Who We Help


Isaac’s dad was extremely ill and it was unclear if he would survive. Isaac wanted to spend as much time as was possible with him. As a result, he missed many days of school and, on the days he did attend, found it extremely difficult to concentrate. Nobody wanted him to lose a year academically or be separated from his friends, but he was feeling increasingly more ostracized and left behind. And while his school said that they wanted to help, the services and support they could provide were insufficient for Isaac’s needs. His family became extremely concerned for his school progress and emotional well-being and sought out a specialized program to help him master the material he had missed. They also recognized that they needed help coordinating assignments with the school. Home-schooling was put on the table as an option if Isaac’s father health continued to decline.

Isaac’s therapist was very familiar with Dr. Rudin and Individual U., having shared a number of students with them in the past. Without breaching confidentiality, he shared the general experiences of these former clients and suggested that the organization’s empathetic, structured yet flexible academic remediation approach might fill the gaps in Isaac’s subject knowledge. At the same time, he thought it might provide an avenue for interesting learning explorations to help Isaac connect back to his interest in academics. Isaac’s mother in turn contacted Dr. Rudin for a meeting, and he placed her in touch with parents of current and former Individual U. students. Those conversations eventually resulted in Isaac’s working with Individual U. in an after school and weekend program.

It took several weeks to build Isaac’s trust and confidence, but within a month he was catching up on missed material and beginning to establish a mastery of various topics from his school curriculum. The experience served to not only strengthen his academic performance but also reinforce his self-confidence: each topic mastered and each laudable grade earned underscored his ability to persevere in extremely difficult circumstances. Within time, he also cultivated an interest and high-level ability in a number of academic disciplines ranging from the Japanese language and advanced chemistry to American History and human rights studies. He also explored Tai Chi Chuan and, through collaboration with another organization, Goju-ryu karate. Individual U. continued its support through his father’s recovery and eventually helped him gain acceptance at one of the nation’s most prestigious liberal arts colleges.