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TOP 24 UNDER 24 2013

Top 24 Under 24: Hasheem Hakeem — The Math Whiz

By David P. Ball, 24 hours Vancouver

Hasheem Hakeem, 23, is one of our Top 24 Under 24 (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Hasheem Hakeem, 23, is one of our Top 24 Under 24 (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

After discovering his gift for math, long-time tutor Hasheem Hakeem realized his peers were having a tough time making the number add up after entering high school.

“Math is one of those subjects students struggle with most,” he said. “As a tutor, I saw lots of students struggling.”

Believing any dedicated pupil can improve, along with his high-school math teacher he launched Pi of the Tiger, a math camp for Lower Mainland children.

“It helps students develop the confidence they need,” he explained. “What's eye-opening is these kids can actually do math. They can make big strides.”

Hakeem, 23, has won the Governor General's Academic Medal and numerous scholarships, but he continues to tutor. Many parents, he adds, worry their children are just not “not good” at math.

“I don't agree,” he said. “Math is all building blocks, everything carries over one after another.

“I've seen their ability to learn if they have the right direction and help. It shows that investing time in bridging gaps actually helps students at all ages.”

So what's Hakeem's secret? To make pupils comfortable enough to ask questions, he had a classroom-sized whiteboard installed in his basement.

“It's very big!” he said with a laugh.

“But I can solve multiple questions on it. I put everything on that whiteboard so they can see it and try problems out there, so we'll both figure it out.”


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