Even though the Johns Hopkins program tests two levels above one’s grade, brothers Veer and Shaurya got accepted with flying colors. This is on top of their school achievements and extracurricular activities. Their parents, Lipsa and Hinesh, share how Genie Academy helped Veer and Shaurya get into one of the best and most exclusive programs in the country.
As the saying goes, you pass failure on your way to success. Just a year before joining Genie Academy, Shaurya didn’t make it to his school’s advanced math program by a small margin. “[In 5th grade] Shaurya and four others initially got selected for the program but only two were accepted in the end and he wasn’t one of them. That stuck with me…especially when I found out that the kids who got accepted had enrichment classes outside school,” his mom Lipsa shares.
This motivated them to look for a math program that could nurture his gift. Both Veer and Shaurya are strong in Math, but they wanted their children to advance into the next grade. They had previously tried Kumon and Russian Math School, but neither of these satisfied Lipsa. When she saw that Genie Academy had very good reviews online, she decided to give it a try. “I did Russian Math school and Shaurya used to go to Kumon years before. I wasn’t happy with my experience with them. At Shaurya’s first assessment [with Genie Academy], we were very impressed. They were thorough and they knew exactly where they were lacking. Because overall, there’s just certain things they don’t know. [Genie Academy] started with those skills and within a year, they built them through practice,” Lipsa shares.
They enrolled Veer and Shaurya in the Math program at the East Brunswick branch, even though it’s 40 minutes away from home. “It’s not close by. There are so many other centers that are close by but we decided to go to Route 18 Genie Academy. I think I got more of a connection with them. So I decided to drive over there as long as my kids are feeling comfortable and they want to learn.”
A big factor in choosing the East Brunswick branch is Veer and Shaurya’s teachers. “Right now, Ms Fatima is Shaurya’s teacher and I always share where we want to be and what Shaurya is doing in school. She works with me and she tries to teach him the topic before school gets there.” Meanwhile, Lipsa also shared that Veer likes his teacher, Mr Takuma. “He’s a bit strict, which Veer needs. It’s really working out well.” Also, when the teachers feel they need more practice, they go out of their way to print out pages from other books so they can practice a certain topic more. Genie Academy doesn’t make Veer and Shaurya repeat what they already knew as well. “Because they saw that they’re going faster, they were skipping topics they already knew. They didn’t make them repeat it. That’s something I liked. [The lesson plan] was based on what the kids need, they didn’t copy it from everybody else.”
In just one year with Genie Academy, the results were outstanding. Both of them are now more than one grade level ahead of their peers, which is their parents’ main goal coming into the academy.
Last year, Shaurya got intimidated with Johns Hopkins’ sample test for the Center for Talented Youth program, which is why he postponed taking it. The program has a very strict criteria, where it tests two standard levels above one’s grade. This year, he confidently volunteered to take the examination and passed it with flying colors. Meanwhile, Veer not only passed but also ranked at the 90th percentile!
Getting into this well-known program is a huge advantage when applying in universities because it shows that they are academically ahead of their peers. The program also offers specialized online and in-person programs for further enrichment. They have science, technology, arts, engineering, and mathematics (STEAM) courses exclusively for members, such as advanced biology and robotics.
Finally, Shaurya got selected for the advanced math program in 6th grade! This is the same program which he didn’t qualify for a year before. In this program, he’ll be doing 8th and 9th grade math in 7th grade.
At the same time, 4th grader Veer doesn’t study the same math as his classmates anymore. He has a special packet because the standard lessons are too easy for him. His classmates are beginning to tell their parents that Veer is ahead of them. “When kids see that Veer is getting the challenging packet in school, they tell their parents and their parents ask me where I send Veer for Math.”
On top of their academic achievements, they’re also active in sports, literature, and music. Veer and Shaurya are both pro swimmers and are masters in martial arts. They’re also playing in the chess grandmasters tournament every Saturday, against players all over the US.
Veer and Shaurya are also artistically inclined. Recently, violinist Shaurya got accepted into the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra, where few musicians get selected. Hinesh also shared that Veer and Shaurya have produced literary works for both print and online. Shaurya has published a story called “The 9 Astronauts” for the book “Stories by Children: around the world vol. 18”. Meanwhile, Veer has successfully written blogs, such as the Time Machine, the Vaccine story, and My Christmas Present.
Lipsa and Hinesh have checked off all the goals in their bucket list this year and they credit this to Genie Academy. “That’s what I’m very happy about this year. I’m glad I picked Genie Academy because everything that was in our bucket list got checked off because of them,” says Lipsa enthusiastically.
According to Lipsa and Hinesh, one of the best things about Genie Academy is that learning isn’t limited to the classroom. Since the workbooks are self-explanatory, Veer and Shaurya can advance to the next lesson if they can. “They give a thorough explanation of the topic. So if they’re done with homework, they can do one extra page if they want by just reading through and doing the steps indicated,” shares Lipsa. “Just at home over the summer, Veer has already moved on to the 5th grade workbook because the workbooks are self-explanatory,” shares Hinesh.
What’s unique about Genie Academy is their encouraging and uplifting approach to teaching. “I did Russian Math and Kumon but the books, the teachers, and the assessment in Genie Academy is more positive. I love that they want to teach kids but positively, not by knocking them down that ‘oh you don’t know’, because that’s what happened to the other centers. They made the kids feel like they didn't know. In Genie Academy, the kids feel like they can learn. So that’s the big difference,” Lipsa shares.
Hinesh also adds that Veer and Shaurya love going to Genie Academy. “Overall, the kids feel great about Math Genie. They love doing their homework. And they take any extra work as a challenge…like ‘that’s something new we can learn’. If we go on a vacation and have to change our schedule, the first thing they ask when we come back is ‘can you schedule our Genie Academy classes again?’ They love their time at Genie Academy. It’s an amazing feeling, I can’t complain.”
“We just completed a year and we’ve recommended Genie Academy to so many people already,” shares Lipsa.
With brothers Veer and Shaurya’s many accomplishments, what’s next for them? Lipsa and Hinesh plan to enroll their children to different clubs in the Johns Hopkins program so they can learn from and interact with peers all over the US. They also plan to enroll them in some advanced classes in preparation for future studies. For Shaurya, being part of the program would greatly help him once he applies to Johns Hopkins, his dream university, for college. “That was on his bucket list for two years, and he conquered it this year.”
Veer and Shaurya’s future shines brighter than ever, thanks to their parents and teachers who are dedicated to nurturing their gifts. This is just the beginning of Veer and Shaurya’s path to success and we can’t wait to see what they’ll accomplish next!