shorter header
Academic Success Header


In This Issue:
No Minimum Age for Leadership
Study Tip: Get to Know the Activists In Your Subjects
Coach of the Month: Sam Orndorff
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 child. For 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!
youtube capture
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.

green logo
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 October issue!

As Election Day nears, we can cast our thoughts forward to what our democracy might look like in the future. 
One thing is clear: however it looks, it will be shaped by the young people currently moving through our elementary and high schools. 
If we want our country's democracy to continue to strengthen and political participation to stay high, getting our kids civically engaged now is a crucial step for the future. 
But how involved are our kids in their civic landscape? Beyond those already participating in activism and community engagement, how do we motivate those kids who haven't yet found their social cause to fight for?
In this month's issue, we'll examine the terrain of youth involvement in some of society's most important causes. We'll explore the different engagement opportunities for our kids, covering a wide range of issues. We'll also show some examples of how students can effect tangible change, using their initiative and creativity. 

At Academic Success, we believe that cultivating an awareness in our students of the world around them not only makes them better people; it also fosters a maturity that brings long-term personal and professional rewards. 

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

Find us on Facebook 

All the best,

The Academic Success Team

"The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt."
- Frederick Buechner

Education News 

No Minimum Age
For Leadership

Sometimes knowing where and how to start a youth initiative can be the biggest challenge. Since 1992, the Youth Activism Project has been a wonderful community engagement resource for adults and students. This page of success stories from its website should be a motivator for any student wanting to get started. 

Senior Girls Fighting For Teenagers  
and Adults
Among the many different issues and causes a student can fight for, sexual violence must rank as one of the most challenging and important. This inspiring article details the work of the LA-based Talk Project, and two seniors in particular who are leading workshops to raise awareness and educate their fellow students (and adults) on this crucial issue. 
Motivational Tips to Get Kids Started 

No matter how well-intentioned parents and their kids may be, it's an unavoidable fact that one student's passion for engagement may simply be greater than another's. This helpful list of tips, focusing on student engagement in politics, may end up being the difference-maker for parents in convincing their child to get up, get   out and pick up the cause.  

Building The Problem-Solving Classroom  

For parents looking to motivate their child to take part in youth initiatives and community engagement, the safest place to start could be possibly the biggest issue we face this century: climate change and the environment. This excellent, comprehensive article on the environmental-awareness website Earthtalk  provides a number of organizational options for getting involved in something that will directly affect the students of today and tomorrow.

A Pulitzer Prize
Winner of the Future

While we can't expect every child to become heavily involved in hotbed issues, it only takes a few leaders to make a massive difference and blaze the path for others to come. This amazing article, focusing on a controversial pipeline being proposed for Massachusetts, was written by a student activist aged just fifteen. It is a shining example of what our kids are capable of when they believe in an issue and spend their intellectual energy fighting for it. 

Study Tips 

Get To Know The Activists  In Your Subjects

With such a full plate of academic work to plough through on a daily basis, it can be easy for students to become jaded by the many different subjects they're tackling.
American history may have been exciting at one point, but with the pressure to achieve high grades, it can sometimes become a means to an end.
One way to refresh interest in your subjects is to look at the leaders in each field. Furthermore, a little exploring can reveal great thinkers who were also activists in their own right.
The great historian Howard Zinn, who penned the classic A People's History of the United States, showed that an academic could also be a fighter for a cause.
The great polish physicist and chemist Marie Curie was a trail-blazer for women all over the world and changed the terrain for women in science.
Born in 1792, the great English poet Percy Shelley was a radical thinker who fought against injustice.
Educating ourselves on some of the heroes in our subjects has the power to reinvigorate our interest and motivate us to dive back in to our work- which usually produces improved results.

Coach Profile 

Sam Orndorff,
  Coach Profile of The Month    

This month we're delighted to introduce you to one of the newer members of the Academic Success team, Sam Orndorff. Sam brings with him a rich background in tutoring and teaching. After spending time teaching abroad, Sam has returned to Los Angeles and now tutors students of all backgrounds and ages. He plans to pursue his Masters in Human Geography in the near future. Sam's tutoring philosophy centers on access. "Knowledge is nothing if it is not shared, and accessible", he says. "Access is crucial especially when course material seems intimidating- we have to find access into the material however possible and begin to make sense piece by piece.  This requires flexibility- both as a teacher and a student.  Accessing personal, meaningful connections to course material is another fundamental tool, not just in Social Studies and English.  No matter what challenges or strong points a student may have, as long as they are able to access the concepts themselves, they will experience the joy of learning."
When not tutoring, Sam loves to read and write. He also loves to be outdoors and is currently studying Spanish, in which he hopes to be fluent one day. 
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.