Ignite curiosity and excel academically with personalized mentorship

Curious Cardinals matches kids aged 8-18 with inspiring university mentors from top schools to:

Excel in academics
Find passion and build projects
Build confidence and independence
Get a head start on college applications
Find a mentor
Trusted by 2000+ students
The summer of possible
2 Months. Limitless Learning.
Say goodbye to the pressure to perform and hello to a summer of endless possibilities. Sign up for a personalized and flexible 10-session mentorship program for your K-12 student.
Enrollment ends June 21.
Secure a spot

What We Do

We offer two distinct mentorship tracks to ensure your child excels in school and pursues their passions.

Academic Mentorship
Subject of your choice
Addresses academic subjects students pursue in school, including but not limited to Math, Science, English, History, and Languages.
Expert guidance
One-on-one sessions with top university mentors who are experts in specific academic fields, ensuring deep understanding of complex subjects.
Homework help & exam prep
Support in tackling homework, preparing for exams, and developing effective study strategies to boost academic performance.
Study skills
Build organization skills to stop making careless mistakes, struggling with procrastination, time management, or missing assignment deadlines.
Receive reminders from a role model that will lighten the load on you as a parent and improve your child's focus and motivation.
Passion-Project Mentorship
Passion identification
Mentors guide their student in self-reflection to identify their interests, values, and strengths to identify a passion project proposal.
Hands-on projects
Whether it’s launching their own blog, coding an app, learning sports analytics, or pursuing a social impact project, students pursue standout, long term projects, tailored to what they love.
Real-world skills
Students learn skills ranging from computer science to 3D modeling, graphic design, or investing using softwares like Figma, Canva, CAD, Webflow, and more.
Career and college exposure
Students are introduced to potential career opportunities and mentorship from professionals in your child's field of interest, paving the way for future success.
Personal development
Focus on building communication, leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and problem-solving skills through passion-driven projects.
Passion identification
Mentors guide their student in self-reflection to identify their interests, values, and strengths to identify a passion project proposal.
Career and college exposure
Students are introduced to potential career opportunities and mentorship from professionals in your child's field of interest, paving the way for future success.
Hands-on projects
Whether it’s launching their own blog, coding an app, learning sports analytics, or pursuing a social impact project, students pursue standout, long term projects, tailored to what they love.
Real-world skills
Students learn skills ranging from computer science to 3D modeling, graphic design, or investing using softwares like Figma, Canva, CAD, Webflow, and more.
Personal development
Focus on building communication, leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and problem-solving skills through passion-driven projects.

All engagements come with a comprehensive student profile, personalized learning plans, and clear progress tracking with session notes and reports.

How it works

Take a quick survey or hop on a call, we love to hear you brag about your kid(s) or listen to your concerns. We’re also happy to chat directly with your student.
Does your student need help going beyond their school’s curriculum? An accountability partner or subject-matter expert for a passion project? A math tutor?
We’ll send you and your student up to 3 mentor recommendations to choose from within 24 hours.

99% of our customers are very happy with the matches we make but if you’re not we’ll keep trying until we get it right.
Your student will meet with their mentor virtually on a custom schedule. You’ll get progress reports and notes from the mentor after every session.
Find a mentor

What makes us different

Our mentorship approach is built on four key pillars:

Near-peer mentorship
Our mentors are successful college students who were in your child's shoes not too long ago and can relate to their challenges and speak to their aspirations. They get it, they speak the same language. And demystify their success.
Data driven
Impactful learning starts with measuring outcomes. We provide detailed feedback on student performance, growth areas, strengths, and skills acquired. Our insights spark meaningful discussions with parents, ensuring we can effectively support your child's learning journey.
We guide students with structured roadmaps, clear agendas, and timelines. This keeps them on track, builds essential study skills, hones executive functions, and develops strong time management habits, all with the accountability and reminders they need to succeed.
Passion-based Learning
Our mentors don’t just dump facts—they spark curiosity and critical thinking. Using the Socratic method, we get to the heart of the 'why' behind every concept. We turn dry theory into real-world magic, making learning fun and relevant. Think of it as education with a heartbeat, tied to your child’s passions and daily life.

Our mentors are hand-selected to be the perfect match

With 650+ mentors from the world’s top schools on our roster, your child will be guided by and develop a personal connection with award winners, team captains, class presidents, Rhodes scholars, and fellowship recipients. Our mentors are not just academically accomplished; they are leaders and role models, dedicated to inspiring and guiding your child towards success.

See all mentors

we have 290 mentors from 39 colleges and universities, across 8+ disciplines with expertise in 147 topics.

Stanford University logoHarvard University logoYale University LogoPrinceton University LogoNorthwestern University LogoUniversity of California Berkeley logo

If we don’t already have the IDEAL mentor for your student, we’ll recruit them.

Each student receives their own personalized learning plan.

Our team will work with you to design a learning plan that targets your learner’s greatest opportunities for growth. We specialize in helping students succeed academically and gain a competitive edge with a passion project.

Our programs are perfect for kids that:

Struggle in an academic subject
Want to get ahead
Lack overall study skills and executive functioning
Have a learning difference
Want to do something impressive for college
Want to create a passion project
Have a niche interest or curiosity
Want to find a passion spark
Get started

Achieve learning outcomes while fostering a love for learning

Our mentor matches are personal, fostering an older-sibling type of connection that’s engaging, relevant, and fun. Your child's passion for learning will be fueled by the relationship they build with their mentor.

We believe this because we've seen kids look forward to their sessions, and we've seen results.

Agency over your future 🚀

Create impressive projects and demonstrate remarkable impact, distinguishing yourself and opening the door for future opportunities.

Excel in academics 💯

Better than your tutor. Our unique approach leads to transformative results: improved grades, study skills, and all around academic confidence.

Master executive function 🧠

Develop crucial skills like organization, time management, and effective study habits to excel in school and beyond. Best of all? No more nagging your student!

Explore and Deepen Interests 🤩

Uncover their true passions and dive deep into areas they love, guided by mentors who are leaders in their fields through project deliverables.

Find a mentor

Don’t take our word for it

Hear it from parents and students who have experienced the Curious Cardinals magic

Deb Liu headshot

“Curious Cardinals not only helped spark Bethany's passion for writing, but connected her to a college mentor who she could see herself in and look up to for inspiration.

Every parent hopes that their kids can find role models who are not only highly ambitious and highly accomplished, but also have integrity and compassion too - and that's what Curious Cardinals has facilitated for my daughter. Her mentor helped her find her author's voice and put together a viable plan to launch her blog, all empowering her with more confidence in herself as an individual. She loved it so much that I signed my son up too!”

deb liu
mom & ceo of ancestry.com

“My husband, Jeff, his favorite quote growing up was always chance favors the prepared mind.

So my son Daniel is meeting with [his Curious Cardinals mentor] Matt and building his cryptocurrency expertise. There was one day, I was in my office meeting with a woman, and she says she does a podcast. One of [the episodes] was about NFTs. And I was like, ‘Oh, Daniel, my son, is learning about NFTs,’ so I called Daniel, and they basically interviewed him to see if he actually knew anything. He was great, and he was on the podcast. Without Curious Cardinals and without the mentor…that all led to this moment. It just shows that by connecting [kids] with a mentor – somebody that they can really connect with on a particular topic – they can find great opportunities.”

Erica Keswin headshot

#ParentsLoveCuriousCardinals #StudentsLoveCC

Find the right plan for your student

Whether your child wants to get ahead, build academic confidence, or explore new interests, we have a membership plan that fits your needs.

(4) one-hour sessions billed monthly
Find a mentor
  • Weekly 60-minute 1:1 Zoom sessions with top college mentors.
  • High-achieving mentors from top U.S. universities, think Rhodes scholars, team captains, and award winners.
  • Personalized learning plans with clear goals and milestones.
  • Dedicated support and feedback from top college mentors who guide and inspire.
  • Detailed mentor notes, comprehensive progress tracking, and regular check-ins to monitor your child’s growth.
  • Unlimited mentor matches until you find the perfect fit.
  • Flexible scheduling, including weekends, with easy rescheduling to fit your busy life.
per hour
Get started
  • Gain Confidence and Excel: Watch your child thrive academically with personalized 1:1 mentorship.
  • Develop Essential Skills: Foster a love for learning and build foundational skills to tackle any future challenges.
  • Inspiring Mentorship: Receive dedicated support and feedback from mentors who guide and inspire your child.
  • Track Progress Easily: Enjoy comprehensive progress tracking and regular check-ins to monitor your child’s growth.
  • Perfect Match Guarantee: Our unique matching process ensures your child connects with the ideal mentor. Unlimited mentor matching until we find the perfect fit.
  • Showcase Real-World Projects: Leave with tangible projects that highlight your child's skills and achievements.

90% of our students report improved grades and increased confidence within three months.To ensure meaningful outcomes, we require a minimum commitment of 2 months to get started.

Start Your Child's Journey

Take the first step today and unlock your child’s potential and set them on a path to success. 
Try Curious Cardinals today and see lasting benefits.

Get matched with a mentor


How much do sessions cost? How is billing structured?

We utilize a monthly subscription model to ensure consistent sessions, which leads to the best student outcomes. The subscription begins after a two-week evaluation period wherein you evaluate your mentor to make sure they’re a good fit. Sessions held during the evaluation period are discounted at $95/hour. After the evaluation period, a monthly $380 subscription will begin, including (4) one-hour sessions, plus exclusive perks. The date you are billed will be determined by your start date.

As an alternative, we offer pay-as-you-go sessions at $115 per hour. Most of our families choose the subscription model because of the significant savings and benefits. Please check out our Subscription FAQs and our Pricing Page for more information!

How are your mentors selected?

Our community of over 600 mentors hail from the top universities in the nation and are the best-of-the-best – think class presidents, Rhodes Scholars, Fulbright Scholars, and more! We have a rigorous vetting, recruiting, and interviewing process whereby we evaluate mentors' passion, depth of expertise, professionalism, ability to make concepts intelligible, as well as their emotional intelligence. Throughout the process, we ensure mentors are not only top-tier teachers who can meet students where they're at, but also relatable and empathetic individuals who can identify with students' struggles and provide the necessary support and encouragement to be there for them.

Beyond this, our onboarding process trains mentors to lead and drive sessions, our Education team equips mentors with resources and curricula to lead engagements successfully, and our Student and Mentor Success teams check in to ensure sessions are meaningful and meet expectations. We’re confident that our mentors are not only people your student will enjoy learning from, but are also positive role models they’ll want to emulate.

What if my mentor isn’t a good fit with my student?

We pride ourselves on finding the “magic match” for your student. We aim to find a mentor that aligns with your student’s personality, interests, and mentor preferences. If it doesn’t feel like a great match, please share your feedback so we can understand what went wrong. From there, we’ll thoughtfully source a new mentor and make a rematch.

Note: If you are a Curious Cardinals subscriber, we will refund that first session as it is during the trial/evaluation period.

How do I schedule a session?

You can schedule time directly on your mentor’s calendar using our Easy Scheduling feature! We recommend you work with your student’s mentor to identify the best recurring weekly time. Your student’s mentor can also schedule, cancel, and reschedule sessions easily on the CC platform.

Do you offer in-person sessions or is it all online?

Our usual offering is primarily virtual, which allows us to find the best person in the world for your student with no geographical constraints. Students and parents also appreciate the convenience and comfort of digital learning, especially for neurodivergent students who prefer to learn in their own space. Our education team equips mentors with tools and resources to make lessons interactive and engaging, so your student will be excited to join their sessions.

Note: Students who live near our major university hubs (such as the Bay Area, NYC, etc.) may meet in-person with their mentors. Please speak with our team to discuss what’s possible for your student.

I’m not sure how to get started! What are popular tracks that my student can sign up for?

We offer two clear tracks your student can pursue: academic mentorship or passion project mentorship.

Academic Mentorship: Whether it’s making a subject finally make sense, or getting ahead in an area your student is already competent in, our mentors can infuse new purpose and joy into reaching your student’s academic goals. Mentors can also work with students on soft skills like executive function, interviewing, college essay prep, and more.

Passion Project Mentorship: Not sure what your student is passionate about? We believe the best way to learn is by doing! A mentor can help your student explore areas of interest with meaningful deliverables and goals along the way to finding their ‘thing’. Similarly, if your student has a wide variety of interests that are seemingly disconnected, a mentor can help them bring those passions together in a cohesive, meaningful project.

You can speak with our team to receive personalized recommendations for your student.

What if I am not satisfied with my first session?

After the first session, we check in with our parents, students, and mentors to ensure a great fit. If the first session doesn’t go well, we ask for your feedback to assess, rematch, and re-engage – we can’t fix what we’re not aware of!

Note: Under our subscription model, you will have a 2-week evaluation period to ensure your student and their mentor “click” before transitioning into your subscription. Learn more about our subscription model here.

How long do students typically participate in the Curious Cardinals program?

At Curious Cardinals, we prioritize building strong, lasting relationships between students and mentors. This holistic approach is crucial for outstanding results, but even more than that, allows for deep transformation in the way students approach learning and personal growth. With that in mind, engagements are usually 6+ months and are not dependent upon a traditional school calendar.

Students can work with mentors throughout the school year and the summer, pivoting as needed to keep them most engaged and productive. Mentees may always work with multiple mentors or transition to new mentors as their needs and goals change. Many of our mentees have stayed with us through middle school to college acceptance!

We are not here to just help your student pass Friday’s test – we’re here to guide your student in becoming their best, most confident self.

What is the expected weekly time commitment?

We’ve learned that the most impactful and transformative mentorships happen when pairs meet at a consistent weekly cadence, at least 1-2 hours per week. You can add additional sessions as needed and easily reschedule sessions using our Easy Scheduling feature, or by communicating with your student’s mentor.

The amount of time a student spends working outside of sessions may vary depending on the type of mentorship. For example, students on a passion project track may work on writing a blog outside of sessions, which they later review and edit with their mentor.

How long is a session?

Students meet weekly with their mentors one-on-one for typically an hour. For students in 4th grade or under, and those with learning differences, we may suggest starting off with 30-minute sessions and working up to an hour.

While consistency is key, you can schedule longer or shorter sessions to meet your child’s needs; for example, a longer session for extra help preparing for a test, or a shorter session to quickly review a concept or brainstorm.

How old should my child be to join Curious Cardinals?

We're proud to support students in grades K-12! Our education model, delivered through 1:1 virtual mentorship, is especially impactful for ages 10+.