LAKE BLUFF’S Wick DeYoung lives by the motto “It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome.” DeYoung has personal knowledge of what it’s like to struggle academically. It was his personal experience growing up with learning challenges that led him to launch Dynamic Tutoring Solutions. He understands the need for specialized support for students with diagnosed learning differences.
“I know first-hand it’s not easy being different from your peers, especially on the North Shore,” DeYoung says. “Students need someone they can trust before they are willing to show a vulnerability. This is why Dynamic Tutoring Solutions works hard to understand students as a whole. What is one person’s strength might be another’s weakness. Finding your strengths is hard when you feel defeated.”
Through the support and guidance of his learning specialists and tutors, DeYoung pursued a career in education, earning a master’s degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Special Education from the University of Oregon, a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University, and ultimately launching Dynamic Tutoring Solutions.
DeYoung built his company after working at the Charles Armstrong School in Northern California, a school specializing in supporting students with language-based learning challenges. He has mindfully built a team of 15 educators to provide one-on-one support to students with and without learning differences in grades K-12 and in some cases—college. DeYoung and his team equip students with the necessary tools and strategies for success. They teach research-based, multi-sensory lessons in reading, writing, and math and support students with executive functioning challenges.
“Students across the board struggled over the past two years as a result of the pandemic, but the impact has been most profound for students who have learning challenges,” says DeYoung. “These students depend on in-person support and accommodations that were often not able to be provided in a remote setting. More importantly, confidence and motivation took a giant hit, and this takes time to rebuild.
“It’s always been a complicated and overwhelming process for parents to navigate finding the correct resources to get their child assessed for potential learning challenges. And Covid disrupted this even more,” explains DeYoung. “Students who needed neuropsychological testing often faced waits of six months or longer to get assessed. Plus, students who previously didn’t need support started exhibiting challenges with executive functioning and motivation.”
So today more than ever before, Dynamic Tutoring Solutions plays a critical role in helping families learn how to get their students back on track and set them up for success.
DeYoung has grown Dynamic Tutoring Solutions to meet the needs of all learning profiles as well as having expanded the business from the Bay Area to the North Shore of Chicago where he, his wife Kristina and two young sons relocated to during the pandemic.
“Our biggest challenge is making sure families know we are available to help when their child is falling behind or doubting themself,” he says. “For our students, the goal isn’t just getting an ‘A’ on their next exam. The goal is to teach our students how they learn best, how to believe in themselves, how to advocate for themselves, and how to be independent.”
DeYoung shares that he recently toured high schools with a family to help determine where their child would be most successful. He often finds himself meeting with administrators and specialists to advocate for his students’ needs.
“The word ‘tutor’ is misleading,” says DeYoung’s wife Kristina, who works full-time in the marketing world but consults with her husband regularly on his business. “It misses the depth of the relationship that Wick builds with his students and their families. Looking at how Wick is changing lives with the work he’s doing with his students—it’s so rewarding to see.”
For some, academic and executive functioning support can be a lifelong journey. But DeYoung and his team are committed for the long haul.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than having a parent tell me that their child now likes to read or was accepted into college,” DeYoung says. “Our goal is to bring back the joy of learning and to bolster their confidence to be successful in and beyond the classroom. Once you find the confidence to believe in yourself, anything is possible.”
To learn more about Dynamic Tutoring Solutions, visit dynamictutoringsolutions.com.