Written by: Lisa Perkins, Lead Test Prep Coach, Avant Garde – College Prep Services
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke believed that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. I’d say most extraordinarily advanced students are the same: magic. Much like Hermione Granger during Prisoner of Azkaban, these students seem to have the ability to be two places at once, achieving more things than seem possible in a 24-hour day. While Miss Granger had actual magic on her side, Rayan Tejani has persistence, logic, and organization.
It was Rayan who introduced me to the above quote by Clarke. As an aspiring engineer, and entrepreneur, Rayan sees the intricacies, details, and calculables behind technologies that we take for granted or do not understand. However, he doesn’t get lost in the cold 0 & 1 of coding, or the black & white lines of schematics; he sees the magic as it comes together. This dichotomy is one of the things that makes him such a special student. He sees things as they come before him, and is able to formulate questions in order to learn more. “How does this element interact with this one?”, “What would happen to process X in a varied environment?”, “Where can we increase efficiency in this item?”. By seeing both the magic of the experience and the nuts & bolts of the process, Rayan is able to troubleshoot in hopes of constant improvement.
This pursuit of perfection through reflection and adaptation is also part of his writing process, his study habits, and his goal-setting style. His essays are dissected by edits and revisions until each word and phrase achieves its goal. Materials from classes are annotated, organized, and triage’d for ease of study and to ensure appropriate time is spent on each item. Rayan’s goal-setting strategy involves spreadsheets, not a dream board. This allows him to not only visualize his goals, but also to analyze data points regarding achievement, which then allows him to adjust his plans as necessary. In fewer words, Rayan brings intention to everything he does, and that is what allows him to see success.
For example, when Rayan joined us at Avant Garde – College Prep Services (AGP) he had already earned an SAT score of 1490. His goal was to break 1500, hoping to increase his marketability for top schools. For each question we reviewed together, Rayan had multiple follow-up questions. He wanted to understand the ins-and-outs of the test, as well as the material being tested. He would then take what we reviewed together and look over it again on his own, organically compartmentalizing material that needed extra attention. The result: goal achieved. In fact, he annihilated his original goal, turning his 1490 into a 1580 within 4 sessions of private test prep.
Rayan’s parents are proud of him, and “hope he continues achieving success in the future”. But Rayan is more than scholastic success. He is a game-changer and innovator. At his school, he established an organization for young entrepreneurs, even making connections with Texas A&M University’s McFerrin Center. In between all of these achievements, he still holds time for his more playful passions. Rayan is an avid Lakers fan, ready to go toe-to-toe with anyone who asserts that LeBron James is not the greatest of all time. Off the court, he follows basketball through the shoe game, staying apprised of new styles before they launch, keeping tabs on new iterations and color-schemes of his favorites, and whatever else it takes to maintain his Hypebeast status. Then, in a browser tab just after that, Rayan will be stalking the Apple websites, preparing to execute his flawless iPhone-acquisition plan. He hasn’t let us in on the inner-workings of this particular magic, but says that he has been successful in being one of the first to acquire every new iPhone since the 4s.
There is a lot that goes into Rayan’s daily life. He is a high achiever inside and outside of the classroom. But to know him is to know magic. You’d never know the effort he has put into balancing school, family, hobbies, and extra-curriculars, because he does it all with a jubilant grin on his face. He is able to find joy in the mundane, knowing that everything is working together to engineer his future – a future that he has painstakingly designed and developed. We here at AGP are proud to have been witnesses to his magic, and to have provided him with additional skills for his college journey. Rayan, thank you for showing us that possibility is limitless when you’re unwilling to be bound by impossibility.
Rayan Tejani is a Senior at Allen Academy in Bryan, Tx. He will study Electrical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and will be a part of their Honors Program. He is the son of Dilshad and Saleem Tejani, and brother to younger sister Erina. To the class of 2021, Rayan has this piece of advice: “Everyone who told you it would be easy is lying. Don’t slack off.”