Valedictorian, Queens High School for the Sciences (Class of 2015)
Carnegie Mellon University (Class of 2019)
I attended Accelerate Academy for five years from middle school to high school. Prior to Accelerate, I went to another prep center closer to home; it was by chance that Accelerate’s ad ended up in my mail, just as my old prep center closed. Eager to send their child to excel in math and reading, my parents registered me just as Accelerate opened in Flushing. For me, it was an old door closing and a new one opening—except the old door was a dark and decrepit place, while the new door was warm and much more welcoming.
My time at Accelerate has undoubtedly developed my academic skills. When I first came, my math was underperforming. After working with the learning center’s exceptional teachers, I was able to build a sound foundation in math, which actually helped me get into Queens High School for the Sciences, one of the premier specialized high schools in New York. I always tell my classmates, “You know, without this prep I probably wouldn’t know you.” Though my English Language Arts skills were above average to begin with, Accelerate smoothed the rough edges, making my writing flow much better while also adding more complex words to my vocabulary. Being nearly a year ahead academically served as a tremendous asset school-wise and definitely reflected in my transcript, as I graduated valedictorian of my class.
Of course, the crème de la crème of Accelerate’s courses is its SAT course. Taught by Andrew Liu, it is by far one of the best—if not the best—SAT courses in New York City. His passion for and dedication to teaching make the SAT class actually fun and exciting; I’ve heard many of my friends attending Accelerate tell me that they look forward to prep, which I’m fairly positive any other student would consider insane. When I first took a practice SAT, I vaguely recall scoring in the 1500 range. After taking the SAT course at Accelerate, my score skyrocketed to a 2100. On the real exam, I achieved a super score of 2150. Andrew takes painstaking measures to make sure the class’s curriculum is perfect and organized, and it truly shows. If you had to send your kids anywhere to prepare for the SAT, send them here.
Lastly, and I believe most importantly, (executive director) Nina and Andrew legitimately care about the students who come here. They work tirelessly every day to ensure that all students at the academy are learning and being pushed to do better. They build an environment conducive to learning and make sure that everybody does his or her job, teachers and students alike. I can proudly say that Accelerate Academy has become my home away from home, and that my second family resides there. I’ve learned life lessons here and made timeless friendships. Though I realize that college and the professional world will be hectic, I know that I am prepared for the future due to the experiences I’ve had at Accelerate Academy.