Our team

Lifelong learners

We love learning, and we want the same for our students and mentees. Whether you're applying to college or are a post-graduate and need standardized test support, classwork academic support, or coding project management, we have a system in place for you.

Sam

Principal


PhD in Chemistry, Columbia University - Founder

Throughout his educational career, Sam has won university awards for his empathetic teaching style and national grants for his prolific academic writing. Sam earned a PhD from Columbia University in Chemistry and double majored in Math and Chemistry in undergrad at the University of Miami. During his doctoral work on organic semiconductors and solar cells at Columbia, Sam earned both the nationally prestigious NDSEG grant alongside Columbia's internal Miller Teaching Award.

Sam intimately understands the obstacles to success for modern students, and leverages his extensive experience in helping others overcome those barriers on their way to success. Bringing years of hands-on mentoring and academic research to bear alongside a keen understanding of application and review processes, Sam is responsible for ensuring the needs of every individualized mentee are met, and providing a strong role model for young students.
A spark of passionate understanding is all it takes to ignite a lifetime of success.

John

Mentor


BS in Physics & Computer Science, MIT - Tech startup founder

John is currently the co-founder of FPG, a multi-million dollar venture-backed Fin-Tech startup. He grew up in Springfield, Missouri and graduated with a double major in Physics and Computer Science from MIT. At MIT, he was awarded several patents for novel AI neural network architectures. His work has been published in "Science Advances”, International Conference on Machine Learning, and Neural Information Processing; including unique topics such as AI tools to design photonic properties of nanoparticles. He was admitted to the PhD program at MIT, but chose to focus on his tech startup.

John’s personally inquisitive teaching style and academic work have achieved critical acclaim, and his work has been featured on the MIT homepage. He has taught courses at MIT, Hong Kong, and California universities on entrepreneurship. John is an active alumni with MIT, and supports both the volunteer and alumni network in several ways. He tutors now to be a role model for all students and young entrepreneurs with an eye towards tech, and frames his teaching with practical applications in mind.

Dream it, build it, break it, build it again-- change the world!

Drew

Mentor


PhD in Chemistry, Columbia University - Intellectual property law

Drew works in patent prosecution of Electrical & Computer Technologies, leveraging extensive knowledge in the areas of semiconductor, optoelectronic, photonic and computer technologies. Drew was a graduate research assistant in the Zhu Group at Columbia University, where he obtained his PhD in Chemical Physics. While there, Drew developed ultrafast laser microscopy experiments focused on light-matter coupling and quantum coherence. He also served as a consultant to Rhapsody Ventures Partners translating advanced technical concepts from startups into accessible language for potential investors/clients.

Drew has taught multiple classes at Columbia University spanning physics & chemistry, and believes his infectious enthusiasm for learning is the best way to spread real knowledge. He tutors to keep that enthusiasm alive in the community, especially for students who may be missing the personal connections made in school during the pandemic. When not meticulously poring over patent architectures, you can find him scoping out the best Bavarian pubs around town or carrying his dog home from a walk after she gets lazy.

Finish the classwork, then consider why it's cool -- school isn't supposed to be boring!

Laura

Mentor


BS NYU - Adjunct Professor, Yeshiva University

Laura is an adjunct professor of Journalism at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women and the Opinion Editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), syndicating Jewish news to 70+ client publications in the English (and Hebrew) speaking world.

For the past decade, Laura has worked with students, academics, leaders and anyone with a story to tell, empowering them to develop writing skills with impact — including one personal essay recently cited in a SCOTUS amicus brief. Laura’s own writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, SELF, Glamour, and elsewhere. In her free time, Laura enjoys running, analyzing datasets, making music, and not following recipes.

Inspire change early, and witness a lifetime transformed.

Nick

Mentor


PhD Candidate in Mathematics, University of Miami - String theorist

Nick graduated magna cum laude with a double major in mathematics and physics. He is currently pursuing a PhD in mathematics at the University of Miami. As an undergraduate, Nick traveled to Sao Paulo and Prague to immerse himself in groundbreaking string theory research. His worldwide travel resulted in making an original contribution to string theory, which was published in the Journal of High Energy Physics.

Nick also has a unique passion for teaching. He frequently challenges the status quo of lecture-style instruction, in favor of a discussion-based learning environment. His unwavering position is that learning never comes from listening alone, but rather from an active dialogue between the teacher and student.

Learning never comes from listening alone, but rather from an active dialogue between teacher and student.

Ben

Mentor


PhD Candidate in Chemistry, Columbia University - Organic chemist

Benjamin is a Chemistry PhD student at Columbia University in NYC. His research includes small molecule synthesis and neuropharmacology. Previously he has worked as a synthetic organic chemist for Albany Molecular Research.

He is well-versed across multiple chemistry disciplines, and has spent the majority of his time teaching Organic Chemistry. His teaching style has been well-received by students and in 2018 he received both the Presidential and Miller Teaching Awards from Columbia, the highest teaching honors in the college and department, respectively. He believes that everyone is capable of learning chemistry if it is broken down and explained clearly, at the atomic scale!

Life's building blocks shouldn't be scary!

Natalia

Mentor


PhD Candidate in Chemistry, Columbia University - International business development

Natalia was born in Russia, lived in the Netherlands, and is currently in NYC pursuing her PhD in Chemistry at Columbia University with a focus on superconductivity. Her work has been published in prominent journals such as the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

She has taught and tutored various classes including Organic Chemistry, and is comfortable working in Russian, Dutch, or English. Her core belief is that learning comes easiest through practical application, and aims to build the right individualized environment for each student to allow them access to exactly those enjoyable practical understandings. When not teaching or cooking up new molecules, you can find her at international chocolate judging competitions or scouting out new recipes.

Education allowed me to explore from one side of the world to the other. Let's help you do the same.

Ryan

Mentor


PhD Candidate in Chemistry, UC San Diego - Biochemist

Ryan is currently a PhD candidate in the Biomedical Sciences program at the University of California San Diego. His academic works on the biochemical mechanisms of development have been published in prominent journals such as Nature Communications. He grew up near Chicago and received a BS in Biochemistry and Marine Science from the University of Miami.

Ryan teaches physics, chemistry, and biology at up to the undergraduate level. He’s passionate about drawing deep personal connections to science, and sees real value in demonstrating those connections to students’ everyday lives. In his free time, Ryan enjoys hiking, surfing, and exploring different neighborhoods in the San Diego area.

Science changes lives, and when it's personal, it feels just that much cooler.

Michael

Mentor


PhD Candidate in Chemistry, Columbia University - Physical chemist

Michael Spencer is currently a graduate research scientist at Columbia University's Chemical Physics Department, working under Professor Xiaoyang Zhu on applied laser spectroscopy. He received a BS in both Chemistry and Physics from West Virginia University, where he was inducted into their respective honor societies.

He has specialized in instruction at both Columbia University and WVU, TAing extensively throughout his undergraduate and graduate career, with an emphasis on physics and physical chemistry. In his free time, he enjoys programming, hiking, and spending time with his friends and family.

Lasers. I've got lots and lots of lasers, and know way too much about the physics you may be in now. Get excited!

Qing

Mentor


PhD in Health & Rehabilitation Science, Stony Brook University - International educator

Motivated by her personal experiences, Qing's passion for studying the psychological resilience of left-behind children in rural China brought her to the United States from China to pursue her PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. She is a strong advocate for international students, and works tirelessly to ensure they can achieve success in US universities. Qing’s outstanding university service led to her election as the president of the Graduate Student Organization at Stony Brook.

Qing’s well-rounded education also includes a BS in Economics and an MS in Management Science. She is empathetic towards international students undertaking the challenge of studying in the US and is committed to helping each mentee break through any obstacles, cultivate resilience, and pursue their passions leading to success. Qing actively teaches mathematics, international business, and data analytics, and is comfortable working in English as well as Mandarin, Cantonese, and the dialects of the Chaoshan area and Taiwan.

International students shouldn't start at a disadvantage -- let me show you the ropes, and let's get you in!

Elisabeth

Mentor


MS in Chemistry, Columbia University - Educator & Recruiter

Elisabeth has tutored since she was herself a high school student in San Diego, CA. She received her Bachelor’s with dual majors in Chemistry and Communication from Trinity University, and went on to receive her Master’s in Chemistry at Columbia University.

She taught both general chemistry and organic chemistry during her graduate school tenure. Since then, she has logged over 2500 hours of tutoring in various subjects including ACT, SAT, SSAT, ISEE, chemistry, math, and writing. She has also worked full time as a college admissions counselor. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, crafts, yoga, and spending time with her dog, Chester.

Admissions counselors know all the best tricks in the book. Some things fly, and others don't, but I'll be on your team to help.

Our skill proficiencies

  • ACT
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • English
  • Health Sciences
  • Environmental Sciences & Sustainability
  • Writing & Essays
  • SAT
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Computer science
  • Physiology
  • Jewish Studies
  • Art & Design