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During the summer of 2009, when Richard Jimenez was a rising high school senior, his sister Elizabeth was selected to be a Let’s Get Ready Site Director. Having firsthand experience of Let’s Get Ready she encouraged her younger brother to apply to the program, a suggestion that would go a long way for Richard. In Richard’s words he describes what that summer seminar was like, “The strategies I learned and my comfort with the test was enough to positively impact my test-taking ability, I was able to increase over 200 points from my previous SAT score. This increase not only put me in a better position as I applied to schools like Brown, Williams, Tufts, and Syracuse, but it also gave me more confidence in submitting my application to such competitive schools.”
“Let’s Get Ready makes a difference in the lives of its students by making them realize that there is support out there. That there is always someone looking out for you. My college student Coaches helped me so much. One, Angel, told me what life was like for him at Cornell. It was so powerful because he was from the Bronx, too.”
A star student, coach, and founder of the Tufts Let’s Get Ready program, Vanessa is truly an inspiration to all. Just three years before entering high school in New York City she emigrated from Colombia to the United States with her mother and younger sister. Both her parents attended college in Colombia but were unfamiliar with the application process in this country. Vanessa always knew she would attend college, but she didn’t know how to navigate her way through the process, nor was she sure where she should apply.
“If anyone knows the power of Let’s Get Ready, I do.” These are the words of Akunna Uka, who participated in Let’s Get Ready’s Mount Vernon Summer Program in 2009. As a result of her commitment to the program she increased her SAT scores by a total of 400 points and was accepted to the Class of 2014 at Swarthmore College."
Today Albert is a software engineer at Yahoo, and a graduate of Columbia University. He has earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Computer Engineering. While at Columbia, he received scholarships from the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and from the NASA MUST (motivating undergraduates in science and technology) program. Through the NASA MUST program, he interned at NASA for 3 summers between 2007 and 2010. After graduating from Columbia University in 2010, he remained there to pursue his master’s degree, which he completed in 2011.
Growing up, Breeana Moore would dream of being an international traveler. What would it be like to travel around the world and learn as many languages as possible? But few people in her Harlem community ever left the neighborhood to attend college, let alone to go travel the world. And, like many other minority families living in Harlem, her’s struggled with finances and providing academic help.
“Join the military or go to college”, that was the “simple” choice that Jason Hodge and his siblings were given. His mother made it clear to them at a very early age that they must choose one of these routes in order to be successful in life...Jason chose college.
As a result of the SAT preparation and guidance he received from his coaches and the support staff at Let’s Get Ready, Jason was accepted at his top choice college, Clarkson University. He earned a B.S. in Computer Engineering in 2007, and today Jason is a Software and Systems Engineer at the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, NY.
For the Kusi family, Let’s Get Ready has been a successful Family Affair! When it was time for their daughter Jeanette to start the college application process, her parents knew just where to turn...Let’s Get Ready. The program that had helped her two older siblings, both of whom are college graduates and on the way to successful careers, gain admittance to their top choice schools.
“When I was a high school student participating with Let’s Get Ready, they told me ‘You’ll hear from us again.’ People say that all the time. But at Let’s Get Ready, they really mean it.”
Let’s Get Ready alumnus Mayan Oliveros is a rising sophomore at Columbia University. She has ambitious plans to major in neuroscience / neurobiology, and is living proof of how the program transforms the lives of its participants. According to Mayan, “My freshman year was a really exciting experience. It was a big transition going from high school to a rigorous college, but participating in Let’s Get Ready’s program while still in high school smoothed that transition for me.
From an early age Narly Cabral- Núñez remembers her father saying, “College is the golden ticket to success here in the United States.” Growing up with this idea engrained in her head, Narly was determined to fulfill her parents and her own dream of achieving a college degree. Today, thanks to Let’s Get Ready’s program, she is well on her way to graduating from the College of the Holy Cross, and maybe even more important, setting an example for her younger family members.
Let’s Get Ready impacted Violet Fermin’s life, first by opening doors of opportunity and then by opening her eyes to the reality that there are countless high school students who don’t receive the quality of education or encouragement and support they need to realize that they have the ability to attend college.
When Annette Finnegan attended Let’s Get Ready’s program for the first time, she knew she had finally beaten the odds. Annette realized not only would she attend college, but also that she would finally receive valuable guidance to help her determine where she would like to go and how she would be able pay for it. This July, thanks to the test-taking skills, guidance, and support she received from everyone at Let’s Get Ready, as well as her inner strength, Annette will attend Columbia University with a full ride.
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