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In This Issue:
L.A. Works A Great Place To Start
Study Tip: Be Grateful for Small Advances
Coach of the Month: Matt Westerman
Quick Links
Academic Success Partner 
of the Month

This month we welcome back Sandra Dupont, a licensed teen & family therapist who offers coaching and counseling for adolescents and their families. Sandra has a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology with over a decade of experience in gently guiding teenagers on a journey of discovering who they are, and how to express themselves with kindness and grace. She specializes in empowering shy, highly sensitive and creative adolescents. She also helps parents to understand the issues teens face today and support their kids in successfully navigating the adolescent years, including coaching parents on how to set boundaries and enforce consequences without rupturing their relationship with their childFor more info, email Sandra, call (310) 951-5678 or visit her website.
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 February Edition!

There was a time when community service was just a spare-time option for our kids. Now, it's often part of their graduation requirement. 
With that in mind, we thought it was time to offer some fantastic service project options for students (and parents if they wish to join the action). 
While it may seem onerous to ask our kids to add another requirement to our kids' academic workloads, community service gives students a chance to gain crucial early experience in an adult, professional environment, working with the public and using their imagination in the development of programs and activities.
It used to be that kids might pick up trash, or serve on a food line. While those tasks are still important, nowadays students have the opportunity to create programs, use their developing skills and get creative in how they want to serve the public. 
In this month's issue, we'll focus on four major organizations that offer a range of project options for our kids. We'll also provide other choices and examples of service projects that not only help the community, but also contribute to our kids' academic results at graduation time. 

At Academic Success, we believe in furnishing information that will help students fulfill their academic and personal potential, in and out of the classroom. 

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

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All the best,

The Academic Success Team

"Service to others is the rent you pay for you room here on Earth."
-Muhammad Ali

Education News 

L.A. Works 
A Great Place To Start
Due to celebrate a quarter-century of existence in 2016, non-profit LA Works offers a plethora of service project opportunities. Among many options, kids might choose to pick a public area for restoration, or organize an activity for homeless seniors. Check out the L.A. Works Facebook page to see kids and adults giving back.


Volunteering In A High-level 
One of the most prestigious community service options is to give time at the Los Angeles Children's Hospital. Kids 15 and over can apply to work in many different areas (although not directly with patients). An idea for a service project could be to document, in both written and visual form, a "day in the life" of different departments in which a student might give their time. The hospital's Facebook page shows lovely examples of celebrities and others donating their time and energies. 

An Oldie But Still A Goodie

No discussion about community service would be complete without referencing one of the world's great community service providers, the Salvation Army. This wonderful organization offers countless service project opportunities to kids. This page on their SoCal website is a good place to start.


Multi-purpose Volunteering At Its Best
No institution offers a better chance for students to use their academic skills to help others than major public libraries. Here in LA, the Los Angeles Public Library is an excellent resource for service projects that help the community. Ideas include starting a reading group for seniors, creating a movie program and helping those learning English as a second language. Find your local Los Angeles branch here.

Finding Your Community Service Match

Even with all the information available to us in the digital age, it can sometimes seem daunting to get started on your community service search. However, websites like are making it easy for would-be volunteers and non-profits to get together. This is a remarkable resource for both kids and parents looking to get started on a service project. 

Study Tips 

The 5-Point Plan for Study Goals

Whether your purpose is to create a dynamic service project or achieve the highest possible grade in a given subject, effective planning can make all the difference to the outcome. 
It's easy for students to become overwhelmed by the amount of work on their plate- which is all the more reason to be able to plan effectively in order to reach yor goals.
That's where the 5-point Plan comes into effect.
Step 1 is the easy part: Purpose. That means knowing what you want to achieve. Let's say you want to get high grades for essay writing in your history class. That is a clear purpose. 
Step 2: Vision. High grades are your purpose, but how will you achieve that purpose? Now you use your imagination and inspiration: you're going to write a brilliant American History essay. You can see yourself walking out of school with a huge smile on your face, having gotten an A. Being able to visualize that outcome gives you the fuel to take the next step. What are you going to write about?
Step 3: Ideas. Now you take time to clear your mind and allow every possible idea for essay topics to flood in. You write them all down, eliminating nothing. You stop when the flood stops. 
Step 4: Structure. You have all these ideas- now comes the critical part. You're going to use your judgment and discretion to pick the best idea you have, and begin. But how to begin?
Step 5: Next Step. It's simple: you take the next easiest step. The step that is most available to you. Maybe it's writing a title. Maybe it's just writing whatever comes into your mind about the particular American History topic you chose. Maybe you want to make an argument and you begin making your case on paper. And on it goes- moving from one 'next step' to the next. 
No matter what the endeavor, those who can come up with a clear, concise plan and then execute it without distraction often end up traveling the furthest. 

Coach Profile 

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.