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To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Colleen R. and I am the mother of two young men whom David Everest of Learning Unlimited has greatly helped.  David is a remarkable resource for struggling math students at both the high school and college levels, and as a mother of two students who have used David’s services, I can attest not only to his skill in teaching mathematics, but also to his dedication, tenacity, and integrity.  He is much more than a tutor; he is a seasoned, experienced mentor who guides students effectively through their academic challenges.

When my youngest son, Aaron, got a midterm grade notice in his spring semester as a high school senior stating that he was receiving a D in calculus, I was stunned.  Aaron is a conscientious student, and when asked what the problem was he said simply that he was totally lost.  He said he felt like he was in a post office that had hundreds of little PO boxes in it; the answer to the problems he was trying to solve was in one of those boxes somewhere, but there was no logical way to figure it out.  I went searching for a tutor.  I asked Aaron’s calculus teacher for a recommendation and was given David’s name.  I called two parents given as references and spent quite a bit of time on the telephone with David himself.  Almost immediately after starting with David, Aaron’s anxiety toward calculus disappeared.  David made calculus logical and knowable, and Aaron was back to his happy social self.  He felt that David gave him a structure in which to put all of the hundreds of disparate facts that he had seen in class, and that he had gained an understanding of how to approach a problem that looks overwhelmingly difficult.  With these new problem solving skills he had confidence in his academic capabilities once again, and he was able to pass the calculus test at UC Davis this past summer, which is requisite for his Biological Sciences major.  He is currently at UC Davis and is doing well.

My eldest son Marc is an engineering major in college, and is very different from his brother.  Marc has a very high IQ, and basically skated through high school without any self-discipline.  By maintaining his tried and true poor study skills at college, his first two years were a total disaster.  Specifically with respect to math, he made it through the first two quarters of calculus with barely any understanding of the material, and found himself expected to take the third quarter calculus class and in big trouble.  I immediately thought of David, but did not know how successful he would be with Marc as he can and has frustrated teachers since kindergarten.  But I knew that mastering calculus was basic and central to engineering, so I made the decision to give Marc the best possible chance and hired David.  Under my breath, I was actually praying for David to be the one who could finally help Marc transform his brightness into academic success.  Progress was slow at first but progress was made.  During this time David kept me constantly abreast of what was going on.  The slow pace was set by my stubborn son who repeatedly argued small points all along the way.  A major victory was Marc’s realization that his math tutor really did know the best way to master this subject material.

Marc’s enlightenment was based on respect for David.  He earned Marc’s respect by not giving up on Marc and his minimal study skills, and by requiring what he knew Marc was capable of.  David has worked closer with Marc than any other teacher or professor to date.  And as a result of this interaction David realized that Marc had some personal issues which were interfering with his academic progress, and encouraged Marc to initiate better communication with his parents regarding these issues, so that we could be part of their resolution.  Marc did exactly that, and we were able to help Marc deal with them.  If not for David’s awareness that there were issues unrelated to Marc’s knowledge of mathematics that were impeding his progress, Marc might have never sought and received the help he needed.

David has not only focused on teaching Marc math, but more importantly, has focused on improving Marc’s study skills, improving his self-awareness with regards to his understanding of the material, and on having Marc take responsibility for his academic problems instead of making excuses for them.  He has clearly worked with Marc at a level far beyond just the formal understanding of mathematics, and this has made a real difference in Marc’s life.  Of course I am thrilled that Marc is finding the success in math that had previously eluded him, but the most obvious benefit of David Everest’s professional relationship with Marc is Marc’s emerging happiness.

As a parent who has witnessed confusion and frustration change to confidence and ability, I highly recommend David Everest and Learning Unlimited to struggling math students who seriously want to effect positive change and salvage their academic careers.

Feel free to call me with any questions.

-Colleen R.

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