Working in the after-school industry for 14 years, Manu Shahi said people too often focused on what students were doing wrong. She said she wanted to focus on why students were struggling and help them develop better study habits.

Shahi opened her business, Homework In A Café, in 2017. She said her main focus was middle schoolers because they usually go through the most change.

“We started in coffee shops,” Shahi said. “It was a success because middle schoolers felt really cool going to coffee shops to study since typically that only happened for high schoolers and college kids.”

Homework In A Café is an after-school organization that aims to help kids from fifth grade to 10th grade with studying skills and techniques. In addition, the business offers programs dedicated to different academic areas, such as math and reading. A new class focuses on life skills in high school.

When she began her program, Shahi was the only person tutoring kids in coffee shops, which were the inspiration for the business name. Through her experience in the coffee shops, Shahi said she found out middle-schoolers could connect well with high school students. Now, most of the tutors at Homework In A Café are high schoolers.

“We would hire high schoolers with good records in different high schools in the community to work one-on-one with students,” she said.

Shahi said she made her first breakthrough at Argyle Middle School when its principal gave her the idea to make Homework In A Café into an after-school program.

“He asked us to come into the library and tested how we did,” she said. “We were the first program ever to be approved by the school district as an after-school program for middle school because typically, everything ends past elementary.”

Since then, Shahi has spread the business to various middle schools in Flower Mound, Lewisville, Highland Village, Carrollton and The Colony. Homework In A Café had been operating only virtually, but Shahi said services are now offered both virtually and in person. Parents will be charged monthly for sessions they choose based on their students’ needs.

“When you have a passion with the mission, somehow you just find the energy from inside and go for it,” Shahi said.

Helping to learn: Homework In A Café offers a variety of programs to help students from fifth-10th grade learn study skills. Sessions are held at individual schools. Programs offered include remote homework help and study skills coaching; tutoring in specific academic areas; study skills development; life skills coaching.

Homework In A Café, 3861 Long Prairie Road, Flower Mound. 972-333-4663. Hours: Weekdays after school.