Shawn Huda ’06 said he first discovered Let’s Get Ready (LGR) during his sophomore year at Tufts University. “As a product of a minority, single parent household, I was immediately drawn to the nonprofit’s mission: to help break the cycle of poverty by empowering students to attend college,” said Huda.
After graduating from Tufts in 2010, Huda went on to work as a program associate in LGR’s Boston office, overseeing multiple programs. He was given the unique role of managing their campaign for the American Giving Awards Competition. The contest’s final round, which ran through early December, was the culmination of a selective two-round competition. Just by qualifying for the finals, LGR was guaranteed at least $125,000, funding that would go a long way towards helping fuel the organization’s aggressive expansion goals. Under Huda’s management, LGR took second place, a ranking determined via the campaign’s Facebook voting drive, and won $500,000. Since winning, the organization has said, “Let’s Get Ready will utilize the $500,000 to expand programs and serve more students.”
“Let’s Get Ready works off a unique model that allows for maximum participation from high school and college students, while allowing the program to be completely free for the participants,” Huda said. LGR does not just supply SAT preparation, but also college application assistance, giving students guidance through every step of the process.
Huda truly epitomized Harker’s commitment to community outreach by working a semester as a verbal coach at LGR and three semesters as the director of the Tufts program. “I discovered major benefits of the model that mirrored tenets of the Harker experience: classes were kept small (five students, on average) to ensure individualized attention and guidance; students both at the high school and college levels were empowered to take greater responsibility and ownership inside the classroom and out; and rather than focusing solely on one aspect, the SAT, the program took a holistic approach to preparing students for the college application process,” Huda said.