get to know us!
The mission of New Frontiers in Learning is to provide the highest quality education and social support services to young adults who learn differently. Our ongoing personalized programming is designed to meet the needs of students who benefit from individualized supports in the areas of academic learning, executive functioning, and social interaction at the secondary and postsecondary levels.
We are a support program for middle school, high school and college students of all ability levels, including students diagnosed with various learning differences as well as those who may simply benefit from some assistance developing time management, organizational, financial management, or related executive functioning skills.
We provide services in The Tri-State Area, as well as remotely via video conferencing. Our supports allow students to apply for and attend colleges based on their plan of study or personal campus preferences. We work collaboratively with the schools to assist students in learning how to access the supports available on their respective campuses, while providing the supplementary supports students need in order to be successful in high school and college environments.
At New Frontiers in Learning, we strive to provide students with individualized coaching through authentic learning experiences that assist in the mastery of 5 critical skill areas.
It is important for students to have key foundational knowledge and skills to be able to comprehend text, write fluently, and perform basic math functions. Students develop such skills in collaboration with their individual coaches and use the backdrop of their academic responsibilities to develop these skills.
Executive functioning skills are the set of processes that manage, control, and regulate one’s other cognitive processes, and include such skills as inhibition, planning, organization, and working memory.
Students use their own assignments and responsibilities to build competence for survival in today's world. Executive functioning instruction focuses on skills such as organization, planning, prioritizing, self-monitoring, goal setting, and time management.
Self-advocacy is the ability to represent oneself, one’s views, and interests.
Students develop their ability to seek out appropriate supports and resources on campus when necessary, while receiving advocacy supports from their coaches.
With coaching supports, students learn how develop various independence skills, such as self-monitoring, initiating tasks, coping with obstacles, etc.
New Frontiers in Learning offers individualized academic and social coaching and tutoring during the school year, winter and summer sessions for high school and college students. Current high school students, students transitioning from high school to college, and current college students are all encouraged to apply!
Individually scheduled weekly one-on-one coaching sessions are offered to students taking summer and winter session courses. Students meet with their coaches as often as necessary. Coaches provide support for middle school, high school and college level coursework.
Session Dates: Summer and winter session tutoring dates are subject to the institutions’ summer and winter session academic calendars.
Location: Students have the option of meeting with their coach at our main office located at 80 Broad Street in New York City or in our Long Island office located at 142 Mineola Avenue in Roslyn Heights. Coaches can also meet with students in a place more convenient to the student's schedule in the New York City, Long Island, Westchester, and Northern New Jersey areas.
Summer in the City days consist of meaningful social and cultural experiences tied to the development of executive functioning ability for life-long independence. Coaches are available in the mornings and afternoons to meet and bring students to Grand Central and Penn Station.
Students participate in daily check-ins where staff and students are able to connect with and reflect on how they are feeling each day, as well as review the upcoming activities, trips, etc. Students also use this time to participate in ice breaker activities and to share current events, both of which give students the opportunity to practice their interpersonal communication skills in a safe and supportive environment.
This is a time for students to develop their listening and reading comprehension skills with the goal of being prepared for the demands of college level English, writing, and literature classes. Our students participate in a book club, where they read short stories written by well known, classic authors and new writers fresh on the literary scene. Our book club gives the students an opportunity to dig deeper into literature and develop their higher level text comprehension skills (i.e., story analysis, prediction, author's perspective, imagery, etc.) with a focus on critical and analytical thinking skills.
Using creative writing prompts, students also participate in creative writing activities. Students learn to brainstorm a topic to write about, outline their piece, revise and make final edits, critique a peer's work, and share their own work with a group of peers.
Executive functioning skills, such as time management, planning, and organization are addressed. Students learn how to use a calendar for a variety of different reasons, such as keeping track of classes, study times, extracurricular activities, etc. Students learn to use both traditional tools, as well as technology to organize their responsibilities and set reminders for important dates, meetings, etc. Students work alongside staff to plan attractions throughout the city, taking into account all important aspects, such as hours of operation, cost, and travel routes.
Students learn navigation skills by helping to plan routes via subway and walking. Examples of activities include museums, parks and natural landmarks. Past visits have included: The Intrepid, The Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Jewish Heritage, The New York Aquarium, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, 9/11 Memorial, sightseeing cruises, and many more!
New Frontiers in Learning's College Readiness Experience is a summer program for students that are interested in preparing for the rigors of college life. Students will build foundations and develop skills in the areas of academics, executive functioning, self-advocacy, campus/residential life, and independence. Students participate in small group activities and discussions to develop skills through a curriculum that focuses on preparing them for the transition to college and young adult life. Throughout each three week session, students will work on skills specific to being a successful college student.
New Frontiers in Learning's Individualized College Transition Plan is a unique program for students that have been accepted to, and are getting ready to attend, college. Students will work one-on-one with their coach to gain a better understanding of the differences between high school and college, as well as identify the resources available on the campus they will be attending. Students will develop strategies and systems to access resources on their respective campus while focusing on five critical skill areas: Academics, Executive Functioning, Self-Advocacy, Social Engagement, and Residential Life/Independent Living
New Frontiers in Learning’s skilled career advisors provide career development coaching to individuals who may benefit from assistance with the time management, organizational needs, and initiating and follow through behaviors necessary to find and sustain meaningful employment. Services include:
• Cover letter and resume building and revising
• Interview preparation and follow-up
• Job identification and development
• Job search and retention
Individuals will receive assistance in advocating for accommodations at job sites as appropriate. Career advisors are available to students throughout the year and provide ongoing support as needed to employers, employees, and families.
New Frontiers in Learning's Independent Living Program builds a network of supports for individuals establishing themselves as independent adults. Utilizing a personalized approach, we assist individuals in identifying and meeting their personal goals in the areas of independent living, finding and sustaining employment, and developing a meaningful and relevant social community.
• Assistance with roommate matching as applicable to the individual and includes connecting potential roommate candidates and facilitating introductory meetings
• One-hour sessions with coaches are held individually or in roommate pairs located in the home 1-3 times per week (once a week can be a remote session)
• Coaches guide in the establishment of individualized goals focused around executive functioning and independence
• Staff available for individuals via phone and email communication
• Skills worked on:
1. Scheduling and follow through of weekly responsibilities and
2. Making and following through with other appointments (i.e., doctor)
3. Budgeting and bill paying
4. Cleaning and meal preparation
5. Navigating interpersonal/roommate relationships
6. Assistance in planning, organizing, and scheduling individual
or small group social/recreational activities
7. Hygiene and self-care
• Social Planning Meetings: Once a week all participants will attend a 1 to 2-hour planning meeting in order to coordinate the week's social events
• Group focus will be developing and utilizing the executive functioning skills necessary to initiate, plan, and implement social activities, as well as teamwork, delegation of responsibilities, respect for another's home, community development, etc.
• Example of an activity: Potluck dinner and a movie that is budgeted by the individuals and hosted by varying participants each week.
• Social events: Two 3 to 4-hour fun events based on participants' interests will be planned each week; individuals will participate in a minimum of one per week.
• Skills worked on: Time management, interpersonal skills, budgeting, and teamwork.
• One-hour individual sessions and small group seminars with coaches held each week
• Skill development necessary to find and sustain meaningful employment
• Liaison between employers and individuals if necessary
• Skills worked on:
1. Cover letter and resume building and revising
2. Interview preparation and follow-up for internships and jobs
3. Identification of employment and volunteer opportunities
4. Job readiness skill development
5. Job etiquette and navigating the social piece of working
6. Employment transition and retention
Tier 1: Social Community Supports or Job Coaching/Management only
Tier 2: Independent Living and Social Community Supports or Social Community Supports and Job Coaching/Management
Tier 3: Independent Living, Social Community, and Job Coaching/Management
1. Application: Interested candidates must submit a brief application which includes contact information, educational/employment history, strengths and needs, etc.
a. Enrollment Application
b. Roommate Questionnaire
2. Evaluation: Please submit a copy of the applicant’s most current neuropsychological or psychoeducational evaluation or IEP.
3. Two Letters of Reference: References can be academic, career-related, and/or personal and should focus on the applicant’s qualities, character, and attributes.
4. In Your Own Words: In 200-250 words, please tell us a little about yourself. This should include your academic and/or career, social, and independent living goals.
5. In-Person Meeting: All applicants attend a “getting to know you” meeting where they have the opportunity to learn more about services provided. There is a $250 non-refundable application fee collected at the in-person meeting.
The New Frontiers team is committed to providing high quality support services that enable and empower adolescents and young adults to meet the academic and social rigors of school and to prepare them for life-long success. Each member of our team is well versed in working with students with challenges in academic learning, executive functioning, and social interaction at the secondary and postsecondary levels.
Each administrator holds a minimum of a Master’s degree in Special Education, as well as previous experience working with an adolescent and postsecondary population. Our coaches have, at minimum, a Bachelor’s degree from a variety of highly accredited universities. The credentials of the New Frontiers staff include several publications, conference speaking engagements and workshops, special education teaching licensure, college teaching, and advanced certificates in autism spectrum disorders.
Daniel grew up in an entrepreneurial and educationally-minded family, and has spent his entire adult life in the world of education management and entrepreneurship.
He graduated from The George Washington University with a Bachelor of Business Administration (concentration in Marketing). Daniel joined his father at the firm he started over 25 years ago to provide high-quality educational opportunities to students and families ranging from General to Special Education, spanning Early Childhood to K-12. Through the growth of the business and creating/expansion of at least half a dozen schools and related programs over the better part of a decade, he was lucky enough to direct projects and departments including but not limited to operations, admissions, facilities, and marketing, while helping shape the conversations around construction, real estate, finance and human resources.
These collective experiences gave him the foundation and confidence to establish New Frontiers in Learning. As Founder/Executive Director, Daniel’s role incorporates strategic vision, financing/budgeting, branding/marketing and overall leadership aimed at ensuring a professional and enjoyable work environment and the absolute best place for students and families seeking support.
His work defines him personally and professionally, and the team-oriented, quality-above-all-else approach taken at New Frontiers motivates him to move the organization forward every day.
Samantha Feinman, MS. Ed., TSHH, graduated from the State University of New York at Cortland with a BS in Speech Pathology and Audiology, and a minor in Psychology of the Exceptional Child. Her Master's degree, from Long Island University's C.W. Post campus is in Special Education, with a concentration in autism spectrum disorders. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her experience includes: Teacher of the Speech/Hearing Impaired at the Developmental Disabilities Institute in Suffolk County, NY, Special Education Teacher in Nassau County, NY, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Special Education Program in the School of Education at Pace University. Samantha sits on the Executive Board for CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) of Nassau County and is a member of the Long Island Professionals ADHD Consortium, as well as the Long Island Learning Specialists' Group. Samantha has presented research, workshops and professional development seminars and webinars at various national conferences, CUNY and private colleges, high schools, SEPTAs and local organizations.
As a founding team member, Samantha served as the Campus-Life Coordinator for a college support program for students with autism spectrum disorders and related learning differences. Her responsibilities as Campus-Life Coordinator included coordinating social support services, facilitating student engagement in campus activities, working with the Director of Residential Life to plan housing arrangements, supporting students in the residence halls, and educating and supporting residential staff. Samantha has considerable experience supporting students academically at the postsecondary level, as well as experience working directly with students and families to assist them in the college transition process. As Director of New Frontiers in Learning, Samantha believes that building a strong academic and social skills foundation, coupled with the development of executive functioning skills, are the keys to success for our students in college and beyond.
Marty McGreevy brings many years of experience in the human services and special education field to New Frontiers in Learning. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Management from Providence College. Marty is a former AmeriCorps volunteer; during his service he taught environmental studies in the Adirondacks. Additionally, he holds an M.Ed in Special Education from The University of Vermont. He brings a passionate and committed energy to our team and works to build on each student's strengths to promote a sense of purpose and independence.
Raul Jimenez II, MST, is a graduate of the Autism Specialist Post- Graduate Program at Pace University. He earned his Master's Degree in Special Education, while serving as a New York City Teaching Fellow. His undergraduate degree in Psychology was received from Connecticut College.
Raul brings over 10 years of experience teaching youth with learning challenges across the United States. His experience includes classroom teaching, as well as residential management. His strong commitment to community service and to young people with disabilities has been evidenced through his outstanding contributions, including his work as a member of Americorps NCCC, a national community service program, whose projects included working at a homeless shelter in Utah and building homes for migrant farm workers in Southern California.
Raul is someone who has found his passion of working with students through his experience teaching, studying and researching the ever-changing field of autism spectrum disorders. He is a strong advocate, and has a natural ability to build relationships with young adults. He brings a multi-faceted experience to the NFiL team to help the students to reach their fullest potential.
Casey graduated from Lafayette College with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in both Government and Law and Economics, with a minor in Africana Studies. The broad scope of his education, coupled with the nature of a liberal arts college, has provided him with content knowledge applicable across different courses of study. Since high school, Casey has tutored students with physical and learning disabilities. He joined the NFiL team in the spring of 2013, providing academic and social support as a part-time coach to college students with diverse learning needs. Casey believes that there is no single approach to teaching students, and that an individualized and personal approach to each student is the best way to help them succeed through high school, college, and beyond.
Kasey joins New Frontiers in Learning with insight and enthusiasm cultivated from many years of working with individuals of different abilities from early childhood to young adulthood. Her experiences range from volunteering as a swim coach for Special Olympics to working with infants with developmental delays. Kasey studied English at SUNY College at Oneonta, returning home to begin working as a Teacher’s Assistant in a one-to-one Early Intervention Group Developmental Model. Drawing from her work and volunteer experiences, Kasey individualized care depending on the abilities and goals for each child in the class. Kasey’s classroom experience enabled her to progress to a Case Manager/Site Administrator position, where she further facilitated the center/home based therapies for children and their families. Her administrative and communicative skill sets, compounded by her experience in the education field, led her to become Outreach Coordinator and Brand Ambassador for Explore + Discover. She has worked with organizations such as the NYC Food Bank and NYC Mammas Give Back to facilitate food and diaper drives, as well as clothes and toy collections for families in need. Given the nature of the New Frontiers’ mission to provide supports that are both personalized and strengths-based, Kasey is a perfect fit on the team. With a focus on outreach and public relations, she is excited to help connect the community to the supports available through the organization.
Fallon is a New York State and nationally certified school psychologist currently completing her Ph.D. in School Psychology at Fordham University. She received her Master's Degree in Education from Brooklyn College, where she graduated with honors. Fallon has extensive experience across academic contexts, from preschool to college, supporting students' academic and social-emotional development. She joins New Frontiers in Learning from a therapeutic preschool program, where she assessed children for special education eligibility, developed Individual Educational Programs, and consulted with parents and clinicians regarding children's educational and clinical needs. She is passionate about fostering a collaborative relationship with students to help instill their interest in learning and encourage their success.
Lexi graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Child and Family Studies from Oneonta State College. She continued her education with the professional goal of helping others, and obtained her Master's Degree in Social Work from Fordham University. Lexi's passion to guide others to reach their highest potential grew after working with adolescents. She consistently incorporates her knowledge and understanding of differentiation and utilizes a strengths-based approach to guide students in reaching their fullest potential. Keeping a positive outlook and maintaining positive energy are key philosophies that Lexi incorporates in all aspects of her career and life.
Ashley holds Masters Degrees in both Spanish and TESOL from NYU. After teaching Spanish at the K-12 level, she switched to her real passion: English Language Learners in higher education. She has taught First-Year Experience Courses at Marymount Manhattan College and taught in the CUNY CLIP program at Bronx Community College. Currently, she is the Academic Coordinator and a Lecturer in the LINCC Program as well as an instructor of Latin American Studies at Nassau Community College, where she has been for 10 years. She has published for Idiom, as well as presented at several New York State TESOL, Long Island ESOL and International TESOL Conferences. She is also a part of the Conference Planning Committee for the annual Long Island ESOL Conference. In addition, she is a Co-Chair for the Higher Education Special Interest Group (SIG) for New York State TESOL and has led workshops at the Literacy Assistance Center (LAC). Her presentations and interests include teaching civility/appropriate academic language and behavior in the university classroom and bridging the gap between high school and mainstream university classes.
Jillian is a currently earning a Master's Degree from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. She has a Master's Degree in Special Education from Pace University through the New York City Teaching Fellowship. She completed her undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Jillian has worked with people with disabilities for over a decade in a variety of settings. This experience led her to pursue a career in education. As a former public school teacher, she has learned the importance of encouraging students to achieve their goals both inside and outside of the classroom. She believes that with the proper support, every student has the potential to become successful. She follows a holistic approach to learning that involves student directed instruction, social-emotional support and self- advocacy. Jillian hopes to continue her work as an advocate for children with disabilities and become a school social worker after the completion of her MSW.
Julia graduated from Providence College in 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in psychology. She recently earned her M.S. Ed in Therapeutic Interventions in May 2015 from Fordham University, where she is currently pursuing her PhD in School Psychology. She has worked with students of all ages and in many different settings, from running an after-school program in low income neighborhoods in Providence, RI with local youth, to working as a teaching assistant in special education classrooms in a BOCES program for the past 8 years. She was raised by two phenomenal teachers that taught her the importance of learning, working hard, and never ceasing to look for ways to overcome obstacles. She hopes that her passion for education and the belief that anyone can develop the skills to achieve their goals will help her to assist students in need.
Nicholas earned his Masters degree at SUNY New Paltz and his Bachelor of Science at SUNY Cortland. Both of his degrees were in Adolescent Education with a Concentration in Mathematics. He comes from a family of educators and feels that education is the foundation of the future. Nicholas has worked with students from five years of age all the way through college. He has been fortunate enough to work with students from a wide variety of backgrounds and abilities, and he has taught in various academic settings. Through his foundation in mathematics, ability to create a rapport with students, and classroom experience, Nicholas plans to help students grow both academically and personally.
Alex graduated in 2014 with her Juris Doctorate from the Hofstra University Maurice A. Deane School of Law. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, also from Hofstra University.
Alex loves learning and education, and believes that everyone has the capacity to succeed if given the proper tools. Her diverse education has provided her with the understanding that all people learn differently and all areas of study have their own approach. Through this knowledge, Alex hopes to help her students develop a love of learning and a passion for success in a way that works for them.
Sheila Simchon-Steinhof, MS, received her Master's Degree and NY State Certification as a School Psychologist in 2006 from Touro College. In early 2013, Sheila was appointed by the Governor of New York as a member of the Advisory Council for Licensed Private Career Schools. Shortly after joining the council, she was nominated chair of the Student Access Subcommittee. Her role as Student Advocate focuses on helping students with disabilities receive support and services on state and federal levels. Sheila is currently attending Fordham University where she is completing her License in Clinical Social Work, LCSW.
Sheila has served as a Learning Disabilities Specialist since 2006, training professionals in higher education on the best practices of working with students with learning disabilities. She has also been providing clients with psycho-educational assessments to obtain appropriate accommodations and services, and providing individual support to students struggling in school, career and life. Other previous roles also include: CUNY Learning Disabilities Project Coordinator (2006-2011) and Vice President of Programs at the Learning Disabilities Association of New York City (2011-2015).
With dedicated passion, Sheila works with every client to maximize their potential and offer individualized guidance to support and empower for success.
Victor attended Stony Brook University where he earned both his Master of Arts degree and Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. He has a keen interest in acquiring and sharing knowledge, and has collaborated on several research studies at Stony Brook University and Columbia University. His research experience spans several different domains and populations; this enables him to understand each student individually, and to demonstrate the care and sensitivity required to better foster their needs. Victor sees the inherent value of each student, identifies their strengths and interests, and strives to cultivate them to produce the best intellectual outcomes. He enjoys music, film, and kayaking.
Elisabeth’s undergraduate degree in Psychology was received from Centenary College in 2012. She earned her Master’s Degree in School Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2014. Elisabeth is currently a school psychology doctoral student at Fairleigh Dickinson University expected to graduate in May 2017. Having already achieved a passing score on The Praxis Series® School Psychologist examination, Elisabeth will become a nationally certified school psychologist (NCSP) upon graduation. As an aspiring school psychologist, Elisabeth’s unique skills make her the ideal professional and resource to assist children who learn differently. She is qualified to provide direct support and interventions to help children succeed academically and socially. Her collaboration with students, families, school personnel, and other professionals creates a safe and supportive learning environment. Elisabeth has experience providing support services to children who learn differently. Very similar to the services provided by New Frontiers in Learning, Elisabeth was an academic coach for FDU COMPASS: Asperger’s Program. The program’s mission is to help college students with Asperger's Syndrome recognize and make use of existing academic and social strengths. Elisabeth is currently a psychoeducational therapist at the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) at Albert Einstein College of Medicine providing remedial strategies and educational therapy techniques to adolescents. She is also an Individual Social Skills counselor for an extended school year program providing support in terms of problem-solving, social skills training and behavior management.
El Schneider is a graduate from Hunter College, where she was Valedictorian of her class. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. While at Hunter, El worked at the Office of Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell and at the Hunter LGBT Social Science and Public Policy Center where she did research on anti-bullying policies and programs. She also proudly served as a mentor for new students with interest in public policy and social service. El is the first recipient of the Lew Todd Scholarship from the Stonewall Democrats of New York for service in the LGBT Community. El is working on a Master’s Degree in Social Work and hopes to continue her work with adolescents and young adults throughout her career.
Bill earned a BA in English Literature from Loyola University in Maryland and a Master’s Degree in Special Education at Pace University while serving in the New York City Teaching Fellows program. Bill also received an Advanced Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Pace University where he conducted action research on the effects of social stories and technology on the socialization skills of students with autism.
Bill fell in love with teaching while working at a community center for disadvantaged children in Santiago, Chile during a semester abroad. He has collected a diverse array of teaching experiences ranging from tutoring children of migrant workers to implementing positive behavioral interventions for children with autism, emotional and behavioral disorders, and other developmental disabilities. He has taught special education in New York City for the past six and half years and has helped transition students with disabilities from a self-contained setting to general education programs, as well as to a school-to-work program as part of Project Search at Montefiore Hospital. Bill is a firm believer that all individuals can achieve their dreams when given the right nurturing and support.
Amanda graduated as a Commonwealth Honors College Scholar with distinction from the University of Massachusetts- Amherst with a B.A. in Psychology. She is currently a fourth year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Through her clinical training, she has worked with patients across the lifespan that are managing a wide range of psychopathology and disabilities. Born and raised in New York, she was always aware of and fascinated by the unique human experiences within the ever-evolving and shifting cultural landscape around her. These dynamics sparked an interest in social justice, and as a graduate student, Amanda’s scholarly interests include the intersection between policy and psychology. Specifically, Amanda is interested in policy reformation to improve public education and eradicate barriers to mental healthcare nationwide. As a graduate student intern with the American Psychological Association at the United Nations, Amanda is actively involved in the NGO Committee on the Family and the NGO Child Rights Committee. Amanda also serves as an adjunct psychology instructor at Mercy College and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Annabelle is a PhD student studying Clinical Psychology at Long Island University. She graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology and a minor in American Sign Language. She has worked with youth of all ages in managing both academic and personal stressors. Through these experiences, Annabelle has gained a deep appreciation for the resilience and fortitude of young people. She personalizes her approach to each and every student in order to foster agency and provide the tools necessary for success. Annabelle grew up in New York City and attended the Rodeph Sholom School and the Spence School. She enjoys reading, photography, and spending time with her four younger siblings.
Kate brings over a decade of experience to the field of academic coaching. She earned both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Special Education, and for the past ten years has taught and coached students with learning differences and special needs. Kate has extensive experience coaching students with a variety of disabilities, ranging from students with mild attentional challenges to more involved students who require complete learning and daily living support. Additionally, Kate previously worked as an executive functioning tutor for students at high-performing high schools in New York City. In 2014, she founded and directed a New York City tech-based summer program for teenagers with high functioning Autism. Kate currently lives in Connecticut and serves as an educational consultant, curriculum developer, and educational coach to high school and college-aged students.
Sarah is currently a doctoral candidate in the School Psychology program at Fordham University. She has had extensive experience working with individuals with diverse learning needs and is passionate about eliciting positive change in children and students. In high school, she worked as a summer camp counselor for elementary aged students and was also a volunteer for a program that assisted students with developmental disabilities. During her time in college in New Orleans at Tulane University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Social Policy, she tutored students at nearby public elementary schools who were suffering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The experience of working with these students helped her realize that, with a strong rapport and trust between student and coach, tutor, or mentor, positive change is possible.
In May 2014, Sarah received her Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from Fordham University. During this time, she also worked at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where she administered diagnostic assessments and wrote formal psychiatric reports offering recommendations for educational, therapeutic, psychological, and psychiatric services. She also co-led a social skills group for six children diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Sarah continues to positively impact others and foster relationships at New Frontiers in Learning by providing support and increasing student motivation. She is also interested in mindfulness, yoga, and photography and hopes to instill creative and mindful approaches to learning with the students she works with to help them achieve their goals.
Rebecca is a Clinical Psychology doctoral student at Long Island University in Brooklyn, where she is training to be a psychotherapist and is engaged in various research endeavors. After obtaining her Bachelors of Arts degree in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies and working for non-profit organizations that promote ethnic reconciliation, Rebecca realized that she wanted to shift her focus to promoting positive change at the individual level, focusing directly on a person's psychological well-being in order to promote mental and emotional well-being. Prior to starting her doctoral program, Rebecca obtained a Masters of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University Teachers College and worked as a Vocational Counselor at a GED program for 16-21 year olds. Through her work with adolescents and young adults, she gained skills in one-on-one academic and vocational counseling within a therapeutic framework and solidified her passion for working with young people who have a wide range of learning needs. Rebecca is excited to continue working with young people, both therapeutically and academically, throughout her career.
Katarina has a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science, with an emphasis in Linguistics, from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has previous professional experience as an Applied Behavioral Analyst, working with students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and as a research assistant investigating the cognitive processing of adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Broadly, her interests pertain to the interactions between communication and cognition.
She currently studies Speech-Language Pathology as a Master’s student at New York Medical College. For her thesis, Katarina is currently designing a multi-modal, emotion recognition treatment program for individuals with TBI. Professionally and personally, Katarina is both dedicated to and inspired by the people with whom she works.
Max Hensley attended Brandeis University and Ramapo College of New Jersey, and received his Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science. He has taught and tutored students since graduation, and is passionate about cultivating the strengths of students with disabilities, as well as students from disadvantaged backgrounds. As a teacher, he draws not only on his experience working with students of various disabilities and backgrounds, but also on his own history and journey with learning and instruction. He strives to approach every student with patience and attention to highlight their strengths and support their learning needs.
Kirsten graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Biology, Microbiology, and Anthropology. She first began working in the autism community after receiving her own ASD diagnosis at the age of 19. She has worked with a wide range of children and adults providing care, instruction, and consultation as a classroom teacher, workshop leader, public speaker, and event manager. She also trains professionals and families to better work with and understand their loved ones on the spectrum. Because she herself is autistic, Kirsten’s greatest strength is in empathizing with students, and acting as a bridge between them and the world they seek to connect with. She believes that every autistic can emerge from disability given the right tools and understanding, and that the most important step toward fostering communication is learning how to listen.
Michelle is a current graduate school student in the Museum Education program at Bank Street College of Education. Through her graduate program, Michelle frequently helps students with their reading and comprehension skills as well as executive function development. Additionally, she will be working at two elementary schools during the fall semester of 2016, assisting students in all subjects. Prior to making the decision to obtain her Master’s degree, Michelle worked in the field of Public Relations and Marketing where she worked on a global account, which afforded her the opportunity to understand how to decode cultural differences to work towards a common goal, a tool that can be translated into education in many ways. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA with a major in Sociology and Art Studio. Michelle looks forward to merging her passions for education and the arts in a way that is enjoyable, effective and fulfilling for the students that she works with at New Frontiers in Learning.
Stephanie was born in New York City and raised in Westchester County, New York. She graduated from Fordham University with a BS in Psychology and Master’s degree in Social work. Stephanie has worked in the field of social work since 2011, and has thoroughly enjoyed being a social worker/mental health provider for the past several years. Her experiences have allowed her to gain a unique approach and perspective to helping others. It has enabled her to approach difficult situations with much tranquility and grace. In addition, her experiences have empowered her to improve the status quo while assisting others, especially within youth populations. Stephanie has expanded her career into assisting others who want to learn and grow in their educational endeavors. She finds being able to coach others through the academic and executive functioning processes as very gratifying, and she goes above and beyond to support students in middle school, high school, college, and beyond.
Aakankshi is passionate about helping students actualize their potential and has recently obtained a Masters degree in Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also has a strong background in Psychology, having completed a Masters program in Applied Psychology from the Mumbai University in India. Working with students across different age groups and varied academic settings has given her a unique perspective on working with students with special needs. She has worked with young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, has provided career guidance to adolescents with physical disabilities, and has been trained to focus on the overall mental health and personal development of a student in addition to helping them achieve their academic goals. Aakankshi strongly believes that by providing individualized attention to students, and by tailoring teaching methods to suit the strengths and needs of each child, it is possible to help every student child capitalize on their talents and passions.
Patrick, a graduate of both the Macaulay Honors College and Adelphi University’s Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program, has an acute knowledge and interest in the art of writing, critical thinking, and reading comprehension skills across all subjects. Before joining the NFiL team, Patrick tutored students with diverse learning needs in a broad range of majors at Adelphi University’s Learning and Writing Center, including students in Adelphi’s Bridges Program. Patrick believes that no two students are alike, and that each person requires a candid, individualized approach in order to be succeed at every level of their educational journey.
Brian is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Long Island University and has worked in a variety of settings with children, adolescents, and adults. He got his start as a tutor while studying English at Fordham University, where he volunteered in a Bronx high school literacy program and also taught after school writing workshops. The son of two excellent school teachers, Brian works with students and families to identify how each student’s unique strengths can be used to foster improvement in areas that may be hindering success. His clear, organized style of communicating helps his students stay grounded and focused on specific, achievable goals.
A New York native, Austin graduated from The City College of New York with a degree in Studio Art. Austin has obtained a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) and was a tutor at an elementary school where he taught English as a second language. An avid fan of reading and the arts, Austin also currently works as a volunteer tutoring English Language learners. He always looks forward to merging his passions for reading and the arts in a way that is enjoyable, effective and fulfilling for the students that he works with at New Frontiers in Learning. Always looking for new things to learn, Austin is passionate about cultivating the strengths of the students he works with, and has adopted a patient and compassionate approach to bring out the best in them.
Michael Wilner earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Claremont McKenna College in California and a Master of Science in Journalism at Columbia University in New York. A trained communicator, Michael edited students’ work in his capacity as editor-in-chief of his college newspaper and as a coach at Claremont McKenna’s writing center, where he helped students find their own voices through the writing process. Michael now covers the White House, State Department and Congress for The Jerusalem Post as its Washington bureau chief, helping readers better understand a complex world. He believes that patience, practice and positive reinforcement are critical ingredients to the learning process for any student, but appreciates above all that each individual has his or her own learning needs.
Brittany earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from William Paterson University in 2011. She returned to William Paterson and completed a Teacher of Students with Disabilities endorsement program in 2015 and is currently earning a Masters of Arts degree in Special Education. Brittany also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and is certified to teach middle school social studies. For the past four years, Brittany has been teaching in a public school setting, working with students with disabilities. It has always been Brittany’s desire to work with children, helping them to grow and reach their full potential. She believes that education should build on the students’ interests and prior knowledge. Brittany understands that there are multiple intelligences, that children learn in different ways, and that lessons need to be structured so that all children can find something that interests and motivates them.
Lisa has a dual Master's degree in Special Education and Elementary Education from Manhattanville College, with permanent New York State certification in both areas. She also attended Bucknell University where she graduated with a BA in Economics. Lisa brings a wide range of special needs experiences to New Frontiers in Learning. A former special education advocate and paralegal at The Cuddy Law Firm in White Plains, NY, Lisa helped numerous clients with litigation, advocacy and estate planning matters. Prior to this, Lisa tutored in Manhattanville College's HELP Center, helping college students with learning disabilities and related challenges with college level writing, studying, time management and knowledge acquisition. For ten years, Lisa addressed the developmental needs of preschool students as a special education itinerant teacher (SEIT), working across Westchester County. As a SEIT, Lisa’s case management responsibilities included interacting with other educators, administrators, clinicians and families. Prior to her career in special education, Lisa spent 12 years as an advertising/publishing executive in account management and magazine promotion positions. In addition to her professional experiences, Lisa serves as VP and Board Member of the Dysautonomia Foundation, and raised over $2.2 million over the past 13 years as Co-Chair of the Tour de Foliage, an annual cycle tour to raise funds for medical research and treatment of Familial Dysautonomia. Lisa is the proud parent of two college-age daughters, one of whom has special needs.
Denise earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Education from St. Francis College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. She majored in Learning Disabilities and minored in Educating the Developmentally Delayed. Denise is continuing to work on obtaining a Master’s Degree and was trained in ABA methodologies by the Eden/Genesis School in 1997. Denise actively attends training in ABA methodologies, verbal behavior methodologies and Crisis Prevention and Intervention.
Denise’s career started as a teaching assistant in the Island Trees School District and substitute teacher in the Seaford School District, until she stumbled into the world of Preschool Special Education. After assisting the Director of Sunshine Developmental Pre-School in ushering in the newly formed Early Intervention Program, a significant part of her 28 year career was spent educating children with special needs from birth to the age of 5, in pre-schools and as a Consultant Special Ed teacher, staff trainer and Parent Trainer. Denise has experience with teaching in the NYCDOE and with various private Special Education schools, agencies serving the special needs population and school districts on Long Island.
Dawn earned her Master's of Arts degree from New York University in Business Education and Workplace Learning. She comes from a home where it was stressed that knowledge is power. She has over 10 years’ experience working at BOCES with special education and vocational training. Her experiences include admissions, work readiness instructor, professional development trainer, job coach, and instructor at Nassau Community College. She has also worked with and trained others who work with individuals with developmental disabilities in residential services. Dawn is deeply committed to ensuring that everyone gets the most out of their education and has access to every educational avenue available to them. Her teaching style focuses on academic and social skills training. She is passionate about promoting self-advocacy for students from all backgrounds.
Pamela is a graduate from Hofstra University, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Currently, Pamela is pursuing a master’s degree in Educational Psychology and a doctoral degree in School Psychology at Fordham University. Throughout her schooling, she has worked with individuals that have diverse needs in a variety of settings. Pamela has worked with students in managing both academic and personal stressors. She is passionate about eliciting positive changes in students.
Courtney holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Nonfiction writing from The New School University in New York, NY. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts in English from The University at Albany, where she minored in Education. Courtney pursued her passion of writing, and dove whole-heartedly into perfecting her craft, in order to share her knowledge and love of the English language with her students. She has taught English and writing at SUNY Fulton-Montgomery Community College, as well as has been a tutor of English and writing across the curriculum for six years. She has worked closely with students transitioning to college, both as an instructor and mentor. Courtney also has experience in working with students with disabilities at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. She actively scores the speaking section of the TOEFL exam, a test that is designed to evaluate English language proficiency. She believes that success is measured, not by accomplishments, but by working toward a goal every day and being proud of the effort you put in. She finds fulfillment in watching her students to become their best selves, both personally and academically, for if we are not learning, then we are not living.
Jesse graduated from the State University of New York College at New Paltz with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. Jesse’s work at a summer camp was two-fold; he was a camp counselor for children and young adults with developmental disabilities, helping campers to have a memorable summer experience while developing their social skills. Jesse also held an outreach role, working directly with the camp with regards to promotion work to parents and campers. It was during his experience at the camp that Jesse found his passion for helping people with disabilities. After spending two years working in marketing and sales in New York, he moved to California where he worked as a behavioral therapist for children and young adults on the autism spectrum. His experiences working with people of all learning abilities has led him to pursue a career focused on helping students realize their potential and accomplish their goals. He also enjoys being outdoors, trying new restaurants and practicing speaking Spanish.
Thomas Brown graduated from Hampshire College in 2014 with a BA in Art History and Philosophy. He is currently employed as a third grade Teaching Assistant at New Explorations into Science, Technology, and Math, a Gifted and Talented public school in the Lower East Side serving students K-12. Thomas has worked as a Teaching Assistant at Amherst College, a Museum Educator at the Smith College Museum of Art, and a French tutor for fourth grade students at the Frederick J. Dutile Elementary School in his native Billerica, Massachusetts. He has also worked at several prestigious art galleries in New York, including Tanya Bonakdar and Franklin Parrasch. Thomas is a highly organized individual who hopes to nurture in his students both a love of learning as well as a set of practical strategies for academic and professional success. Thomas also enjoys visiting New York City’s art institutions, making art, exercising, and traveling.
Thank you for your interest in New Frontiers in Learning! The following are required for admission into the program:
1. Application: Interested candidates must submit a brief application which includes contact information, high school/college information, and academic and social interests, strengths, etc.
2. Transcripts: Applicants must submit transcripts from all high school and college institutions attended.
3. Neuropsychological Evaluation: current evaluation (within the past 5 years) needs to be submitted. Results from an adult intelligence scale, such as the WAIS, should be included.
4. In-Person Meeting: All applicants will attend a "getting to know you" meeting where they will have the opportunity to learn more about the services offered.
All application materials should be sent to:
New Frontiers in Learning
80 Broad Street, Suite 1702
New York, NY 10004
Please contact Samantha Feinman, Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or
(646) 558-0085 with any questions regarding the application process.
1. What is the mission of New Frontiers in Learning? New Frontiers in Learning strives to provide the highest quality supports to adolescents and young adults who learn in unique ways. We personalize our supports to not only meet the needs of our students, but to also capitalize on their strengths and individual talents.
2. What services does New Frontiers offer? New Frontiers offers high school and college academic tutoring, as well as social and executive functioning support services. Tutoring and coaching services are provided during individually scheduled, one-on-one sessions throughout the entire year. New Frontiers’ coaches provide support for both high school and college level coursework, as well as support in the development of executive functioning skills. New Frontiers also offers two summer programs, each consisting of three three-week sessions, of which, students can come to one, two, or three sessions. During our full-day Summer in the City program, students spend the mornings participating in social and cultural experiences throughout the city (Museum of Natural History, Intrepid, etc.). Through these outings, students learn how to navigate the city, plan and initiate activities, live on a budget, and more. In the afternoons, the students participate in a book club, as well as varied executive functioning and leadership lessons. Some examples of lessons that the staff teach during the afternoon sessions include how to manage one’s time, techniques to identify and manage stress in young adulthood, and how to organize and prioritize responsibilities. Through our half-day College Readiness Experience, students get the opportunity to spend time working on the skills necessary to be college ready, such as academic foundations (written expression, reading comprehension, and conducting research), studying and managing your time in college, navigating the college campus, negotiating testing and classroom accommodations, and more.
3. How are services provided under the New Frontiers model? During the academic school year, students receive one-on-one, individualized coaching sessions, anywhere from 1 to 5 hours a week. The students follow a set schedule developed between the student and their coach. Students have the option of utilizing our office in lower Manhattan for their sessions; however, supports are also provided on campus when the students cannot commute to our office. When the students are unable to meet with us in person we can conduct session remotely. We use the backdrop of their everyday responsibilities in high school and college to develop these skills.
4. What type(s) of student(s) fit the New Frontiers model? Students who benefit from our services may struggle with various learning and academic differences and/or executive function deficits. Executive functioning can be defined as one’s cognitive processes that assist in the ability to manage and control other cognitive processes, and include skills such as time management and organization. Many times, our students have the academic ability to attend college but still need the extra supports New Frontiers provides in order to work through the rigor of the college curriculum, keep their courses organized, and plan out and manage their time to fit in all of their academic and social responsibilities.
5. What type(s) of skill(s) does New Frontiers work on? New Frontiers has identified 5 critical areas in which students need to be proficient for college readiness: foundational academics, executive functioning, social communication, independence, and self-advocacy. It is important for students to have key foundational knowledge and skills to be able to comprehend text, write fluently, and perform basic math functions. Executive functioning skills, such as time management and organization, help students to set and maintain a college routine. Social communication skills are integral in students getting involved on campus, as well as developing relationships with fellow classmates and professors. Independence and self-advocacy are necessary for monitoring one’s progress, coping with obstacles, and seeking appropriate supports when necessary. New Frontiers assists students in developing skills in all of these areas based on their individual learning profile.
6. What types of communication do you have with parents, professionals and other members of each family’s team/community? New Frontiers has developed a true culture of collaboration amongst staff, students, families, and professionals. We believe it’s important, and that the saying, "It takes a village…" certainly rings true when it comes to young adults transitioning from high school to college. Since our students are adults, we treat them as such; however, there are times (with student permission) that we communicate with his/her parents and other professionals to take all proactive steps to lead to their success. For example, our students have a set schedule of when they see their coach each week. When students do not attend their sessions, it can be for many reasons, such as avoiding coursework, abnormal sleeping patterns, medication changes, lack of time management, or memory issues. We reach out to parents when students miss their session, not to micromanage them, but to figure out as a team what the underlying cause is for the lack of attendance so that we can build in supports to move the student forward successfully.
7. What does a typical coaching session look like? Each session is unique to the student; however, there are systems that New Frontiers utilizes for each student to help set them up for success and to develop the critical skills necessary to become an effective college student. Our systems include, but are not limited to: reviewing the content of each class with a student; teaching the student how to break down large complex assignments into small and more manageable tasks; the creation of a next steps- checklist; and, the development of a system to organize time, tasks, and their other responsibilities. Our consistent checks and balances not only ensure academic success, but assist the students in developing their executive functioning skills in an authentic learning experience. Teaching students how to develop their own system of checks and balances helps them to become more independent in self-monitoring, which is extremely important in college, as it is the expectation. Without checks and balances, students may fall behind on their assignments, forget to hand assignments in, not give themselves enough time to complete a paper or study for an exam, etc. We teach students how to develop these systems, but also support them in following through with them during the development process.
8.What is the culture/environment like at New Frontiers? The culture is one of true collaboration, professionalism, and fosters a welcoming atmosphere. Our staff are compassionate and dynamic professionals who support the students’ needs for success throughout their entire time with New Frontiers.
9. What credentials are held by staff at New Frontiers in Learning? Each administrator holds a minimum of a Master’s degree in Special Education, as well as previous experience working with an adolescent and postsecondary population. Our coaches have, at minimum, a Bachelor’s degree from a variety of highly accredited universities. The credentials of the New Frontiers staff include several publications, conference speaking engagements and workshops, special education teaching licensure, college teaching, and advanced certificates in autism spectrum disorders. Our team is committed to providing high quality support services to enable and empower young adults to meet the academic and social rigors of school and to prepare for life-long success.
"New Frontiers in Learning has been invaluable in helping my son stay focused and on-track academically at his undergraduate college in New York city. Their coaches are very effective at both a practical and personal level. It's a worthwhile investment and we are happy to continue their services for our son moving forward."
"I found New Frontiers in Learning through a friend with a daughter who has a learning disability. From my very first conversation with New Frontiers in Learning, I knew I had found the right support program.
I could not have asked for anyone with more passion, experience, understanding and dedication than my son's coach. He knew how to connect with my son immediately, which is not an easy task. My son's coach took care of every issue at Westchester Community College which made my life less stressful.
My son's coach worked on executive functioning, staying organized within the course syllabi, reading and understanding all due dates, reading and understanding any directions given on the syllabus, breaking down assignments into smaller manageable tasks, giving my son daily to do lists and then teaching him how to check things off when completed.
Together they worked on the writing process, how to properly research, how to utilize sources, how to take a source for a paper and be able to read, skim and summarize and then incorporate it into his paper.
This support helped my son deal with his academic and social responsibilities and made sure that he felt comfortable. My son's coach has now prepared him to go away to a 4 year college. And if he wants to come home to a closer college, I know I can call on New Frontiers in Learning for help."
"New Frontiers in Learning (NFiL) is stellar! Programming at NFIL is innovative; it is didactic as well as experiential and provides a safe environment for students to learn about themselves as well as the world around them. Students benefit from working with a highly trained staff that is sensitive to their individual needs and experts at mapping out individualized plans for successful outcomes. NFIL also offers young people the opportunity to network and socialize with peers, which is critical for the development of positive interpersonal skills and healthy social relationships. New Frontiers in Learning is a student’s springboard to scholastic and career success!"
CUNY LEADS Advisor
"My son has been working with a coach from NFIL for 2 years now and it has been a great experience! It has enabled him to live away at college, stay organized, do well in his classes (Dean's list 2 semesters in a row!!) and negotiate working with the disabilities office and the housing office when problems come up. His coach also comes with him for meetings with professors if needed so no information gets lost. Daniel has gained so much confidence and independence. I would recommend NFIL (and already have!) to anyone whose child needs help with organization, academics and becoming more independent."
"My daughter just finished her second successful year of college. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the consistent support provided by her coach.
We have seen many improvements in all aspects of our daughter's skill; the skills needed to succeed academically and socially. This program has been such a blessing for us. I highly recommend the services New Frontiers in Learning offers.
This year I recommended their services to a friend. She recently contacted me to thank me. She shared with me her son's successful college experience. A much different year then last year primarily due to the New Frontiers in Learning supports he received this school year.
So, a big THANK YOU to the New Frontiers team. You have given my daughter the support needed to manage her daily college workload and navigate campus life."