Veronica Gonzalez: College Hero

This week’s college hero not only enjoys learning on Khan Academy but also wants to bring the joy of learning to others. Veronica Gonzalez is planning to become a teacher and using our site to prepare. Here’s what she had to say about her experience with Khan Academy.


Tell us about yourself

I’m an undergraduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s School of Arts and Sciences and School of Education. I am studying Elementary Education, with Spanish as my major and mathematics as my minor. My passion is to become a certified bilingual elementary or middle school teacher with a specialization in math, because language and mathematics are two fields that I feel are very important for society. I also love art and all kinds of music (My favorite band is Soda Stereo from Argentina!). I also enjoy spending quality time with my loved ones and friends.

How do you use Khan Academy?

I use KA mainly for mathematics, though I have used it for biology as well. I started using it in college because I remembered that the website was very useful to me while I was taking AP Calculus AB, and I enjoyed the teaching style that Sal had to offer. KA has ultimately helped me to understand math concepts better and, I would say, even to ace my most recent college math class, Calculus II. The dashboard and mastery challenges are also motivating and fun, which helps me to come back to the website more often.

How has Khan Academy helped you?

As a future educator, I have liked Khan Academy because first of all, Sal is an awesome and fun teacher. He is meticulous about the way he explains things (as well as the colors he uses to do so!), which is a quality that I hope to involve in my own teaching in the future. Secondly, he really knows and loves math, which has helped me to enjoy the subject more and to pursue it in both college and my career.

What words of wisdom would you share with others who are preparing for college?

I would tell them to put their time into studying, and to not be afraid to step into new subjects. Take those honors and AP classes, because they will be rewarding, and you will surprise yourself with the amount you can learn and do. I sure surprised myself, with my AP Language class, during which I wrote at least one paper per week (which is crazy for high school!), and with my AP Calc AB class because I ended up scoring a 5/5 on the AP test. Because of those two classes alone, I learned a ton, but I definitely had potential to grow even more during high school. Don’t be afraid to get into those classes, but also remember the importance of not overwhelming yourself, either!

Khan Academy launches new college prep initiative

There is a big issue in the education system today. Two out of every three students are not prepared for college level math courses and over half of all 4-year college students do not graduate within 6 years. These students often take on a lot of debt and can’t finish their degrees. Worst of all, they then miss out on today’s most exciting careers because they lack the skills.

“2 out every 3 students are not prepared for college level math courses”

Given our mission to provide a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere, we’ve been hard at work to increase our college prep content. So, when the White House called (wait, did you say the White House?!) to invite Khan Academy to help students in Higher Ed reach their potential, how could we say no? We had already been creating new math and college prep materials, and saw the opportunity to make an even bigger impact.

Today, Sal was honored to discuss our higher education efforts at the White House and Khan Academy launched a new college prep initiative. We plan to expand this resource over the next few months, and especially look forward to providing college study aids to help students prepare for math placement tests and courses.  

“Already, Khan Academy’s free math resources are helping college hopefuls…today, Khan Academy launched a new college prep initiative.”

Already, Khan Academy’s free resources are helping college hopefuls. Our team was particularly inspired by this young man, whose story was captured on the Humans of New York blog.

"I was born in Egypt…The first time I went to an actual school was middle school, but the whole school was in one classroom, and I was working as a delivery boy to help the family. It was illegal for me to be working that young, but I did. When I finally got into high school, my house burned down. We moved into a Red Cross Shelter, and the only way we could live there is if we all worked as volunteers. I got through high school by watching every single video on Khan Academy, and teaching myself everything that I had missed during the last nine years. Eventually I got into Queens College. I went there for two years and I just now transferred to Columbia on a scholarship."


We would find our efforts well worth it just to impact one student’s life. But what’s incredibly motivating for our team is that we hear of stories like his every single day.

We are humbled to be partnering with the White House on such an important initiative, and are excited about the potential these free resources will unleash.

Get started with our college prep resources today and learn more about our new college admissions resources here.

To check out more information on the White House’s Expanding College Opportunity, click here.

Armory Track: Racing toward their goal

At the start of the year, Chris Vaios started an evening program with a group of NYC public high school students, who also happen to be stellar athletes. Recently, he shared an update with our team, and gave us permission to share with you! 

The students who attend the Armory Foundation’s programs are *exceptional* athletes - and they are dedicated and hard-working. However, this past Fall, they discovered that their SAT scores were suffering (averaging 350 out of 800). So, Chris proposed they team up two nights per week: Chris + Khan Academy + Armory Track students. So far, that equation seems to be working. Chris shares that he’s already starting to see improvement - with the current average up almost 50% to 524. The students are continuing to invest time and effort to get to their goal of 650-700. Not only that, it’s apparently a popular class, with the group growing from 42 to 54 students! Chris says that already “it has been a rewarding experience to say the least.” 

We wish these students all the best on getting to their goal! Keep up the hard work. 

The Armory Foundation is a nonprofit in New York City that oversees an indoor track and field center, as well as the US National Track and Field Hall of Fame, They operate a school activities center, providing college prep and academic counseling services to NYC public high school students from multiple districts, and offer a variety of community support programs. image