Chaplain Ken Revell and his grandson are happy with the significant academic progress Brandon has made with the help of Sylvan Learning Center.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Center for Health Statistics reports that fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk for drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy and incarceration.

My mission is not to debate or vet the validity of these statistics or to “drop dimes” on fathers who are missing in action, because many fathers are doing the best they can with what they have.

I will say that my role as a grandpa to Brandon Revell is to stand in the gap and be a part of the solution.

The challenge for me is how I will move Brandon from adolescence and the so-called “turbulent teen years” to adulthood.

Essentially, the questions are: How do I provide my grandson with roots and wings? How do I build on, augment and refine the foundation his parents sought to put in place.

While there are several components involved in this challenge, one immediately comes to mind as a key — education. Instilling in Brandon an appetite for learning is a critical component of helping him to be a successful human being.

I was given legal custody of Brandon in 2014, when the roles of surviving spouse and single parent were added to my already full plate as a full-time soldier.

As Brandon and I navigated and developed our new relationship together, I could see he was a bright kid who was full of untapped potential. However, academically, he was on life support — and the situation was critical. A code blue was imminent if I did not act quickly.

As providence would have it, my chaplain assistant recommended Sylvan Learning Center, promising me that it was a tried and proven program for his kids with academic challenges.

Enrolling Brandon in Sylvan Learning Center was one of the best decisions I made. Sylvan’s intervention played a critical role in improving his grades, increasing both his reading and math skills, as well as providing an environment conducive to learning.

Sylvan Learning Center provided the assessment tools and tutoring methodology needed to take a tough situation and turn it around.

I am happy to report that Brandon has made significant progress, and he is currently in the 10th grade. I attribute much of this success to the professionals at the center.

While we tout Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and youth programs as tools to help shape our grandchildren’s character, I see investing in a good tutoring program as another critical tool to move our grandkids in the right direct — particularly those who are struggling academically.

We are far from perfection in this adventure and we still have a ways to go in this journey, but I am confident we are on the right track.

Brandon and I highly recommend Sylvan.


4211 Waialae Ave., Ste. 30, Honolulu HI 96816
808-735-8811 |