A company created to help raise Pensacola students gets help to do even more good.
Bantucola, the Northwest Florida Black Business Directory website, awarded its $1,500 capacity building grant to Kenita Mitchell of Harmonic Learning Education and Training.
Harmonic Learning Education and Training is a holistic education center built on the idea of providing long-term individualized academic assistance to K-12 students of all ages and abilities. The organization offers a three-step approach of love, fun and learning to improve academic performance and build confidence for all students.
For Mitchell, teaching may not pay much, but it’s a “love career.”
“It’s a service industry and so those of us in it, we enjoy to some degree serving you, and for me what keeps me going is exactly that,” said Mitchell. “Bringing a kid in, the light bulb completely off – they may hate school, they may hate learning – but through that love, that fun, but still teaching them the learning part, that little light bulb goes out like ‘ Ding!’ That’s what keeps me going.”
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The small business owner was one of 40 applicants who applied for the Black-Owned Small Business Grant in Northwest Florida. Applicants had to write 500 words or less to describe how they would use this injection of capital into their business to grow. The money was provided to Bantucola by anonymous donors who wanted to help improve the black business community.
Bantucola founder Chris Hendricks said the judges were very impressed with Mitchell’s submission. Mitchell said she plans to use the funding for software and security upgrades for the company.
“She did a really good job explaining how she would accept that $1,500, unlike someone who kind of left it open,” Hendricks said.
How Harmonic Learning Was Born
Harmonic Learning received four of five first-place votes to win the grant.
Harmonic Learning Education and Training was founded by Mitchell after discovering his love for teaching in eighth grade. She was a babysitter in East Hill when neighborhood parents realized her academic talent and asked her to tutor their children. She took her high school tutoring services when she was a student at Booker T. Washington High School and started tutoring at the now-closed Spencer Bibbs Elementary School.
When she graduated from college and returned to the community, she always felt the need to help students who needed extra support. Because some schools have large classrooms, it can be difficult for teachers to meet every student’s needs.
Mitchell decided to continue his tutoring services as Harmonic Learning in 2016 and formed the LLC in 2020.
Harmonic Learning has seven tutors, including Mitchell, who teach a variety of subjects. They incorporate individualized music into their sessions based on the needs of their students. Tutors also use a hands-on approach to lessons where students move and engage while learning.
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Mitchell said she views her business as a “community business” and strives to make her services affordable for all families. She said she was grateful for the grant as it would help fund a few projects to help her business grow.
Overall, Mitchell feels that tutoring services help relieve stress for parents, teachers, and schools.
“A child doesn’t have to be struggling for parents to seek educational support,” Mitchell said. “Your child doesn’t have to fail. Believe it or not, many children who succeed academically succeed because they have educational support outside of the classroom. Don’t expect your child not to seek help at the end of the day.