Black History Month: Greater West Dayton Incubator helps tutoring service flourish

DAYTON — An educational service for children born from a social media post nearly a decade ago continues to fulfill the mission setting up children for success in the classroom and beyond.

But Michel’le Curington’s idea -- Fail Me Not Tutoring LLC -- likely would not be in operation today if not for her determination and an assist from the Greater West Dayton Incubator.

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“Tutoring is a way to change the narrative for our students and really close the gap,” Curington, CEO and founder of the business, told News Center 7′s Taylor Robertson on Thursday.

The tutoring service Curington began while still in grad school at Wright State now has more than 40 children from kindergarten through eighth grade coming to Fail Me Not Tutoring LLC on Riverside Drive every week, seizing the advantage to learn from her.

Curington said her business started with a Facebook post in 2015.

“Parents were signing their kids up to receive tutoring services at the library and then I started getting more students than I could manage myself, so then I hired other tutors,” she said.

At that point, Curington said one of her mentors suggested that she apply for an LLC (Limited Liability Company), a business structure allowed by state statue that protects its owners from being personally pursued for repayment of the company’s debts or liabilities.

Curington began visiting the Greater West Dayton Incubator to help her avoid the sometime daunting journey that pursing an LLC can present.

“We work with entrepreneurs to get them connected to resources and also to provide programming, funding and space,” said Whitney Barkley, incubator director since 2021.

Barkley told News Center 7′s Robertson that opening the incubator in Dayton was necessary to expose black people to more opportunities as business owners.

“The majority of the entrepreneurs that we work with are underrepresented, under resourced and often, don’t have access to many of some of the resources that we have available,” Barkley said.

Curington jumped into those programs and attended the incubator’s business boot camp, an experience she said helped bring her business critical foundational skills.

Her services are needed, she said, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, because reading and math test scores have dropped.

Curington said the troublesome dip in learning has her encouraging parents whose children may be struggling in those areas to reach out for help.

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