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Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is an important skill for all young people, no matter what their age, but it isn't often taught in school! EDMO coaches can help kids at all grade levels specifically build their critical thinking abilities. In each session, the coach can help students learn how to compare and contrast sources of information and develop informed opinions in regard to print media, writing, and literature. Let the coach know if there's a specific topic your child wants to focus on, or the coach can provide support on specific concepts covered in their schoolwork. Recommended materials: Writing utensil and paper
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Choose Your Coach

Ken Der

Ken is thrilled to have the opportunity to inspire and challenge young minds while rocking the EDMO vibe! He is currently a sapling among the trees at Stanford University who hopes to one day grow into a (tall) civil engineer and city planner. On the side, he serves as the news director at campus radio station KZSU 90.1FM. He has spent the past two summers at EDMO's Alameda site, most recently as a Pro Maker Instructor, but his dedication to working with students began early on as the founder of a local mentoring program. Ken’s passion is guiding students along their quest in discovering their inner genius by leveraging their strengths and interests. You can often catch Ken in his natural habitat on board a city bus, or on the air talking about the news and interviewing fascinating people!

Erika Lutz

Bringing a 20+ years of experience as an artist, designer, and director, she believes in nurturing healthy hearts and minds through playful curiosity, creativity, and mindfulness based learning. Formerly VP of Design at Lumosity, her creative leadership and design produced top-ranking mobile apps, educational games, films, and broadcast television that have earned Emmy Award-winning recognition. She received her BFA from VCU School of the Arts in Communication Arts & Design, where she later taught animation and experimental storytelling. Erika has been a guest teacher at the Cartoon Art Museum, The Academy of Art, and AIGA, and is a mentor for outdoor youth programs through Sierra Club, National Parks Service, and Girl Scouts of America. She is certified as a UC California Naturalist and Leading Creative Ideation from Cooper U.

Benji Lenett

Since the age of 12, Benji has worked with EDMO, and has gained a respect and love for both the philosophies of kindness & courage and the transformation of kids able to be in its positive environment. With over seven years of experience with both counseling and tutoring in English and Grammar, Benji is hoping to be able to help facilitate a more focused learning environment in the home (and give parents a well deserved break!). Younger than most Coaches on the site – as a Freshman at Whittier College – Benji will bring youthful energy and positivity to whoever he works with. Benji believes that the best way to connect with kids beyond tutoring a subject is by engaging in their interests, while sharing laughs along the way.

Nicole Carlson

Nicole is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Cinema with a double minor in Animation and Computing Applications. She has chosen to pursue education because she believes technological skills are important to have in this new age of technology! Nicole is passionate about animation, programming, film, and art. Her favorite things to do when she’s not studying are drawing, painting, playing tennis, and surfing.

Anne Lockmiller

Annie received a B.A. in Sociology from UC Berkeley, and will complete her M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from San Jose State in December 2020. Annie's goal in education is to make a connection with every student she works with. She seeks to help kids develop through compassion and exploring their interests. Annie is dedicated to promoting social justice and cultural awareness to help students develop an informed and open-minded perspective on the world. She also believes in laughter and fun in education. She has experience in working with students in STEM fields as well as Social and Emotional Learning. She has experience with academic and career counseling, and has worked with children from ages 3-18.

Tina Barrentine

Tina Barrentine's favorite sound in the whole world is "Aha!" when a concept finally clicks in the mind of a child. She loves one-on-one teaching and figuring out what works best for each child. She home schooled her own three children through high school and has tutored other students from elementary school through college. She has worked as a tutor for a nonprofit after school program, an elementary school, a preschool, a library based service for adult literacy and GED prep, and for anyone who has reached out for help. Her life's motto is "Be available," and she strongly believes in doing whatever works best for each student to achieve success.

Julissa Martinez

Julissa Martinez is currently on her 4th year of college at the University of California Merced, majoring in Psychology and Public Health. She is bilingual; fluent in English and Spanish. The passion to create and help kids develop and grow to their best of their abilities with surrounding support and an encouraging environment is what strives her to be the best version of herself when working with kids. She has always been learning and working with kids from babysitting family members to volunteering and working with kids. Her career goals involve working with kids because she loves the experiences she's had with them; kids uplift and create a fun working environment. Education is a critical component in a kids development so when she can do something to provide help or support, she is driven to take on that opportunity to get kids striving in all that they do.

Jordie Marie Rippon

Jordie Marie Rippon is A graduate student studying Creative Producing and Management at CalArts. She has previously received a Bachelor's of Science in Technology Communication and Theater. She loves to create an environment that makes it fun to learn and loves to encourage and empower kids to think about problems differently as a tool to help solve the problem.

Mary Cron

Mary Cron specializes as an English tutor and values teaching young minds how to master the written word while also building self confidence. When Mary was a young student, she had tutors who gave her the self confidence and tools to pursue her dreams. And it is her passion to pass on the same enthusiasm to other young minds. She loves working with kids because as much as she is teaching them, they are teaching her about their world and perspectives. She has extensive experience tutoring in various levels that range from English Composition all the way up to Advanced Placement Literature. In addition, she has an Associates Degree in English Literature while currently working towards her BA at California State University Chico. Mary's passion is to teach young minds about the written word while also giving them confidence in how to express themselves.

Emily Cline

Emily Cline is excited to be an EDMO Coach! She is currently an undergraduate student at UCLA studying environmental science with concentrations in conservation biology and GIS. Emily loves working with kids because of the unique connections you can make and the invaluable perspective that kids have to offer. She is passionate about education, and believes that learning should be an immersive, engaging experience for all.