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I grew up in the sleepy beach town of Sarasota, Florida. As first-generation immigrants, my parents had high expectations for my sisters and me. They passed on their values of hard work, helping others, and setting high goals for their children. My parents were determined to provide their children with the best education possible, so for ten years, my parents drove me to and from the gifted school a county over. For the next decade, I was immersed in a learning community that challenged, supported, and developed me as a leader and a learner. In school, I discovered my deep love of literature, my interest in the sciences, and my passion for social justice work, beginning with my involvement with clubs like the Save Darfur Club and Peace Jam. I felt that my teachers truly cared about me and my development as a person, not just as a student, and were truly passionate about their subjects, a passion which they passed on to their students.
After high school, I began at the University of Florida where I planned to continue studying English literature while also entering the pre-med track. After coming from a graduating class of 200 students, I found the 40,000 student body at UF daunting to say the least. I found myself lost in large lecture classes and was disconcerted by the lack of engagement from the professors. I had the most success in learning when I enrolled in Study Edge, a separate tutoring service that provided students at UF with the small group setting and one-on-one tutoring that students thrive in. With their help, I successfully completed all of my pre-med requirements and began to focus more on my English major requirements and my minors in international development and women’s studies.
When I took an English class on the writing of black women my junior year, I delved into the narratives of slaves, Audre Lorde, and Angela Davis. For the first time, I learned about civil injustices from first-hand accounts. I felt electrified by the knowledge and continued to take classes at the intersection of social justice and literature. I realized that I wanted to educate others about this as well, and became an assistant director for Gatorship, a social justice retreat held by UF. That summer, I also taught at a government school in Bangalore, India where I was one of three teachers for over 100 students. That experience first piqued my interest in educational equity and how to create rich learning environments for marginalized students.
After college, I decided to join Teach for America to help provide quality education to all students, regardless of race, gender, or class. During my two years at Kennedy High School in Richmond, CA, I taught English, reading, and English language development classes. My teaching was guided by the deep conviction that all students could achieve if provided with the right support and teacher relationship. I also worked with GO Public Schools West Contra Costa, a local non-profit, to conduct research and develop a district policy suggestion to increase college eligibility and readiness of our students.
I was fortunate enough to have older sisters that guided me in the confusing world of college preparation and application. The summer before my junior year, my sisters helped me create an SAT study plan and helped me review questions that I didn’t understand. As a teacher, I incorporated SAT and ACT test prep into our weekly routine because I know how important it is that students feel prepared and confident before they take a standardized test. Though I specialized in English in college, I have enjoyed helping students navigate the entirety of the SAT and ACT exams, from reading and writing to math and science. I aim to help students find the commonalities between the sections, demonstrating how careful reading on the math and a structured approach to the reading and writing can help them navigate these portions of the tests. As a tutor at AJ, I hope to empower students with the skills and dedication needed to do their absolute best on their SAT and ACT exams, and enjoy working with a wide range of students to help them reach their standardized testing goals.
I believe deeply in the potential for all students to achieve their academic goals if provided with the right support, guidance, and high expectations. I’ve seen my students grow tremendously in their reading, writing, speaking, and test taking skills, and have seen the profound effects this has had on their confidence and self-efficacy.
SAT Subject Math2
SAT Subject Literature