Dylan Winder-Berkey

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BrainBoost our stories

“It turned me around in a way. I’m more efficient and better at school work. It set me on a new track.”
Dylan (17) shares his experience at BrainBoost and how Study Space, tutoring, and Exam Boosts have helped him re-focus and learn.

Why did you start coming to BrainBoost?
I first came because a friend of mine went to BrainBoost. He introduced me because I was struggling in school, especially in science. I started with Study Space and I thought it was really great. It’s a place to do your work and where you can also ask questions. When you’re at home you can’t quite ask your mom to help you out. Six months into Study Space, I moved onto tutoring. At the end of grade 10 I also did the Exam Boosts.

Tell me a bit about the Exam Boosts!
I wanted to take them because I wanted to be sure that I would go in and do well on the exams. I’m not very good at focussing at home – one of my struggles is that I am a really big procrastinator. The Boosts helped me focus and come in to actually do the work and study. The Boost tutors helped me understand a lot of the stuff, and they summarized everything you need to know. At the end, they gave me a package with questions from previous exams, but they enhanced beyond the stuff you can find online.

What was your experience in the English Boost?
The English one was interesting! We read passages that Chris chose from all over the place, opposed to just the English provincial passages. He spent the time to look for it and find ones that were super intriguing, but also had the components that we were learning. I thought that was really cool. We also did some multiple choice practice on vocabulary and they took us through what the previous exams looks like. I was really happy with it.

What about the Math Boost?
Sam was teaching the whole time with breaks and food – they had quesadillas or grilled cheese sandwiches! One page of the workbook would have a little lesson and Sam would teach and then we would go through the examples. Then, we would flip the page and we’d have questions that were directly correlated to the lesson. It worked really well for me! It’s basically how I learned the whole year in math! Sam taught it really well too. He’s a good speaker and he drilled all the principles into my head.

What makes the teachers at BrainBoost different?
First off, they’re really interested in the students. Not to say that public school teachers aren’t. For example, John and I – we’re called Team Panda in our sessions and we just go with that and we have fun messing with Nolan. I don’t know, it’s a lot more like he’s my friend – like we’re on the same level. It’s a different feel here, for sure.

Why do you think it’s important for a place like BrainBoost to exist?
At school I’m not good at doing my work on my own. Even paying attention in class is a struggle. Coming here fills in all the gaps for me that I miss and reinforces everything really well in a way that I couldn’t possibly do just sitting at a desk alone. I know people who don’t go to a place like this, but I feel like people should experience this way of learning. The one-on-one, the study space type of learning – it’s a lot different than public school. It’s great, for sure!

Describe BrainBoost in three words.
One would be enthusiastic – just because of all the people here.

Two would be … Re-aligning. It turned me around in a way. I’m more efficient and better at school work. It set me on a new track.

And … Focussed. I’ll go in to see Michaela and tell her all the stuff I have to do. She’ll write me a calendar and plan it out. It’s perfect! This weekend I was just swamped with work and I woke up on Saturday thinking “I have no idea what I have to do!” I looked at my list and I knew exactly what I had to do. She helps me focus and plan out what I need to do.


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