Getting Into All Eight Ivy League Schools!

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This time of year, most students would be thrilled to gain acceptance into their top-choice schools.  Kwasi Enin, from Long Island, as many may have heard, gained acceptance into every single school he applied, including all eight Ivy League schools!  This extraordinary feat is even more impressive in light of the steep decline in acceptance rates among these institutions in recent years.

Some would call Mr. Enin very lucky, and it would certainly be imprudent to discount the role of good-fortune in the college admissions process.  However, it would be equally unwise to dismiss this feat as pure luck.  In fact, if we were to consider college admissions as a random process, the chances of admission into every Ivy League School would be just 0.00000026%!

Clearly, Mr. Enin had an application that stood out to college admissions officers everywhere.  What exactly made him so coveted by the nation’s most prestigious schools?  Let’s take a look.

1)      Academics:

Colleges and Universities want to know that they will be admitting the “best and brightest,” who stand a good chance of succeeding in an academically rigorous environment.  Accordingly, admissions counselors always look first and foremost at grades in school.  Mr. Enin worked hard throughout high-school, and maintained a strong GPA, ranking 11th in his class of 647.  In addition, school look for students who strive to challenge themselves in school (to the extent possible). Mr. Enin will have completed 11 A.P. classes by the time he graduates!

2)     SAT Score:

An SAT score is, for better or worse, a crucial part of the college admissions process.  A good score can validate your grades and confirm to admissions officers that you have the “intellectual horsepower” to succeed in an academic environment.  Luckily, the SAT can be “beaten” with strong preparation and a good understanding of the test (something Reach-Higher specializes in!).  Mr. Enin was fortunate enough to receive a 2250/2400 on his SAT.

3)     Extracurricular Activities:

Many schools like well-rounded individuals who will not only contribute academically, but also socially and ethically as well.  Therefore, admissions officers look for a breadth of activities and interests.  Leadership is also an important component. Not surprisingly, Mr. Enin happens to be a musician who sings in the school’s a capella group and volunteers at Stony Brook University Hospital’s radiology department.

4)     The Application:

Many view the application as a formality; it is not!  In fact, some would call this the most important part.  The application essay has to be insightful, interesting, and representative of the candidate.  Many times, it is the only “direct” contact an admissions officer has with the student, meaning it’s the only chance they have to get to know their prospective students.  Having a great story, vision, and set of goals is crucial.  See Mr. Enin’s essay here.

Getting into the college of your dreams can be a tedious process, and rarely will it work out as spectacularly as it did with Mr. Enin.  However, with the right preparation, guidance, and effort, it is possible to put yourself in a position to achieve success.

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Getting Started with your Resume…it can sometimes be the toughest part!

The resume is absolutely crucial to the success of any job seeker, especially given the competitive state of today’s economy. For most candidates, the resume is the only thing that most recruiting directors and hiring managers will see that represents them; the qualifications and potential fit of these candidates all boil down to a piece, or perhaps a few pieces, of paper. As a job seeker, if you are to “stand out,” and have any shot of advancing your candidacy, you will need a compelling, well-constructed, and professionally crafted resume.

Reach-Higher has the skills to show you how.

If you are in search of career advice, resume review or construction help, or interview help, sign up here for free!

Getting Started

Sometimes the hardest part of any initiative is getting started, especially if its something as important as a resume. Many times this is due to a lack of structure or guidance. Most individuals that are new to the job market aren’t sure where to begin, and most potential job seekers with an outdated resume never know what to keep on the resume and what needs to go.

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What does “Reach-Higher” symbolize to me?

Inside my former dorm, at the University of Pennsylvania, is emblazoned a powerful proverb: “It takes a village to raise a child.” As a young freshman college student witnessing this grand tribute to the value of community for the first time, I was more puzzled than awed. College, at times, can be a blur, and taking time to ponder the role of community in defining character can be difficult. It wasn’t until my graduation day, as I made a final return to the dorm, that it struck me just how influential this mantra had been in defining my college experience.

Situated in the heart of West-Philadelphia, my collegiate experience was marked by service as much as it was marked by academia. Throughout my four years I tutored and mentored young elementary and high school students. My Fridays were remembered not for the parties I attended, but for the memorable opportunities I had to volunteer at Lea Elementary School. During my final year of college, I opened an SAT tutoring branch in my hometown of Stamford, CT, and tutored several students for free. Almost unwittingly, the philosophy of community and character reinforcing each other had manifested itself in my college experience.

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I’m Sam, the Director of Programs

I’m originally a Midwesterner, and have been in Boston for the last two years due to my work as a consultant with Liberty Mutual Insurance, where I work with many of the other co-founders of Reach-Higher. I’ve been involved in tutoring programs since high school, when I volunteered on a weekly basis helping a middle school student practice and develop conversational Spanish skills. I continued on to participate in a one-on-one tutoring and mentoring program throughout college. But the primary reason I became involved with Reach-Higher is my girlfriend, a severely overworked 6th grade English teacher in Rhode Island, whose daily struggles to help close the Achievement Gap inspired me to devote my free time to doing the same. I am currently working to help develop the curriculum for Reach-Higher’s SAT tutoring class, but look forward to helping out as a tutor, or wherever I am needed as this organization grows!

Hi I’m Reguli, the Director of Communications/Program Coordinator

Hi everyone!
My name is Reguli, and I’m so excited to be meeting you all in the coming weeks as classes get started. Just a little background on me – I grew up in Florida, but my mom is from Switzerland which is where my name is from. I moved to Boston for college almost 5 years ago. Last year, I graduated from MIT with a degree in Management Science and a concentration in Economics. Throughout my life, I’ve been involved in competitive sports and I was a varsity athlete in college. I still try to stay active as much as possible even now that I’ve graduated, and recently I’ve actually gotten involved in Crossfit. I also hope to get out on the water and go windsurfing and kite surfing once the water warms up a little bit more!
I’m also active in the community, through volunteering with Make-A-Wish and doing philanthropy work for Alpha Phi and cardiac care in college, and now the Junior League of Boston. In college, I was also heavily involved in a program that sent teams of two girls from MIT to cities around the country, so that we could visit about 20-25 public middle & high school students in each city and speak to young girls about the importance of education as well as more about careers in science & engineering. I think my passion for education started because my mom was a teacher and loves her job so much, and has also been reinforced throughout my life because I’ve come to realize what a huge difference getting a good education can make in your life! I feel so lucky to have been able to attend a prestigious university and succeed there, and I am pumped to help you all do the same! Now onto my role within Reach-Higher….

I am the Director of Communications and the Program Coordinator for Reach-Higher, so it’s very likely that at some point you’ll be getting emails from me (I’ll try not to make them tooo long). I’m going to make sure students, tutors, and mentors are all up to date on what’s going on with Reach-Higher, when/where classes are going to be held, and any other relevant information. With the exec team’s help, I’ll also be maintaining our presence on social media via this blog, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. If there’s any information or questions that you’d like addressed, please feel free to reach out via email to Reguli.Granger@Reach-Higher.org.

I’m Veronika, Director of Business Development!

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to the Reach-Higher Blog where you can count on finding the latest news about our organization and programs! My name is Veronika and I am the Business Development Director for Reach-Higher. This means that my focus is primarily on improving and growing our organization with the goal of being more effective and reaching more people. As all the other directors I am also going to be closely involved in the tutoring process.

Our team is passionate about using our knowledge to help students and community members, who have limited access to educational resources. Personally I believe that education is the most powerful tool available to us. It opens our minds and builds our capabilities to be valuable members of society. I am passionate about this project because I know how much the mentors in my life helped me along my educational and business career and I want to give back.

I am looking forward to working with some of you! Check out my bio (http://www.reach-higher.org/about/meetus.html) for more information on my background! Please also feel free to email me at Veronika.Kamenova@reach-higher.org.

Daniel Topler-Garcia, Director of Operations

My name is Dan, and I’ve been living in Boston for the past year since graduating Cornell University in May of 2012. In college, I studied Applied Economics and Management, and was a teaching assistant for three different classes.

I am the Director of Operations for Reach Higher, and will work closely with the team and other third-party organizations to help coordinate tutoring, counseling, and mentoring programs for the greater Boston area. As someone who has had the importance of education ingrained into my brain from a very young age, I am extremely excited to be part of Reach Higher, and can’t wait to see the achievements of our students!

If you would like to contact me, please don’t hesitate to email me: Daniel.Topler-Garcia@reach-higher.org.

Stay tuned for more content…

Friends, supporters, and patrons,

Thank you for checking out the Reach-Higher website and blog!  Please check here for frequent updates regarding our programs and content, including some helpful resources for students and professionals.  In the next few days, members from out executive team will be posting some information about themselves, their role in the organization, and their general views on education.

In the meantime, explore our site, and feel free to email us at info@reach-higher.org with questions, comments, and suggestions.

Aim high, Reach-Higher!