15:27 PM

Alumnus Authors Children’s Book to Support Academic Success

Do what you love, and you will never work. Brian Edwards, MBA ’11, has written his first children’s book, “Gary Gets the Grade,” which sprang from his passion for volunteer work as an academic tutor.

It happened this way. Edwards lives in a close-knit community. While employed in corporate America over the years, he donated his spare time as a volunteer tutor for the children of friends and neighbors. Edwards was good at it. The kids he tutored inspired him to write the book.

A Children’s Book to Empower Kids

“The main character, Gary, is a smart young man who can’t get a decent grade in his math class,” Edwards said. “Gary is on a journey to get a better grade. Along the way, he learns that not all advice is good advice. He also learns who to ask for academic help and why asking for help is a good idea.” 

“Gary Gets the Grade” empowers children, from pre-K to 5th grade, to speak up when they need help and understand that it takes work to achieve certain goals. The book connects with its audience.

Edwards said, “Parents write to me saying, ‘My child loved this book!’ and ‘My kid can’t put this book down.’”

Book Sales to Pay for Tutoring

Brian Edwards, MBA '11Edwards has founded two organizations — a tutoring business called Building Knowledge EveryDay and a nonprofit 501(c)(3) called Building Knowledge Everywhere (BKE). BKE assists youth in economically disadvantaged communities by providing free tutoring and other resources. Part of the proceeds from book sales is donated to BKE. Edwards describes the nonprofit as a teacher support initiative, which he launched with the financial assistance of several generous donors. To realize his vision of BKE becoming a global resource to help students experience transformative progress in academics and life, Edwards is looking for a corporate sponsor.

“We plan to begin awarding college scholarships in the near future,” he added.

UST Sparked his Servant Heart 

Edwards, who left his corporate position to pursue tutoring and other academic support, credits the University of St. Thomas-Houston for sparking a servant heart in him.

“UST molded me to want to give back to people,” he explained. “And being your BOLD self really resonated with me and motivated me. I’m a person who has benefitted from great teachers and professors, and I want to do my part to support academic success for others.”

“Gary Gets the Grade” can be purchased on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble

You can learn more about BKE here.