Who We Help


Michael was a sophomore in one of the City’s older and more traditional day preparatory schools where he had been a student since a very young age. He was a young man of contradictions, having great innate talent as a violinist and popularity among his circle of friends, but diminishing self-esteem as a result of poor academic performance. By the middle of his sophomore year, he appeared to be hopelessly behind in any number of long-term and complex assignments, suggesting that he might have executive function issues as well as ADD. He underwent a battery of neuropsychological tests as recommended by his school learning specialist and both the ADD and executive function deficits were verified. Shortly afterward, when his PSAT scores revealed an enormous difference between his performance and that of his friends and classmates, his parents sought additional support.

As part of their search, they spoke with friends in their school community and elsewhere in addition to the neuropsychological evaluator who had conducted the testing. In a number of their discussions, Individual U. came up as a highly recommended option.  After Dr. Rudin met with Michael’s parents, Michael came for an Eye to IU team intake evaluation. All of the mentors who met with him felt that there was a high chance they could help turn around his academic and executive function challenges over the course of his sophomore and junior years. A program was immediately initiated to scaffold Michael’s academic work.  A team of mentors was then assigned to work with him in all of his areas of academic study while embedding executive function skills into his program.

A critical moment for Michael occurred a few short weeks into his work at Individual U. when he scored poorly on an exam. Dr. Rudin and Michael spent an afternoon together examining his long history of difficulty in schoolwork and Dr. Rudin assured him that if he would work with his full effort and attention to the skills and methodologies his mentors were introducing, that he could be certain of success.

Following this discussion, Michael set a goal for himself to become a top scholar, to achieve as close to possible to “perfect” scores on the SATs, and to work at his violin so that his talents were matched by his practice and progress. By the end of his sophomore year, he had begun to turn the tide. His assignments were in on time, teachers no longer made less than complimentary comments on his papers, and he felt a great deal of self-confidence.

Michael’s junior year was marked by increasing success in every area. He had honor roll grades in all of his subjects and particularly enjoyed the Classics. In response, he made a commitment to himself to become a self-enriched Classicist with the aid of his mentors. Throughout the course of their enrichment work with him, Individual U. also prepared Michael for the SAT in a style consonant with his best absorption of the material and problem solving skills. He took the SAT as planned in the spring of his junior year and scored several hundred points above his PSAT scores. More importantly than achieving the perfect scores he once sought, he had come to take pride in and be satisfied by his own best efforts. During the last two months of his junior year, Dr. Rudin and his mentors prepared him to become completely unscaffolded from their help and support. Michael went through his senior year without any mentor-tutoring, achieved a near A average, and secured admission to a top university in their highly selective performing arts program.  He visits Individual U. on occasion and reports his continued success as an artist and scholar.