If you Google "Ray Dass", the top two entries are about a South Florida based rapper "with heart" and a YouTube video created by a bunch of grateful high school students who credit their Ray Dass with changing their academic lives. They call him a "hero". The images associated with each entry are equally diverse. The rapper personifies cool. The "hero," a bespectacled nerd.
They are one in the same.
So, how does an aspiring rapper wind up a world-class educator who inspires struggling students to achieve scholastic goals they never believed possible? Well, the truth is, education is in Ray's blood. His mom, Sara -- an accomplished student herself -- left her native India to teach language in Beirut. She then made her way to the U.S. in order to study and teach computer science. Her philosophy? Learning is fun. To prove that point, she used computer games to "covertly" instill a passion for learning in her young son. Not only did that approach propel Ray to achieve his own academic success, but it ultimately fueled his desire to help others experience the same. Ray began routinely helping high school classmates who were struggling to keep up. Business was so brisk he was encouraged to become a paid tutor - his first experience as a professional educator. From the start, his popularity among peers was about more than just being smart. He made it fun. Actually, almost painless. Mom really had taught him well.
Ray the Rapper emerged after college. His lyrics were inspiring, empowering. His connection to his audience, electric. Unfortunately, as is often the case with aspiring artists, his bank account, a little lean. So, shortly after graduation he took a day job with Kaplan, one of the largest college test prep companies in the country. Within a few months, Ray established himself as an unparalleled tutor, achieving unheard of results with formerly struggling students, and was honored as the region's Teacher of the Year. Education really WAS in his blood. The structured approach to learning employed by Kaplan, however, was not. Nor did it fit the style and philosophy he believed in. That's when he decided to launch his own business -- and Ray the Rapper and Ray the Teacher were effectively merged into one.
The results to date have been nothing short of phenomenal. Schools like American Heritage in South Florida have seen test scores soar, going from unranked to one of the top in the Nation. Under Ray's innovative tutelage, kids have seen their individual college test scores improve by hundreds of points. Hundreds. No other college prep program can boast the same level of success, because no other program has Ray Dass.
Equal parts inventive educator and inspiring performer, Ray's appearances at school events have propelled him to rock star-like status. Students love his positive energy, sincere desire to help, and the fact he's a genuinely nice guy. He makes a connection with the kids like no other.
Ray Dass has helped thousands of students discover a simple truth: learning really IS fun. His program has empowered students to succeed beyond their wildest dreams... and, in the process, forever change their lives.