Yes, YOU Can Take Free SAT and College Prep Classes Over the Summer 

Jenna Saltzman, Staff Writer

With summer break quickly approaching, many college admissions counselors as well as students who have gotten into top colleges strongly encourage incoming and current high schoolers who aim to strengthen their college applications to look into activities and programs to partake in during the summer.  Many of these popular programs will provide opportunities to learn from college professors about potential job fields, as well as focusing on developing certain aspects of a students college application that will improve their chances of getting into top universities around the world. 

However, one thing in common with many of these programs is their cost. While many students are interested in participating in summer programs that provide valuable opportunities preparing them for their aspired career or acceptance into a college, the often high cost of these programs for many students is a large drawback, and prevents them from even attempting to apply. 

This is why 38 years ago, Wendell Johnson, a father and strong advocate for the success of aspiring high school students, founded Ambyese. Ambyese is able to provide a free, tax exempt all-volunteer service that according to their website, “seeks to help culturally-diverse, college-bound high school students achieve their educational goals through mentoring, summer programs, and annual conferences.” According to Wendell Johnson, this is accomplished through funding from “ multinational corporations who have an interest of being in service in those communities in which they do business through involvement in the initiatives involving pre college preparation.” 

Ambyese has a number of programs, all targeting the success of high school students including free SAT prep courses, college preparation directed by experienced graduates of top universities across the country, and much more. Subsequently, in terms of preparing their students for the SAT’s and applying for college, Ambyese is very successful, with many of their alumni attending Ivy League schools and going on to pursue successful careers. 

From Dr. Bailey Brown who started off as a student in the DPS and participated in Ambyese’s programs earned her Bachelor’s Degree in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and went on to graduate from Columbia University with a Phd, to a more recent graduate of Danbury High School, Victoria Wulf-Anderson, salutatorian of her class who is currently attending Duke University, Ambyses’s programs are able to successfully provide their students with the resources they need to succeed post high school.

Now with summer break commencing, one of Ambyese’s programs, the Y.E.S. I Can program is now accepting applications from high school students. Y.E.S. I Can is a three week long virtual summer program during August at which for no cost, aids incoming and current high school students with in-depth SAT preparation.  According to Johnson, “On average students who participate in our program can more or less increase their SAT score from about 100-175 points.” Traditional SAT prep classes can cost a student thousands of dollars and the Y.E.S. I Can program’s free cost acts as a large incentive for students interested in furthering their knowledge and preparation for the SAT’s without spending their entire salary on tutoring and classes. 

Along with SAT prep, the Y.E.S. I Can Program brings students on various field trips to a number of different corporate sectors that introduce them to a diverse set of job fields. 

“We have a component in our program specifically dealing with transitioning from high school to college.” Newly added to the Y.E.S I Can Program, is their college transition program which as stated by Johnson, “is continuously taught from members of [their] alumni who have been our students when they were in high school as these students have first hand experience in the transitioning process.”  One of the authorities assisting in this section of the Y.E.S. I Can program is Dr. Bailey Brown, who more recently has “passed the baton” on to another successful Ambyese alumni,  Lorena Curtis who is now teaching  the College Transition Program portion of the summer programs curriculum. 

Johnson stresses the importance of his search for applicants who “are mature, self motivated, and who are especially interested in post-high school education.” He explained that applicants do not have to be decided on one career path as the Y.E.S. I Can Program is able to introduce a whole horizon of new career paths and opportunities for ambitious students to make an impact on their community. 

If any incoming ninth graders or current high school students are interested in free SAT prep courses and college preparation taught by experienced professionals, the application deadline is July 15th to be a part of Ambyese’s Y.E.S. I Can summer program this upcoming August and can be found on Ambyese’s website under the category of programs or click on the link attached below. Good luck!