PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With many unsettling stories in the news, it was good to read a positive one. The New York Times education supplement featured a young person giving back.
High school student Jason Shah, after visiting his sister’s classroom in West Philly where she was serving middle school kids in Teach for America, realized that many were deficient in math and reading skills, and couldn’t afford or access SAT programs helping them prepare for the tests– so important for college admission.
Shah went home to Florida and raised $10,000 from family and friends, found web developers and started INeedAPencil.com — offering 60 sessions of free SAT prep in “conversational” language with sports analogies and practice exams.
About 36,000 kids have used it in the last three years and students report an average of a 200-point score increase. Now a senior sociology major at Harvard with a minor in technology, he still runs the site.
Shah has since won a prize from a social innovation incubator and says that he has learned more about entrepreneurship than sitting in a class studying business theory!
Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio