Student Highlight: Dhara

On her 11th Grade ACT ® test, she received a 32. On her 11th grade PSAT/NMSQT ® test, she received a 224 and became a National Merit ® Finalist. On her 11th Grade SAT ® test, she boasted a 2230. Who is this superstar? KD College Prep’s very own, Dhara!

Far from boasting about her accomplishments, Dhara takes the high road and credits the many supporters in her life, such as her high school teachers, her KD teachers, and the KD directors she has worked with throughout her testing journey. The high road, though less traveled, has been far more profitable as Dhara, a 2014 graduate, has been accepted to both Rice University and Duke University.

Dhara recently shared her story about her time at KD College Prep with a director. Her parents registered her for the 7th Grade Program for Duke TIP. Although she was originally reluctant to put in the time and effort required, as she began to follow KD College Prep’s recommendations, she saw her score increase over time. Dhara spent hours at KD taking practice tests, attending reviews, and consistently attending the workshops. She recalls not just being counted “present,” but also being fully present in mind and will.

As her high school career progressed, Dhara became a stronger person because of KD College Prep. When asked what caused such a powerful change, Dhara says that the teachers and directors at KD made the biggest impact on her. She says, “Everyone is so willing to help you and has such faith and confidence in you. I didn’t have much confidence in myself early on, but Scott Simons [a Plano director] would tell me over and over, ‘Dhara, you’ve got this!’, and that made all the difference to me!”

At KD College Prep, we know that making a difference in the lives of our students makes a difference in the world. This concept of making a positive impact also resonates with Dhara’s passions. She has volunteered as an intern with the City of Plano and with the Environmental Protection Agency. She has also served her community by working with Lighthouse for the Blind and Family Gateway, as well as the Angel Tree program.

Dhara is not only making a difference now, but she will also be changing the world in the years to come. At Duke University, Dhara will be double majoring in Public Policy and Environmental Science and Policy and minoring in Spanish because she hopes one day to work as an Environmental Attorney. She is also interested in enforcing responsible use of resources through environmental policy at a large corporation.

Dhara plans to lead by example, not only in her career, but also in volunteerism by helping to build nursing homes, animal shelters, and homeless shelters. Dhara explains that she desires to show her children that she has done her part to help create a better world for them. Dhara’s aspirations are reminiscent of what philanthropist Laura Arrillaga-Andreesen stated when she spoke of leaving a legacy: “The most powerful legacy we can create is one that keeps on giving—through our children.” Dhara is a young lady with incredible foresight who will leave behind a meaningful and lasting legacy!

Dhara knows how imperative it is to be able to look beyond the “now” and allow your goals to move you forward. She encourages her peers and younger students preparing for the testing journey by saying, “Even though the preparation may be difficult right now, choose to put in the required effort. Stay determined to keep trying. KD will always be there to help you excel beyond what even you believe you are capable of achieving.”

Way to go, Dhara! We at KD are so proud of your achievements!

Are you interested in being one of our student highlights? We want to hear your success stories. Send an email to with your story and you could be our next KD College Prep superstar!


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