Saturday, October 22, 2016

Aspire and Achieve Testimonial from Rickey Jackson

Rickey Jackson graduated from Oakland Technical High School last June. He was part of our Aspire and Achieve Program and is now at Cal State East Bay. On another posting I will put in the speech he gave at graduation. For now, though I want so post his testimonial to Aspire and Achieve:

Aspire and Achieve
Over the past year, I have been helped by all types of people, but the individuals under Aspire and Achieve are by far the best. It was more than just the work that we did, we made a great connection with one another. I felt as if I know them on a different level. They really cared about helping me with my work and making sure that I understood everything that I did.
Max Shapiro, who was my Math tutor with Aspire and Achieve, would spend many hours of his time on weekends, on the phone with me and on Skype helping me to understand math. Math had become one of my worst subjects, but recently I have gotten so much better at it. Working with Max is great, he is a great teacher, also he is very patient and takes his time when he is working with me.
Thomas Demerath, who is my English tutor with Aspire and Achieve, I feel like I made the foremost connection with, helped me study for my EPT test. He showed me how to write a whole essay from just a few lines. That was one of my biggest challenges, I didn’t know how to expand my thoughts. I was able to improve my writing skills so much, I learned how to correct my punctuation, and I can write essays better. My teacher began to notice. It got to the point that she thought that I had been cheating, but then I had to show her that I was the one doing the work.
Aspire and Achieve did more for me then just tutoring, for example things that impacted my whole education. They help me with fees to go up to Sonoma to take a mandatory test that I needed for college. If they did not help me, It would have been hard for me to make my way there. They were able to help me with my fees for my trip to New York with the African American Male Achievement Student Leadership Council. I wouldn’t have been able to get around or pay for food while I was out there without them.
The biggest difference was that I felt as if they really took helping me seriously, also I felt as if it wasn't just for a paycheck the feeling was that they actually cared about my education. You could tell more and more each time that we worked together. I greatly appreciate everything that they have done for me and I can say that they made a huge impact on my life.

Rickey Jackson

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