Success stories

Entering high school as a 13 year old, grades were not my first priority. I put little to no effort into any of the work I did and as a result my grades were in the low 70’s - and, I didn’t seem to care. This mindset continued until the end of secondary two year. My parents finally put their foot down after seeing my worst report card ever, and called the most recommended and accomplished tutor in Montreal. When I first went into my interview with Maggie, I was not enthused. During our first encounter, I was reluctant to accept the truths that she describing, which was my total lack of wanting to succeed, my tendency to be arrogant and my disrespectful attitude.

However, for the rest of my high school career, everything changed. During my time at NCJ, I learned how to be humble, work hard, and be respectful to others. Maggie has helped me in my school and personal life. She cares deeply about all of her students, and strives to help them succeed. She is truly one of the most motivational, tough, caring and selfless individuals I know.

By the end of grade eleven I had finished with an average in the high eighties and was nominated for the Governor General's Award, a direct result of gaining confidence and working hard. NCJ truly gave me the assets to become the successful student that I am now. I’m currently in my first year at Dawson studying Commerce. I don’t go to NCJ as often as I once did, however I still go once a week to keep improving my skills.

Matthew Waxlax (2014 – 2019)

Our family has been part of NCJ Educational Services since January of 2015. Our eldest son in Sec 3 was struggling quite a bit and our school guidance counsellor recommended that we try NCJ. We contacted Maggie Jacobs, explained our situation and within days things changed. Our son joined the homework program, learned how to study, became more organized and responsible for his work and not only did our sons grades begin to go up , he acquired this new self confidence and motivation that wasn't there before. Maggie along with a team of exceptional tutors creates a safe, quiet and very regimented no none sense space for children and young adults to learn and excel.

I once had a conversation with Maggie that impacted me, we were discussing children who have learning disabilities and she said, "All children learn differently, it's not about the grades , it's about teaching them how to learn, how to be held accountable for their work and help build their self esteem to believe that with hard work they can push through the obstacles."

Our son graduated high school with a 92% average, got accepted to three different Cégeps , and most importantly knows that he was able to accomplish this with hard work and determination .

As parents, there is no greater gift than seeing your child happy and self confident. We now have two children in Sec 2 and just recently asked if we would consider sending them to NCJ? We were a bit puzzled as to why? their answer was , We want to succeed like our older brother did.
Thank you Maggie Jacobs, for creating this unique place with the recipe for success.

Sandy and Saul Kazaz (2016 - 2019)

For the last few months, our son has been attending Maggie’s homework program and the impact it has had has been tremendous. At first very reluctant to go, he now goes willingly several times a week right after school and on weekends. He became more responsible, making sure he always has all the homework material he needs with him and making sure he is on time, he’s keeping up by reviewing new concepts with the tutors, he’s developing fantastic homework and study skills, the tension at home has decreased and most importantly he feels more confident in his abilities. Thank you so much to Maggie and her wonderful team!

Dahlia Lang (2018-2019)

My first year at NCJ I was 13 years old and about to begin 8th grade. It was rough because just like every teen, I didn’t want to be controlled or told what to do. Maggie didn’t care and let you know right away who was in charge. After countless push ups and confrontations, I became aware of what I was doing wrong and realized that the only way not be yelled at was to be disciplined. Over time, I managed to get my grades up, to be on time, to make my parents happy, and to be efficient in everything I did. Best of all, these efforts allowed me to earn a football scholarship to Upper Canada College, one of the best schools in Canada. All this happened because of Maggie; she knew that through all the ups and downs, all the times I wanted to quit, that if I just stuck with it to the end, things would work out for the better.

There were so many days I just wanted to walk out, but Maggie always had this look in her eyes that let me know that I had the courage to stay. She saw something in me just like she does with every person that walks through that front door. When I first showed up, my average was a 68 percent which was 12 percent lower than the class average. At that point, no one believed in me and my abilities, I felt lost and hopeless. However, I finished 11th grade on the High Honour Roll with an average of 91 percent that was 11 percent higher than the class average, and 23 percent higher than where I was in 8th grade. Maggie Jacobs is a woman who cares more than anyone I know about kids. She treats her students with respect and she receives the respect in return because her relationships are based on trust, love and respect. Lastly, Maggie may not realize it now but she has changed more lives than she can she can imagine and I am part of that fortunate group. Everything DID come together over the years and now I am at McGill, playing football for the Redmen, and continuing my education.

Yassine Belkhou (2014 – 2017)

From the minute we walked into Maggie’s office, we knew we were in the right hands. Maggie and her team have helped my kids understand the importance of organization and preparation in their schoolwork. Their marks have improved dramatically, and more importantly, so has their pride in their work. If you can turn your life over to Maggie, she will vastly improve it.

Amy Fish, Mom of Ezra and Benji Budman (2015 - 2018)

Both of my sons attended the homework program at NCJ Educational Services during their high school years. Maggie and her team helped them to achieve a strong work ethic, to learn valuable organizational skills, to respect themselves and others and to strive to do and be their best. We truly appreciated NCJ’s commitment and caring.
Nannette de Gaspé Beaubien

As demanding as Maggie is, it all comes from a place of love, wanting each of her students to be the best they can be. As former students, we would highly recommend NJC to make sure you get your “STUFF” done. Love you, Mags!

Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien IV and Louis-Alexandre de Gaspé Beaubien (2007 – 2016)

NCJ Educational Services has triggered a drastic change in my ability to do my work and prosper in school life. I'd like to thank Maggie and recognize her team for the tremendous help provided for me in the past year. The work environment brought out the best of my capabilities and guided me through the last year of high school.
Ryan Garber

NCJ has been a turning point for our son Ryan with regard to his organizational skills and the development of proper study habits, both lacking in most teenagers. It has provided him with the support he needed to ensure his success in high school. I am most grateful to Maggie and the whole team of tutors for their true dedication to the best interest of the students.

Anne-Marie Boucher (2017-2018)

Maggie and her team were always so helpful and kind with my children. Maggie was always spot on with the direction needed to achieve their necessary academic goals. The services NCJ provided were tailor made to suit the personality and skill set of both my kids – be it catching up in advanced chemistry or preparing for the SSAT’s, Maggie certainly had the experience and know how to put them on the right path. We all know that building confidence to do well in school by being prepared on a daily basis or at exam time is important – with NCJ as an extended classroom, it was an educational equation that worked for me as a parent. What I found most helpful with Maggie, is that when my child was absent from school for an extended period of time, due to sickness or concussions, NCJ was a great fit for enriching and catching up on the curriculum that was missed. Having Maggie and her network to keep my child up to date on the subject matter presented in class truly was such a big plus! NCJ really works so well on so many different levels!

Eden Polansky Flomen (2008 - 2014)

Maggie is a kind, compassionate, devoted and intelligent woman who knows her students well. She knows how to motivate and encourage them to be the best students that they can be. Maggie makes a connection based on their personality type and their respective academic challenges. She assigns each student to the tutor(s) that she feels will connect with their learning styles. Our children benefitted from Maggie's individualized attention. She cares about her students and we highly recommend her services.

Anonymous

Our daughter has been going to Maggie’s after school for homework supervision and tutoring for 2 years. We looked to Maggie’s after having no success with tutors at home; we have a very active household with three kids. The first time I walked in to pick her up I was surprised and delighted by how hard everyone was working and by the motivating atmosphere. The students are supported by a staff of expert educators vetted by Maggie and devoted to their students.

I recommend Maggie's without hesitation for the discipline, the empowerment, and the appreciation of knowledge this program teaches to its pupils. Our daughter looks forward to going to Maggie’s and we know that she is in good hands. As of 2019, our two younger daughters are also attending with as much as enthusiasm as with the first child!

Pierre and Teresa Ste-Marie (2016-2019)

When I first started having difficulties in school, I was in grade 10. My parents, teachers and I were worried that I wouldn’t get all the credits I needed to graduate high school in time. We were right. Even though I didn’t receive my diploma with the rest of my classmates, I did eventually, but it wasn’t easy.

I struggled my last two years and if it weren’t for my hard work, Maggie’s inspirational talks, her support and amazing tutors, I don't know how I would have done it. When I started working at Maggies, I was really anxious and unsure of myself but my experience really changed me. I feel stronger and more motivated to go after the things I really want. Even though it has been a hard and emotional journey, I’ve learned that with the right support, motivation and attitude, I can accomplish anything. I am about to get my high school diploma, heading to CEGEP, and I’ve never been happier. Thank you, Maggie!

Sarah Bedros (2017-2018)

When I decided to apply to colleges outside of Quebec, I blindly assumed that it would be a quick and simple task. Despite my success at both the high school and CEGEP levels, I was immediately overwhelmed by all of the necessary steps in the application process. Realizing that I needed an experienced guidance counselor and educator, I quickly turned to Maggie Jacobs and her tutorial services.

Right from the beginning, I was reminded by Maggie that she will not be applying for me – I was the only applicant. Instead, I was guided and tutored through the laundry list of required tasks: the essay revisions, standardized test taking, supplementary material submissions, recommendation letters, and financial forms. In other words, Maggie kept me organized and focused on one task at a time. The tremendous English tutors at NCJ, they brought out my best possible writing when drafting the ever-so-lengthy college essays. As a determined and hardworking student, the words “scrap it and restart” were quite shocking. I was forced to get used to striving for perfection. In fact, my personal essay for the Common Application was re-drafted a total of eight times. The calm and collective atmosphere at NCJ, supported by Maggies undeniable sense of humour, kept me quite relaxed during a stressful process, which only further contributed to my essay-writing efficiency. Furthermore, the results speak for themselves; with the help from the tutors at NCJ, my initial ACT practice score of 24 skyrocketed to a super-score of 31 with a writing score of 10.

Owing much of my success to Maggies, I am humbled to say that I am now studying Honours Economics and Finance at the 20th ranked business school in the U.S. – Bentley University – and loving every bit of it. Because of my newly acquired time management skills, I am also heavily involved in school life. I am a Certified Bentley Leader, philanthropy chair of the Psi Beta chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi and a loan officer in Bentley Microfinance Group.

While students are guided and tutored throughout the application process, NCJ allows the student to feel proud of his/her accomplishments. Although the application was finely tuned by NCJ, the short answer responses and essays were still of my own production, which is something Maggie made me feel very proud of.

Geoffrey Greenspoon 2012

“I can't begin to expound upon the academic success my five children have experienced over the many years at Maggies. My wife and I did not have the time or the expertise to lead our children through their difficult academic needs. We will always remain grateful for the phenomenal results she and her teaching staff achieved.”

Bea and Gunther Pungartnik 2003 - 2013

I first started taking lessons at NCJ in grade 10, when I was having serious trouble keeping up in math. Four years later, I am about to graduate from Marianopolis College in Honours Commerce, having completed more calculus and algebra classes than I ever thought I’d be able to take on. The tutors at Maggies helped me overcome the many challenges math posed by teaching me the material in a way that was right for me. In large classrooms, it isn’t possible for teachers to adapt their learning style to each student, but I’ve found that one-on-one lessons are all about finding tailored teaching methods and custom solutions for each tutee. Confusing material covered in class became much clearer once explained in a way I could easily understand. On top of helping me with math, Maggie and her team also guided me through taking the standardized tests for American university applications, which I would not have known how to do on my own. Getting help from Maggies really opened a lot of doors for me, allowing me to keep my options open for the future, and for that I am very grateful.

Martha Côté 2010- present

I wish I had known about Maggie’s group much sooner, when I was raising my children. She helped my daughter by showing her how to organize her thoughts and also by making sure that her University application was duly and thoroughly completed, to ensure her success.

Through my daughter’s experience with Maggie’s group, I realized what a great help she could have been to all my children and, as a consequence, to me. The guidance and tutoring she offers contributes to enrich her students’ education and academic skills, taking away some of the stress that all parents face when raising their children. I was able to appreciate that the services offered are really of a superior category. Maggie must be recognized for her devotion to the young generation.

France Chrétien Desmarais 2006 - 2009

My memory of you is when you were just starting out in the early 1980s, you showed up at my school and sat with me as all my friends went to lunch, and we would work. I was in grade 3! Over the years, you helped me in my studies including my incredibly difficult statistics course in McGill. The point is that I felt supported and guided along the way. I was lucky that I had the work ethic, but with your team it provided me the confidence to get through.

Now in 2014, my 15 year old would like some support. There is no better place out there for him to learn and grow than at Maggie's. The information may have changed over the years, but not the goal. Because everyone at Maggie's works hard and is committed to their students, that passion for each one to do well, feel good about themselves and succeed is what Maggie and her team represent.

Lissy Kates 1980s

“I came to Maggies over 30 years ago. No one was able to manage me at that time. Maggie and her staff tutored me, guided me, disciplined me and ultimately led me to the path that would help save my life. I am forever grateful for the experience I had and the friendship I have maintained with Maggie. Now my two children attend Maggies and so we are all lifetime students!”

Michael Maislin 1985 - Present

“In high school I found it very difficult to adapt to the conventional educational system, to the extent that I was about to fail grade 10. Maggie provided me with the discipline and knowledge necessary to finish high school and instill a work ethic that I benefit from to this day.

I am currently a student in the final year of a Bachelor’s degree at JMSB majoring in accounting. Not only am I succeeding, I am in the top 15 per cent of my class. I thank Maggies for guiding me and showing me the path to academic success. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for Maggies.”

Lara Bohbot 2003

Maggies gave me exactly what I needed because they helped do for me what I couldn't do for myself. I learned study skills along with life skills that I still practise today.”

Jason Stein 1997-2003

“Spending four years at Maggies was one of the best decisions my parents made regarding my academic career. Not only was this due to the help that I needed in various subjects, but also because of the life skills that were taught during my stay.

The basic life skills such as organization, consideration, preparation and accountability that were imparted in those years have been crucial to my development and ongoing success in academics.

A common misconception is that the student is less intelligent and therefore requires tutoring. But it is the structure, and those important life lessons, that often are missing. Hiring a tutor may not solve the issues that your child is having because the necessary environment may be missing. At Maggies the environment is one that demands honesty and accountability and requires the best out of the student – in addition to providing high-quality learning.

I credit this environment specifically, and Maggies more generally, for getting me through those difficult years and preparing me for the future.”

Jason Pinkerton 2001 - 2006

“If you're looking for a place where work is taken seriously, where fooling around is not tolerated, where making excuses is considered insulting, then Maggies is the place for you. I can say with conviction that it worked very well for me; it gave me the structure and discipline that I needed to do well with my schoolwork. I will always think of Maggie as the warden who ruled with an iron fist, struck fear in many hearts, and helped me succeed in reaching my full potential.”

Dave Balass 2011

Maggies team made a huge difference in our family’s life the year our son applied to colleges!

Maggies tutors prepared Ezra for the standardized testing, filling in gaps in his knowledge and helping him with strategies for writing that kind of test. Not only did Maggie help our son figure out which schools were the best fits, she worked with him tirelessly until his essays were really the best they could be.

That part of the process was invaluable to family peace. I never heard the four dreaded words “It’s good enough, Mom.” When all of his applications were complete, Ezra felt that he did his best and would end up at the right school. He did. He is happily completing his second year in a pre-med program at Tufts, majoring in biology and minoring in classics.

Rachel Schwartz 2012

"Maggie and her team’s remarkable ability to understand our son's academic strengths and weaknesses permitted them to counsel and tutor him such that both his school grades and standardized testing scores improved so much, he was admitted to both Dartmouth and McGill's School of Business."

Lisa and Mark Smith 2013

“My son first went to Maggies in grade 9. He had some series health issues and he and I were both concerned that he would lose the school year. I had heard good things about Maggies but I was still more than impressed with the operation.

Fortunately my son’s health got better, he saved the year and he continued at Maggies until the end of grade 11 a couple of times a week, with more days added around exam times. I never asked if he had done his homework, as I knew he had Maggie to answer to! He learned good study habits. My son always said that Maggies bark was worse than her bite.

Two of my three daughters also used Maggies services to complete their U.S. applications. Rachael went to Emory majoring in chemistry, completed her Master’s in public health at USC and is currently deciding which offer she will take to complete her PhD in epidemiology. Sarah completed her medical school applications and went to Columbia; she is currently completing her residency in dermatology at Northwestern.

This process can be quite overwhelming but Nancy and Maggie were amazing with both girls, helping them check, double-check and submit all the material required for the applications. I would highly recommend Maggies for both the homework program and the college application process.

Margaret Adams 2004 – 2007

For the past eight years my kids have attended NCJ at one time or another for different purposes. Math program for exams, tutoring for school, tutoring for the ACT and some college advising. In all respects, my kids have had very positive experiences and enjoyed many successes with Maggies constant help and guidance. Sydney has now graduated McGill University and has a great job in marketing in Montreal. Erin is currently a freshman at Tufts University in Boston. Ryan is in grade 11 at Bialik High School and will be attending Dawson College next year in Pure and Applied Sciences.

Lisa Blatt Alexander 2006 - present

When considering U.S. universities as a part of the college application mix, even as an American and U.S. college graduate, I appreciated the opportunity to work with Maggie because she understands the system today, and could help guide our daughter towards the right standardized tests and college choices.

Starting early was key, it gave Carley a chance to trial and thus choose between SAT and ACT tests, and then to prepare for them along with the help of Maggies tutors. Maggie has a system - over-studying does not help, but preparation includes analyzing which subject areas and styles of questions present the most challenges to each student - and working on these specifics made a significant difference in the end. Identifying and understanding the nuances of applying to US colleges took extra time and Maggies support made us feel like we were doing the right things to make the best decisions for Carley and for us. Thank you, to you Maggie and to your tutoring team.

Susan Sambrook 2013

As a traveling scholar and medical school applicant, people all over the world always ask me how I got through the challenges associated with applying to medical school. I always smile and say my secret weapon is the group at Maggies. In addition to their highly skilled tutors in all academic areas, their strong focus on academic management helped form the foundation of a strong, rigorous work ethic that I maintain to this day. Not only is the team ready to help you succeed academically, but they are there to help you succeed in life, carefully honing daily skills that will last a lifetime.

Nine years later I still use their framework in my academic and non-academic endeavors. Thank you to everyone at Maggies.

Michael Diamond 2005-2009

I attended NCJ in 1996 and 1997. The services provided by Maggie and her tutors were exceptional. The help I acquired there enabled me to enter advanced Math and Physical Science. Maggies is not just for students who are struggling, but also for students who are doing fine and wish to do better.

Joey Falvo 1996 - 1997

Maggie Jacobs and her team were instrumental in helping me get through high school (math was my long-time foe) and then continued to be at my side as I began to learn to enjoy learning. Living abroad in London, I often discuss with other Canadians how unique Maggies was and how it would be so helpful to so many here. But you can try and copy the business model, but there is only one Maggie Jacobs!

Maggie and her team helped me grow into the person I am today and I am forever grateful. Maggie was, and I'm sure still is, a force to be reckoned with and she was definitely one of the most inspiring people in my life. Her never-ending belief in me and fierce loyalty really gave me the confidence I needed in order to achieve my goals both personally and professionally.

After working in television for television shows like Maury Povich and Sally Jesse Raphael, I went on to get my Master's degree from Christie’s Education in New York City in Art Connoisseurship and had founded a successful art advisory company that still exists to this day.

Her tough love approach has influenced my own parenting style and most importantly, Maggie Jacobs gave me the gift of always believing in myself and knowing that if one works hard enough at anything one can achieve your goals.

I'm at the last stage of getting my black belt in shodokan karate and it's my mental strength that will get me there. That mental strength is a gift from Maggie Jacobs . So thank you for everything!!

Sabrina Lemer (Golfman) 1987

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