Newsletter, August 2015

Student of the Month:
Emma Zabinsky

JBG's August Student of the Month is rising Sharon High School senior, Emma Zabinsky. Emma has been an absolute pleasure to work with, as she is extremely self-motivated, dedicated, determined, and focused. She has worked hard to earn her strong GPA and impressive test scores--without a doubt, she will be a competitive candidate at most colleges throughout the country! Another attribute that makes Emma truly special is the work she does with her personal cause, OINK Charities: The Organization of Inspired and Nice Kids. Emma started this organization with one of her friends a few years ago, and she has since expanded her mission to several communities. She empowers younger students to find their passion through service and helps them see that they are not too young to give back. In addition to her scholarly pursuits and OINK, Emma can also be found volunteering at Norwood Hospital, mentoring an autistic child through Friendship Circle, running, and playing tennis. She has also spent some time in Florence, studying the Italian language and culture. Emma is still figuring out exactly what career she would like to pursue, as well as where she would like to study, but we at JBG can say with 100% conviction that Emma is destined to do GREAT things and leave her mark along the way!

Tutor of the Month
Christiana Minardi

JBG wants to recognize Christiana Minardi. Christiana grew up in Bolton, MA and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. At UMass, she was a member of the Commonwealth Honors College and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. While in college, Christiana worked in the Department of Political Science and Legal Studies as an undergraduate assistant and peer advisor, where she supported faculty and staff in their administrative tasks, as well as advised fellow students on their academic requirements and what courses to take. She was an active member of her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, holding several leadership positions. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, reading, and traveling.


The Organization for Inspired and Nice Kids
By Stacy Padula

Over the past few months, I have had the pleasure of tutoring a remarkable young lady named Emma Zabinsky. She, along with her friend Madison, founded a charity called OINK (THE ORGANIZATION FOR INSPIRED AND NICE KIDS) centered on inspiring adolescents to make a positive impact on the world. OINK sends the important message that NO ONE is too young or too inexperienced to make a difference.  

OINK began as a family tradition—the children in Emma’s family would each choose a charity to donate to in lieu of one present each holiday—but Emma decided that was simply NOT enough. She wanted to spread her passion for philanthropy to her generation. Therefore, she created a website that shares not only OINK’s mission but also links to its supported charities including The Jimmy Fund, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and Charity Water. In addition, Emma and Madison began networking with local businesses and other teenagers to plan fundraisers to support their cause.

One noteworthy event is OINK’s annual band-aid drive. This idea was birthed after a pediatric oncologist told Emma that a cartoon band-aid, which is typically not in a hospital’s budget, is one of the only things that makes her patients smile. Emma’s compassion, empathy, and benevolent spirit compelled her to organize and implement this successful event. Each year, OINK has been able to supply pediatric cancer patients with thousands of cartoon band-aids! To learn more about OINK’s various causes and fundraisers please visit

Emma has recruited teens from towns throughout Massachusetts to join OINK. If you or your child would like to support this inspiring organization in any way, please contact Emma directly at

The Importance of Preparing for the Social Issues of High School
High school is an extremely critical time for adolescents. As they grow in independence, they become capable of carving their own paths. However, this leaves young people vulnerable to peer-pressure and the troubles of society, including delinquency, drugs, violence, and self-harm. For parents, sometimes it is nearly impossible to adequately prepare children for what they will experience in high school, but there are resources available to aid in this effort. By bolstering young adults’ self-esteem and reminding them of their potential, parents can steer their kids away from negative behaviors and keep them on healthy paths.

There are countless films, books, and websites that address the issues of self-esteem and educated youth about the slippery slope of substance abuse. Specifically for young girls, the critically acclaimed 2011 documentary Miss Representation depicts how the media displays unrealistic images of beauty. The film helps viewers see that young girls should emulate powerful women, rather than super models, by working hard and applying themselves to their passions and studies. The Montgomery Lake High book series also focuses on prevalent social issues of adolescence and educates readers on ways to surmount the many challenges of high school.

In addition to these resources, there are different programs that promote wise decision-making. Educating children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol is a challenging but necessary step when preparing them for high school. School programs such as D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) have been present in middle schools for decades, educating young people about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. D.A.R.E. encourages students to rise above peer pressure and to understand the harm that drugs and alcohol can do to the human body. Additionally, the Boys and Girls Club of America provides programs for education and career planning, character and leadership, health and life skills, sports, fitness, and the arts. One of the main goals of this organization is to keep children safe and invested in their education. In an age when more than thirty percent of high school students fail to graduate, the Boys and Girls Club aims to not only keep teenagers passionate about their education but also prevent them from succumbing to social temptations. By providing a safe and enriching environment for the youth, this organization discourages teens from getting involved with the wrong crowd or jeopardizing their futures. Nearby Boys and Girls Clubs include locations in Framingham, Roxbury, and Dorchester.
We are Growing!
Do you know someone who is talented, motivating, and would be a great addition to the JBG family? Spread the word! We are hiring for academic, essay, and SAT preparation tutors! Receive a $150.00 credit towards services for every referral that leads to a hire. There is no limit, so send as many referrals in as you possible!
Tip of the Month
Attention Rising Seniors! If you plan on taking the ACT or SAT this fall, begin reviewing practice material NOW. Over the summer, it is easy to forget many of the skills and strategies learned during the previous school year. Brush up on vocabulary, take a practice exam, or schedule a tutoring appointment today to ensure that you will be able to achieve your highest scores this fall. 

Quote of the Month
 "Education comes from within; you get it by struggle and effort and thought." - Napoleon Hill
School of the Month:
Dana Hall

Dana Hall, located in Wellesley, is an all-girls private educational institution, serving students in grades six through twelve. About 40% of the Upper School (grade nine and above) lives on campus. Overall, 475 girls attend Dana Hall, and with an average class size of thirteen students, the school ensures that students have adequate access to their teachers. Every period of the day, the school staffs its departmental offices with teachers in all academic disciplines so that students can ask questions or get clarifications about their assignments during free periods. In addition to the in-school help that teachers provide, boarding students have required study halls every evening. Dana’s core curriculum includes everything from English to advanced science to the visual and performing arts. Outside of academics, Dana Hall requires its students to participate in athletics and other extracurricular activities. One of the most notable athletic programs at Dana Hall is equestrian-based. Dana has one of the best riding rings in the metro-west, and students are allowed to board their horses year round. If students do not have their own horses, they can rent them from the school. Dana’s beautiful campus and top of the line academic and athletic facilities provide a great backdrop for a multifaceted education. 

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