Community should support Greater Achievement program

Published 10:44 am Saturday, February 6, 2021

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Dear Editor, The SAT/ACT test is the gateway for students who wish to seek a career that requires a four-year education; but with its rigor, many students are discouraged and “since they are normally not good test takers.” Fortunately, thanks to a local program named Greater Achievement, students are given the opportunity to study and receive valuable test-taking tips designed to assist them in scoring 1000 or above on the SAT and 19 or above on the ACT.

As a student attending high school in LaGrange, I actually graduated one year ahead of schedule and was able to secure admission into one of the best HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) in the country.

To achieve this task, I had to take an inventory of my strengths and weaknesses. I had to come to grips with realizing that test-taking had never been my strongest skill. In fact, after taking the SAT the first time, I was not pleased with my score. Therefore, I studied and took it a second time, but my score only increased by 50 points.

I needed help immediately, and I soon heard about a tutoring program called Greater Achievement operated by Dr. Glenn Dowell and Mrs. Willie Mae Callaway.

Dr. Dowell and Mrs. Callaway ensured that each participant was engaged and participating in the course. Dr. Dowell would often say “You cannot sit idle and expect for information to flow (via osmosis) to your brain-you must participate.”

For eight weeks, Dr. Dowell, Mrs. Callaway and the tutors drilled us on test-taking strategies that would benefit us while taking either the SAT or the ACT. Eventually, the hard work, dedication, and giving up my Saturdays of sleeping paid off. After sitting for the SAT, a third time, I came out on top, with a 210-point increase from the first attempt.

After taking this course, I felt that I could apply to the college of my dreams, Morehouse College, and I was accepted.

It is important for the community to support programs such as Greater Achievement.

It is also paramount to understand that black and brown students are often hit hardest with low test scores, due to the inability to obtain resources which help promote and push upward mobility. In fact, a 1976 study was conducted by the College Board, which indicated that black students score on average, 240 points lower than white students. Greater Achievement levels the playing field by successfully ensuring more students get to college prepared for the future ahead of them.

Sidrick B. Cameron II