We had the good fortune of connecting with Tasha Chang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tasha, what are you inspired by?
Definitely my eldest daughter. Watching her run tampered my heartache, as she prepared a cocktail of meds and pre-meet rituals to manage her asthma. Her unwavering grit carried her and after four years of high school, became the MVP of track her senior year. Watching her struggle was difficult, having the desperate urge to help and guide her. Being an unwilling spectator was my role. However, my soaring joy was a daily enamor of her inspiration to press on. The grit to proceed, to sweat, and to continually innovate is what inspires me. I started my business at the age of 44, devoid of any business training in my academic arsenal, naive and nowhere to go but to survive. The passion of helping students and properly advising them from a teacher’s milieu pushed me to provide an educational center that our community was lacking. Every teacher will tell you when a student flourishes through the struggle, their eyes widen, and the pride that glows from them instantly inspires us all over again. Being able to customize individual plans and having their daily grind become the desired journey, encourages me. I have bloomed as an educator and a businesswoman, knowing each thorn was needed for me to prune. As I grow through what the pandemic has given us, I continue to thrive on the grit, kindness, and authentic connection of all the innovators that surround me. The truest form, my husband and daughters have gifted me; their unconditional love and belief in me.
What should our readers know about your business?
As an educator, the goal is always to have the student critically think and solve problems, provide a safe environment for free thinking, and to learn life skills pushing them to be independent thinkers. Beginning as a high school teacher to becoming a businesswoman was not the intended design; though helping students become their best was. Curating a system for students who need tutoring, those who progress forward, and offering support and counseling to all , was the crux of developing a customized approach. We only use credentialed teachers, teachers who are in the credential program, and those who have professionally taught, as our tutors. It was important to have professionals who understand the students curriculum and recognize how to enhance their strengths and strengthen their weaknesses. We help recognize these using data driven assessments used by school districts pinpointing each common core state standard. As an educational provider, it was also key to help each student as a whole. Partnering with volunteering and leadership organizations allows for SEL-Social Emotional Learning; collaborations which I am proud to offer. My journey has not been a straight line, but one that was curved with multiple obstacles. Having a growth mindset and the will and want to be able to innovate is what AP Academy is about. That each individual has the means to grow and we are here to help foster that success.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in the OC Burbs spectacularly known for family living in a fun and safe planned community. In a world of pastel houses and manicured lawns, there are true gems that make the surrounding neighborhoods colorful. Catching up with my best friend is always over the joy of food! Living in an ethnically diverse melting pot of food binds the community together. Specifically strong in Asian cuisine, KBBQ, hotpot, and boba runs are a ritual. Each stop, offering a different region of spice, sweet, and culture. Gen, Haidilao, and Omomo are as common as KFC. We would stop at each, Instagram food pics guaranteed. There are many nearby trails to hike to walk off the culinary delights. Jeffrey Trails, Peters Canyon, and Crystal Cove State Beach offer tree lined trails to salt air breezes. Each day taking in a different view, requieting our time at Crystal Cove. It’s a historic district with 24 cottages for rental along the beach. Evening waves, firepits, and vintage charm worthy of staying a few nights. Unwinding up the road to Pelican Hill Resort, we would enjoy live piano tunes and song, chatting over a nightcap. Ending a week long full of memories, as we walk out to the balcony and watch the sunset.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Truly, my family. My husband who has let me make my own mistakes, take the reigns, and support me with fierce faith is what has fed my spirit to continue. My young adult daughters who have superpowers in ability and grace. Whenever I feel weak or undeserving, my girls are there to encourage and give the best hugs! Any my mom who will always be the strongest and most compassionate soul.
DIrector | Tasha Chang