KINGSTON, Jamaica — In 2020 when the outbreak of the coronavirus became a global pandemic, Martin Robinson lost his job and had to quickly strategise to earn a living. Later that year, in September, the 22-year-old launched All Stars Academic Services to help students optimise their grades in school.
The concept came naturally as Robinson had been providing the service to his friends long before the pandemic.
“I've always tried to assist my friends with their proofreading, editing their papers and how to just optimise their score so I said okay, let's just monetise this,” he shared with OBSERVER ONLINE.
“With the pandemic, a lot of persons are suffering from the digital divide. A lot of them don't have proper internet or proper devices to use and so they sometimes fall behind in class, some of them intentionally don't go to class or because they've lost their regular jobs they've had to find creative means to make money and sometimes that takes away from their school time,” Robinson explained.
“What we do is ensure that we find a way to keep them (students) connected through various means. Connected in terms of going to their classes, keeping their grades up whether or not they are a part-time student or a full-time student,” he continued.
With the goal of improving academic performances, Robinson along with his business partners Shay-Ann Bennett and Tajie Drummond, offer essay consultations, essay coaching sessions, presentation and speech optimisations, proofreading and editing services, assistance with Internal Assessments/School Based Assessments and resume editing.
He said he hopes to grow his business even further, particularly with young people.
“Right now I ensure that I strictly only hire university students because just starting out in university I ended up doing some things I wish not to speak of but things I wish people never have to go through especially in terms of funding. So I said, okay let's create an arena that people can actually grow and since then we've been helping people to not drop out of school, we've been helping people to pay off their school fees, we've been helping children to cope, and we've been helping people to buy their tablets for school,” the young business owner shared.
“For me it's all about finding some form of means to give back especially to university students because I know how hard it can be. That's the goal and that's what I look towards — broadening the scale. At some point, we need to go international with broadening that scale because that's where my joy comes from, helping others, especially those within my age group.”
All Stars' latest move towards growth and helping others is a partnership with 138 Student Living on The University of the West Indies, Mona campus.
The partnership will see several students who live on hall benefiting from learning and coaching packages and resources. The students will also benefit from discounted resume services.
“We also cater to their resume needs and their job interview needs and so forth because a lot of them are going towards getting jobs so we ensure that we equip them enough to go out and get these jobs.
“What we hope to achieve from it is for these students to be better equipped when they go into the corporate space. When they interview with a company, that company should say 'yes, I want this person'. They should know how to spot a 138 student resume from everybody else's. They should know how to spot somebody who is about to land that job and so when we help them and then send them out, it's not just a case where we're saying, 'we want to send you with the best resume, we want to send you out with the best interview skills' but we also want to send you out with the best GPA and so we're preparing you to be all-rounders,” Robinson said.
Commenting on the partnership, 138 Student Living Deputy Hall Rep, Rhoda Essein said: “I love the ability to help students in any way that's possible and academics is a really important area. Which is why I'm glad All Stars are able to facilitate such an important service.”
“I'm hoping that their quality of work will be able to not only help with academics but can be applied in the work would when students graduate,” she added.
Within the context of the pandemic, Robinson said business so far has been good.
“We've had our fair share of clients — old, new, incoming — and we look towards having more prosperous times. We hope that the pandemic never becomes a blockade to us and that things will always be on the uptick despite what's going on,” he added.