Born in Alameda, Madeleine is a Bay Area native through and through. After high school, she stayed local to attend University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated in 2013 with a BA in history. Madeleine enjoys working with kids, and her interests in mentoring foster children and helping struggling young readers led her down the non-profit path to Achieve Learning. Out of the office, Madeleine spends her free time reading, hiking, traveling, and watching soccer.
Meet Natalie! Hailing from Baltimore, MD, Natalie received an undergraduate degree with distinction from the University of Virginia with an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts in Political and Social Thought. A fervent advocate for holistic approaches to education, Natalie's work in the field began as early as High School, where she spent her summers as a Middle Grades Partnership Mentor teaching History and Language Arts, serving over 100 historically disenfranchised Middle School aged girls in Baltimore City in an effort to prepare students for their transition into High School and to establish a foundation for College readiness. Natalie's passion for education continued into her undergraduate career, where she engaged UVa's academic and local communities as a community organizer, tutor, and living wage campaigner, focusing her efforts specifically on the role and implication of education in each domain. An Echols Scholar, Natalie's academic and community work at UVa centered on founding and maintaining sustainable community practices rooted in strong theory and research, with a particular focus on public policy relevant to education and employment practices. Upon completing her undergraduate career, Natalie went on to teach with Teach for America and is a Master's candidate at Loyola Marymount University where she is projected to complete a 2016 graduate degree in Urban Education, with a concentration in Policy and Administration.
When I was a student at Cal, I needed help getting adjusted to the demand of my classes at the college level. I was the first in my family to go on to higher education. Tutoring programs and peer study groups helped me tremendously, and I graduated with a degree in Integrative Biology in 2014. I wholeheartedly believe in giving back, and enjoy helping other students feel more confident in a subject they were initially struggling in. For fun, I love to be outdoors as much as possible and find new views of the Bay Area!
Born and raised in La'ie, Hawai'i, Maxine Fonua gained her love of learning through teachers who transformed classrooms into spaces of excitement and friendly competition. She is the daughter of Tongan immigrants and backed by the support of a persistent mother, Maxine pursued and was offered an opportunity to attend Punahou School, a top tier college preparatory academy in Honolulu, Hawai'i. The transition from a small predominantly Polynesian public school in a small town to one of the most wealthy private high schools in the largest city in Hawai'i was among Maxine's first experiences of the drastic gap of resources public school systems face. Maxine joined Achieve Learning because working with youth has always given her grounding in new places, as well as maintained her perspective on the societal challenges of Polynesian youth who are often invisibilized in school and city reports because of their small numbers. She is currently taking time off from her Computer Science undergraduate degree at Stanford University to work on personal projects and will return in the fall to complete her degree.
Devon is passionate about finding ways to make math and science accessible to all. She has worked in education for 10 years since her first jobs as mathematics tutor and teaching assistant during her junior year of college in 2006. Since then she has tutored or taught all levels of mathematics from arithmetic to number theory. Her favorite subjects to teach are calculus and precalculus as they are the foundations of math needed to study science. She is also an outdoor educator, volunteer park ranger and citizen scientist. She teaches ecology, wildlife biology and environmental science in the field, leading outdoor adventures. She has a bachelor of science from The Evergreen State College in Washington state and a Masters of Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Bryan is a performance artist-meets-organizer-meets-educator hailing from New Jersey. He received his degree in Asian and Asian American Arts Activism, focusing on Dance and Asian Studies, with a minor in Chemistry from Swarthmore College. Growing up, Bryan wanted to be a chemist, but because of the ways in which access to resources within the STEM fields for students of color is limited, he struggled constantly. During that time, he began to learn new ways of teaching himself and searching for alternative resources that would help him eventually succeed. Because of his personal knowledge in educational inequality, he has found himself in various teaching positions over the years, from being a laboratory teaching assistant for Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry to being an assistant dance instructor to leading a multiweek workshop series on sexual health for youth to doing volunteer SAT math tutoring. Bryan is invested in understanding and combatting the roots of capitalism, which creates this huge educational disparity, through his work as a tutor, performer, and organizer.
Gabriela Centeno is from Los Angeles and is pursuing a career in education. She especially enjoys working with young kids who need help in reading and math and always strives to create what she calls a "healthy learning enviornment." As she explains, "A teacher is more than just educating students; it's about laying a solid foundation on which to build character."
Heather grew up in Southern California and attended local schools. She received her B.A. in Literatures and Cultures of the English Speaking World at the University of California, Merced. She returned to Southern California inspired to teach. She is passionate about helping students become better readers. She has also had much success in tutoring mathematics. In her free time, she enjoys baseball, visiting museums, and reading.