As an English and creative writing teacher at Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria, VA for four years, I mainly taught my students the fundamentals of grammar, how to structure a five-paragraph essay, and how to properly analyze literature using rhetorical strategies. But soon, as I witnessed the various challenges my students were facing both at home and amongst their peers, I instituted “Talk Time” every Friday during the last 30 minutes of class.
"Talk Time" was an opportunity for my students to explore their emotions, thoughts, and feelings about themselves and others. Essentially, such an activity created a safe environment for my students to build insight, discover coping strategies, learn about proper communication techniques, and in the end, become more emotionally intelligent. As a result of “Talk Time,” many students began to visit my classroom during lunch or after school to talk to me about the problems they were facing. This is when I truly realized how much I enjoyed working one-on-one with my students, mentoring and guiding them as they navigated through some pretty difficult waters.
In my fourth year of teaching, I attended a year-long life coaching program and received my certification in 2011 from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. As a Certified Professional Life Coach, founder of Limitless Heart Life Coaching, LLC (est. 2011) and author of Leap Before You Look; Seven Steps to Discover Who You Are, What You Want, and How to Change the World (2014), I specialize in life purpose coaching and college counseling. In the past six years, I have worked with clients from all over the country, many of whom have gone on to pursue their dreams at institutions such as Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Tulane, BC, BU, American, Northwestern, Chapman, University of Oregon, Boulder, UT Austin, Indiana, and many more.
Having been a yoga and Pilates instructor for five years in my mid-twenties, I continue to fuse life coaching techniques with mindfulness and meditation, knowing that the way to best optimize an individual’s potential is to foster emotional, physical, and spiritual growth. And I continue to expand my knowledge and experience as a graduate student in Pepperdine University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy program.
I have done numerous teaching videos for eHow, conducted several social-emotional workshops at Simi Valley High School, and have led goal setting seminars amongst parenting groups in Woodland Hills. Most recently, I sought out resources to further develop SEL curriculum and eventually joined True Connection in 2016 as Curriculum Director. In the last two years, I have collaborated with the TC team to create HiEQ, a social-emotional learning curriculum to be integrated into classrooms.