Updated: Apr 29, 2022
Shayna Abraham is the Founder and lead consultant for Prepare to Bloom Consulting, working with families to place clients in academic and therapeutic treatments and settings.
Shayna knew she wanted to teach and was planning on being a middle school science teacher. But, as a student, she worked with a consultant to find her right college placement and was inspired to become a consultant herself.
Why visiting schools and programs is key as a consultant:
As an educational and therapeutic consultant, she addresses the questions: What does the family and child need? Does what they both need exist?
Consulting is very relationship-based, which can be stressful when working with families in crisis. You need to be in a position where you are grounded and can be an anchor for these families. Shayna recommends visiting the programs and getting well versed in what these programs do. This way, you can rely on this knowledge when working with families.
As a lead consultant, Shayna will travel with a couple other consultants and go to schools/programs to observe firsthand what the environment is like. This makes sure that what she is recommending to the client will fit their needs.
It’s important to make sure that you are the right fit for your client. In fact, when families come to Shayna for help, she recommends that the families explore other consultants so that they feel confident in choosing the right one.
Starting a consulting business:
In creating Prepare to Bloom, she had to first find value in herself so that she could set proper boundaries in her business and set rates that she is confident in. Also, learning to be comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations that you’ll have to have with families.
Books that helped Shayna learn about business include the 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership and The Invisible Leader.
Tools that Shayna loves for organization and consulting include Google Calendar, the SRP database, and being in constant communication with her team.
Sean McCormick 0:01 This week on Earn More Tutoring, I talk with Shayna Abraham about her jetsetting life as an educational consultant, the importance of letting clients seek out a second opinion, and the ins and outs of dollars and cents. Shayna Abraham 0:15 Probably one of the biggest lessons I've learned has been how to comfortably talk about dollars and cents with families. Because again, that's not part of the training that I ever had. And so having to do the work to see my value was one portion of that. And then the other side was being comfortable with the uncomfortable conversations that you have to have with families. Sean McCormick 0:40 Welcome to Earn More Tutoring. I'm Sean McCormick, the founder of Executive Function Specialists, an online coaching business that helps middle high school and college students feel better organized. My guest today is Shayna Abraham. Welcome to the show, Shayna. Shayna Abraham 0:54 Thank you. I'm excited to be here. Yeah. Sean McCormick 0:56 So to start off, I would love for you just to share a bit more about your business and your different offerings. Please, please enlighten us. Shayna Abraham 1:04 Yeah, so I am the founder and lead consultant with prepare to bloom therapeutic and educational consulting. We are a team of three therapeutic and Educational Consultants based in both the San Francisco Bay Area and Park City, Utah. We work with families to help find different types of educational and therapeutic placements for children, adolescents and young adults ranging in age from usually 10 ish on up to mid 20s. Sean McCormick 1:38 Wonderful. So for our listeners, I hear since you're the first time we've had an educational consultant on tell us more about what an educational consultant is. And I also know that there's probably a particular reason why you chose the two locations. So please tell us more about that. Shayna Abraham 1:56 Yeah, so therapeutic and educational consultants work with families to help figure out plans for what comes next when either school or something on a therapeutic level isn't working the way that parents are expecting it to. And so we are our our organization is trained from a therapeutic perspective, primarily to look at what is going on with a child or what's going on in a family system, and then intervene and make changes, whether that's looking at local school changes, looking at out of home residential schools and programs all over the country, as well as internationally to help intervene and change whatever is happening so that we can get kids back on track. We, well, we chose the two locations, because that's where the two entities that came together already existed. I think there was a lot of intentionality there, although having my partner's be in Park City, Utah, is really excellent, because there are a lot of residential treatment centers that are in the state of Utah. And this really allows us to have boots on the ground, if we want to, or if we need to go visit with a client who's in a setting in that area already. And then I'm in the Bay Area, because it's just the best place to be. Sean McCormick 3:19 Now that is true. But Park City sounds nice as well. So So that's in what I'm hearing is that it's almost like an educational consultant is a safeguard for when what we expect, right? We parents, families, they expect the school system is going to work. But sometimes, for whatever reason, you know, they don't things don't work out. And there's a lot of reasons, right? I mean, we as we know, in this business, there's many, many different reasons why that could be could be something that school is doing, it could be just that the student needs a very specific learning plan or setting. So how did you get into this? I'd love to hear more about that. How did you how did you start? Shayna Abraham 4:00 So I actually am one of the few consultants out there who knew what consulting was because I had worked with my own consultant to find my college placement. I'm a non traditional learner. And so finding the right type of college environment was really important for me in this process. And then I thought I was gonna go to school to become a middle school science teacher. I went to the University of Missouri with that intention and the way that their system is set up. The last two years that I was there, I was an embedded substitute in a classroom. And I realized that holy moly, I do not want to be a middle school science teacher. And so mostly, I didn't want to deal with the bureaucracy of the school system. I wanted to just teach because that's where my passion was. And because I had worked with him for a consultant prior to going into my undergraduate degree, I went back to them and I said, I get it. I know why you do what you do. I know why you help suit means find pathways that work for them. And I want to do that. And they very kindly said, that's great, they'll get a master's degree...
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