Erika Carson knew she had found her calling when she joined Trilogy, a company formerly dedicated to virtual tutoring of school-aged children. When that company changed its business model, Erika founded Brain Bodega, with a focus on online academic mentoring that provides concierge academic services. She also wanted to continue and strengthen the existing partnership with ASK as we work with childhood cancer patients and their siblings while they go through treatment and head into survivorship, all while trying to succeed in school. This year, we celebrate the 5th anniversary of our online tutoring program with Brain Bodega as our trusted academic partner!
“This partnership is deeply personal for me because I am a childhood cancer survivor of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia who experienced latent effects of chemotherapy,” recounts Erika. “I had ‘chemo brain,’ and struggled in graduate school. I hatched the idea for Brain Bodega while working on my PhD and knew that I could create a program that specialized in helping kids with trauma.”
“Some of our instructors and kids have been together for years, and we’re seeing real success stories as a result of our partnership."
Brain Bodega provides unique educational support with a wholistic approach. “We currently serve about 30 ASK students and their siblings and help with everything from focusing on specific curriculum needs to critical thinking skills and organizational skills. We don’t want to replicate the classroom, but rather tailor a program to the individual needs of each child and match their energy level.”
Each ASK client undergoes a thorough academic assessment and instructors are chosen to match the academic needs, as well as the personality, of each child. Then, they start their 1:1 mentoring. In conjunction with in-patient and out-patient clinic educational support from our Education Coordinator, Alma Morgan, Brain Bodega helps bridge the gap in missed classroom instruction and provides sometimes necessary extra instruction. “Parents are especially grateful for Brain Bodega because it provides the remediation needed after treatment, when children are transitioning back to school and struggling with the cognitive late effects of treatment,” explains Alma.
Erika says the best part of the partnership is that ASK clients and instructors are like family. “Some of our instructors and kids have been together for years, and we’re seeing real success stories as a result of our partnership. I’m so grateful to ASK for taking this leap of faith with me and believing that this partnership will best serve the ASK families.”