When I was in elementary school, academics, especially reading, did not come easily for me. I needed to see the speech and language teacher for help with my school work on a weekly basis. The guidance that I received in elementary school was invaluable and assisted me substantially when entering middle school. I specifically recall my parents meeting with the School Board prior to my first year of middle school. The School Board felt that I had improved so much my final year in elementary school that extra help was no longer required. My parents implored the Board to recognize that the help that they approved earlier allowed me to improve academically. My parents further explained that the Board should take credit for their accomplishment and understand that, by taking away my extra help, the possibility existed that I might regress. The Board finally agreed to continue providing me with extra help while in middle school. When I was a freshman in high school, I decided to undertake my school work without the extra help for which I still had approval. It became clear to me quickly that I would need to focus more conscientiously on my studies in order to maintain a good academic record. My diligence was rewarded as I improved academically in each year of high school. In my junior year, I was elected to the National Honor Society.
Upon reflecting as to what may have been instrumental in helping me to achieve my goals academically, one detail seemed to stand out in my mind. Prior to the beginning of my junior year, I was fortunate enough to meet a young entrepreneur, Scott Farber. He had graduated from Harvard and had started his own education learning center. He made a lasting first impression. I discussed with him the anxieties that I felt knowing my junior year would be challenging academically. We also spoke about preparing for the college application process. What struck me most was his candor and easy going personality. He made the idea of learning comfortable. To top it all off, he was a very “cool” guy, full of confidence and exuberance. As the school year began, I found myself feeling more confident about performing academically. In fact, I actually enjoyed the learning process. I realized, for the first time in my life, it is not only important to want to be educated, but “cool” to be smart. My junior year ended up being my best year academically, as I improved in every subject and raised my GPA. And my mentor? His company continues to grow as he has forged a number of successful partnerships with non-profit educational organizations. I aspire to be as successful as my mentor.