cake pic dan and meI wanted to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have allowed me the privilege of working with your teen. For over 35 years, I have been given a wonderful gift to be able to do what I love, get paid for doing what I love, and ultimately know that I have made a difference in another human being’s life! Many of my former students have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, CEO’s, husbands and wives. (I am often amazed at who I run into at the gym!) How cool is that!

Others of you I have met in seminars and workshops – again I thank you for taking the time to listen to what I love sharing. I hope you also allow me a similar privilege.

Some of you I have never met but have chosen to receive my newsletters. I hope you are  finding the information helpful as you learn invaluable insights and strategies to create a path from high school to college for your teen. I look forward to working with your teen when the time is right.

Though we live in a crazy, seemingly unstable world, Thanksgiving provides us with the perfect time to focus on what’s truly most important: our family and the abundant life we have the privilege to live. (Let me add that I am especially grateful as on November 8, I married the wonderful man I have been with for almost 10 years! See pic.)

So what are you most grateful for? Tell your family when you sit at the Thanksgiving table as sharing gratitude with each other actually makes that turkey and stuffing taste even better!

Don’t forget to sign up for Paul Rivas’ Study Skills Boot Camp beginning in February. He is amazing at teaching skills that truly impact how your teen approaches learning. NOTE: One session is getting full! (Note early registration discounts!)


Your high school experience is only as good as your study habits. Be the student who’s super on top of it! Learn the study skills you need to get high grades fast so you can hang out with your friends, do fun stuff, and prepare to make the most of your college experience.

Study Skills Boot Camp is a six-hour course designed to help high school students earn better grades in less time, covering:

Academic Personality Assessment – Figure out your strengths and goals,then plan accordingly.

Time Management – Schedule efficiently so you can do more fun stuff and cure procrastination.

Note taking – Write down only the right info to save time on studying and papers.

Reading Difficult Material – Read even the toughest material without spacing out, and remember it.

Studying Effectively – Be half a step ahead in your classes so you can take a road trip if one comes up.

Multiple Choice vs. Essay vs. Math/Science Exams – Know what’s on the test before it’s announced.

Writing Papers – Enjoy huge assignments; anybody who doesn’t is doing it wrong.


DATES: February 6 & 13 or February 21 & 28


LOCATION: BreakThrough Test Prep center in Potomac



Study Skills Boot Camp will be led by Paul Rivas, of Smith Rivas Academic Coaching and Consulting (, who  passed four AP tests, took 13 college classes in high school, and worked 20 hours per week as a senior. He got a full academic scholarship to UC Santa Barbara, where he triple majored in Math, Sociology, and Spanish, studied abroad, and worked 15-50 hours per week.

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