Blue Train Achievement Awards 2015!

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That’s right, Class of 2015! You run around and make noise outside your old teachers’ classrooms. Wear your new college sweatshirt beyond the point of proper social etiquette and hygiene. Facebook stalk for the “perfect freshman year roommate,” hours on end, guilt free. Have your summer and eat it too because you deserve it!

While we are truly proud of all of you for making it through the college process, we would like to take this moment to acknowledge a handful of Blue Trainers who went above and beyond the mountains that were set before them. Each of this year’s winners accomplished something extraordinary during their college process year and in recognition of that were awarded an iPad Mini with a special Blue Train case — oh yes, because what says “cool” more than a tutoring company, are we right people? 🙂

Ah yes, but so now without further ado, this year’s winners (and runner-ups) are…



Winner: Elizabeth Doski. Peninsula High School

Although Elizabeth’s 500 point SAT improvement was not the highest of this year’s Blue Trainers, we believe her climb to be the master feat. With a starting score of 1780, Elizabeth gained traction on the test’s steepest terrain and didn’t slow down, landing her an impressive 2280. Like many of our big time score growers, Elizabeth found a substantial number of points in the fall of her senior year. Among other things, she believes attending the proctored exams the two weeks prior to the real tests was critical to addressing performance issues. We couldn’t agree more. You hear that Class of ‘16?

Runner Up: Daren Taniguchi. Da Vinci HIgh School.

More impressive by the numbers, Daren crushed it with a 560 point increase on the SAT.  For being super awesome, he gets a $50 Amazon Gift Card and tons of college karma.


Winner: Talia Cheatham. Palos Verdes High SchoolIMG_7115

With an 8 point climb from first ACT to last, Talia’s success came from a combination of patience, perspective and hard work. Although she worried that the improvements might not come, Talia never stopped pushing her skills and her performance. Her greatest leaps came in Reading where she worked with her tutor to move from scatter bouncing to speed mapping, and in Math where she better learned her fundamentals and practiced applying them to increasingly difficult problems, all while stepping up her pace on practice sections. Five of Talia’s eight points came in the fall. Just saying.

Winner: Chandler Jones. Palos Verdes High School


Scoring a perfect 36 was a surprise to many people, most especially to Chandler. Again, a late bloomer point-wise, Chandler collected five points in the fall after he and his tutor worked through the late summer before senior year. “One thing I think helped a lot is whenever I did my Blue Train work, I was always one hundred percent focused. I felt like if I was doing it, then I should be trying my absolute hardest.” True that. We call it depth of focus. Remember, as with many things, it’s the quality not the quantity of effort. Great work, Chandler, as perfect scores are extraordinary on multiple levels: skills, performance and endurance. Bing, bang, boom!



Winner: Vincent Todosiev. Palos Verdes HIgh School

“I feel most at home sixty feet below sea level in a place alien to most.”IMG_7094_1

Essays about ourselves are always difficult, especially when our pursuits are not so warm and fuzzy as, say, teaching disadvantaged panda bears to read. We kid, but the truth is many students have a tricky time exploring the deeper, quieter feelings. Vincent, on the other hand, did not shy from this challenge. In fact, he takes us on a soundless but spectacular journey into his heart and mind, revealing the deep bonds of spearfishing with his father and his unwavering passion to make a better natural world.  His essay moved us to be our number one choice for personal statement.

Runners Up: Nicola Kirkpatrick and Keian Razipour. Palos Verdes HIgh School

Among so many wonderful essays this year, Nicola’s and Keian’s stood out by their ability to take us into their high school worlds and offer us real perspective. Nicola showed us how to stand up to an administration for what she believes in, while Keian showed us how to stand up and be comfortable within one’s own skin regardless of clique politics. Both essays had genuine voices with lots of heart, and for that we are giving each of these writers a $50 Amazon Gift Card. 🙂

And that about wraps it up for now! Thank you all for being model Blue Trainers not only in accomplishment but also in spirit. We are fans and wish you continued success! And as for the rest of you, don’t worry, we are big giant googly-eyed fans of you too!

Keep on chugging until next blog when we celebrate our official: “Blue Trainer of the Year ‘15!”

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