Our Story

//Our Story
Our Story 2017-02-14T15:28:59+00:00

We inspire confidence and
develop a passion for learning.

Our headquarters!


Personalize the educational experience to transform struggling students into confident, engaged, and inspired learners who will change the world.


Yellow Parachute was founded in 1999 by classroom teacher Cara Thorpe when she saw the diversity of individual needs that exist within a class of students. She sought to support students who were falling through the cracks of large classroom sizes through the power of individual attention, relationship building, and student/teacher conferencing – always seeking to walk in a student’s shoes to find out the best way to teach her or him. Cara incorporated the values and insight she gained through classroom teaching into 1:1 instruction, tutoring students at night and during the summer months. She found that 1:1 tutoring opened her eyes to new ways to serve her classroom students as well. Cara left teaching in the classroom to stay home with her first child in 2006 and continued building Yellow Parachute’s staff and client base.


Through her teaching connections, Cara learned of fellow educators who were interested in making a difference in students’ lives and hired them as Learning Coaches. Thus, the simple but effective “see a need, fill a need” philosophy that describes Yellow Parachute’s Coach-Match process was born. Cara began recruiting the most talented educators and relationship-builders in the field. She noticed that individuals who are passionate about the well-being of children will go above and beyond to ensure their success. When you combine passionate, skilled educators with children who have a need outside the classroom day, a powerful combination of learning and relationship-building results. This became a characteristic in a Yellow Parachute Coach: a passion that fuels growth beyond expectations.


A key component of Yellow Parachute’s growth in 2010 was the addition of ACT/SAT Test Preparation courses. Cara sought the best test-prep professional in the Twin Cities and forged a partnership for training Test Prep Coaches, and delivering elite services in the test-prep arena. The company charges a premium price and delivers highest results. A combination of high customer loyalty and referrals has created demand for Test Prep services, especially in the south-west suburbs of Minneapolis. Yellow Parachute’s staff of approximately 10 Test Prep Coaches has a full roster prior to each test prep cycle.


Cara continuously recruits passionate, talented educators to the Yellow Parachute team because she sees that a key differentiator of the company is its depth and breadth of talent. Cara looks for the Coach who is willing to go the extra mile. After all, we are all successful because someone was willing to do the same for us. Yellow Parachute employs over 50 Learning Coaches as independent contractors across the Twin Cities, meeting the needs of over 300 diverse learners. The company has successfully implemented an after school tutoring model for 40 students in reading and math for the 2015-16 school year and has returned to serve 100 students in 2016-2017. Our goal is to double the impact in the private client industry and implement the after school tutoring model in at least 5 schools over the next two years. Yellow Parachute looks forward to working with you!

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