The Brilliant Club DC

The Brilliant Club DC is a network of PhD students, universities, public schools, and community partners that have come together for a single purpose: to increase access to higher education in underserved communities. To achieve our goals, we connect highly motivated students from public schools to the academic expertise of PhD students. Through university-style tutorials, our PhD mentors teach students to think like cutting edge researchers, while our university partnerships and workshops help students navigate the college admissions process. 

The Brilliant Club's next tutorial cycle will work with students from Eastern Senior High School and Eliot-Hine Middle School


Help us meet our goals.

We hope you will help the Brilliant Club pursue our mission of fostering cultures of excellence in our public schools and widening access to higher education in underserved communities.

Our goal is to reduce the financial burden on schools and place absolutely zero financial burden on students and their families.

  • A $100 donation covers the cost of 1 week of tutorials for up to 6 students.
  • A $350 donation covers the cost of a bus trip to a university workshop.
  • A $1000 donation covers the cost of 6 weeks of tutorials for up to 12 students.



A Little History:

The Brilliant Club was founded in 2011 in London, UK, by two teachers who left their jobs in inner-city classrooms to build a non-profit organization that mobilizes the PhD community to address educational disadvantage and widen access to selective universities. Since its inception, the Brilliant Club has grown substantially, working with over 150 schools in London and across England, and placed over 250 PhD students and Post-doctoral researchers to work with over 5000 school pupils.


Moving Across the Atlantic:

Dr. Tania Nguyen was one of The Brilliant Club’s first tutors. Struck by the impact and rapid growth of the UK program, Tania brought the initiative to American soil when she moved her research career from Oxford University to Washington, DC. She launched the Brilliant Club-DC, pro-bono, in January 2015 in partnership with a dozen students from Eastern Senior High School and their community partner, Companies for Causes.

The pilot program saw a dozen 11th grade students participate in a commencement ceremony at Georgetown University and successfully complete six weeks of academically rigorous tutorials. Three talented PhD mentors shared their areas of expertise, which ranged from American politics to environmental sensing in bacteria.

After a successful pilot round, the Brilliant Club is looking to expand in DC public schools. We aim to start tutorials at the high school and middle school level across the District, so that every willing student can access the expertise of a PhD mentor. 

If you have any questions about donations or how to get involved, please contact Tania Nguyen at [email protected].