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Commodities trader McVean pushes own school reform, pays students to tutor

Nov 9, 2012

School Reform

Charlie McVean drops into the after-school tutoring program he funds at Whitehaven High School, and 60-some students, all in Peer Power T-shirts, hush like the court in front of the king.

In a second, they are chanting — no, cheering — the creed the Memphis-born commodities trader wrote. When they get to the part that says, "Life is a competitive sport; I want to be somebody, someday," the room explodes in a sea of jumping kids and jabbing fists.

Seven years after McVean created Peer Power — a student-to-student tutoring program where tutors are paid up to $10.50 an hour — at East High, his alma mater, he's out to double the schools in the fold and export the notion nationwide.

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