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This past year, I had the pleasure of working with a bright student in preparation for the ACT.

Olivia was a wonderful student who taught me so much about how tutors can have such a positive impact on their student’s life and how “getting real” is often the most effective way to establish a genuine relationship.

Due to scheduling issues, finding a routine for my sessions with Olivia was challenging; we barely found a way to meet every two weeks. Furthermore, Olivia possessed several personal issues to overcome with herself: she had very little self-confidence in her abilities, despite being very intelligent. Over the course of our time together, we had many conversations where I had to encourage her to own her abilities as she was very reluctant to admit there was a possibility that she could do well on the test.

When we sat down to work through Performance Prep techniques, we had a breakthrough. I made her focus on writing positive things about herself. The final attribute was one I gave her–I urged her to write: “I am intelligent.” She started crying after she wrote it down because, as she said, she “had never let herself think that way.”

It was a hard and emotional lesson for us, but incredibly rewarding; beyond the value it gave her, our time together really showed me how important it is for students to believe in themselves and know that they have the ability to do well.

-Academic Coach C.J. David

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“I am intelligent.”

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