Although Ben Auerbach came to the Academy seeking a fresh start, what ensued in the beginning of his freshman year was just the opposite. His depression, ADD and Tourette’s became more severe, making his grades—which had always been excellent—suffer.
He and his parents, together, made a decision that would change his life: they turned to the Academic Services Department for assistance. “The thing about the Academic Services Department, is that it’s all about you. They cater to you, fight for you and teach you to fight for yourself,” said Ben.
With the support of the Academic Services Department, Ben found mentors who advised him, pushed him and supported him. The academic accommodations he received, including extra time on tests, a separate room for testing and even ACT testing divided into separate days, boosted his grades and scores enough to gain acceptance to New York University.
Despite his Tourette’s, Ben also gained the confidence to be open about his personal challenges, speaking at a NCSY summer program for 400 people, at a teachers’ meeting for the ICJA staff and on several occasions for the entire student body.
As he considered the challenges of moving on to Israel and then to college, Ben said, “This is the greatest environment here. It’s so supportive.”