Every summer, students lose as much as 2 ½ to 3 ½ months of what they learned the year before. Come September, teachers spend up to 6 weeks re-teaching the materials that students have forgotten.
This “summer slide” disproportionately affects children living in low-income neighborhoods, and research has shown that ⅔ of the academic achievement gap can be attributed to unequal access to summer learning opportunities.
The traditional summer school model only aims to serve students who are already failing, leaving behind the millions more that still need help. Consequently, students perceive summer school as a punishment, creating an environment where students are not excited to learn and rarely even show up. Simply put: it is broken.
About Practice Makes Perfect’s Program
Practice Makes Perfect (PMP) is a full-service summer school operator that partners with schools to provide high-quality academic summer programming.
Our evidence-based, near-peer mentorship model matches elementary and middle school scholars with older, high achieving mentors from the same communities. The classes are lead by Teaching Fellows who are placed under the guidance of an experienced teacher, resulting in a full-day academic experience that is both focused and fun.
We believe that everyone in the community has an important role to play in ensuring that the next generation can thrive academically, and we leverage all of our stakeholders to drive academic outcomes and increase student engagement. We operate our program under the premise of four basic pillars: Near-peer Mentorship, Academic Excellence, Cultural Learning, and Community Service.
High achieving students tutor and mentor young students to foster peer learning
Curriculum is aligned with Common Core Standards
Students are exposed to cultural experiences via trips to museums, local parks and more
“It takes a village.” Stakeholders work with local communities to ensure every scholar succeeds.
Who is PMP?
THE FOUNDERS’ STORY
Growing up in Queens, Karim Abouelnaga was raised by a single mother on government aid and went through some of New York City’s most struggling public schools. During this time, Karim experienced the achievement gap first-hand, and nearly fell victim himself: in the 7th grade, he had over 60 absences.
Fortunately, a series of non-profits and mentors stepped into his life and ultimately changed his career trajectory. Karim secured over $300,000 in scholarships to attend Cornell University and became the first one in his family to graduate from college, doing so in the top 10% of his class.
At Cornell, Karim became aware of the inequities in education that had plagued his childhood, and he learned that two-thirds of the achievement gap can be directly attributed to unequal access to summer learning. After witnessing the inadequacies in the current summer school model, Karim decided that the most effective way to address the achievement gap was to redefine the summer learning experience.
At 18 years-old, Karim founded Practice Makes Perfect with 5 classmates, introducing a new approach to summer learning by leveraging an innovative near-peer mentorship model to drive student outcomes. That first summer, the program consisted of 48 students at a single school. Today, PMP has partnered with over 35 different schools, providing life-changing summer programming to thousands of students.
Karim Abouelnaga, Founder and CEO
Practice Makes Perfect president and CEO Karim Abouelnaga. After graduating from New York City’s public school system, Karim secured over $300,000 in scholarships and awards to make his college education at Cornell University possible. Now he’s working to ensure that every scholar has the opportunity to thrive.
Karim Abouelnaga, President and CEO
Lauren Reilly, Chief Learning Officer
Hannah Perkins, Chief Operating Officer
Akeem Headley, Chief Finance Officer
Oyindamola Johnson, Chief of Staff
Peter Daskalov, Business Development Manager
Charles Baker, Marketing Coordinator
Karina Rodriguez, Program Manager
Adam Merten, Program Manager
Nicole Pucci, Program Manager
Meiling Jabbaar, Fellow Recruitment Coordinator
Emily Becker, Fellow Recruitment Coordinator
Michelle Moore, Mentor Development Coordinator
Estefani Cespedes, Program Coordinator
Yvette Vargas, Program Coordinator
Valerie Burgos, Program Coordinator
Tamar Slavitt, Program Coordinator
Nicolas Cathcart, Program Coordinator
Briana Hickson, Program Coordinator
Rachel Moon, Program Coordinator
This year, PMP was certified by the non-profit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. We’ve evaluated how our practices impact our employees, our community, the environment, and our customers.