Summer Camp to Ivy League: A Student’s Journey with BestPrep

Students leader Jada (first row, second from left) pictured with her “company” at Minnesota Business Venture

In 2014, Jada Lee arrived at BestPrep’s Minnesota Business Venture (MBV) summer camp as a self-professed “quiet 14-year-old”. By the end of the week, she had earned MBV’s Breakthrough Award for her participation and leadership—a shift that she characterizes as, “the decision to step up and be unabashedly passionate.”

The following year Jada returned as an MBV as a student leader, or “CEO”. She recalled the challenges presented with leading students who were older than her, as well as students who were learning English.  “This was the first time I realized I could be a leader,” she explains, “I had to adapt and learn new skills about how to communicate and be assertive.” Over the course of camp, Jada’s team transformed into a cohesive, award-winning unit under her leadership, “It was an incredible experience to work together and find different ways to create community,” she reflects.

Jada’s drive is evident in her educational and career plans, and she begins classes at Harvard University in the fall, with plans to study Economics and Computer Science. She attributes MBV as a springboard for her interest in the world of economics, but as she looks to the future, she notes, “communicating with confidence and having an open-mind,” were her biggest takeaways from BestPrep’s programs.

Jada’s confidence and energy have made her an incredible asset to BestPrep’s team. She has served as a two-time CEO at MBV, shared her experiences with our Board of Directors, volunteered at our Annual Luncheon, and supported our staff as an intern this summer. Our team could not be more thrilled to have had the chance to work alongside her and watch her personal growth.

Reflecting on the impact of BestPrep, Jada explains, “These experiences changed my life. It’s hard to express the impact that one week can have, but it gave me the opportunity to learn skills that I couldn’t have gained in the classroom and experience college on a small-scale.”

“And on top everything,” she adds, “it’s really fun.”