At 22 years of age, he represents an age group least likely to be involved in starting a business, according to a recent study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Yet earlier this year he and a friend launched Inland Tutors, a tutoring service here in Menifee.
A graduate of Paloma Valley High School, Perez was inspired to run his own tutoring business after being employed as a tutor for competing companies. "I was the supervisor for the Temecula region with another private tutoring company", Perez explained. "I hired my highschool buddy Luis into that company. Then we realized we could do this on our own and went into the development of Inland Tutors."
It was a philosophy class at Cal Poly Pomona that sparked his interest in education. "I was arguing the No Child Left Behind Act and its inability to efficiently educate students. Teachers are having to teach to the test. They have to meet certain scores to continue receiving funds from the Act."
But it was a business course he took at Cal Poly called "Creativity and Entrepreneurship" that gave Perez the sense to start his own business. "I developed a business feasibility plan, which taught me how to look at current industry trends, marketing, and demographics to determine if a business idea is viable."
Since its launch this year, Perez and his business partner have brought on two more tutors and now cover an area from Corona to Temecula to Hemet to Perris. "We now have online tutoring set up too. We use Skype with a webcam and microphone along with an electronic whiteboard. It's still one-on-one tutoring, and its real time."
Inland Tutors covers all age groups, including adults. "I tutored this lady who was 41 at the time. She had been a nurse since her 20s, but didn't have a highschool diploma. The hospital she worked at then required everyone to have a GED, which put her at risk to lose her job. She hadn't been to school in 25 years. I helped her with basic math just to get her GED."
Mathematics and science both happen to be strong points with Perez, and are subjects he personally tutors. "I'm still a mechanical engineer major at Cal Poly, and those subjects are a couple of my strengths. Each of our tutors have particular strengths and we assign them to students who have those specific needs."
A Menifee resident since 2001, Perez credits his family for cultivating his commitment to success. "My great-grandfather was an engineer and he's been my mentor. He had a stroke recently, and he gave me some advice. He said, 'Aim for the top, and don't stop until you get there.' That's essentially what I'm doing with Inland Tutors."
If Perez has any advice for parents it's to get their children an early start on tutoring before their grades fall too far. "Often times parents hire tutors when their child's grades fall to an F. At that point, it's really tough to get a student up to an A. If I can get involved when that child is at a C, it's much easier to get them up to an A."
As for Perez's future business plans, he sees Inland Tutors branching out into other areas and adding more tutors. "I want to continue the tutoring business because its something I'm passionate about. Our mission statement is 'To acelerate student success by providing quality affordable tutoring to indivuduals of all ages seeking to better understand subject material in the comfort of their own home.'"
To contact Deryk Perez or to inquire about Inland Tutors, call (951) 294-2762, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit online: http://www.inlandtutors.com.