Video Updates – Parents



2016 Live Q&A Call:

Hello everybody. I’m Michelle. First off, I want to extend a special welcome from the Admissions Team. We’ve had the pleasure over the last few months to get to know some of you through answering questions, and solving some challenges …
Full Transcript (PDF)



Hello adults. This is Richard Rossi, Founder and Executive Director of The Academies, and as I’m sure you’re acutely aware, it is only a few more weeks until the Congress. Let me tell you, I know that you may have sacrificed time and money to make this happen, there’s a little piece of you that may be wondering: have I made the right the decision? Is this everything that they say it’s going to be? Let me absolutely guarantee you, it’s not. It’s more; it is a lot more. We are going to over deliver for you and your child in a really big way.

The speakers are mind-boggling. I have people come up to me all the time and say, “Richard, I would do anything to get just one of these speakers to come to my academic event. How did you get all of them?” I said, “Well, it’s because of who’s in the room. It’s because of these incredible young people. It’s magnetic.” These incredible, incredible speakers, they want to be there. Believe me when I tell you—well you know it for yourself, because you’ve seen—these are the greatest minds in the world that are coming to inspire your young people. Here is the big bonus. The one that you may not have thought about yet and that is all the other Delegates in the room.

There are a lot of kids, I don’t know if yours is one of them, they’re not 100% comfortable in their own skin. You, parents, who completely support them and love them. They may not think that you always understand everything that they’re talking about. Is that you? They may feel they’re not being completely challenged in school. Is that you? Third, a lot of their friends, may not always understand them, might even laugh at them, because of their passion, their intelligence, their commitment, their drive. They’re going to come to this Congress and they’re going to walk into this enormous room and within 30 minutes, they’re going to say, “Oh my God, I’ve found my brothers, my sisters, my tribe. These are people that are just like me. They get me. They get me and they want to be my friends. They want to support me, and I want to support them. They want me to be greater than I am today, and I want to help them become greater.”

This is a room of A-players, 3.5 and above students the best and the brightest in the entire country. When you arrive, if in fact you’re coming—or you watch the live feed, if you’re not—you’re going to feel the electricity in the air. If your child is super nervous and says to you, “I just don’t know if I can do this. If I’m not comfortable, can I come sit with you?” Here’s what I want to say, “Absolutely darling, that’s not a problem. All I want you to do is just stay with your group for the first few hours. Then if you’re not happy, you can come sit with me from that point on.” You know what? You’re never going to see them again. You’ll be lucky if you even hear from them, because they’re going to feel so comfortable, they’re going to feel so much at home.

There’s a lot of important information that I need to communicate to you. I want you to watch these videos. I’ll be sending you a number of them in the next few weeks. In the past, people have said to me, “Richard, for the love of Pete, do you have to send all these videos? I don’t have time to watch them.” I get that. What I’m going to do is transcribe every one, just like I did this video and if you don’t have time to watch them, all you have to do is just glance through what I put below. Glance at the transcript. It couldn’t be more important. You’ve made a big investment for your child to be at the Congress, let’s make sure that they get every bit of juice out of that lemon. With your help, they will.

That’s it for today and I’ll be talking to you soon.


When do the doors open?:

When do the doors open? This video is about what time you can arrive at The Tsongas Center for the Congress. Here’s the deal.

On the first day, the Congress begins at 6pm sharp. You’re going to want to be in your seat at least 15/20 minutes—maybe even 30 minutes—before that so that you can meet the people around you, relax and not feel hurried. The doors will open at 4:30pm, not before 4:30pm, but if you want the best seat, feel free to show up at 4:30pm. If you get there beforehand, you can line up and just hang out if it’s a nice day, right? 4:30pm on, you can enter.

On day 2, and day 3, the Congress begins at 10am sharp, and the doors will open at 8:30am,

So that’s about it. Day 1, you can come as early at 4:30pm. Kick-off, 6pm, but I’d like you there earlier, just so you get settled and acclimated and talk to your neighbors. Days 2 and 3, doors open at 8:30am. Kick-off is precisely at 10am.

Thank you very much. I’ll talk to you soon.


Parent Seating:

Hi, I hope you are having a fantastic day today. I am recording this video for both the Delegate and the Delegate’s Parents on a very serious and important subject. That is Parent seating. I want you to listen to this carefully, preferably together with your child; and if you’re a child, preferably with your Parent.

Now, we have a problem on opening night. Let me tell you what that problem is. The problem is that we cannot fit your child,you, and other family members into the stadium because we will exceed fire code. The second we exceed fire code, nothing happens. The event, the Congress, stops. The fire marshal shuts the whole thing down. We have very strict rules for opening night.

Now why do I say opening night? Why not for the whole Congress? Well, it’s because everybody wants to come opening night. They want to check it out. They want to be there as things start. Then on day two or three they say, “You know, I can watch this on live feed in my bed,” or, “I think I’m going to go to the museums or go shopping or take a walk down by the river,” or whatever the case may be. But, on opening night, everybody wants to be there, and it cannot happen. My friends, it cannot happen.

Here are the rules: Number one, you will receive one, and only one, family badge with the student badge that is going to be mailed to you. On opening night one, and only one, family member can come with the Delegate to the Congress. Don’t bring two people. It will just be an ugly scene, a very ugly scene.

What will happen is other Parents will be justifiably ticked off that you’re even trying. Then things get ugly at the door. Can you see what’s going to happen? You don’t want that. I need you to only come with one Parent or family member on opening night.

Now on days two and three things tend to become a lot easier, and maybe you can come with two family members, or maybe even more. It just depends on how things work out, but opening night, no way.

Now, two more things. First of all, seating is first-come first-serve. After all the seats are gone, then there’s standing room on two levels. A lot of Parents will come for an hour or two and then leave, so if you get standing room only, you keep your eyes open, you may be able to get a seat quite early on.

The second thing you need to know is that not every seat has a great view. In fact, when we’ve filled all the seats in front of the stage, you can then sit behind the stage. That’s not very good, but it’s better than not being there at all, and we’ll have projectors and speakers so that you can hear and see everything that happens.

Number three is there is not space, even with one Parent, for every single student to bring a Parent. If you can find it in your heart not to come opening night and to watch on the live feed, do it. Then come the next day and the day after that, but there will be Parents that get turned away if we reach capacity.

I’m going to repeat all this one more time because it’s so important. I don’t want us to be embarrassed, I don’t want you to be embarrassed, and for God’s sake, I do not want your child to be embarrassed. You’ll get one badge. On opening night you come with one—and only one—Parent. If you want a good seat you come early. After all the seats are gone, we go to the obstructed view seats. Once those are gone, or maybe even before those are gone, you have the option of standing room on two levels.

When all of that is filled, we stop. If we stop and you’re not able to get in, be cool, be cool. It’s no big deal. You just turn around, go watch on video, maybe come back in a couple of hours and see if there’s room then. Just cooperate. If we all do that on opening night, the rest of the time is going to be a breeze, because as I said, there are an awful lot of Parents that really don’t feel the need to be there after opening night. Let’s face it, Boston is an amazing city. They go into Boston and they have a blast, or they watch the whole proceedings on their iPad, iPhone, computer, whatever the case may be, and as you know, free live feed.

That’s it. Please think about this. Plan it out with your Delegate, decide who’s going to attend opening night, and all will be well. I’ll see you soon.



Hi, let’s talk for just a minute about credentials. What I am about to say should be ridiculously obvious, but let me say it anyway. You are not getting into the Congress unless you have your official Delegate credentials with you and your Parents are not getting in unless, they have their credential as well.

I want you to treat this the way you were a ticket on the airlines or a passport, be sure you pack this and be sure you bring it with you. Now, when are you going to get your credentials? The answer is before the Congress. They have not gone out yet. They will go out soon and you will get them—I promise—in plenty of time for your departure. Be 100% sure that you bring your credential with you to the Congress and that your parent brings their credential to the Congress.

Now, what happens if you lose them? Are you going to be turned away at the door? No, you’re not. We have a reprint desk, but you know what happens? You don’t become the only one that has lost, misplaced or forgotten their credential and as a result, the reprint desk line is really long and boring. You got to stand in it for a long time, maybe even an hour. Don’t do that, just take those credentials when they arrive, put them in a super safe place and bring them with you and all will be well.

Thanks so much and I’ll talk to you soon.


Live Video Feed:

Hi, it’s Richard, and in this video I just want to remind you that there’s going to be a free LIVE video feed of the entire Congress. Now, I don’t have the exact URL, the exact web address yet, but we’ll be sure to get it to you in plenty of time.

Now what does this mean? First and foremost, it means that you don’t actually have to come to the Congress to check it out. You may decide as a Parent, “I’m going to come some of the time, some of the time I’m going to sit in my hotel and watch this thing.” As a Delegate you can go ahead, as can you, Parent, and distribute this to all your relatives so that they can see exactly what it is that you’ve been up to.

Now, let’s say that you’ve raised some money in the community to come to the Congress—I know a lot of the Delegates have. Share this address with the person that gave you some money, and they can watch live and see how amazing and worthwhile the Congress is.

Lastly, don’t miss the opportunity to share this address with your teachers, your counselors, your principal, because you have got something going on here this is going to be really, really fascinating, and something that they should know about. When you get back to school in the fall it may be something that you really want to share with all of your peers in the school. That’s completely up to you.

Just to repeat one last time, we will get you the web address for the live feed. We don’t have it yet, but start thinking about who you want to distribute it to. It can be your family, it can be your friends, it can be your teachers. The one thing we ask is that you don’t post it publicly, because this is a closed even just for the best and brightest, right, that’s you, and it’s really a restricted event. For those people I just mentioned, you can make it available.

Thanks. That’s it for today, and I’ll talk to you soon.


Ride in style to the Congress:

Hi, it’s Richard, and I just want to talk to you for a couple of minutes about an amazing deal that we have worked out, which actually sounds like it’s too good to be true and there’s got to be a gimmick, but it’s exactly what I’m about to tell you.

There is a company called Uber. Maybe you’ve heard of them. They’re now worth about 40 billion dollars. They’re the largest investment that Google has ever made. Google put almost 300 million dollars into them. They are a transportation service where you get on your smartphone, your iPhone or your Android device, you download their app, you push a button, and a car and driver arrive, take you wherever you want to go, and then you get out of the car and you leave.

We have struck a deal with Uber where they will give you a $20 credit if you sign up with them. What does that mean? First and foremost, you got to download the Uber app. Right? U-B-E-R. You can do that, again, on your Android device or on your iPhone device at the app stores. Then you put in your information and a credit card and the code UBERCONGRESS. That is key. It’s one word. Uber, U-B-E-R, Congress. That’s the code you use. When you do that, you get a $20 ride FREE.

What happens if you take that ride and never use it again? Well, that’s it. You don’t get charged a penny, ever. And $20 actually goes quite a long way with their UberX, which is their basic service. You can certainly go from any hotel or any place that you’re staying around the university and get a free ride to the university, or get a free ride home in the evening. If you want to go into Boston or come to Lowell, which is where the Congress is held—from Boston—it’s a little further than a $20 ride, but the first $20 are free and it’s less expensive than a taxi so the rest of the ride is less expensive than a taxi.

This is an incredible service. I’ve been using it myself now here in Washington, D.C., for several years, and I’m really, really tickled that we’ve been able to set this up for you. It’s, as I said, a no-brainer. There’s no reason not to do it. Again, it’s exactly what it appears to be. You download the app, you sign up, you put in our code, which is UBERCONGRESS, one word, U-B-E-R-congress, and your first ride up to $20 will be absolutely free.

It’s great, and as I said you can get all around the area around the event, around the Congress itself, and if you like you can go in or back from Boston at a very, very low price.

That’s about it for today. I hope you take advantage of this. I will talk to you soon.


Food at the Congress:

Hi, it’s Richard. Just a few quick words on food. The answer is, there will be food the whole time from the moment the Congress begins to the moment the Congress ends.

If you are hungry, I want you to get out of your seat and get some food. This is not one of those deals where you have to wait until lunch or wait until dinner, you can’t eat at your seat, or anything like that. I want you to feel free whenever you’re in the mood to just get up and go to one of the many food stands that will be around the stadium and just get whatever it is that you would like to eat.

If you are a vegetarian, don’t worry about it. We have you covered. If you are gluten-free we’ll have something for you as well. If you want to eat healthy that option will exist. If you want junk food, there’ll be junk food as well. You’re a young adult, you need to make your own food choices, we’ve got something for everybody. Long story short, don’t worry about it, all will be well. Talk to you soon.



Hi. Let’s talk for a few moments about breaks. As you know, there are 2 long breaks on Day 2 and 3 of the Congress. The first is lunch which is 2 hours, and then dinner which is 2 hours. The question is: What the heck do I do for 2 hours? Isn’t that a really long time? The answer is: Not at all, not at all.

First of all, you’re going to be surrounded by all your friends so you’re going to want to take time to just kick back and relax and talk to them. Number 2: You’ve got to eat, right, so that’s going to take some time. You can go outside. It’s nice weather. It’ll be really great. You can lie in the grass, so kind of recuperate a little bit.

Then there will be mentors, people that you have seen up on the stage and that you would love to have a chance to meet. Many of them will be hanging around, talking to Delegates, so don’t miss the opportunity to get a picture taken, get an autograph, or talk to that person about your personal dreams. Get a little bit of advice. You may never see someone of that caliber again for a very long time. Don’t blow the opportunity if you get it.

Then there are also going to be these really cool, big photo walls with our logo behind them, so you can go up there with your camera and your friends, and get your picture taken. There are also going to be people that are going to want to interview you about your experience at the Congress, so you can go up and get interviewed as well.

There will be all kinds of other things going on, so I just want you to know that those two-hour breaks are just going to fly by, and of course, you want to be back in your seat 10 or 15 minutes before the end of the break, all will be well. It’s a perfect amount of time to just recharge your batteries and hang out, but as I said before, I do not want you to wait for the break. If you want to eat, or if you have to go the bathroom. I want you to simply get up out of your seat anytime you want and do either of those things. You don’t have to wait for the break.

That’s it for now, and I’ll talk to you soon.


Ultimate Medical Internship:

Hi, it’s Richard, and I just sent your child a video about an extraordinary opportunity that may, may be right for your family. Now, as you know, after your child leaves the Congress, they and you are going to be part of an ongoing support system by the Academy where you’re going to receive information, wisdom regarding getting into the best school, how to get there, how to pay for it, how to succeed, how to get into the next school after college, and then how to have a great life and get exactly the job that you’re looking for while being happy and successful.

How are we going to do this? The same way we make the Congress successful, by bringing in the most brilliant minds in the world to supply this information to your child. We’ll use teleseminars and webinars and all kinds of different electronic methods to get this information to you all in bite-size pieces so you can actually use them and get a super advantage in all of this. There will also be a community where you can have a place to share, laugh, cry, scream, and generally commiserate with other high-achieving moms and dads and your child with other high-achieving children, because guess what, as you know, being the parent of a high-achieving child is not easy. Being a high-achieving child isn’t easy, but when we’re here to support one another, great, great things can happen.

All of that is going to be free, but what I talk to your child about today in the video I just sent is not free. In fact, it’s very, very expensive, and I told them straight up, this may not be right for you. It’s also not right if your child is not interested in becoming a physician or a medical scientist. This is only for young people that are interested in becoming a physician or a medical scientist. If that is in fact your child, here is an opportunity for them to spend two plus weeks in the summer, and take part in what we call the Ultimate Medical Internship Program in India.

What is this? When you think of real medicine, if you’re watching Scrubs or my favorite show, Grey’s Anatomy, or House or any of those, the thing you realize is these people aren’t sitting in lectures or watching videos or playing around with trying to sew up a potato or whatever the heck they do when they’re trying to simulate a medical experience. Heck no. They are in the real thing—the real deal is what I call it—and that is three basic things.

Number one, it’s gross anatomy. That’s what medical students do. They go into the anatomy lab. They put on rubber gloves and white jackets, and they spend hours dissecting human cadavers so they can understand, appreciate, respect the human body.

Number two, it’s surgery. The ability to go into the surgical suite or above in the observation dome and look at surgeries all the way through, beginning to end, and then debrief with the surgeon to find out exactly what he or she did and what the outcome was.

Then it’s hands-on, shoulder-to-shoulder shadowing of doctors in the emergency room, in the clinics, in the offices, as they see patient after patient after patient.

Now, obviously in this country, no can do. Why? Number one, HIPAA. As you all know, HIPAA is our privacy regulations—our federal privacy regulations—and you know what, they are a very good thing because if I go in the hospital I don’t want anybody knowing my business. They make sure that nobody knows your business. Of course, anyone who isn’t a medical professional is not welcome to observe your surgery or be part of your visit to a doctor. Number two, insurance companies. What do you think an insurance says when a hospital or a medical school says, “Oh, we’re going to have a bunch of unlicensed high school students in the emergency room or in our operating room.” They say, “No good can come of this. Out of the question. Don’t even think about it.”

Number three is of course the medical schools themselves and the hospitals. When we go to those schools and we ask them for permission to do this, they say, “Absolutely not. What the heck is in it for us? This is nothing but a liability and a hassle.” For all intents and purposes, unless you’re really connected, you’re not going to be doing any of this in our dear 50 states. Now, it’s all different in India. As you know, India is an incredibly safe and welcoming democracy. One of the biggest tourist destinations in the world for Americans. Over there, it’s a totally different deal. They are incredibly welcoming at their medical schools and their hospitals because it’s part of their culture, and quite frankly, because we pay them, and a little money over there, over here, I should say, is a lot of money over there.

Guess what? Your child can travel with a small group of other committed Delegates to India next summer and spend two plus weeks each day, every day doing the big three, anatomy, surgery, shadowing of physicians. Incredible experiences have taken place during past years when we have done the Ultimate Med Internship Program. Let me tell you about the most important thing that’s on your mind if this sounds interesting, and that’s safety. Of course, India is an incredibly safe country. Democracy with a huge middle class, and as I said, one of the greatest destinations for Americans in the world. Number two, there is a big group of adult escorts that are going on this trip and they’re all experienced educators who have done this for us before and they know their stuff. They understand high school students, they understand security, and they understand international travel.

Your child’s accommodations are going to be, I don’t know, at a Holiday Inn or a Westin, that kind of class of hotel. I think it actually is going to be at a Holiday Inn, and we’ll make sure that all of their food and all of their water is 100% safe. If they get sick, hey, it’s a medical program. There’s going to be just a huge number of doctors in the immediate area to take good care of them. This is a big deal if it’s right for you. It’s something that can’t be done in this country. It’s something extraordinary. I encourage you to sit down with your child and see if it’s right for them. If it’s not, no big deal, no big deal. There’ll be amazing free stuff coming down the pike. If it is, it truly is a once in a young person’s lifetime opportunity.

Now, the other thing I want to tell you is how this is all going to work because there’s always, as you can imagine, vastly more people interested in doing this than there are spaces because we do want to keep it small and intimate. Here’s how it’s going to work. On the third day of the Congress, not opening night, not day two, but the third and final day, at 1 p.m. the registration table is going to open and we’re going to fill all the spaces first come, first serve. When it’s over we close the table and we’re done. That’s how we’ve done it in the past. It’s worked great. It’s the only real equitable way to make it work.

If you’re not coming with your child, we’ll have a way for you to do it without being physically present, but understand that you cannot under any circumstances apply for or register for the Ultimate Med Internship. The only way to do it is at the Congress 1 p.m. day three. Again, if you’re observing through our live feed and if you’re not there with your child, we’ll give you a way to do that without being physically present. I want you to look at all the materials that we are going to provide you online, check it out, watch the videos of the past UMIs, Ultimate Med Internships, see if this is right for you, and if it is, get ready for day three. That’s it for now and I thank you very much.