Math Really Isn’t Only For People Who Are Super Smart

Ask any kid what his or her least favorite subject in school is and chances are the answer will be Math, with Science coming in a close second. It’s a difficult subject for a lot of students and there are some that need a little help with keeping up in class.

Enter Foothills Mathematics Group (FMG). Founded in 2003, they are a group of technology professionals who give a few hours out of their week to tutor kids in Math and Science.

David Breda, its founder and director, says learning Math isn’t as impossible as it seems.

“It’s not magic, it’s not black magic,” Breda says. “Math isn’t only for people that are really smart.  It’s for everybody and everybody can get it.  We try to get in there and we try to convince people that they can do it because I know they can.”

The Foothills Mathematics Group does one-on-one tutoring in the client’s home in all levels of mathematics and science. They also help in test preparation, like the SAT, ISEE and HSPT.

Breda, an aeronautical engineer at NASA/JPL, says tutors tend to relieve pressure from both parent and child.

“Kids are getting a lot of stress from mom and dad and they’re getting stress from their guidance counsellors. And so if you can relax somebody a little bit, you can open up their mind a little bit. We go in there as their friend, and we’re not judging them, we have no past with them.” Breda says the lack of pressure results in learning and understanding concepts that were difficult before.

Breda’s own scholastic life was as troubled as the students’ he tutors now.

“In my first year of year of college I failed four out of five of my classes. I just did really, really bad and no matter what I did I couldn’t get that focus.  I was convincing myself all the time that I was doing terrible.” Eventually, through hard work and a whole lot of effort, he was able to get a degree in Electrical Engineering and land a job at NASA.

The tutors at FMG all have full time jobs and see the tutoring as a way to give back.

“We came into this picture with just a bunch of people that know a lot about this subject that hate to see a lot of kids struggle and we can help them.  And we’re a lot less expensive than the typical in-home one on one teaching company costs.” He continues, “You get some of these companies that are $70-80 an hour.  And we’re a fraction of that because it doesn’t need to be that expensive.”

Many parents believe that money well-spent.

“The vast majority of our students succeed,” Breda says. “Our flexibility and our professionalism is really that key to helping our students succeed because we know the subject, we know how kids relate and we help them on their turf.”

For more information, contact Foothills Mathematics Group at (888) 784-1639. They are located at 720 West Hillcrest Blvd. in Monrovia. Or visit their website at


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