College Student Creates Space for Children to Learn During Pandemic


DES MOINES, Iowa — A Des Moines college student is giving back to the community through education. 

Kali Douglass is the founder of the Learning Pod. She rents out classroom space at Franklin Jr. High School and offers assistance to students who attend school virtually. 

“Originally, my mom reached out to ask if I could help out with my sister’s online learning. After a couple of weeks went by, a couple of people reached out, and it just turned out as a business opportunity as well as an opportunity to help my community out,” Douglass said.

Douglass’ little sister is one of her students. 

“She’s my older sister,” said third grader Emerson Mulstay. “I like that my desk is right next to her desk.”

“She’s nice, she’s good, and she helps us when we need it,” said second grader Isla Huggins. 

While Douglass helps students with their studies, she also manages her tasks as a full-time college student.

“It’s quite challenging to keep my schooling going as well as their schooling, but it’s definitely been a great learning opportunity as well as learning to be efficient myself and be able to juggle life,” Douglass said.

Her mother, Rochelle Douglass, is proud of her daughter. 

“It was a lot to take on, and she’s handled it beautifully,” said Rochelle Douglass.

Currently, Douglass is offering tuition assistance to families in the community. 

“I have room for five more students, and I would really like for those five spots to be used in a way that could financially assist somebody,” said Douglass.

Anyone interested in enrolling their child at the Learning Pod can contact Douglass at


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