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PrepNow Tutor - Darcy Z.

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Darcy's Bio

Always championing for her students, Darcy is a passionate educator. She graduated from the University of Chicago with honors, where she earned a BA in English and romance languages (Spanish) and made the dean's list every semester. Following college, Darcy started her one-year residency with the Academy for Urban Leadership in Chicago and simultaneously earned her MA in teaching from National Louis University, through which she worked in a high school classroom with a mentor teacher four days a week. After receiving her master's, Darcy started teaching English at a high school on the north side of Chicago and she's now about to kick off her fifth year at that same school. While she has taught a variety of courses, Darcy currently teaches Bilingual Writing and English 2 World Literature while also serving as a bilingual caseworker and ESL advocate.

In addition to her five years of teaching, Darcy has tutored SAT and ACT test prep, as well as writing and English to all levels and ages. She's a dynamite tutor with a stellar track record of growth on standardized tests for high school students, including those who have IEPs and/or speak English as their second language. She has worked with upwards of 500 students and has seen her students' scores grow an average of 50 points on the SAT.

Darcy always knew she wanted to work with teenagers in some capacity, but it wasn't until the summer before her senior year of high school, when she tutored incoming at-risk freshman in a summer immersion program, that she realized how deeply she loved helping students grow and reach their academic goals. "I love making connections with my students, helping them realize that learning can be fun AND valuable, and making their learning relevant to current events and their communities and experiences," Darcy says. From that point on, Darcy sought out tutoring opportunities whenever possible, and mentored students through the University of Chicago's Neighborhood Schools Program all four years of college. While she acknowledges that teaching is a challenging career, she could not be happier.

Darcy believes in teaching students the skills that will help them be successful in college and in their future careers. "I never give up on students and will continue trying different strategies until I find what works for a student," she says. "I also believe in the students themselves, and I think that when I respect my students and foster their own hard work and independence, I can help them achieve great results."

In high school, Darcy was the editor of the Spanish section of the campus newspaper, moderated the Latin Dance Club, and was involved in her school's diversity club and future educator club. In college, she was on the Bhangra (Indian folk dance) team, a part of a student think tank that focused on the university's climate and culture, and she organized and danced in the cultural show for the Organization of Latin American Students, for which she received the Unsung Hero Award.

A writer, a dancer, and a lover of nature and animals, Darcy enjoys running, taking barre classes, reading thrillers, journaling, and baking. She can often be found taking her dog, Evie, on long walks, especially in the fall. She has two cats, Pepito and Bella, who are siblings and rescues.

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