As a native of Forest Hills, she started a tutoring program, now called Kweller Prep, nearly fifteen years ago at Parker Towers in an effort to provide academic support for local students.
The goal, to help children achieve success and gain admission to the schools of their dreams, still rings true today.
Kweller started out as a private tutor and eventually hired someone to help teach math. Since then, Kweller Prep has expanded tenfold with more than 100 tutors and hundreds of ambitious students participating in various programs designed specifically for their needs. In 2011, Kweller added a second location, in Midtown, Manhattan, to service customers in Forest Hills who attend specialized schools in the city so that they could join her classes after school.
“I learned early on that you can actually learn a lot from a tutor, sometimes more than what you learn in school,” said Kweller, who holds degrees from NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education and Hofstra’s School of Law. “Kweller Prep exists for the sole purpose of helping kids to get ahead.”
The company provides tutors, small classes, exam prep and other academic enrichment services.
Most of the courses consist of eight to ten students, allowing for an intimate setting where students feel comfortable to seek assistance.
Popular programs include academic summer camps for high schoolers as well as courses specializing in prep for the ISEE, SHSAT, TACHS, HSPT, PSAT, SAT, ACT, LSAT and GRE. Kweller also provides tutoring for AP and Regents exams. Children from around the city, out-of-state and international students have joined classes at Kweller Prep in its Manhattan and Queens locations.
On September 1, Kweller Prep’s Queens headquarters will move from Parker Towers to 108-22 Queens Boulevard, right above the Regal UA Midway Theatre. Real estate services firm Colliers International’s Long Island team of Directors Matthew Kucker and Jordan Baruch helped Kweller to obtain the 6,200-square-foot space over 10 years.
It was important to Kweller to remain in Forest Hills because of the diversity and the accessibility.
“Forest Hills is a melting pot with kids from different cultures and religions,” she said.
She added that the new location is near a plethora of public transportation options, from buses to several subway lines and the LIRR.
“I’m really excited about the community impact,” she said. “I’m really honored that we get to have this opportunity to work with the community. Kids from all over New York City will have this large base where they can attend to further excel.”
She explained that the difference between Kweller Prep and other test prep giants, like Kaplan or The Princeton Review, is that Kweller Prep is fully customizable. “Those other programs are cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all and it has to work for everyone,” she said. “Kweller is completely different because we completely customize the program to what you need.” Kweller Prep offers something for everyone at various price points, from mini courses to crash courses to summer-long courses.
The company also has a range of textbooks and is a vendor with the Department of Education.
Placing a child in the Kweller Prep program is making an investment in their future, Kweller emphasized. And with current students at Kweller Prep, she noticed that many have a drive for success.
Most students who participate in the programs end up at top schools like NYU, Princeton University, Yale University, Harvard University, Cornell University and St. John’s University.
“I think the common thread is that many kids want to excel, they want to get ahead and succeed,” Kweller said.
“As the child of immigrants, my heart is really in this,” she added. “This is where I grew up and what could be better than building a business to help youth in the same area that you were born and raised in? It’s an amazing thing.”