Student & Alumni Success

Being a student at Brain Power means having like-minded peers: classmates and friends who are intelligent and inspirational. Our students make each other (and us!) proud. Brain Power graduates have incredible academic histories, amazing career trajectories, and inspiring success stories. We are proud to have played a part in their impressive accomplishments. Check out their varied talents, awards, interests, and success stories here!

 

Alumni - Dr. Taras Klitovchenko

Currently: Dentist; Graduate of McGill U for Doctor of Dentistry

Thoughts on Brain Power: The fundamental thinking skills and work ethic I gained from Brain Power continue to be valuable assets

Talents: Working with his hands

Alumni - Ilia Sucholutsky

Currently: Working on his Ph.D. in Statistics at Waterloo University

Graduated from Mathematical Finance and Statistics at the University of Waterloo; Future data scientist; Already landed work in Silicon Valley!

Thoughts on Brain Power: I love Brain Power and have never been to or seen a school quite as effective at actually teaching bright students!

Talents: Politics, finance, and mathematics

Alumni - Jane Illarionova

Currently: U of T Engineering Student and winner of U of T Book Award; Queen’s Engineering $40,000 scholarship; U of T Dean’s Merit Award Scholarship for $10,000; U of Ottawa Engineering & Biomedical Physics $16,000 scholarship

Thoughts on Brain Power: As a student who attended Brain Power for six years, I can confidently attest to the phenomenal learning experience fostered there. Brain Power unites an amazing body of staff & students with an unprecedented curriculum in both language and mathematics, creating an environment in which students develop the skills to thrive academically. BP helped me become beyond excellent in math, English, and public speaking!

Alumni - Dr. Michal Sheinis

Education: York U. (Biology), U. of Toronto (M.D.)

Career: Doctor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (residency at U. of Toronto)

Awarded: 2018 Schulich Award for Academic Excellence; 2017 Dr. F. J. Colling OBE, Memorial Scholarship; 2017 – Golden Stethoscope Award

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power is a place to expand your horizons and push yourself to the limits of your capabilities. It is a place of creativity and self-exploration that teaches you to question, teaches you HOW to learn, and promotes a thorough understanding content that sets you up for the world of higher education.

Alumni - Dr. Victoria Postnikova

Education: Semmelweis University (Budapest, Hungary), MD

Career Aspirations:Medical residency in Canada in anesthesiology or family medicine.

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power is a truly unique place with compassionate, professional teachers who create a fun, engaging, and sincere learning atmosphere. Brain Power taught me how to think in a structured, logical manner. This skill has proven valuable in many areas of my life, whether it’s writing essays for my residency application, applying reasoning skills in medical world, or just dealing with everyday problems.

Alumni - Michael Kapps

Currently: Founder & CEO – TNH Digital Health (Ta.Na.Hora-SaudeDigital) Graduate of Harvard Medical School

Success: Michael is the Founder & CEO of TNH Digital Health (TaNaHora-SaudeDigital) in Sao Paulo, Brazil where his goal is for Brazilians to have access to basic health support in the face of enormous social inequality. Michael Kapps was named Millennial Impact Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 by GSG in Chicago (at the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group (GSG) – Impact Summit 2017). GSG’s vision is to use their global Impact Investing movement to address the planet’s social and environmental challenges and to drive Impact Investing to its Tipping Point by 2020.

Alumni - Kevin Huang

Currently: Data Scientist for Instagram/Facebook (lives in San Francisco)

Education: University of Waterloo – B.Math, Computer Science, Statistics, Economics

Thoughts on Brain Power: I love the fact that Brain Power offers collaborative environments that enable faster, broader, and more effective learning than anything I ever had in traditional public school classrooms.

Student - Cora Usurelu

Success: Winner of World Literacy National Writing Competition (Write for a Better World); Honoured by the Governor General of Ontario for winning Cambridge University – Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition; 3rd Place in World Mathematica (Euler); Speaker at Think Tank 2017; 2nd Place in Ontario’s Speakers Idol 2018 Competition; DECA Provincial Finalist; 1st Place in school for the Fryer, Newton, & Pascal math contests.

Thoughts on Brain Power: Awesome! BP introduces unique topics in its programs and also has interesting trips, book club, and workshops. My favourite BP classes are those that involve class discussions (i.e. debates, philosophical conversations, and “add your own story”). Love!

Alumni - Denesh Kumar

Education: Attending McMaster U, Bachelor of Health Sciences

Achievements: Principal Award for Student Leadership (William Lyon Mackenzie C.I ); Former President of Operation Med School Toronto; Co-Founder of Auris Hearing Solutions; McMaster President’s Scholarship

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power opened my eyes and taught me a lot that helped me both with school and going beyond the curriculum. It also helped me build many of the soft skills such as public speaking that I’ve used to find success to this day.

Alumni - Yossef Bisk

Education: York U., Bachelors in Mathematics for commerce (actuarial stream) and Masters in applied Mathematics; Schulich School of Business, graduate diploma in Financial Engineering

Awards/Accomplishments: Dean’s undergraduate research award, “Most Viable Startup Award” at Yale U., York U. Renewable Energy Scholarship

Currently: Data Engineer at Virtual Graffiti

Thoughts on Brain Power: A very personalized and meaningful experience: I always felt I was the most important student in the classroom, and I think every other student felt that way too.

Alumni - Anna Merkoulovitch

Currently: Software Engineer at Helix in San Francisco. University of Waterloo Honours graduate in Comp. Sci & Bioinformatics

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power made doing math as an extracurricular activity surprisingly fun! The teachers are honestly brilliant, and I loved some of the extras they involved in classes – meditation practice, gamification, and study tips. They also set me up to succeed in my high school math and English courses, as well as prepare for the MaCS entrance exam.

Alumni - Paul Mitassov

Currently: Owner of Paul Mitassov Law Firm, Toronto

Education: U of T, Doctor of Law; Bsc. Mechanical Engineering

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power’s programs were critical to my success. After intensive training by Karine, I was accepted into UTS, after which I went on to study mechanical engineering, then law, at the University of Toronto. Throughout my academic experience, the problem solving and information organization approaches that I learned from Karine helped me excel in my learning. If you are looking to invest in your child’s future, you cannot find a better place to do so.

Alumni - Bryan Mailloux

Currently: U. of Waterloo, Mechatronics Engineering

Awards: U. of Waterloo President’s Scholarship of Distinction, Dean’s Honours List, Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award

Thoughts about Brain Power: It’s easy to think that to succeed in engineering, you only need to be good at math and science. But the humanities play an important role as well. Being able to empathize with the general public offers an engineer the insight required to design products that don’t just work, but that people love to use.  I’ll be a far better engineer thanks to the skills and training in both math and the humanities that I received from Brain Power.

Alumni - Daniel Weintraub

Currently: Attending University of Waterloo  & Wilfrid Laurier University, Business Administration and Computer Science (double degree BBA/BCS

Thoughts on Brain Power: I remember Brain Power as an amazing experience that has helped shape who I am today. With Reuven’s guidance, Brain Power helped me get accepted into UTS, improved my academic experience, and provided me with a world of opportunities.

Alumni - Erik Brenner

Education: Wilfrid Laurier (Honours Economics and Business Management)

Thoughts on Brain Power: I left Brain Power over half a decade ago, yet the lessons I learned from Brain Power’s exceptional staff are still fresh in my mind. Brain Power’s Public Speaking course was fundamental in improving my interpersonal skills, especially my ability to present myself to diverse groups of people. I owe Dr. Karine Rashkovsky and her wonderful staff so much!  Their passion and love for what they teach inspire us students in more ways than words will ever express. I only have the fondest of memories of Brain Power.

Alumni - Elina Kompaniyets

Education: Schulich School of Business, iBBA

Awards: $3500 entrance scholarship for high academic achievement

Current Employment: Customer Experience Associate at TD Canada Trust

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power was such a fun time! To this day, I use the vocabulary we learned. Beyond that, I became a well-rounded and more cultured individual!

Alumni - Sherry Schneider

Education: Attending York U. (Honours B.Sc. in Global Health)

Scholarships: York U. Entrance Scholarship, valued at $3500; first ever recipient of the Global Health Entrance Scholarship ,valued at $5000.

Thoughts on Brain Power:  I can honestly say it not only improved my scores at school, but it exposed me to knowledge I would not have accessed any other way. Brain Power also allowed me to sharpen many of my academic skills and provided me with a great network of intelligent peers. Moreover, Brain Power helped me gain confidence in my talents and abilities, and it has given me lasting memories and friends.

Alumni - Diana Pik

Education : York U. (B.Sc. Biology)

Awards/Achievements: Conducting an Honours thesis in Biology; York U. Entrance Scholarships for Academic Excellence

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power provided me with critical writing, presentation, and public speaking skills that have guided me throughout my academic and work careers. Recently, I drew on the public speaking and presenting skills I learned at Brain Power to present some of my research at a symposium at York University.

Alumni - Andrew Zhao

Currently: Attending U. of Toronto (Computer Engineering)

Awards/Achievements: U. of Toronto Operations Research Challenge (second place); Betz Entrance Scholarship for Electrical and Computer Engineering ($447); Edward S Rogers Sr Admissions Scholarship ($1172)

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power was a place where the mind was allowed to transcend the confines of daily life and explore the vastness of what is possible. Unlike most places of learning, Brain Power sought to teach us ways to think off the beaten path. Brain Power wasn’t just a help in English, but in every subject I’ve taken, even now in my engineering studies.

Alumni - Ron Hyman

Education: Going to university next year!

Achievements: Invited to present a TED talk at the YRDSB Quest Conference about the importance of asking questions; founded a Robotics Club

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power’s unique programs and awesome professors helped me gain significant knowledge and skills. Whether it is crafting the perfect essay, making a public speech, or giving me relevant insight and stories from around the world, I always learned something new, met new people, and challenged myself.

Alumni - Ajethar Kumar

University Aspirations: Social science/ business degree

Achievements: Awards for academic average, perseverance, and leadership.

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power has been one of my best experiences. It has given me the the opportunity to think outside of the box. My writing and public speaking skills have improved immensely, and I have had the chance to see fellow students perform in speech competitions, record my own speech, and go on field trips that I would never have had the chance to do otherwise. I am very grateful for my time and Brain Power and for all the hardworking teachers who make the experience wonderful!

Alumni - Max Verzunov

University: Attending Ivey Business School at Western U., Honours Business Administration, Finance

Achievements: Dean’s Honour List, DECA ICDC, UWO Admission Scholarship, Yeandle Family Scholarship

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power gave me an excellent foundation to perform well in school. This program helped me improve my understanding of English, which had a profound effect on every course I took. I also got more comfortable with presenting in front of others, which has proven to be a valuable skill to this day. I truly believe Brain Power was a crucial step in my personal and professional development.

Alumni - Ariel Rodov

Education: Ryerson University, Bachelor of Computer Engineering

Awards: Deans List 2017-2018; 4th Year Capstone Design Project, Best Poster Award and nominated for Best Computer Engineering Design, Entrance Scholarship

Current employment: Data Engineer for Loblaw’s and Shopper’s PC Optimum Program

Thoughts about Brain Power: I started Brain Power at age 10 and stayed throughout high school. I am very thankful for it. It’s fun, challenging, and provides a warm open environment for you to challenge yourself!

Alumni - Rony Besprozvanny

Education: Computer Engineering (Bachelor of Applied Science), Queen’s U.

Achievements: First class honours, developed a scheduling and informational app for Queen’s students, admission scholarship

Current Employment: Software Engineer at Capital One

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power rocks! I love remembering all the times in class with everyone. Those were the good old days!

Alumni - Henry Lin

Education: Attending Carnegie Mellon U., Electrical and Computer Engineering

Thoughts on Brain Power: Thumbs up!

Alumni - Karen Lee

Education: Attending Ryerson University, Creative Industries

Achievements: Entrance scholarships

Career Aspirations: Media Business

Thoughts on Brain Power: The curriculum was always carefully curated, packed with such unique content. Karine was always so engaging and truly invested in her students. It was also a place where I made valuable friendships.

Alumni - Ariel Tabak

Education: York U., Lassonde School of Engineering, Space Engineering

Achievements: Mechanical Team Lead for the Lassonde Satellite Design Team

Career Aspirations: Looking to do engineering work related to satellites

Memories of Brain Power: Good times! Brain Power gave me knowledge that is still useful today; it helped me to improve confidence and was a worthwhile experience.

Alumni - Sylvia Chong

Education: Attending Western U., Medical Sciences + AEO

Achievements: 2nd place (Ontario) for Medical Reading HOSA, Cofounder/ President of SCITalk at MGCI, Western Scholarship of Distinction

Career Aspirations: Dentistry

Memories of Brain Power: Brain Power helped set a concrete academic foundation which helped me decide what I wanted to pursue in the future, and it also gave me the confidence to do well in school.

Alumni - Darya Khlebnikova

Education: Attending York U., Biomedical Sciences

Achievements: Graduated high school with academic honours and bilingual diploma (french immersion); York Entrance Scholarship

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power was the best educational experience I’ve ever had outside of school. It has improved my math skills, logical thinking, my writing, and my knowledge in literature. It opened up my mind and inspired me to expand my knowledge and interests. I loved the trips we would take with the whole class, where we would see different plays and performances.

Alumni - Michael Maevskiy

Education: U. of Toronto, Bachelor of Music

Scholarships: Andrew Alexander Kinghorn Scholarships in Music, Dr. Madeline M. Field Music Scholarship

Thoughts on Brain Power:  Moments during my time at Brain Power still come up everyday, whether they are memories of philosophical discussions we had, or plot twists from great short stories that we read. I loved every moment of going to Brain Power because I walked away having learned something new after every class. I do not think there was ever a time when I did not want to go to our weekly classes! I also accredit most of my vocabulary knowledge to Brain Power!

Alumni - Lisa Smirnova

Education: Ryerson University, Public Health (with Occupational Health certificate)

Current Employment and Aspirations: Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator Assistant with the goal of becoming a public health inspector

Thoughts on Brain Power: I made many valuable friendships and connections from my classes there!

Student - Sam Gorman

Success: Selected a speaker at Think Tank 2017; 1st Place in Ontario’s Speakers Idol 2018 Competition; Founder & CEO of AIM (an organization that advocates for young people by empowering them through voice and providing them opportunities that give them marketable skills and experience).

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power is the literal reason I am where I am. Without Brain Power, none of what I achieved would be a reality.

Alumni - Viviana Santa

Program Acceptance: Ivey Business School at University of Waterloo on an Admission Scholarship.

Success: 2016 Athlete of the Year in her Swimming Club; 2017 Top 6 in the Province for her swim solo and Top 10 in the Province for her swim team routine.

Thoughts on Brain Power: Through Brain Power, I became more confident in myself and in my work. The open environment and positive attitudes gave me the courage to try new things and challenge myself. Brain Power enhanced my confidence and taught me how to think outside the box and come up with new ideas that help me stand out. I learned many valuable lessons that not only helped me in school but also in life.

Alumni - Jimmy Huang

Program Acceptance: Mechatronics Engineering at Waterloo University.

Scholarship Received: President’s Scholarship of Distinction

Success: Jimmy received his Glider Pilot license, and he is in the process of receiving his Power Pilot license through the Canadian Air Cadets. Jimmy was also a Brain Power Fiddletree Essay Contest winner.

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power was a lot of fun to attend. I looked forward to discussions about topics that were difficult to talk about elsewhere, and even just listening to others was a great learning experience.

Alumni - Mendy Bisk

Education: U. of Toronto, Spanish; New York U., Biology and Music; York Y., BFA

Career: Mendy teaches piano, guitar, and music theory, in addition to being an events performer. He is also a Yiddish teacher at Bialik Hebrew Day School.

Thoughts on Brain Power: During my years at Brain Power my English drastically improved, and I was introduced to a wide range of concepts from etymology to epistemology. Brain Power instilled in me a thirst for knowledge and taught me to think critically and work efficiently.  Looking back I can say for certain that choosing Brain Power was one of the best decisions of my life.

Alumni - Rodney Chan

High School: Upper Canada College

University Ambitions: Cornell University Urban and Regional Studies, Waterloo Urban Planning

Achievements: Excellence Across All Subjects, Principal’s List (top 10% of all students), Geography Prize

Thoughts on Brain Power: 

It was an amazing program! I studied with multiple teachers there, and they were all eager to help. I learned a lot of new vocabulary and was able to analyze writing at a much higher level. My writing skills improved, and I learned how to properly structure essays with smooth transitions and strong thesis statements

Alumni - David Tsenter

Education: U. of Waterloo, Software Engineering

Accomplishments: President’s Scholarship; winner of several hackathons (ex. Hack the North, Tech Retreat)

Internships: Software Engineer at Apple; (in California); Quantitative Research at Citadel (in New York)

Thoughts on Brain Power: My time at Brain Power was truly unforgettable. The wide array of courses and instructors make it possible to become knowledgable in a breadth of different subjects, while also specializing in ones you are passionate about. The courses at Brain Power taught me to think critically, a skill I still value greatly and use to this day.

Alumni - Natalie Nova

Education: Studying Cognitive Science at the School of Computing at Queens University.

Accomplishments: On the honour roll for all of high school; received a $6000 scholarship to Queens; captain of the volleyball team; athlete of the year

Thoughts on Brain Power:  Brain Power helped me grow, not only as a student but as a person as well. It showed me how to love school and find interests in subjects I would have never been exposed to without it. I couldn’t be more grateful for all the professors, the staff, and the friends I made!

Alumni - Tyler Zheng

Currently Studying: Political Sciences and East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto

Recent Internships: Bavarian Parliament in Germany; Alibaba Group Inc. in China

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power has really helped me develop my public speaking skills. These skills have helped me both academically and professionally. Being able to stand in front of people, no matter the size of the crowd, and confidently present is a crucial skill needed in almost all schools and jobs. Brain Power helped me increase my potential and polished my skills. I am very grateful.

Alumni - Caroline Cui

Currently: Attending Western University, Medical and Integrated Sciences

Achievements: Distinction for all of high school (90% average or higher); ARCT Piano Diploma; 2nd place Speaker’s Idol 2018; Scholarship: $10,000 value.

Thoughts on Brain Power: I LOVED Brain Power! Jason taught me English, and it was amazing! We went through so many interesting topics that covered philosophy, history, and many other ideas. I developed my public speaking skills and my love for it at Brain Power. I used to hate because I was very nervous, but Karine taught to be a great speaker who is more confident in what I think and who I am.

Alumni - Ernst Ma

Currently: Studying at Upper Canada College

Aspirations: A career in business management

Achievements: Principal’s list (Top 10% Overall Average in Grade); DECA Top Overall Score; Secondary School United Nations Symposium (SSUNS); Pierre Trudeau Award for Diplomatic Finesse; Duke of Edinburgh Award – Silver Level

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power was one of the most important parts of my middle and high school career. It is a place that inspires students to think differently and leads them to success. Without the help of Karine and Brain Power, I would not have the confidence, skills, or aspirations and opportunities I have today.

Alumni - Danielle Tsirulnikov

Currently: Attending McMaster University, Bachelor of Health Science

Achievements: Dean’s Honour List; Worked with an orthopaedic surgeon in developing an app for medical students to prepare them for the ortho section on their boards exam.

Thoughts on Brain Power: I loved my time at Brain Power. I took all of the possible courses I could take there, ranging from Math to Language Arts to University Preparation. Brain Power allowed me to keep my brain sharp and stay ahead of the school curriculum. We explored extremely interesting topics in the language courses that we never even came close to touching in high school, and I raised my vocabulary to a much more professional level.

Alumni - Ilya Kreynin

Education: U. of Toronto, Industrial Engineering

Awards/Achievements: Dean’s List, President’s Entrance Scholarship, Tedx Speaker, Canadian Engineering Debate Finalist, High School Athlete of the Year, Top 8 Ontario University Wrestler, holder of 2 AI patents, had designs implemented on 2 rides at Walt Disney World!

Thoughts on Brain Power: Lots of places teach you math and English, but not a lot of places teach you how to think. Beyond helping prepare me for UTS Stage 2 interviews (which changed my life for the better), I’m forever grateful to Karine and Reuven for teaching me to think deeply about problems and not to set limits on what my mind could do.

Alumni - Siona Phadke

Academic Path: Medical Sciences

Accomplishments: Chosen Quest Speaker for York Region District School Board, TedTalk Speaker on creating inclusive environments within schools

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power was a place where I could express myself through my writing. I discovered the creative side of myself because of my Language Arts classes at Brain Power. This was a side of myself which I wasn’t able to discover in day school. I look back to my Brain Power days and reminisce about the incredible learning experiences I was given, as well as the memorable friends I made.

Alumni - Steven Huang

Education: IB graduate, now completing Computer Science at Waterloo University

Hobbies & Talents: Basketball and EDM music-making

Thoughts on Brain Power: I really enjoyed my time at Brain Power, especially the math classes because I was learning a lot of material that was way beyond what I was learning in school. I also enjoyed all the logic games, which made classes really fun.

Alumni - Justin Krivov

Currently Studying: Mechanical Engineering Technology.

Achievements: Dean’s list.

Thoughts on Brain Power:  If I had to describe my experience at Brain Power in one word, I would have to call it enlightening. I attended Brain Power in high school, so I was still trying to figure out my goals in life. I didn’t have much knowledge about the dynamics of post-secondary eduction, or how to think more critically about things I read or heard in my day-to-day life. Thanks to Brain Power I learned so much and became inspired to both aspire to high academic and career goals and to contribute as an engaged member of society.

Alumni - Vlad Rozhkovych

Education: Attending Ryerson University,  Bachelor of BioMedical Engineering

Awards/Achievements: 2017 Valedictorian, Honour roll student

Career Trajectory: Engineering in Bio Medical field (interested in Medical AI)

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power is a truly exceptional school, one that inspires and teaches its students to think outside of the box. By exploring and learning about thought-provoking concepts, philosophies, equations, historical events, and more, I have been able to build new and useful perspectives that continue to greatly help me to this day.

Alumni - Tiffany Ho

Education: Attending Queen’s University, Economics (Major) and Global Development (Minor)

Awards/Achievements: Queen’s Venture Award, Aramak School Award for Leadership, website and graphic designer for Queen’s Economics Affairs Society

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power taught me a wide variety of study skills and academic thinking you won’t learn in school! I still use the knowledge base that Brain Power gave me now that I am in University, and I am always so glad I attended this amazing enrichment program.

Alumni - Boris Vorobyov

Currently: Owner of Power Homes Group Corp. (Home Inspection Company)

Awards/Achievements: CPI (Certified Professional Inspector), CMI (Certified Master Inspector)

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power provided me with the additional support and knowledge not available in my regular day-school. My teachers at Brain Power were very accommodating and would do their best to help every single student succeed. During elementary and high school I tried various other tutoring and enrichment schools, whether they were one on one or small classes, but none of them provided the attention and care that Brain Power did.

Alumni - Rony Leibel

Education: York U, Schulich School of Business (BBA)

Awards/Achievements: Graduated with honours

Aspirations: Looking to gain experience in all fields of business including finance, marketing, and consulting. My long term goal is to be a successful entrepreneur.

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power was definitely one of the most positive experiences of my life. Brain Power was a contributing factor in my success at school and in my career. They have a collective of extremely bright individuals who changed the way I think for the better, and set me up with many useful skills that I utilize to this day.

Alumni - Tammy Zeltser

Educational Aspirations: Kinesiology at U. of Toronto or Western U.

Awards/Achievements: Honour Roll (4 years), Grade 11 Art Award, MVP School Ultimate Frisbee Team

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brainpower is a magical place where learning is always encouraged. The curriculum touches on topics that most kids wouldn’t think to explore at such a young age. I’m so thankful to have had Karine and Jason teach me about psychology, sociology, and philosophy. I’ve been asking questions that would not have occurred to me, and this has helped me grow as a person. I wish Brain Power had classes for university students!

Alumni - Daniel Pun

Employment: Armoured Crewman in the Canadian Armed Forces

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power is to learning as a wildfire is to a dry forest: it sparks insight and expands into a blaze of thoughtful and profound discussion. Brain Power provides an innovative yet natural approach to education.

Alumni - Carson Lau

Education: U. of Toronto, Engineering

 Employment: IB Teacher Training Institute Coordination Team at Upper Canada College

Awards/Achievements: Duke of Edinburgh (Silver Level), Barry McKague Award for Community Service

Thoughts on Brain Power: I very much enjoyed my time at Brain Power, and I still have great memories to this day! Brain Power certainly helped improve my public speaking skills, allowing me to feel more comfortable speaking to a larger audience. Being able to present my ideas clearly and professionally helped when I was invited to be a keynote speaker at the ESRI Canada’s User Conference.

Alumni - Delaram Dara

Education: Life Sciences at U. of T., B.Sc.; medical school hopeful

Awards and Scholarships: The Roy Alvin Hope Scholarship, The James Morrow Scholarship, Dean’s List Scholar Certificate, The Joel Verwege Award, 3rd place in STEM Fellowship Journal’s Big Data Challenge

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power was one of the few places where the teachers truly cared about my success and supported me even when regular class hours were over. One of the most valuable lessons I learned at Brain Power was that major changes in meaning arise from minor changes in words.

Alumni - Liza Rodov

Currently: Studying Nursing

Awards/Accomplishments: Valedictorian of her high school, $3,000 in entrance scholarships

Educational Aspirations: Masters in Nursing

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power helped me expand my horizons and introduced me to a world of authors and stories that I never would have had the pleasure of reading otherwise. Brain Power gave me a deep love of English, and a better vocabulary as well!

Alumni - Meli Lifshits

University: Smith School of Business for BComm, Queen’s U.

Achievements – Dean’s Honour List, Marketing Excellence Award, Queen’s U. Excellence Scholarship, Sutton Award

Current Employment: Category Development Analyst at Mars

Thoughts on Brain Power: English classes at Brain Power were unlike any I had ever taken. Not only did they improve my writing and presenting abilities, but we discussed and debated so many interesting topics. The courses helped me learn to analyze topics from new perspectives and to think in-depth. I definitely applied those skills throughout my time in university and beyond.

Alumni - Spencer Ki

Currently: Studying astrophysics at University of Toronto

Accomplishments: Staff Writer for The Varsity newspaper’s Science section; Outreach Director for U of T’s Astronomy and Space Exploration Society; Senior Staff Writer for Toike Oike

Thoughts on Brain Power:

I strongly believe that I would not be anywhere near where I am today without the greatly enriching influence of Brain Power. Brain Power really fed both parts of my brain: the logical and analytical half studying astrophysics, as well as the creative and verbose side that loves writing for newspapers. Thank you very much to everyone at the Brain Power team!

Alumni - Christina Yan

Currently: Biomedical Computing at Queen’s U.

Accomplishments: Poster Award (Top 5%) at SPIE Medical Imaging 2017; First author of research on ultrasound-based scoliosis measurement and computer-aided surgery; IEEE Student Project Competition for analysis on a lumpectomy navigation system; Software Development internship at IBM in Cloud Computing

Thoughts on Brain Power: Taking classes at Brain Power always challenged me to think outside of the box, and tremendously improved my English and Public Speaking skills. Every class was unique with many insightful takeaways thanks to their inspiring instructors who have such a strong passion for teaching.

Alumni - Ariel Oren

Currently: Biomedical Sciences at University of Guelph; future dentist & oral surgeon.

Success: Graduated Chat with High Honour Roll; 9th in Ontario in the Personal Finance category of DECA

Thoughts on Brain Power: Beyond the mathematic and reading and writing skill-set I had sharpened over my years at Brain Power, I am grateful for the transferable skills I was able to develop through my interactions and assignments. From developing unique perspectives to solve problems, to introducing different layers of depth to my analytical capabilities, I feel beyond privileged to have been able to spend so many wonderful years at Brainpower, and know the rewards and results will stick with me forever.

Alumni - Matthew Dai

Career Aspirations:
A prestigious future in corporate management

University Acceptance:
Schulich School of Business & Waterloo Accounting and Financial Management Co-op

Accomplishments:
Completed Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) Piano; ARCT

Favourite Memories of Brain Power:
Vocab quizzes and brain candy (delicious hard work)!

Student - Diviya Leonard

Student: Diviya Leonard

Selected Achievements:
Diviya created an award-winning social justice blog viewed in over 90 countries, and she has been a keynote speaker for Plan Canada.

University Plans: A career in Human Rights Law (of course!)

Diviya’s thoughts on Brain Power:
“I have really enjoyed taking part in Karine’s Public Speaking course as it has helped me to gain leadership skills, learn new speaking techniques, and participate in engaging activities. It has enabled me to improve my confidence, and that, in turn, has helped me when giving speeches and presentations at school, in my community, nationally, and internationally.”

Student - Tian Shi Yuan

Success: Winner of SHAD Valley 2017 Competition! SHAD students are chosen from around the world through a rigorous, competitive process; selected students are top performers who are also well-rounded emerging leaders demonstrating initiative, creativity and flair. SHAD empowers exceptional high school students – at a pivotal point in their education – to recognize their own capabilities and envision their extraordinary potential as tomorrow’s leaders and change makers (in science, technology, engineering, arts & math).

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power’s help was so important to me making it! Thank you.

Alumni - Lynn Sue-A-Quan

Currently: Accepted to Juilliard in New York and New England Conservatory in Boston (scholarships from both schools). Lynn plans to join an orchestra, teach, and perform throughout the world. She played in Carnegie Hall in an orchestra!

Thoughts on Brain Power: Every week, I would look forward to Brain Power, wondering what sort of new thing I would be blown away by. I loved how I was in an environment where learning was a priority. It made me feel welcome, and for once, made me want to learn more! Brain Power really shaped me into who I am today and I’m really grateful for all the mind-blowing awesome lessons!

Talents: Viola.

Alumni - Steven Tulman

Currently: Workshop Leader @ Harvard Business School, Schulich School of Business, Richard Ivey School of Business, to name a few; CEO of Social Pulse Marketing Inc and VP of Strategic Partnerships at Providr Inc.

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power expanded my ability to think both strategically and logically and, most definitely, improved my odds of success.

Talents: Public speaking and business

Alumni - Antonina Maltsev

Currently: McGill University student in Management, Finance, Entrepreneurship and Organizational Behaviour; Offered a job in investment banking at Clarus Securities upon graduation!

Thoughts on Brain Power: An amazing experience that encourages a love of learning!  BP played an immense role in the way I have developed as a curious and analytical thinker and shaped the way I think and look at the world around me. I have always viewed Karine as my biggest role model and more of a life mentor rather than just a teacher.

Talents: Public speaking (thanks to Brain Power!) and music and singing.

Alumni - Elliott Birman

Currently: Student at Harvard University; Graduate of UCC

Thoughts on Brain Power: Thumbs up for math and language arts at Brain Power

Talents: Research, academics, sports, and assisting young ivy-league hopefuls!

Alumni - Gabriel Birman

Currently: Student at Princeton University; Graduate of UCC

Thoughts on Brain Power: Thumbs up for math and language arts at Brain Power

Talents: Research, academics, sports, and assisting young ivy-league hopefuls!

Alumni - Sasha Ioffine

Currently: Schulich School of Business graduate; Ph.D.-bound (English); Masters in English graduate.

Success: Publishing my own creative writing. Winner of the prestigious June McMaster-Harrison Memorial Prize for best essay at York University. My paper was entitled “Confronting Government, War, and Genocide in Harry Potter and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”

Thoughts on Brain Power: Fun, rigorous, inspirational, and motivating; I started BP at the age of 8 and feel lucky for it.

Alumni - Katya Katsnelson

Currently: Studying at Ryerson University & working at an interior design firm.

Success: During her time at Brain Power, Katya was invited to the New York City United Nations Sustainable Development Summit (conference attendee alongside Angela Merkel, Megan J Smith, the U.S. CHief Technology office and Assistant to the President, and the Pope); Video production for Big Data University.

Thoughts on Brain Power: It’s given me a true understanding of the meaning of education and the value of my own learning. I’m immersed [at Brain Power] in a wide variety of material that I never would have been exposed to otherwise: Brain Power is the best decision I have made.

Alumni - Michal Moshkovich

Currently: MaCS Program Student; President of Operation Med School Toronto (healthcare conference for high school students); Top 10 International Winner at DECA Competition in Atlanta, Georgia; 2nd Place at the SAGE (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship) World Cup hosted in Ukraine (and 1st place at Nationals in Toronto) for her start-up: SpitStrips; Featured on CityNews, CTV, & CKNW News for her scientific innovation; Recipient of United Nations Gold Medal for her start-up’s vision and goals.

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power allows me to think deeply and motivates me to take on challenges I would have never considered before! I love Brain Power’s thoughtful and caring atmosphere.

Student - Veronika Urbanovitch

Success: Chosen for competitive Aerospace Manufacturing co-op; future engineer

Thoughts on Brain Power:  Brain Power helps demonstrate my smarts to others (and face my fear of talking to people). In my academics, BP has helped me raise my grades and make classes really easy.

Alumni - Jamie Lee

Education: Attending U. of Toronto, Rotman Commerce

Awards/Achievements: Dean’s List (2016-18), Semi-Finalist in Great Canadian Sales Competition, 1st winner of Deloitte Internal Hackathon, 1st winner of Rotman Commerce Consulting Association Case Competition

Thoughts on Brain Power: My time at Brain Power was incredibly memorable. Every week was intellectually stimulating and pushed me to exit my comfort zone. Brain Power definitely shaped the way I think about the world and helped me develop into the person I am today. I look forward to seeing how Karine and her colleagues continue to inspire and train the next generation of students.

Alumni - Erik Fridman

Currently: Studying Entrepreneurship and Strategy at Ryerson; Founder of Get Crazy Entertainment and C&S Windows; Professional musician; Mentor for the summer company program at the Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre.

Career Aspirations: Open a startup

Talents: Rhetoric, business, writing music, playing guitar, singing

Thoughts on Brain Power: Life-changing. Simply awesome.

Student - Alan Topash

Success: Alan is a successful teen entrepreneur who has a tech news startup he operates with David Gurevich: FACET News.

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power has not only taught me to be more confident in my writing, but it has also taught me to make deeper more meaningful connections.

Alumni - Nicole Rayskin

Currently: Business Administration @ Lazaridis School of Business, Wilfrid Laurier University; DECA top provincial winner (all thanks to my rhetoric and public speaking abilities I gained from Brain Power!)

Thoughts on Brain Power:  The most reliable place to get educated way beyond the school system. I love the relationships I formed with my (brilliant) BP peers and teachers — and I still stay in touch.

Talents: Business and knitting (yes, knitting)

Student - David Gurevich

Success: Teen entrepreneur with a tech news startup: FACET News; Works at a Nuclear Engineering Company (writes software that analyzes the fluid dynamics of pipes in nuclear power plants).

Future Plans: To pursue Computer Science at the University Of Toronto or the University of Waterloo.

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power has not only taught me to be more confident in my writing, but has also taught me to make deeper and more meaningful connections. The public speaking skills that I learned at Brain Power have helped me land a position as a 15 year old software developer at Research in Flows, Inc.

Alumni - Vivi Shi

Currently: Queen’s University English Masters Degree student; graduate of Queen’s University Concurrent Education; winner of National Logistics Leadership Award; founder of Yarning for Good.

Thoughts on Brain Power: BP helped me build skills necessary to achieve my goals in university; I have been inspired to be a more creative and passionate scholar.

Talents: Renaissance literature from the 16th century.

Alumni - Charles Wang
Currently: Accepted scholarship to Computer Science at Waterloo
 
Received entrance scholarships to all of the universities he applied to:

– Computer Science and Mechatronics Engineering at University of Waterloo
– Engineering Science and Computer Science at UofT
– Engineering at Queens University
– Computer Science and Engineering at McMaster University
 
Thoughts on Brain Power:  Thanks for improving my essay writing skills!
Alumni - Michael Bakshy

Currently: University of Toronto Student in Mental Health Sciences; Dr. of Psychology hopeful.

Thoughts on Brain Power: I was at Brain Power for a number of years and it truly helped me succeed. These days my little sister attends Brain Power and I am thrilled to say she is thriving there.

Talents: People, networking, and spirituality

Alumni - Carissa Wong

Currently: Studying at McMaster in Life Sciences

Thoughts on Brain Power: I really enjoyed my time at BP and the diverse classes I took! It helped me enhance my skills in writing and communicating with other people, which built my confidence.

Talents: Foreign Languages!

Alumni - Louie Ryu

Currently: University of Waterloo Architecture

Thoughts on Brain Power: The best way I was able to both challenge myself and find my real academic abilities was to go to Brain Power! 🙂

Talents: Game theory and musicianship

Alumni - Gabriel Gefter

Currently: Architecture @ McGill University (most competitive program (only 12 students accepted/year!); Received Sheila Baillie Scholarship, Architecture ($20,000)

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power helped me to effortlessly complete high school with high marks and achieve my academic goals.

Talents: Ultimate Frisbee and all things creative

Alumni - Maria Guna

Currently: Claude Watson program at Earl Haig for Visual Arts and aspiring fashion designer; Winner of Visual Arts Major Award and gallery artist at Twist Gallery, Toronto.

Thoughts on Brain Power:  Brain Power is an amazing program that helped me immerse into the beautiful art of writing; it prepared me for high school oral speeches and essays, while helping me express my thoughts and opinions through writing.

Alumni - Danny Samara
Currently: University Studies- Computer Science
 
Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power’s staff is the absolute best at not only effectively teaching its students, but also at keeping them engaged and interested every lesson. I went for two years and in that time, I learned more about literature and general writing (essay-writing, proper use of grammar, word-choices etc) than I have throughout the entire 12 years of “English” class I’ve attended in the public school system.  Thank you, Brain Power!
Student - Oleg Tulea

Success: Winner of Fiddletree Essay Competition – Cape Breton

Thoughts on Brain Power:  What I love: the atmosphere of energy and enthusiasm at BP. The students are always interested, and the smart teachers are fun to be around.

Alumni - Ron Galaev

Currently: 3rd seat cellist for Kindred Spirits Orchestra, 4th substitute cellist for Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power taught me many things, however, most importantly it taught me that the arts, be it lingual, visual or musical, have an important role to play in the world and society. This inspired me to pursue music more professionally, as without this influence I would likely have never found myself in music.

Talents: Music and psychology.

Alumni - Michal Krasovitski

Currently: University of Toronto Student of Psycholinguistics; First place winner (International) Alice Munro Short Story Contest; Gold, Silver medalist in Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competitions

Thoughts on Brain Power: My years at Brain Power were definitely the best in my life yet!

Talents: Debate and creative writing

Alumni - Dennis Gorya

Education: Schulich School of Business, BBA

Achievements: Founder of Edge Leadership (NFP), founder of Youth Employment Health Centre (NFP), Entrance Scholarships (York and Schulich), Student Life Scholarship

Currently: Owner and Operator, Mindless Tower (a digital marketing firm)

Thoughts on Brain Power: Looking back, I can say that my time at Brain Power made me into a better person. I learned how to navigate complex logical challenges, valuable life lessons, and  confidence in myself.

Alumni - Allan Yan

Currently: Working at Evercore, focusing on mergers and acquisitions

Thoughts on Brain Power: BP definitely gave me an advantage over my peers in school and enabled me to pursue whatever I wanted and always achieve a high level of success.  

Talents: Business and computers

Alumni - Naomi Brandt

Currently: Speech language pathologist; Founder and Clinical Director of Speech & Company; Graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Masters of Science.

Thoughts on Brain Power: I still remember all the amazing puzzles and learning I had at Brain Power with a big smile!

Talents: Leadership, management, and being a mom (all at the same time!)

Alumni - Bhavy Dhawan

Currently: <3’ing his career in investment banking (Houlihan Lokey) in the USA; Graduate Ivey Business School at Western U

Thoughts on Brain Power: – scored in the top 10% of my class at Ivey; why? because of Brain Power

Talents: Writing, business

Alumni - Justin Lu

Currently: IB Student, Engineering hopeful!

Thoughts on Brain Power: Karine’s Language Arts class introduced me to the vast world of literature. Through studying interesting short stories and novels from a variety of authors, I gained an interest in literature. Brain Power also strengthened my writing and critical thinking skills, both of which I find to be extremely crucial.

Student - Steven Mai

Success: UTS acceptance; winner (finalist) of international essay competition (Rand Institute)

Thoughts on Brain Power: Helped with my academic successes (and love of chocolate cake)

Student - Saesha Kukreja

Success: Winner of national poetry writing competition.

Thoughts on Brain Power:  Love the writing support and inspiration.

Student - Rahul Pandya

Currently: Accepted to Queen’s Park Page Program (page in the legislature); finalist in provincial public speaking competition. Rahul attended the 2018 Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN). HMUN is a four-day international relations simulation for high school students held annually in downtown Boston. At HMUN, delegates gain insight into the workings of the United Nations and the dynamics of international relations by assuming the roles of UN representatives and members of other international bodies and national cabinets. The conference theme for HMUN 2018 was Empowerment & Education.

Thoughts on Brain Power: Worth the drive from Port Elgin! Brain Power has helped me succeed.

Alumni - Harry Wang

Currently:  Medical school hopeful!  Harry holds a volunteer position at Sick Kids Hospital here at home, and abroad, in a hospital in China. Additionally, he is dedicated to his work in a local senior home, and is his school’s HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) chapter’s president.

Thoughts on Brain Power: My Brain Power experience is a great benefit to me – I appreciate all I gained from my in-class and experiential learning.

Alumni - Alex Zhou

Currently: Medical Sciences Student at Western University

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power was one of the core experiences of my childhood that shaped who I am today

Talents: A passion for microbiology and immunology

Student - Andrew Zhou

Success: Winner of Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition: Bronze medal.

Thoughts on Brain Power:  Excellent support with the writing process.

Alumni - Illya Pilipenko

Currently: Engineering student @ McMaster

Thoughts on Brain Power: The courses at Brain Power helped me immensely, being the reason why I went from being terrified of presentations to favouring presentations as my strongest delivery method. The very friendly atmosphere at Brain Power was great, too, and it helped me make some new friends.

Alumni: Kevin Liu

Currently: studying at Western University, med-school hopeful.

Achievements: completed high school with a 95+ average and placed 10th in Ontario in the 2016 Canadian Chemistry Contest.

Thoughts on Brain Power: My experience with Brain Power was awesome: I got my mind blown every class.

Student - Alex Bancea

Success: Accepted to Queen’s Park Page Program (page in the legislature); finalist in national public speaking competition (Canadian Young Speakers Contest – Agr.)

Thoughts on Brain Power: I’ve been enrolled at Brain Power math and language arts courses from the age of 8 and since then, Brain Power has shaped and molded my successful academic life.

Student - Shawn Liu

Currently: Brain Power’s Senior 2 student, Shawn Liu, was selected to attend University of California for summer science research at the Davis Center on Mind and Brain! What an accomplishment!

The Mind and Brain Pre-College Program is an experiential, research-based program that exposes successful applicants to the latest discoveries and questions in human cognition, perception, consciousness, and more.

One day Shawn hopes to lead a team of researchers that will develop non-invasive biotechnologies that can manipulate a person’s five senses in order to transfer his/her consciousness into an artificially created world.

Alumni - Boris Kyrychenko

Currently:  At University of Toronto Studying Political Science/International Relations.

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power taught me a plethora of different subjects and ideas, including incredible grammar skills, but, perhaps most importantly, the most influential thing I took away is to question everything – no idea, concept, or authority should stay safe from criticism. Being at Brain Power has certainly shaped my view of the world, and has made me who I am today.

Alumni - Stephanie Rico

Currently: Graduated IB at Bayview Secondary School; Pre-med university-bound at McMaster University’s Health Sciences Undergraduate Program.

Success: Student Trustee of York Region District School Board; DECA and HOSA competitor, and director of Bayview’s WE Charity.

Thoughts on Brain Power: I am super proud that I was able to learn so much and meet so many amazing people during my time at Brain Power. I would not be the person I am today without the guidance I received from my Brain Power teachers. I miss being a part of my Brain Power family now that I am a graduate!

Alumni - Lev Raizman

Education: Lev aspires to attend Waterloo Computer Science

Thoughts on Brain Power: The highlight of every week during elementary and high-school was always my time at Brain Power. It was a place where I could interact with like-minded people, while also learning about many topics that were never covered in school. Additionally, Brain Power allowed to me go beyond the curricular level of my school, which has allowed me to achieve high grades. Most importantly, Brain Power has developed my critical thinking skills, which are applicable in all facets of my life. I am very thankful to Brain Power for all of this.

Alumni - Michael Dinatolo

Currently: Western University Ivey & Medicine hopeful

Achievements: YCDSB – Silver Medalist: CEMC Waterloo U. Math Competition; U. of Toronto – Bronze Medalist: The Operation Research Challenge; HOSA – Silver Medalist in Nationals; Chess Championships: 1st place in YCDSB; Member of top ranking jazz band in YCDSB

Michael’s thoughts on Brain Power: The amazing teachers I had and the programs I took at Brain Power allowed me to achieve my full potential. I am so glad I was exposed to incredible literature and fantastic teachers like Karine, and that I was taught how to think critically. Brain Power shaped me as a person, and I absolutely loved my time at there!

Alumni - Johnny Libenzon

Currently: studying at Biomedical Engineering at Ryerson University; Johnny is also the Director of Finance at Ryerson University’s Stargazers and Head Business Coordinator at Ryerson University’s Hacks.

Thoughts on Brain Power: I loved Brain Power for one very simple thing: the opportunity to learn how to think critically about issues without my imagination curtailed by restrictions often imposed by the more regulated environment of the public school classroom. I loved the in-depth ways I was taught to analyze text for deeper meaning, the quality discussions that were held regarding themes in novels and contemporary literature, and the super teaching I experienced.

Alumni - Shelly Olshansky

Currently: Studying at Schulich School of Business -York University

Thoughts on Brain Power: Brain Power taught me all of the necessary literary and mathematical tools that have helped me succeed academically, professionally and personally. Brain Power also has given me confidence in my writing and presentation abilities, two skills that have helped me grow significantly as a business student.

Alumni - Simon Li

Currently: Software Engineer for LinkedIn, San Francisco
Graduated from Cornell University: B.Sc. Comp Sci; and Bayview S.S. IB program.

Alumni - Julia Gurevich

University: Ryerson University, Bachelor of Architecture Science

Awards: Scholastic International Arts and Writing Silver Medalist

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