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In This Issue:
Charting A New Course For Our Kids
Study Tip: Improving Soft Skills For Higher Achievement
Coach of the Month: Roman Vena
Quick Links
Academic Success Partner 
of the Month
This month we're excited to visit again with one of our favorite  Success Partners doing excellent work in the field of Academic Life Coaching, Hayden Lee. Hayden is a certified Academic Life Coach for teens and young adults in middle school, high school, and college. He is a Teen Motivation Specialist who offers customized coaching for students who want to step it up, but don't know how to get there. As a former SAT tutor, he realized at the heart of most students' academic struggles was lack of confidence and motivation. As a result, he trained and became certified as an Academic Life Coach in order to address those issues directly and empower young adults with the tools to find their own solutions. Hayden now uses a unique 12-session program to help students link a sense of purpose to their work, thus establishing effective systems to generate and sustain that crucial motivation and confidence. He gives students the tools to make academic and personal success easier and less stressful. By teaching young adults that their thoughts have a huge impact on their actions, students experience increased self-awareness and can more easily distinguish which of their thoughts, habits, and actions are useful in achieving what they want. Hayden is also an inspirational speaker and has spoken at many events including two TEDx Talks for youth. 
He is a cum laude graduate from UC San Diego with degrees in Psychology, Theatre, and a minor in European Studies, spending his third year of college studying in Paris at the Sorbonne. "I like to focus on helping students identify the "why" of their education," Hayden says, "which means helping students identify their passions and 'why' they should put in the work and effort to achieve their goals. No matter what grades they have, when they can answer their 'why', putting in the effort is a lot easier and more fulfilling." Visit Hayden's website, email him or call 310-826-0540.
Looking For A Student 
Community Service Opportunity?
Meet Rickey Smith, social entrepreneur and owner of the sustainable food business Urban Green. He's started a community education venture called the Urban Green Kids Row program, creating opportunities for kids from diverse backgrounds to participate in many activities related to food sustainability, from planting seeds  to learning about how organic food is grown and harvested. For more info on a terrific
community service and volunteering opportunity for kids, email Rickey, 

or call (800) 200 3320.

Check out Our  YouTube Video!
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Academic Success is very proud of the two-minute video we recently produced to give you a feel for who we are, our philosophy and the way we approach our work
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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Looking for a College Counselor or Ed Therapist?
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 Final Edition 
for 2015

GreetingAnd with most of us looking ahead to the coming year, it's a perfect time to explore where education in our country is headed in 2016 and beyond.
Earlier this year, author Dr.Denise Pope caused some controversy with the release of her book Overloaded and Underprepared. The book, based on extensive research, raised awareness around the fact that due to increasing homework loads and exhaustive testing, our kids may be lacking in important collaborative, creative and critical thinking skills.
While not all those involved in education agreed with Dr.Pope's perspective, the book has ratcheted up a discussion that is long overdue: do we need to fundamentally change our educational landscape? How are we going to simultaneously reduce stress on our kids while also making them globally competitive, both academically and later in their professional lives?
In our 2015 finale, we'll delve deeper into the issue, looking at different perspectives and possibilities for education in the future. We'll also provide a counter-argument to Dr.Pope as we try to shine more light on this crucial issue facing the students of today and tomorrow. 

At Academic Success, we aim to be ahead of the curve when it comes to anticipating the most important changes taking place on the educational terrain. 

Please call with any questions at (310) 823 4398 or

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All the best,

The Academic Success Team

"Life is divided into three terms: that which was, which is and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, to live better in the future."
                                                               - William Wordsworth

Education News 

Charting A New Course For Our Kids
In her book Overloaded and Underprepared, Stanford Senior Lecturer on Education Denise Pope presents a call to action for every stakeholder involved in the education of our children. This enlightening Huffington Post interview makes a strong argument for foundational change that would relieve the enormous burdens hindering our kids' personal and academic development.


"non-academic" Skills Might Be 
A Difference-Maker
Hot off the presses, a recent study out of Dunedin, New Zealand may confirm what Dr.Pope and other education experts have been asserting: that so-called "soft skills" such as openness to learning, collaboration and even impulse control may be keys to success in school and later in life. This stimulating report couldn't be more timely, as we grapple with the direction education should take in the near and distant future.

Music Education Nurturing High Achievers

As a different debate rages over the slashing of funding for arts education in our country, a growing consensus is forming around the efficacy of music education in our schools. This engrossing article, featuring interviews with music teachers and students, expands on the advantages bestowed upon those lucky enough to have music education as a key part of their curricula.


On The 
Most Important "Skill" Of All
While Dr.Pope's book presents a multi-faceted approach to transforming education, the part that most resonated with acclaimed New York Times columnist Frank Bruni focused on our kids' sleep (or lack thereof). This typically excellent op-ed from Mr.Bruni also recommends other inspiring, brilliantly written books that offer a new vision for education in our country.   

An Argument For
More, Not Less

As mentioned in our opener, not everyone is jumping on board the Overloaded and Underprepared train. This thoughtful piece, while generally supportive of the concepts in the book, makes the salient point that while most of America's affluent, "high-pressure" schools may be asking too much of their students, those students in less privileged surroundings may not be doing enough. 

Study Tips 

Improving "Soft Skills" For 
Higher Achievement

As they move along in their academic careers, our kids receive enormous amounts of information about how to become great studiers in order to achieve high grades. Yet, as is discussed in this month's issue, cultivating excellent "soft skills" may have the power to not only make studying easier, but also more time-efficient. 
Staying calmly optimistic in the face of difficulty is a critical soft skill that will save time and energy. For example: how often have you quit studying because something was too difficult? What if you could simply stay calm, trust that the solution will arrive and keep at it? That approach may mean the difference between getting work done today and putting it off until tomorrow- or next week.
Adaptability is another powerful soft skill. Do you find yourself getting stuck in one way of doing things? Being open to new approaches and getting creative in the face of challenges is an incredibly effective tool that will guarantee success in school and in the professional world.
The ability to collaborate and learn from others 
is a common trait found in high achievers in every field. How open are you to others' suggestions? Are you able to work (and study) with others and create a positive, team dynamic? We all benefit when we engage with others in a positive, supportive way.
Three these skills are just a few of many soft skills that help to produce tangible, transformative results and make studying easier, less time-consuming and more productive. 

Coach Profile 

Meet Roman Vena,
  Coach Profile of The Month   

Once again we have the opportunity to introduce you to one of our newer coaches and this month, we'd like you to meet Roman Vena.   Roman was born on the West Coast of the US, in San Diego but spent most of his childhood on the other side of the country, in Pensacola, Florida. Like many of our tutors, Roman continues to develop his academic portfolio and is currently in the third year of a Mechanical Engineering degree at UCLA. Roman believes that every student is a source of enormous untapped potential waiting to be unlocked with the right support and guidance. He loves to see students develop confidence in subjects that were previously a struggle. When not tutoring or studying himself, Roman loves sports and the outdoors, frequently surfing, mountain biking and playing pickup basketball.
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.