In a world where education and empowerment pave the way for transformation, stories like Vanessa Vakharia’s serve as inspiring beacons. Her journey from a struggling student navigating the challenges of traditional math education to pioneering The Math Guru, is a testament to her resilience and commitment to making a difference. We proudly feature Vanessa as a Girls Know How All-Star, showcasing her inspirational journey and commitment to inclusive education. Her story resonates with our mission to support girls in dreaming big and building a community that provides parents and teachers with the tools to help children achieve their goals!
Calling her a math rock star in his March 2023 article, “10 Innovative Women Math Educators You Should Know,” Kwame Sarfo-Mensah acknowledges the impact of her work in reshaping math education and dismantling gender stereotypes in math education.
Her story began like many students’ journeys did; struggling to learn math with a traditional teaching model. No stranger to setbacks, she failed eleventh-grade math…twice! However, a shift to an alternative school became a turning point, igniting her passion for math and leading her onto a new life path. After continuing her education and working as a teacher, Vanessa recognized the need for a supportive environment where students could enjoy learning math and science without stress.
In 2010, Vanessa founded The Math Guru with a simple yet powerful goal: to revolutionize how math and science are taught. She designed The Math Guru as a space that transcends traditional tutoring centers. As Vanessa says, “It’s more like your best friend’s living room, but we learn math and science and laugh and drink tea and have the best time and realize that everything’s going to be okay.”
Vanessa is also the author of Math Hacks, a series that makes math fun, stress-free, and relatable for young kids and parents, and she hosts Math Therapy, a podcast that works through guests’ math trauma.
Vanessa’s journey captures the essence of Smart Alex, a Girls Know How book that celebrates the transformative power of teaching. Smart Alex’s portrayal of diverse backgrounds and aspirations closely aligns with Vanessa’s vision of breaking stereotypes, accepting differences, and empowering students to embrace their unique abilities.
Check out Math Hacks by Vanessa and Smart Alex from Girls Know How, where readers can celebrate the triumph of self-discovery, empowerment, and the profound impact of exceptional educators.