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In This Issue:
Gratitude is a Brain-Changer
Study Tip: Be Grateful for Small Advances
Coach of the Month: Cassandra Chase
Quick Links
Academic Success Partner 
of the Month
This month we're excited to catch up with a 
Success Partner 
doing excellent work in the field of College 
Counseling, Nick Soper. Nick is the founder of Creative College Prep. While he works
with students of all backgrounds, Nick specializes in guiding creative, artistic, and otherwise "out-of-the-box" sorts of students on the path to college. Nick brings a rich background to his work, drawing upon his experiences as a writer, actor, musician and athlete among many other endeavors. A graduate of Northwestern University's Creative Writing program, Nick trained in UCLA Extension's prestigious college counseling certificate program. He now visits dozens of campuses every year for his work and is an active member of three professional associations. Nick's highest priority is creating an atmosphere of trust that empowers teenagers to show their best, most authentic selves, while holding them accountable so that parents can rest assured every step is being covered along the way. For more information, visit Nick's website or request a free consultation.
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 Kickoff 
edition for 2016!

How often do we tell ourselves (or are told) to 'be grateful for what you have'? Maybe cultivating a deeper sense of gratitude was high on your New Year's resolution list. Like many things, however, being more grateful is easier said than done, especially when we're unsure of not only how to express our gratitude, but why it's so important. 
Recently, we came across an amazing TED Talk about the power of saying thank you. As students and parents face ever-increasing stressors in their daily lives, it's critical to find ways of relieving pressure and emotional tension. As the gentleman in the TED talk explains, giving thanks to those around us (our educators and school staff may be a good place to start) not only changes their lives, but our own. 
This month, we'll explore the positive changes that flow from the simple act of being thankful for what we have. We'll show moving examples of students expressing gratitude to those who support their growth, without any expectation of recognition. We'll also delve further into the magic of gratitude and how to apply it in our personal, academic and professional lives. 

At Academic Success, we understand that our students have the greatest chance of sustaining high achievement when their mental and emotional health is nurtured. 

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

Find us on Facebook 

All the best,

The Academic Success Team

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." 
-William Arthur Ward

Education News 

Gratitude Is A "Brain-Changer"
Although we've long understood that gratitude can make us feel good, a new study out of Indiana University is helping us to understand that expressing gratitude can actually transform brain chemistry. This fascinating article in the Huffington Post this month reveals how "paying it forward" might be literally hard-wired into our brains. 


The Power 
of Gratitude In Action
One of the beautiful aspects of expressing gratitude is all the creative possibilities available to us in how we do it. This compilation of six videos from around the world, guaranteed to move and inspire you, features students coming together to express their gratitude to teachers in a variety of amazing ways. 

A New Idea
Catching Fire: the Gratitude Diary

While it's important to let those around us know how
grateful we are for their presence in our lives, expressing our gratitude in a solitary, introspective way can be just as transformational. This enlightening piece explores how starting a gratitude diary sparked a positive turnaround in the lives of two women facing their darkest hours.


Saying Thank You At Any Age
We've already seen some inspiring examples of teens and adults using gratitude to positively affect the people around them, but it's worth noting that it's never too early to begin teaching the value of being thankful. Last month during the holiday season, elementary schoolers in the Orlando area experienced the joy of saying thank you by giving their local law enforcement community a Christmas surprise they won't forget.  

Can Be A Career-Changer, Too

We've documented how gratitude can change the way others feel about themselves, but there's another unintended benefit: it can also change the way people view us professionally. This illuminating piece has fantastic insight for anyone looking to improve not only their professional relationships, but their long-term career prospects as well. 

Study Tips 

Be Grateful for Small Advances

Have you heard of Andrew Wiles? If mathematics is your primary area of study, then you may know this remarkable mathematician's story. 
Mr. Wiles is famous for solving one of the greatest mathematical mysteries in history, Fermat's Last Theorem. But it wasn't easy. It took Mr. Wiles seven years to come up with the solution. Seven years! 
It's fairly certain that if he'd allowed himself to be easily discouraged, he would have quit years before finally finding the answer to this great riddle. It must have been important to continually remind himself along the way that he was getting closer to his target.
The same is true for all of us, no matter how great or small our study assignment. Taking time to note even the smallest steps forward toward our goals can be the difference between sticking it out and settling for something less than our best. 
That's why journaling our academic gains at the end of every week can be a huge help in motivating ourselves to keep working hard. 
Take time on a Sunday evening to sit down, take out your academic journal and reflect on the advances you made in each subject, no matter how insignificant they may seem. During your week, make a note every time you have a new understanding, or lear from a mistake. You'll quickly see how many successes are occurring on a daily basis.
Those humble enough to be thankful for the smallest gains in their intellectual development are often the ones who go on to achieve seemingly impossible feats. 

Coach Profile 

Cassandra Chase,
  Coach Profile of The Month   

This month we'd like to catch up with another established presence on our team making important contributions in multiple areas here at Academic Success, Cassandra Chase. In addition to being an outstanding tutor, Cassie also works in the Business Development arm of the company, helping to plan and host company events. Last year she was one of the organizers of our first Academic Success Speaking Event and will be continuing in that role in 2016. Born in nearby San Diego, Cassie attended Cal State San Marcos, graduating with honors and a BA in Visual and Performing Arts. Cassie loves to help her students achieve a healthy balance between school and family life. She also utilizes her vast knowledge of communication skills learnt in acting school to make her coaching even more effective. One of Cassie's strengths is fostering a sense of individual connection with each student in order to facilitate growth and instill effective study habits. In her spare time, Cassie loves attending comedy shows, traveling, and exploring Los Angeles.  She is thrilled to have an expanded role on the Academic Success team. 
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.