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In This Issue:
NEW! Summer Personal Statement Workshop
Fear Proves To Be A Poor Finals Motivator
Maximizing Study Time Using Creative Scheduling
Coach of the Month: Matt Westerman
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Academic Success Partner of the Month

We're proud to once again introduce our readers to a Success Partner doing tremendous work in the field of College Counseling, Karin Goldberg and her company Right Fit College Decision. After a long and successful career in technology sales, Karen decided upon a new and exciting second career: college admissions counseling.  Having endured the stress of her own children's college admissions experience, Karen felt there had to be a more structured, less emotional approach to the admittance process. Karen's approach is unique in that she takes a longer view than the average college counselor, by starting with the questions, "Where do you see yourself after college? What type of career are you considering?" These questions require a focus on what a college education provides-a solid foundation for the future. 

Karen works closely with students, parents, financial aid counselors, and teachers to develop an individualized strategy for each client that will produce a list of schools that provide the Right Fit.

This Fit includes academic, social, and financial components. 

Karen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY and an Independent Educational Consultant Certificate from UCLA.  She regularly attends workshops and college admissions conferences to keep abreast of changes in the field. She is also a

member of the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA)  and the Western Association for College Admission Counseling (WACAC).

For more info on Karen and RightFit, visit the website

 or call 310.994.1631.

Personal Statement

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How Academic Success Can Support You
At Academic Success we take great pride in finding the right coach to support the unique needs of each student we help.  Please check out the areas where we work on our  web site and let us know how we can support you.

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We work and partner with excellent Educational Therapists and College Counselors throughout the L.A. area.  Give us a call and we can recommend the right fit for your child.

Welcome To Our Stress-Free Finals Edition!
It is no surprise that many of our kids experience intolerably high stress levels around finals time, given the level of academic competition and a pressure to succeed that is beginning at an increasingly early age.
This month, the director of the award-winning educational documentary "Race To Nowhere" 
penned a striking op-ed in the Huffington Post decrying the pressure-cooker environment surrounding our kids as they face the yearly ritual of finals.
The cruel irony for our kids is that the importance they, their parents and educators place on finals may be contributing to sub-optimal performances when the big exams come around. 
In this month's issue, we'll offer students (and parents!) some tools that will hopefully calm the mind and lower stress levels. We'll also highlight the growing awareness that fear is a poor motivator for high performance in our schools. 

At Academic Success, we strive to equip our students with a grounded, confident approach to their work that will set them apart when it matters most.
Please call with any questions at (310) 823 4398 or


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All the best,


The Academic Success Team


"To be a champion, you have to learn how to handle stress. But if you've prepared mentally and physically, you don't have to worry."

                                                      - Harvey Mackay

Education News 

Fear Proves To Be A Poor Finals Motivator


Sometimes the most well-intentioned strategies for motivating our kids can produce unforeseen consequences. This enlightening ABC news report focuses on a groundbreaking UK study showing that kids' exam results suffer when parents use negative reinforcement.


Teaching Our Kids About Stress


One of the most challenging aspects of helping our kids with their stress is instilling an understanding of it. This insightful and accessible PBS Kids feature on stress is a must-see for students and a terrific opportunity on the eve of finals for parents and kids to learn together. 


 "Study Buddies" Helping As 
Finals Approach


There is one foolproof stress-reliever for many of our kids that is free, always there and ready to help: their pets! Research done by has shown that loving interaction with our animals produces chemicals that have a tangibly positive effect on student's stress levels. This informative piece focuses on a college campus using local animals to lighten the load for its students.  

Finals Exams Are A Good Thing


One way to help kids manage this part of the academic calendar is to reinforce that these exams are designed to benefit them over the long term. This timely piece from a high school newspaper should serve as an excellent reminder for those questioning the need for these critical exams.  


All Work and No Breaks A 
Poor Finals Formula
Sometimes those with the very best work ethic run into the biggest stress-related problems when finals arrive. Kids can become locked into their work schedule, forgetting to eat, rest or simply switch off, leading to reduced returns in their work. This insightful article from a college counselor promotes the benefits of 'taking 5' anytime you feel the need.

Study Tips 

Maximizing Study Time Using 
Creative Scheduling

One mistake any of us can make when faced with projects and deadlines is to spend every available second rushing to our desks to work. 
While this might seem to be the most productive approach, it usually results in exhaustion and burnout, not to mention boredom and a gloomy outlook.
What is more effective is to take the time to schedule fun, relieving breaks throughout our work day, giving ourselves time to let our minds go, awaken our bodies and reinvigorate our mood.
Students can stick a whiteboard above their study space and be creative in how they plan their work day. Maybe it begins with a nice breakfast outside and a walk with a friend. Lunch could involve a visit to a local cafe or taking the dog to the park. The evening could be broken up into two study periods with some entertainment in between.
It is human nature to need something to look forward to. Planning short, enjoyable breaks from our work leads greater productivity in a shorter period of time, not to mention a more positive outlook. 

Coach Profile 

Meet Matt Westerman
  Coach Profile of The Month  


This month we'd like to re-introduce you to one of the veterans of on our team, Matt Westerman. Having earned his BA in psychology from UC Santa Barbara, Matt is very familiar with many of the mental and emotional challenges that students face during finals time. Matt brings an insightful and compassionate approach to his coaching. Knowing that enthusiasm is infectious, Matt is relentlessly optimistic and encouraging when working with his students, motivating them to push themselves farther then they normally would. He understands that everyone learns differently, and enjoys discovering the best ways in which his students learn and then applying that method. Matt loves to see his students begin to believe in themselves and realize how much they're capable of.

He enjoys playing basketball with his friends in his spare time and is also a talented singer/songwriter who plays frequently in the LA area.

We consider it a privilege and an honor to support students and their families throughout the Los Angeles area.  Please call us at any time; we welcome your thoughts and input.  We are available at 310-823-4398.

Jamie Altshule
Academic Success, Inc.