The three owners of Next Level Prep are parents with kids the same ages: each has a son age 17 and a daughter age 15. Their high schoolers are part of the first generation born in Stapleton.
“We were some of Stapleton’s first residents and our kids came up through school together,” says Doug Draper, who opened Next Level Prep in February with his two partners, Melanie Mayeranderson and Tom Cummings. “A lot of kids in the area are hitting this age and we saw a lack of resources to help them prepare for the SAT/ACT tests and college. So, we decided to do something about it.”
Next Level Prep, in the Stanley Marketplace, offers subject tutoring for K-12 students; SAT/ACT preparation classes and tutoring; and college coaching.
“Our kids are in the first group to graduate from high school; there are thousands more in elementary and middle school. There will be a massive wave in future years,” said Mayeranderson.
Subject tutoring is available for students who need help with schoolwork. “They can meet with a tutor once a week to master the content of their classes,” said Draper.
The SAT/ACT classes meet once a week for six weeks before the exams. “Preparing for the SAT/ACT is less about learning content and more about building confidence and applying the knowledge you already know,” Draper said. “We work with students on strategies to put their score over the top—like time management and understanding the questions. With multiple choice questions, what are they really asking? First you eliminate the answers that are obviously not right, so you can focus on just one or two possibilities. Students learn how to calmly manage the test.”
Mayeranderson said Next Level Prep also offers one-on-one college coaches who provide a wide range of services. “We’ll assist with everything from recommending what high school classes to take for college, to listing college possibilities, to filling out applications. We’ll review financial aid packets and set up college visits.”
Next Level Prep’s 1,000-square-foot space features a conference room with a flat-screen TV for small classes to work collaboratively, as well as study areas, says Draper. “The Stanley is great because it’s local and walkable. The students can get ice cream and coffee and parents can enjoy the marketplace.”