Stories

SMU: World Changers Shaped Here.

Carl Dorvil

Success that took him to the boardroom started in his dorm room.

Carl started a small tutoring company in his dorm room. One of his MBA professors encouraged him to turn it into a full-time profession. Now his 300-person business, Group Excellence, provides mentors to thousands of struggling learners. He's changing the world one student at a time.

Carl Dorvil grew up in Garland, Texas, the son of Haitian immigrants who instilled in their children the importance of education at an early age.

Dorvil never took his education for granted. He attended Garland Christian Academy (GCA) where he earned the nickname "Superman" due to the many activities in which he participated, all while maintaining a high GPA. He graduated from GCA as the first black class president and first black Salutatorian. The nickname followed Dorvil to SMU where he ran for first-year class president as Carl "Superman" Dorvil. He was elected to the position, and then began the challenge of living up to the nickname.

Dorvil felt challenged to start a business. He started Group Excellence (GEx) out of his dorm room.

Since then, GEx has grown from a small, one-man show into a nearly 300-person operation, with offices in Houston, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth. Today, GEx serves over 5,000 students throughout the state and has partnered with the United Way, Texas Instruments Foundation, Heart of a Warrior Foundation and Princeton Review Foundation.

GEx is a Texas-certified Supplemental Education Service Provider offering free tutoring for students in low-performing, economically disadvantaged areas. Students who attend GEx’s after school programs are provided food at each session, as well as incentives and rewards to promote positive reinforcement. Private tutoring, college prep workshops and athletic programs are also available.

Once enrolled in business school, Dorvil began outlining GEx’s growth strategy.

"Tutoring turned from something I liked to do into my passion," he said. "But at the end of the day, what we strive to do best is motivate students. We don’t believe we are a tutoring company that mentors, we believe we are a mentoring company that tutors and that has makes all the difference."