MOMpreneur: n. defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.
Happy Monday Modern Boca Moms! Welcome to our next installment of MOMpreneur Monday on MBMom, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.
Today’s South Florida MOMpreneur is Erica Cender, founder of Cender Scholars, a tutoring company with instructors who guide students to help develop organizational, study, sports and music skills, while helping them cultivate self‐discipline and self‐confidence about their academic abilities.
Welcome Erica! I know when we spoke on the phone recently, you reminded me that although you’re an entrepreneur, you’re not a MOMpreneur quite yet…
I’m not a mommy yet, but I am proud aunt of a beautiful baby girl!
I do know that when the time comes and I do have a child of my own, I will jump through hoops to provide my baby with everything he or she needs as far as their education is concerned.
Tell us MBMoms a little bit about your professional background?
I have been an educator for over 4 years now. I earned my Masters in Education from the University of Florida (Go Gators!). But, I immediately became a classroom teacher. Well, after spending a year volunteering in Israel, of course.
I moved back to Delray Beach where I became a full time 2nd grade school teacher in Boynton Beach. Now, I am happily married and looking to start a family soon, so…I started thinking to myself now would be a perfect time to create my tutoring company.
My passion has always been teaching children. Seeing that spark in their eye when they discover something new is one of the greatest feelings.
What I love about being an educator is that you are able to see your students grow and learn. Each and every child has their own learning pace, style and study habits. Some are more advanced than others and some need additional help of a tutor.
With that hard work and dedication, I decided to make my dream a reality and start a tutoring company of my own, Cender Scholars tutoring.
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
As you may know, teachers surely do not have the money trees flourishing in their backyards. During my exquisite summer vacation, I put the pedal to the metal and launched my company off the ground.
My vision was to create a site for busy parents to quickly hop on and arrange their tutor in an instant. The PayPal shopping cart feature on the site makes it incredibly simple to book a tutor. You can arrange a session straight from your phone while you are in line at Starbucks or in between soccer games.
Then you will receive e-mail confirmations of your appointments, which you can also store as reminders in your Google calendar.
What sets Cender Scholars apart tutoring from other tutoring companies?
I believe the unique quality about the Cender Scholars tutoring service that we offer is the personalized touch that we guarantee for all of our students. As a classroom teacher, I am constantly in communication with parents and fellow teachers. I recognize the importance of keeping an open line of communication with teachers and parents.
Communication with students’ teachers and parents will ultimately help a child succeed.
Some parents may be led to a big tutoring company that guarantees a success rate for the children but I feel that a successful match for a child is based around an individualized, personalized educational plan. I encourage my tutors to develop a good rapport and working relationship with their students. I value educators who will make a connection with the students that they work with.
What challenges have you faced as a new entrepreneur so far?
I will definitely say one challenge has just been the struggle to get the word spreading like wildfire. Patience is a virtue and I know all good things come to those who wait but I am eager to get my tutors up and running!
Another challenge that I have come across while launching my business is the competition in this tutoring industry. I will say I have no doubt in my mind that we will set ourselves apart from the competition because as an educator myself, I see the value of keeping a close connection between the teachers and the parents.
Many learning centers work with kids either in a group setting or they have a set curriculum to work with for the children. In my eyes, an education is not ‘one size fits all’ and it must be carefully tailored to fit each child for their own set of goals and needs.
What exciting things are coming up for Cender Scholars tutoring?
An exciting new avenue for my business is adding a mental health & counseling professional to our company. A very experienced and qualified counselor that many refer to as the “child whisperer” has joined our team, Ellie Boyarski. As a classroom teacher, I see the value of counseling services for a variety of different reasons and I am elated to have this fantastic specialist as a part of Cender Scholars.
Now that you’ve launched your business, what would you say to your “younger self?”
Growing up, school came very easy to my brother but not me; I had to work a bit harder, homework took longer and I had to put forth my personal best day in and day out to make the grades. I still remember the endless fights I had with my mom while working on homework as a student.
Flash forward 20 years later and I am a 5th grade teacher who has just opened her own tutoring company. Mom, look at me now! 😉
Learn more about this company at: www.cenderscholars.com.