Inspire. Empower. Peer Power.
BRX RegistrationDonate Now

Better with Numbers

Peer Power Quick Facts

hours of tutoring and mentoring since 2004

Act Prep Score Average Increase

College Students Employed by Peer Power


College Graduation Rate

About Our Organization

Peer Power is a non-profit organization that recruits and trains high-performing college students, called Success Coaches, to tutor in public school classrooms and mentor high school students to encourage active learning, valuing education, and being personally accountable for their futures.

Peer Power’s mission is to inspire and empower youth to take control of their academic success.

Our History

A successful entrepreneur and dedicated philanthropist, Charles McVean had grown increasingly troubled by the poor performance of Memphis’ public schools and believed that the American free enterprise system held the remedy. Combining a performance-based compensation model with the powerful effects of peer groups, he launched his unique student-to-student tutoring concept at East High School. The program was successful and soon evolved into Peer Power.

Peer Power introduced the Memphis Model in partnership with Shelby County Schools, the largest school district in Tennessee and the University of Memphis, the 25,000+ student urban institution in Memphis, TN. The program employs over 150 University of Memphis “Success Coaches” who are trained to tutor and mentor students in classrooms during the school day. This unique model strives to place two Success Coaches in every high school level Math, Science, English and U.S. History course tested by the State of Tennessee. Peer Power currently serves in 7 high schools in Shelby County.

Peer Power is making progress now by placing students in leadership roles that prepare them for lifetimes of success. Now that we know the model works, we see a terrific opportunity for bringing it to more students in more schools, which will require additional funding from a greater range of sources. Peer Power seeks partners who are passionate about changing the lives of children today.

Contests & Events

Upcoming Activities



Creative Writing Contest

Open to 9 – 12th grade SCS high school students

Deadline to submit is July 24th, 2020

Top 3 Entries receive $75 Prize

Contest Info

The submission must respond to one of the two prompts and can be any form of creative writing – poetry, nonfiction, or fiction. Entries don’t have to be in a journalistic format. Can be a short fiction story that shows the excitement, fear, etc that students may be feeling. Can be a poem of what the first day of school may look like. Those are just a few examples. The submission must be the original work of the student. It must not exceed 1,000 words. Cover page is not included in the word count. Must be a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx), double spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font. No identification information of the student should be included anywhere on the submission. One creative writing piece can be submitted per student.

Writing Prompts:

  1. How are you feeling about going back to school this Fall?
  2. Describe a day in school during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Judging Criteria:

– grammar, spelling, and punctuation (20%)

– clarity/effectiveness of theme(s) (30%)

– originality and creativity for topic approach and overall final result (50%)

Please direct questions to Sydney Wright at



Race Across The River

On November 21, 2020, Big River Crossing Half-Marathon + 5K benefiting the Peer Power Foundation will present its fourth annual race making the interstate trek across the Mississippi River’s longest public pedestrian bridge.

Race Info

For the first time ever, Peer Power has partnered with Memphis Runners Track Club (MRTC) to incorporate the Big River Crossing Half-Marathon + 5K as the final event in their Road Race Series. With an estimated 1,000 additional runners incorporated from MRTC, the 2020 race will be our biggest event to date.

Starting at the foot of Beale Street on Riverside Drive, the BRX Half-Marathon course takes runners over Big River Crossing, through the Big River Trail on the Arkansas flood plain, and along Dacus Lake. The event also includes the BRX 5K through Downtown and Tom Lee Park with inspiring views of Big River Crossing and the Mississippi River.

The BRX Half-Marathon + 5K will fund Peer Power’s mission to empower and inspire scholars through Peer Power’s innovative student-to-student tutoring program. Your sponsorship will create a public connection with this unique event and the transformative work it supports.


Recent News

Our News & Announcements

Nonprofit helping JCPS students study for the ACT

DAVID GUILDFORD | SPECTRUM NEWS KENTUCKY LOUISVILLE, KY — Students and teachers are adjusting to new types of learning right now, but standardized tests like the ACT and SAT are still required by universities — even if test dates have been moved. Jefferson County...

read more