Charles S. (Eastern → Blair)

We live in a competitive and working environment. Our schools are established to teach the youth how to become more successful in the future. Our workplaces are designed to improve the economy so that everyone has the chance to put food on the table three times a day. I live in this environment each and every day I go to school at Eastern Middle. Surrounded by gifted and talented students from both Takoma Park and Eastern, I often find myself competing against others on buses, at the bus stop, and even in math class. Only a selected few of these students are accepted into Richard Montgomery and Montgomery Blair. I knew I had to stand out from these students in order to be accepted into these magnet high schools. This was why I chose to attend Dr. Li’s fall intensive program.

A wise man, Frederick Douglass, once said, “Without a struggle, there can be no progress.” My struggle was very persistent before I came to Dr. Li’s intensive programs - I was worried I wouldn’t get into the programs and my test scores were going to plummet rapidly. When I first entered his intensive programs in the fall of 2015, I got a very robust zero on my first essay because I failed to realize the importance of citing examples in literature. If I hadn’t gone to Dr. Li’s program and learned from the very knowledged Dr. Thomson, my essay would’ve been a disaster in the real playing field and it definitely would’ve hampered my chances for Richard Montgomery or Blair.

Montgomery Blair High School has one of the most renowned math and science programs in our nation. I am honored to be a student here because of its many benefits such as having many notable alumnis in creditable colleges like Harvard, Yale, and MIT. Dr. Li really helped me in this field by passing his vast math knowledge to me. Every math drill I worked on in his class helped me in the near future. For example, he commonly recites the hose questions where one hose pumps a certain amount of water per hour and another hose pumps a different amount of water an hour. My dad and I often worked on these types of questions in the past because I could never get it, and I still couldn’t. However, it was present on one of Dr. Li’s math drills in both summer camp and the intensive programs. His way of teaching it sparked something in my mind. On the real exam, I am positive I did a similar question correctly. There were many cases where this happened in the program and I think it greatly helped me in achieving the near-perfect score on the exam and the acceptance into the Montgomery Blair Math/Science program.

Ever since the fourth grade, I’ve been an active student in Dr. Li’s programs. From Mr. Calis to Dr. Thomson, every teacher in Dr. Li’s programs (including himself) had his/her perks in teaching. I have every teacher to thank for my progress through these years and every teacher helped me achieve my goal that was Montgomery Blair High School’s math and science program. It was a magnificent journey through these years and will be for the years to come; and for that, I am eternally grateful to all the teachers who taught me in Dr. Li’s programs. I am excited for the road ahead in Blair that was paved by Dr. Li’s programs.