In 2008, our son David broke the news that he wanted to attend private boarding school. David was always academically inclined but faced many challenges in Middle School. He was not given the opportunity to become a well rounded student both academically and socially. We always resisted the idea of our children enrolling into boarding schools because of the misinformed, preconceived notions that we harbored. We were also extremely reluctant to send our children away because we felt that the values we spent our lives trying to espouse would be quickly eroded once they departed at a young age from home. Mark Cheong, of Inspiring Young Minds was faced with not only daunting task of taking us through the steps but had to convince us to re-think our attitudes. Mark took us to Kent on the premise of enjoying his son’s basketball game. I was so obstinate about my attitude about boarding schools; I would not even visit boarding schools. What we witnessed was a jaw dropping revelation; boarding schools were not all what we thought. From that moment on, Mark’s number was on our speed dial as we hurriedly made preparations for David to start the application process. Mark answered all our questions, and addressed all our fears. Mark was involved at all levels from planning the interviews, preparing our son to answer the questions, filling out the applications, the PFS to reminding us what documents to submit. He also advised us on what qualities to look for in a school. In 2008, the financial aid suffered significantly because of the country’s economic crisis. Many talented students would not get the opportunity to attend prep-schools, and by March 2010, we were faced with four acceptance letters but no offers for financial aid. We already accepted defeat, and prepared David for the disappointment of having to return to his Middle School. However, for Mark it was not over. He continuously reached out to many schools for David. When he called to advise that he arranged for an interview, I told him that I thought it was best that we did not go. He encouraged me once more. Mark fought and worked with diligence that one would dedicate to their own children. David was accepted and granted financial aid to attend Hillside School. Had it not been the perseverance, and relentless diligence of Mark Cheong, our son would still be in the school where he was not happy.

We are forever indebted and grateful for this opportunity in a lifetime. We wholeheartedly recommend Inspiring Young Minds under the leadership of Mark.

— Cheryl

testimonials_06The day Diane Brown first introduced the idea of going away to boarding school, I was sold. Even though I was already a sophomore in high school, I wanted to experience something that I never thought I would have the chance to experience. Along with her and Mark Cheong, boarding school, which seemed like an intangible goal in writing, soon became a worthwhile reality. With their help, I got into one of the top boarding schools in the country, The Hotchkiss School, and graduated from there in 2009.

Currently, I play Division I volleyball at the University of Denver. If not for their help, I can definitely attest to the fact that I would not have had the successes in life that I’ve had thus far without them This program has come a long way since 2006 and I am so happy that other students are getting the same chance I did.

— Fai

testimonials_09Where do we begin to thank you for all of the advice you have provided our family with over the past few years. There are not enough words to describe your guidance, support and genuine dedication through our son’s placement process. Your suggestion of a junior boarding school placed him in an environment that has helped him excel as a leader and has prepared him academically for the next level. You were always very patient and there for us every step of the way.

Your wealth of knowledge and compassion for helping others through this challenging and sometimes stressful process makes you worthy of the name “placement guru” and we are truly grateful.

testimonials_11It has been such a pleasure working with you and Inspiring Young Minds on our journey to prep school. Your basketball showcase was so professional, successful and a perfect start of our adventure. We were a family that did not have any knowledge of the whole prep school process and not only did you teach us but you were an amazing source the entire way.

Mark you patiently guided us through SSAT testing, set up interviews and tours, and helped with FA papers. You kept up with all of my reminders and made sure we weren’t behind on deadlines. You even kept me calm on the day we got all of our acceptances.

We never would have had such success without you. I am in awe of how respected and well known you are with all of the admissions heads as well as all of the basketball coaches. You and Inspiring Young Minds opened doors that I could never have opened without your help.

Here’s a little update. Ruthann is 17 points away from 300 for the season. She was voted in as a New England A division ALL STAR as a freshman. She was also athlete of the week her first week of basketball.(now she has to out do herself for the next 3 years). She is living her dream at Northfield Mount Herman. She loves the sports and loves the academic challenge. Oh and of course the food is great!

Mark is loving Masters and is a big part of the basketball program there. On top of that he is so happy boarding and really loves his fellow students, teachers, and coaches (especially Kamm) He actually was interviewed today to be a student leader next year in the dorms.

Mark we owe all of our success to you and your great program, Inspiring Young Minds!!


testimonials_13Mark is loving Masters and is a big part of the basketball program there. On top of that he is so happy boarding and really loves his fellow students, teachers, and coaches (especially Kamm) He actually was interviewed today to be a student leader next year in the dorms.

Mark we owe all of our success to you and your great program, Inspiring Young Minds!!

Dear Mr. Cheong,

I just wanted to thank you for constantly looking out for me throughout this long process. I truly thought after things did not work out with Kent my chances of prep school were done and I was really upset. After hearing from you about Trinity Pawling and Knox I was very excited about another chance at going prep. After today and finalizing my commitment to Trinity Pawling I owe it all to you for making any of this possible. The IYM showcase was really one of the best things to happen to me and I cannot wait for what my next year holds for me. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate what you have done and not giving up on me. It is crazy to think that originally I was not accepted to the showcase due to my poor academic performance and now prep school has become a reality. I hope that when I made you the promise to improve my academic performance I did not let you down. Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity. I am so appreciative of everything you have done and the opportunity you have given me.

If you ever need anything from me, please feel free to contact me. I would be more than happy to speak on the behalf of how amazing IYM is and the amazing opportunities you guys create.

Cormac Reilly

Hello Stephanie, Mark, and Jacqueline,

It has been a long time since we have connected. I wanted to get back to you since the end of the year is almost here. It has been a long year, but it felt very short. I actually have finals next week, so I am working very hard to study for those. I have experienced many things this year as well as accomplished many goals. I tried some new sports this year. I’ve participated in rock climbing during the fall, basketball in the winter, and my new favorite: lacrosse which I had my last day of today. I was on a mountain bike orientation trip which was very fun and challenging at the same time. For the fall, I went on a journalism field course for a week and a leadership ropes course a couple of months ago. The school actually surprised us twice by taking us to a water park and to the beach, also known as “Mountain day” and “Beach Day”. We also had prom last Thursday, and on Friday, we had community service day. This was a day where different group went to places near our community including places that we use and gave back to them. I was actually a student leader for a group that went to a ski mountain and took down some fencing. One of my biggest accomplishments was becoming a National Honors Society member. This was really important for me because I wanted to prove to myself that when you work hard, it pays out in the end. It made me really proud when my family came down to the school and watched me received my tassel at the induction ceremony. I made sure that that I was on Heads list (a list of students who have at least an A is all of their classes) for every semester. As for the 3 semesters, my highest GPA is a 4.05. I have made some plans for the summer. I am going to attend Arabic school so that I don’t forget what I have learned before attending boarding school. I have also found some geometry courses online and I am looking into those.

This year has been a learning experience for me. I have made new friends from around the world, learned about new cultures, learned about the connection you make, and I have also learned to manage my time from having tight schedules and a lot to do every day. I really want to thank you for helping me with the process of getting into this school. It means a lot to me and my family. It makes me very happy that I have people to go to so that I can reflect. It is also great to have people who support you. I hope that this email is not too long and that you have a great rest-of-the-week and weekend.

Thank you very much,
Djenebou Semega