Exclusive Interview with Dr. Angela Barrens-Alexander, Founder of the Institute for Exceptional Children
Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Barrens-Alexander.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
Like many of our clients, I was a young mother worried about how I was going to send my child to college. I was well aware of the high cost associated with a four year degree. That cost is as much as $200,000 and more if your child wants to be a doctor, lawyer or attend a well known university.
After paying monthly bills, the $1000 per month needed to be saved was just not there. I knew my child was smart and as an educator, I knew what the colleges expected. So after much thought, I devised a plan to assure my child’s acceptance, hopefully with money. Ultimately my child went to college on a full tuition scholarship.
That was the beginning of the Institute for Exceptional Children. We know that every child is exceptional and we seek to have them make a difference and excel in the global marketplace.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
My major challenge was balancing the many aspects of my life. I was a wife, mother and a full time educator. Trying to establish a business as well was not easy, but so worth it.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
We work with parents to support them along the journey towards their child’s acceptance at the college of their choice with a great financial package. That just means that we get your child scholarship ready.
Ideally, we want colleges to compete for your child’s attention. This allows your family to choose from among a variety of colleges when the time comes to make that final selection.
Our program is not the same for every child. We find out each child’s gifts and challenges and use them to their best advantage. Additionally, we specialize in preparing our clients for acceptance at the college of their choice with a great financial package.
The first aspect of our program that sets us apart from every other company is our proprietary assessment. Our program begins with the extensive assessment, the results of which set the stage for each child going forward. The program is unique and addresses individual needs.
Secondly, we work with children starting in elementary school. 5th grade is not too early. By starting early we do not need to backtrack and correct problems that could have been avoided.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
Start early! Start early! Start early!
Most parents start thinking about possibilities for college in high school. Typically 11th grade. Some may begin the process as early as 9th grade.
Ideally, the process should start in elementary school. Fourth and fifth grade is the best time. This is because middle school has prerequisites. If your child does not get into the correct classes by middle school, there will be some catching up to do.
Additionally, starting to prepare in high school does not allow for the best results with the SAT/ACT, grades, recommendation letters, essays, interviews, college visits and more.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Success is different for everyone, but my hope is that each family we work with will know they have provided what their child needs in order for them to perform at a high level. We want our children to be happy, healthy and good citizens. By doing so they will be in a position to make a positive difference in their world.
All children are exceptional and to be able to harness those exceptional gifts in order to better mankind is a tremendous gift.
What’s next for you?
I have recently retired from my lifelong work as an educator and school administrator. I will be using my experience with children as young as three through elementary school, middle school and high school as well as graduate school to further my work with young people. Knowing the requirements at each educational level is critical.
I especially want to make a difference in the lives of African American youth. So many of our children are not aware that college is an option, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
There is so much work to be done and I’m anxious to help as many as possible in my community.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
The best way is to sign up for an Exceptional Conversation so that we can talk about each family’s specific needs. We know that unique children require unique solutions.
Sign up for an Exceptional Conversation using the link below.