Nicole Kaplan  MaSpEd, ET/P

  Educational Therapist  +  empowerED Founder

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  -Albert Einstein


Educational therapy empowers students with academic struggles to learn and develop efficient new approaches to learning, positively affecting a student's life in and out of school. Through skilled assessment, case management and specialized alternative teaching methods, Nicole offers clients a wide variety of intensive, individualized interventions aimed at remediating student's unique learning difficulties, addressing social and emotional roadblocks affecting performance and optimizing all areas of executive functioning.

Nicole Kaplan received her undergraduate degree in English Literature, with an emphasis in Education, from the University of California, Los Angeles.  She went on to earn her Masters degree in Special Education with a specialization in Educational Therapy from California State University Northridge. She is also an active member of the Association of Educational Therapists. 

For over two decades, Nicole has seen clients in a private practice setting collaborating with students, parents, teachers, learning specialists, psychologists, and neuropsychologists to create a game plan tailored to her client's specific academic and emotional needs. She works from a strengths-based perspective, helping students overcome or compensate for learning challenges. 


In addition to her extensive academic knowledge in the Educational Therapy field, she is highly intuitive when it comes to client's needs.  Having grown up with learning challenges of her own, being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult and having three children with three very different learning styles and emotional needs, she is able to empathize with parents,  educators and students...she wears three hats.

Nicole's ultimate goal for each student: 

academic independence 

-TEAM empowerED-

  Lori Guglielmo AA 

empowerED Coordinator


“Success isn’t always about ‘Greatness’, it’s about consistency. Consistent, hard work gains success. Greatness will come.”  -Dwayne Johnson

 Brian Martin BA

 Lindamood-Bell, Orton Gillingham specialist


Academic Testing



“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” -Michael Phelps

With over 15 years of management experience, Lori Guglielmo has been a key player in the development of multiple corporations. She specializes in office management for small businesses. Lori has worked for corporations such as Simpson Construction Services, BKB Design, and Wm. Keith Scannell, Scannell Corp. Lori specializes in creating unique management systems and strategies integrating the latest in-depth connectivity technology ensuring office operations run smoothly and efficiently.  Lori firmly believes in accountability and transparency throughout the organization and utilizes these skills to ensure company expansion and growth. 


Lori loves working with small businesses. Her colleagues become extended family and who doesn’t want their family to succeed? Helping businesses remain successful and grow brings Lori joy.


Lori lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband,  10-year-old twins, and 2 dogs.  They enjoy spending time together traveling to warmer destinations and spending time at their cabin in mountains. 


In her free time, Lori enjoys trying new restaurants with her husband, watching her son wrestle, and shopping with her daughter.  Cuddling with her dogs while binge-watching new shows are high on her list as well.

Brian attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where he majored in Sociology. During his senior year and shortly after graduating, he worked for the Santa Barbara Mental Health Foundation providing a safe environment for adults with mental illness to socialize. Later, Brian moved to Portland, Oregon, and worked with dually diagnosed adults with autism within an animal therapy setting on a small farm creating behavior management plans.  Brian moved back to Santa Barbara to earn his teaching credential. He worked as a reading intervention specialist in the public schools. Brian was hired as the associate director and trainer for the Santa Barbara Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes center and was quickly promoted to Center Director. Brian has worked with students with learning disabilities for over the past 20 years.  


Brian brings a warm dry sense of humor with him.  He enjoys working with students on their learning journey and being part of a student’s growth.   


When he has free time, you will find Brian traveling (21 countries and 38 states so far), meditating, enjoying the outdoors, cooking, or trading.


  Allison Folks, BA, JD

College Essay Writing Specialist 

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.”  

-Maya Angelo

  Mia Rashap, BA

Learning Specialist + Orton Gillingham Certified 

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."             -John R .Wooden 

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Mia was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Brentwood, CA. She attended California State University, Northridge, and graduated in 2019 with her BA in Child and Adolescent Development with a focus in Early Childhood Development. In the fall of 2021, Mia will be returning to California State University, Northridge to obtain her master's in Special Education with a focus on Educational Therapy. 


Mia has experience in a multitude of areas relating to child development.  Whether it be working one-on-one assisting children with special needs, such as learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, and visual impairments, teaching preschool at a Montessori school in NYC. 


Mia is incredibly passionate about making a difference in children’s lives as she overcame many of her own learning challenges and is eager to help others do the same. Most importantly, Mia wants to make a positive impact and help children reach their fullest potential. She does this with extra love and support.


Mia is trained in Foundations in Sound, The Barton Reading and Spelling Program, Lindamood Bell’s Seeing Stars Program, and Orton Gillingham. 


In her free time, Mia enjoys exploring farmers' markets, playing the guitar, boxing, practicing yoga, meditating, skiing, and traveling the world. 

Allison received her bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies from Portland State University.  She then went on to receive her law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law.  Allison is passionate about writing.  She finds it to be her most valuable way of expressing and conveying her thoughts and emotions.  She has years of experience tutoring and working with students developing writing skills, helping them to communicate their experiences, ideas, thoughts and stories.


  Allison believes all students, with various methods, are capable of expressing themselves through writing and inspires this belief in her students.  She enjoys supporting others in their creative process and helping them to find their voice.      


Allison lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  She is bilingual in Spanish and English and loves Mexican culture.  She practices immigration law and has a business selling fresh homemade dog food.  In her free time, she loves to cook, travel, and exercise.  

We all have a story to tell, and Allison can help you tell yours.  


 Lilly VonRuden

Tutor + Organizational Skills Master

"The beautiful thing about learning is no one can take it away from you"  -B.B. King

Lilly was born in Southampton, New York and she made the move west to Los Angeles 10 years ago and couldn’t be happier about it.


Lilly is a third-year college student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication at the University of California Santa Barbara. After graduation, Lilly plans on pursuing event planning, primarily for production companies. In addition to her passion for communication and organization, she is passionate about teaching effective learning methods and assisting students in their pursuit of knowledge. Lilly has been tutoring since High School in a variance of subjects; her favorites to teach are English, Spanish, and Math.


Lilly’s favorite subjects in school were English and Spanish and her dual citizenship with Switzerland has inspired her love for language, travel, and culture.


In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, hiking, and binging her favorite tv shows.

  Jesslyn Homidan BA

Science Whiz 

“An education is not so much about making a living as making a person.” – Tara Westover


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Jesslyn grew up in Los Angeles and moved to Northern California to pursue an undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology at UC Berkeley. 
As an undergraduate, she works at a biophysics laboratory to conduct research on the visual cortex using mice studies. She is also working with students as a chemistry tutor and a previous preteens director at Lair of the Golden Bear which has shaped her goals around pediatrics and neuroscience. 

She developed her passions in science and teaching as a high school student working with children ages 5-13 with mental and physical disabilities, as a volunteer teaching arts and crafts and introductory sign language. From this experience, she was able to understand the importance of catering to individual student needs when it comes to effective communication and fostering independence. 

She is a recent graduate of the Class of 2020 and is currently spending time back in LA to study for the MCAT in hopes of attending Med school in the upcoming years.

  Rama Surya BA

Math Guru +  Tutor

“There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it.”            — Charles F. Kettering

Aloha, I’m Rama! I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and have lived all over the world from Indonesia to San Francisco and now Los Angeles.


I am a recent graduate of the University of California Berkeley with a degree in Cognitive Neuroscience. One of my greatest passions in life is teaching. I have been tutoring for 10 years and it has truly been amazing and rewarding throughout all of it. I have tutored and taught students of all ages, from high school students to young children, to adults! It is never too early or too late to learn something new.


I am very passionate about knowledge and passing knowledge to others on their journey of education. The main topics I tutor are Math and Science, however, I believe in extending tutoring beyond the books. My goal when tutoring is not to only help the students progress in their school, but also progress into life.


Knowledge is power and can lead us to understand the world around us. This is important to keep in mind when learning and it is my passion to help students understand the material their learning and relating it to the world as well! I continue my educational journey myself as I currently am pursuing medical school and at UCLA currently doing a post-bachelor program in pre-medical sciences. As I continue my educational journey, I will continue to help others along the way!






All things Math/Science + tutor


Megan Groothuis was born and raised in Orange County, CA. Staying true to her SoCal heart, she now attends UCLA where she is majoring in Mechanical Engineering.


Megan is graduating this June and has plans to work as a Rotational Analyst at Xcel Energy.


In Megan's free time, she enjoys artistic endeavors such as pastel paintings and long as the snow season allows! 

Megan’s tutoring abilities are specialized in Physics and Mathematics. She achieved 5’s on both the AP Physics 1 and AP Physics C tests and has taken physics and mathematics-based classes every term during her time at UCLA. 

Megan believes, although these courses can be difficult, mastery is achievable by any student.  All it takes is motivation and the desire to learn.

 “High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.” - Jack Kinder