Two weeks before my grandfather passed away, he asked me to take a break after graduating from law school to think about what I really wanted to do with my life and how I could give back to my community at the same time. I honored his last wish for me and returned home to Prince George’s County, MD in 2002.
Of all of the interesting things that I did during my break, I discovered that education, not law, was the area in which I could make the most significant impact. As an SAT instructor for a national company in a neighboring county, I witnessed firsthand how existing models of test prep could help some students, but at the same time, leave so many others behind.
Out of the frustration of that experience, grew the inspiration to start my own company, Innovative Study Techniques (IST) in 2003. Since then, IST has grown to become a multi-dimensional educational services authority sought after by clients for its novel approach to learning and progressive vision for education. IST’s specialties include standardized test prep, academic tutoring, summer enrichment and private and college admissions for students in grades 2-12.
As President of IST, I guide its overall direction and strategic visioning. As Chief Academic Officer, I train and direct the instructional team and oversee curriculum development. As a supplemental learning strategist, I work with parents and organizational clients to create customized solutions for engaging students and fostering dynamic learning outside of the traditional classroom space.
The best part of my job is witnessing the miracle of the “aha moment,” that sparkle in a student’s eye, that amazing sense of clarity, when suddenly, as if by magic, a light comes on and everything begins to make sense.
For the past decade, I’ve dedicated my professional career to generating more of those priceless moments in the educational lives of thousands of students from varied academic, cultural and economic backgrounds. Central to my work is the idea that every student holds an inherent brilliance that gains power in an environment that recognizes and supports diverse learning styles and multiple means of raising student achievement.
As a child, I saw what a difference engaged parents can make in a child’s love of learning. As a product of the public school system, I saw what a difference great teachers can make in a child’s academic career. As an educator, innovator and advocate, I draw on those experiences to create stimulating learning environments that motivate and challenge students to resist the status quo.
As a standardized test prep expert, I have tutored students for the SAT/PSAT, ACT, SSAT, ISEE, HSPT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, CTP-4 and Stanford 10 tests; and the New York, Texas, Maryland and Arkansas state bar exams.
In 2007, I co-founded LevelTen, a non-profit focused on closing the nation’s achievement gap through innovative academic programming and community mobilization. In 2011, I founded Generation Ed (GenEd), a non-profit dedicated to equipping parents with practical tools to become better teachers in their homes and better educational advocates for their children in schools.
I serve as Education Policy Advisor to Delegate Jay Walker of the 26th Legislative District of Maryland, counseling him on all educated-related matters. I am a member of the Maryland Governor;s Commission on Small Business, where I currently serve as Co-facilitator of the Workforce and Education Sub-committee. I am also a member of the New York and Maryland Bars, the Board of Directors of GirlTrek, the William Van Dyke Minor, Jr. Educational Foundation and the Sky Walker Flight School; and the Voices of Diversity Speakers Bureau.
I have a BA in Public Policy and American Institutions from Brown University, which included a year at The London School of Economics and Political Science. I earned my law degree at Columbia University School of Law, where I spent a semester as a visiting LLM student at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies. I received my professional training at the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions and the Independent Educational Consultants Summer Training Institute.
I live in the Washington, DC area with my husband, Cedric and daughter, Riley. In my (very:-) treasured spare time, I enjoy walking, yoga, cycling, cooking, reading, graphic arts, indie films and traveling.