Queens, NY native, Karim Abouelnaga is the product of an underperforming high school wracked with drop outs and those who were ill-equipped or had no interest in continuing their education past receiving their diploma.
Yet Karim was the exception. He went on to attend and graduate from Cornell University, where he decided to dedicate himself to ensuring that other young students in similar predicaments to the one he and his former classmates were in. He created Practice Makes Perfect, a nonprofit that focuses on providing effective summer education for disadvantaged youth in New York City.
His organization aims to help close the achievement gap that widens in the summer, when students with money are exposed to mentally enriching summer activities, while students who do not have much have little to no options of similar activities. They do this by not only providing an environment where students are able to learn and grow, but also matches students with college mentors to provide them with guidance from someone who has gone through and overcome similar obstacles to what they are currently facing.
Currently in its fifth year, Practice Makes Perfect is currently providing assistance to 325 students from across New York City. To date, their middle schoolers’ math grades have improved by over 3% and their high school students have improved their SAT scores by 170 points on average.