The Study Smart Tutors Team
Jack Friedman, Founder
Jack Friedman founded Study Smart Tutors Inc out of his dorm room at USC in 2007.
Jack founded Study Smart Tutors because he wanted to provide College Access Programming to students who wouldn’t otherwise receive it. Having personally trained thousands of teachers and students, Jack realizes how students learn and has a passion for helping them achieve their college dreams. The business plan for Study Smart Tutors Inc was awarded Top Undergraduate Business Plan by the USC Greif Center for Entrepreneurship in May 2010.
Jack enjoys working with students, and volunteers his time coaching high school entrepreneurs in the NFTE program. A Cum Laude graduate of USC and avid golfer and sports fan, Jack roots for the Trojans, Clippers, Lakers and Dodgers during his time off.
Katie Pratt, Academic Services Director
Katie Pratt graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hendrix College with a degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology in 2008. Katie became interested in secondary education when she taught immunology/health sciences at a summer program at Arkansas Governor’s School in 2008 & 2009. She started privately tutoring middle school & high school students in Fall 2009 in Dallas, TX. Katie also started working in test prep in 2010 teaching SAT & MCAT courses for The Princeton Review. In June 2010, Katie joined Teach for America Bay Area Corps. She taught chemistry at Skyline High School in Oakland for four years. While teaching at Skyline, Katie completed the CA BTSA Program and cleared her CA Credential in secondary science from Loyola Marymount University.
Molly Elkins, Academic Services Associate
Molly comes to Study Smart Tutors with over 20 years of teaching experience, much of that working with disadvantaged populations to help them reach academic and personal education goals. In other professional lives, Molly taught classes to help college students gain the reading and writing skills they would need to succeed in their academic classes; tutored younger students after school in writing, English and math skills; she commanded an army of volunteers who worked one on one with English learners and GED students; and opened and ran a GED testing center. In other types of classrooms, Molly has taught dance lessons and SUP yoga for fun.
Molly did her undergraduate work at Scripps College and obtained her M.Ed from California Lutheran University. In her spare time she enjoys girly old-fashioned things like cooking, knitting, reading, bread-baking, reading and being a mom.
Laura Orozco, Academic Services Coordinator
Laura Orozco joins Study Smart Tutors after working for a nonprofit organization. Prior to that, she provided behavioral services for children and adults with an autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. There, her work focused on child and adolescent behavior intervention. Following her time there, she had the opportunity to work for an organization that focused on increasing graduation rates for at-risk students by surrounding them with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. There she coordinated school wide events, case manage students and focus on the needs of underrepresented students.
Laura graduated from California Lutheran University’s Math Science Upward Bound program and first heard about Study Smart Tutors when she was working for the program as a college student. She is passionate about SST’s mission and hopes to make an impact in her community.
Laura enjoys spending time with her family and her dog Tuck. Some of her hobbies include hiking, working out and cheering for the Dodgers!
Saru Ramanan, SoCal Program Manager
Saru Ramanan joins Study Smart Tutors as the Southern California Program Manager, and brings with her experience in social enterprise, program development, technology, and program management. Previously, she managed a social enterprise within a regional child and family services organization. There, she built partnerships with public-sector agencies and nonprofit organizations and developed clinical training content, led research projects, and oversaw program strategy.
Saru earned her MPA from the University of Southern California, where she concentrated in Nonprofit Management and Policy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Composition from The Ohio State University. Saru has deep interest and experience in social justice and has worked for the federal government and on grassroots international development projects in Nepal and India. Her work abroad has focused around child welfare and social innovation.
Kevin Snyder, NorCal Regional Director
Kevin joins Study Smart Tutors as the Northern California Program Manager following time spent in the educational, non-profit, and technology realm. Following three years as a high school English teacher in the Philadelphia area, Kevin decided to relocate to the much warmer and pleasant Bay Area. He then went on to work as a program manager for an Educational Technology company that focused on creating adaptive software to encourage student matriculation to college.
Kevin graduated from West Chester University with degrees in English Literature and Secondary Education, where he was able to develop and demonstrate his passion for increasing college access for underserved students. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys hiking, climbing, skiing and anything else that involves the great outdoors.
Kirstie Price, NorCal Program Manager
Kirstie graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a degree in Business Communications. During her sophomore year, she spent a semester in Ecuador volunteering as a mentor/tutor for children in an indigenous village. This experience ignited Kirstie's passion for working with the underprivileged and underserved. After graduation, Kirstie spent a year in Madrid Spain teaching English to school students and adults. Now back in California, Kirstie has worked with middle school ESL students by helping them integrate into standard classes. Kirstie brings her passion for working with low-income families, and her business background with her to Study Smart. For fun, Kirstie loves to travel and has been to 30 countries and counting!
Bree Beltran, Administrative Coordinator
Bree joins Study Smart Tutors after working with a nonprofit organization as a Family Case Manager. Her work focused on collaborating with district personnel, school staff, and other mental health professionals to help students with an Individualized Education Plan access their education. She provided and managed therapeutic services directly to children, youth and families. Bree has a passion for helping other realize their dreams.
Bree earned her Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University and her Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from California Lutheran University. In her spare time Bree enjoys spending time with family, knitting, reading, bowling and hiking.
Jeffrey Harris, Parchment Inc
Jeffrey Harris is Co-Founder of Parchment Inc. In 2002, Jeff and his partners set out to modernize the way that education credentials were requested, processed and delivered. Today, Parchment sends more than 20 million documents a year for students around the world. Known as the “father of the e-Transcript”, Jeff’s biggest achievement was creating the technology that powers the way high schools and colleges exchange transcripts for college admissions purposes. Jeff is a proud alumnus of Pepperdine University and resides outside of Los Angeles.
Andrew Byer, Promethean LLC
Andrew Byer has been in the K-12 education business for fifteen years years. Andy currently serves as the Head of Solution Sales for Promethean, a global education company that improves learning productivity by developing and implementing interactive learning environments.
He co-founded and successfully sold a California snack food distribution company; launched two technology start-ups, and was key in acquiring a Student Information System software company, Software Technology, Inc., with private equity funding, for which he served as the Executive Vice President. Prior to joining STI, Andrew was the Vice President of Business Development, Sales and Marketing for TriVision Technologies. Before joining TriVision, he served as the CEO and President of eGreatCause.com, an online fundraising company serving over 2,500 schools nationwide. He also founded, managed and sold Charles Chips of Southern California.
Kevin Weiss, Polymath Ventures
Passionate about education, Kevin serves as an advisor, focused on growing the organization’s reach and forming key partnerships. He has also represented Study Smart Tutors at a number of events, including the Clinton Global Initiative.
Outside of Study Smart Tutors, Kevin has worked for businesses and government institutions in the U.S., Southern Africa, and Latin America. Kevin’s other core interests include prison reform, yoga, and Labrador retrievers.