Townsend Harris High School (Class of 2015)
Princeton University (Class of 2019)
There’s an ugly truth that we all face for the first time: not everybody wants to help when you are in need of it. Perhaps, those people will feign it; they will seem to devote copious amounts of time to you and you will work arduously, only to realize that nothing has changed at all, except for the fact that you’re now in a more complicated situation than it was before.
On the contrary, Accelerate was able to bring me to the level of understanding that I needed. The SAT course’s material was challenging and was able to pinpoint my strengths and weaknesses. Andrew’s original curriculum has that certain power that fortified the fundamentals of the test, making the test seem much less daunting and manifolds easier to be reckoned with than our current educational system makes it out to be. More importantly, as I took his class, I felt that I wasn’t simply aiming for a good SAT score for the sake of sending off to colleges—I was really learning for myself and beyond the test. Many people don’t decide to study vocabulary on whim or choose to write 20 minute essays, but when I did in his class, I realized that I could be using this material for far longer than the three hours I had to endure the SAT. In this respect, I slowly became to believe that this was the method Andrew uses to allow his students to learn; no other place does that, and it makes Accelerate all the more one-of-a-kind.
But of course, the program would be incomplete without speaking of the mastermind himself, Andrew. Despite the fact that I was in a classroom filled with students, I never felt neglected in the amount of attention he gave me to work on building my test taking skills, understanding the college process, and gaining insight to achieve my future goals. Andrew is much more than a teacher: he is a mentor. His perceptibility of strengths and weaknesses working in tandem with his understanding of the seemingly erratic educational system helped me hone in on my understanding of myself, whether that be personally or academically. From there, I could then gauge the points which I needed improvement and highlighting. Andrew made things look possible—and that was the charm of Accelerate. Since you felt like you COULD, you DID. I felt a support like I had never received before, and his dedication showed me the power an educator could have in a student’s life. It was one that could break down those barriers you think stand in your way from your goal, and it was incredible. To this day, even one year into college, I still attribute many, many aspects of my understanding of the world’s workings around me to his classes—they’re that powerful.