Academic Advancements and their Presidential Service Award


Members of the Academic Advancements team tutor local students.

Phillip Han '25, Staff Writer

In December 2020, four high school freshmen from the Peddie School united in a Humanities class, eager to change the world. They all came from different backgrounds. Shaurya Baruah ‘24 was a boarder from North Jersey, Angad Singh ‘24 and Savir Singh ‘24 were local day students, and Ming Wang ‘24 came from Taiwan. They were connected by a sense of purpose, to give back to their local communities as well combat the effects of COVID-19. They decided to found Academic Advancements, a 501(c)(3) certified non-profit that offers local online tutoring for children in need, and donate the profits to children in need worldwide. 

Unfortunately, a family friend of Shaurya’s passed away from COVID-19. Baruah explained that this was when he realized “that although we were being affected by this pandemic, the problem was much bigger than us.” The four friends realized the importance and emergence of the situation.

Over time, they have recruited more members of the Peddie community, now retaining over 70 volunteers, and are recognized as a club of the school. “We all were dedicated to the idea of giving back to the community,” said Shaurya. “We saw the effects that COVID-19 had on our own education, as we were forced to learn virtually, yet we could only imagine the drastic effects it would have on millions of underprivileged students across the globe who were already burdened with a variety of factors. We wanted to step in and support the education of students across the globe.” Using Peddie students to tutor local students, their revenue is directly and completely donated towards their cause, making an impact on education worldwide.

Their work and efforts toward a better community have earned them the Presidential Service and Volunteering Award at the gold level. Ming said that “giving back to the community is something I am passionate about, and receiving the Presidential Service Award to recognize my contributions is both rewarding and encouraging.” Over two years and innumerable hours, Academic Advancements is thrilled to have its accomplishments recognized universally. Angad stated that “we want to make sure that our work creates a lasting impact on these students’ lives by inspiring them to do good themselves.”

Savir is proud of the group’s achievements and milestones, especially the Presidential Service and Volunteering Award. Savir said that “to already create such an impact is amazing and as we look to the future of this organization, as an organization mainly focused on helping certain regions with education, I’d love for us to create an impact for everyone possible.” 

Over $20,000 raised, 5,000 underprivileged children impacted worldwide, being partners with educational companies such as Zoom and AOPS and creating a great team eager to make the world a better place, are some of Academic Advancements’ great accomplishments to date. However, the work and time the core members have poured into the organization for the Presidential Service and Volunteering Award is incomparable.