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Esprit de Corps

Last year, Match Charter Public School in Boston was ranked among the best 100 high schools from more than 18,000 across the US.

Its secret weapon lies on the third storey of its former car dealership showroom building, where a trendy loft-style dormitory houses more than 40 of the country's best recent university graduates.

These public spirited young adults are known collectively as the Match Corps. They help to turn around the education of often deprived pupils in return for a tiny monthly stipend of $600 and the chance to live rent-free, four to a room, in the heart of one of America's most expensive cities.

Every member of the corps is allocated four to six pupils, who they tutor in English and maths for up to two hours each day. Half of Match's pupils arrive at the school well behind in literacy and numeracy, but the corps' work means that those children are equipped to succeed at university by the time they leave.

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