Matthew Evans is a studious sophomore at Baton Rouge High Magnet School who uses his time after school to diligently prepare for his future. He recently completed Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation’s IGNITE Entrepreneurship & ACT Prep Institute as a two-year participant, and the hard work is paying off.
“In the ACT component of the IGNITE Entrepreneurship & ACT Prep Institute, we learned lifelong strategies in test-taking beyond just the ACT,” Matthew said. “Some of the techniques that were covered were process of elimination (‘if it sounds right, it is right’), scanning and skimming, and pacing. On the day of testing, I tried to think like the creator of the test, whether I knew the answer or not.”
Matthew’s approach worked. He increased his ACT score by 42% from a score of 19 to a score of 27. Already fortified with a hard-earned 4.0 grade point average, Matthew said “The ACT score lets me know where I am in my readiness for college and my ability to receive scholarships in the future.”
For Matthew’s parents, their son’s score makes him more attractive to colleges and more competitive academically as he “scored better than 88% of students.” Not to mention, the score increases his chances of getting into selective colleges, said Sharon Evans, Matthew’s mother.
“Matthew has grown tremendously as a result of participating in IGNITE,” she said. “There is no ceiling when it comes to Matthew’s future. The choice is his. His future is bright, and the stars are reachable. His dad and I are extremely proud of him and look forward to all the wonderful doors God will open for him.”
For Matthew, his current ACT score was a stepping stone towards a larger goal. “My target ACT score is a 30 or above. I do plan on taking it again,” said Matthew who aspires to prepare for a career in entertainment law at Howard University and Howard University School of Law after he graduates from high school.
The IGNITE Entrepreneurship Institute, an initiative of UREC’s College & Career Ready 21st Century Learning Center, is an interactive learning experience that provides high school students in the Baton Rouge area with entrepreneurship training, ACT preparation, financial literacy, and communication skills development. Participants also earn a Micro-Enterprise credential upon successful completion of all program requirements. UREC hosts IGNITE with support from community partners: Louisiana Department of Education, Southern University College of Business, Huey & Angelina Wilson Foundation, Capital One, City of Baton Rouge, and ReCast of Greater Baton Rouge.