"I remember the day I first stepped into GPA like it was yesterday. Walking a few steps behind my mom, I was ready to be written off as a “failure” or a “disgrace” again, like the previous institution I went to had heavily implied. 

When David approached me, I was ready to give my GPA, SAT and AP scores and be met with a sigh and look of disappointment. Instead, David asked me about my passions, the programs I was considering, the organizations I was a part of. I kept waiting to be asked my stats, but that wasn't the priority of what he wanted to know about me. At the end of our meeting that day, David asked me what colleges I was thinking of. I listed 8-10 colleges, and he immediately responded: “We can do that.” That was the very first time someone had believed in me, and it foreshadowed the amazing amount of support I would receive afterwards.

 

Today, I am at Duke because David and Myra saw through the numbers that defined me in high school. I 'm here because they were confident enough to believe in me when I could not do the same for myself. Thank you GPA for everything."

Neha, class of 2019

Duke University

"GPA was a home away from home. I still remember my first day walking in and being super overwhelmed.

I remember David was leading the Global Leadership class, and he was talking about the Trump administration and who he was going to be filling his cabinet with. I felt like I was in the wrong building, and I needed to text my mom to get our money back because I was going to die. But things turned around because Myra and David pushed me to read some news and to pay attention to what is happening in the world. Now I feel like I am awake because I was sleeping on all of the chaos that is happening in the world .

 

GPA helped me find a school that I am happy and proud to be attending. Gonzaga was not on my radar until David told me to take a look at it. When I was accepted and visited, I fell in love with the sense of community and the small class sizes and knew that it was the place that I wanted to call home for the next four years. I am forever thankful that I was able to attend GPA."

Jaden, class of 2019

Gonzaga University

"GPA is hardly a "strict" SAT tutoring institution. You don’t go there to memorize and recite; you go to engage and discuss. 

Throughout your time at GPA you may well find yourself in an SAT class or an AP Language prep class. However, what you will come out with from a GPA education is, of course, the necessary tools to score well, but more importantly, you acquire skills that allow you to see your environment through an array of different lenses. Throughout my years at GPA, I learned three invaluable lessons: think creatively, speak thoughtfully, and act globally.

 

If I were to give advice to high school students, I would tell them to constantly evaluate your wants and aspirations. Figure out the things that you like. Nod your head to the people who tell you what path to pursue, and realize that upon leaving high school, your life becomes solely yours. Make decisions out of your own curiosity and for the sake of your own happiness rather than the happiness of others. Mom & Dad will get over it."

Jake, class of 2019

Colgate University

"As someone on an art/design career pathway, let me talk about something neat I learned about at GPA: Rebranding. 

GPA rebrands education as a means of exploring global issues and learning relevant hard skills, rather than a soulless measure of grades and numbers. GPA rebrands leadership as a way to utilize compassion by helping others and creating value, not as a means of getting more CSF points. GPA rebrands creative passions as something absolutely CRITICAL to the rapidly approaching future of jobs, not a childhood phase that we should grow out of. GPA rebranded so many things I had taken for granted.

GPA inspired me to rebrand myself.  I became an experimentalist, curious about all things design. I developed communication skills with amazing peers and I now never apologize for being loud about the things I want to be loud about. I tapped into my empathy to connect with real-world issues through collaborative, hands-on projects that were integrated with GPA’s wonderful classes. I now feel excited to head off to the art school of my dreams (OTIS) and the future beyond that, and I sincerely couldn’t have done it without my GPA family."

Vibhu, class of 2020

Presidential Scholar, Otis College of Art & Design

​"The first time that I walked through GPA’s doors I was what college admissions officers would describe as a typical cookie-cutter/try-hard Asian kid: high GPA/test scores, school clubs, internship experience, etc.

​I thought I had my life all figured out: become valedictorian, go to Stanford, then medical school. However, when I walked out of GPA’s doors for the last time (well, hopefully not the last), I realized how much I had changed. GPA taught me how to be a global citizen and turn my passion into action. I left GPA as a published scientific researcher, author, and app designer. I left GPA with a better understanding of politics, sustainability, and who I am as a person.

I originally didn’t even want to apply to Caltech because I thought that I would just be wasting my time applying to a school strictly for godly geniuses. But David and my parents encouraged me to shoot my shot, so I submitted my app (with really low expectations). I’m really glad that I did because in hindsight, even though people think I’m not “geeky” enough for Caltech, it actually is perfect for me and my future aspirations. As generic as this may sound, GPA helped instill the confidence in me that I can do anything that I put my mind to.

Bridget, class of 2020

California Institute of Technology

"As someone on an art/design career pathway, let me talk about something neat I learned about at GPA: Rebranding. 

GPA rebrands education as a means of exploring global issues and learning relevant hard skills, rather than a soulless measure of grades and numbers. GPA rebrands leadership as a way to utilize compassion by helping others and creating value, not as a means of getting more CSF points. GPA rebrands creative passions as something absolutely CRITICAL to the rapidly approaching future of jobs, not a childhood phase that we should grow out of. GPA rebranded so many things I had taken for granted.

GPA inspired me to rebrand myself.  I became an experimentalist, curious about all things design. I developed communication skills with amazing peers and I now never apologize for being loud about the things I want to be loud about. I tapped into my empathy to connect with real-world issues through collaborative, hands-on projects that were integrated with GPA’s wonderful classes. I now feel excited to head off to the art school of my dreams (OTIS) and the future beyond that, and I sincerely couldn’t have done it without my GPA family.

Vibhu, class of 2020

Presidential Scholar, Otis College of Art & Design

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