year.  My business has grown to 14 Tutors with 2 other locations helping and supporting hundreds of children along the way in their educational needs.

During this time I also took a leap of faith becoming a member of the Pirongia Fire Brigade as a Volunteer.  I took this role as a Role model seriously as I am always aware of not only girls in the school observing what I am doing but also women in the community and families we helped. I am proud to be leading the way to change community thinking and that ‘girls can do anything.’

But my personal major highlight is Mathematics for a Life Trust (MFAL) launched in January 2017. An extraordinary amount has been achieved. 69 Students have been granted subsidies through private donations for their Mathematical Tuition fees in Auckland, Waikato, Hamilton, Cambridge, Waipa and Taranaki.  In the case of MFAL as a nonprofit organization, the generation of profits is not the primary focus. Instead, MFAL  has been formed in order to meet one of society's needs in New Zealand, mathematical tuition for young people who would otherwise not be able to afford tuition fees.

Students themselves gain the direct benefit of improved academic performance coupled with increased confidence.  Longer term, this can lead to improved career options.  A higher level of education in the wider community leads to economic benefits to the community as a whole. Ongoing participation and success in tertiary education contributes positively to the well-being of people, their families, communities and New Zealand as a whole.

A highlight for MFAL was winning ‘New and Emerging Excellence in Small Business’ and a second award ‘Sustainability and Contribution to the Community’ at the Waipa Business Awards 2018.

The easy part for me has been understanding the big picture, the difficult part is that not many people have the same vision, simply because they can’t see what you see. They can’t imagine the world that you can.

I have met doubters along the way ranging from comments when starting as a Volunteer Fire Fighter 13 years ago through to creating a Nationwide Trust on Mathematics. I am an ordinary person who started life in a wee school at Pukeatua but I truly believe you should use your skills that you have.  My skills are leading and motivating others around me to follow.  Opening doors, connecting people, transforming lives. Together we can change the world.


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