mom and daughter

The most important gift that Helaina has given my children is her appreciation of not only who they are as students, but who they are as people. This has an amazing and everlasting effect on them because she helped them become confident and capable. She has been a role model, life coach, and academic advisor  Her ability to really understand them, outside of their learning profile, is part of her success.  She not only guides them but she has supported us as parents as well, to better understand them holistically, and in turn to become stronger and more educated advocates for them.

-Marnie R.
Englewood, NJ

Children don’t always get what  they need from the classroom, and as a parent, sometimes it’s hard to know how to help. This is why I called Helaina. She truly understands children and the stresses that can sometimes inhibit their success. Helaina is an exceptional educator and coach who worked with me on goals for my daughter at the start of each year that she helps her reach, ranging from valuable organizational skills to becoming a more mature writer and student.

Helaina brings a sense of calm to the chaos that kids feel about school. She helps them cut big ideas into smaller parts and relieves their panic. When my own assistance is ineffective, Helaina takes control, and guides my daughter through the process with the ease and polish of an experienced professional.

-Heidi L.
Englewood, NJ

My son was in academic crisis! He couldn’t organize himself well enough to bring home his homework, let alone execute a project. He was frustrated and worried about his homework every day. My husband and I had no idea how to help him, short of doing his work for him. Approximately mid-school year we turned to Helaina for help.

Within weeks, our son started implementing the simple but highly effective organizational systems Helaina patiently taught him. His habits changed: clearly detailed homework assignments came home, along with the papers and books necessary to complete them. Our son learned how to break things down  into manageable parts and how to structure his time and ask for help. Helaina taught him how to keep assignments simple so they wouldn’t feel overwhelming.

In a matter of months, Helaina taught our son the skills he needed to become successful. But more than that, she built up his self-esteem and instilled in him a confidence that he could tackle any school work he had. We have not fought about school work since. Now, more than two years since their last meeting, he is an excellent student. He has never been overwhelmed by his homework since. I tell everyone that Helaina truly worked her magic!

-Jennifer C.
Montclair, NJ

What makes working with Helaina a unique experience is her holistic and non-judgemental  approach. She intuitively understand teens and is able to demystify their struggles.  She gets to the heart of the issues quickly and makes a plan that makes the individual student accountable. Somewhat of a  kid whisperer, Helaina fills the role of problem solver for the students and  finds individuated ways to empower them as learners and people.

-Rachel F.
Rivervale, NJ

My son’s strengths and weakness became evident during  high school.  While he excelled in certain areas, he became increasingly frustrated and disheartened as his freshman year progressed.  My husband and I were at a loss as to how to help him.  We contacted Helania with the hope that with her guidance, expertise and intervention, our son would improve and succeed.  Helania was patient, direct and firm.  Though she  set clear expectations, she was consistently supportive, respectful of his needs, preferences and personality style.  Our son became a better student all and in twelfth grade was recommended and encouraged to enroll in Honors English, the class he struggled with the most!  They have a respectful, trusting relationship, and my son knows he can count on her for assistance and her help will be worthwhile and meaningful.

-Vicki B.
Englewood, NJ

Helaina sees beyond people’s struggles and envisions them as better versions of themselves. For my whole academic life, I was labeled slow and I believed that I was just limited. I thought of myself as unteachable because though many people tried to help me, nothing was sticking. Enter Helaina, who looked beyond my struggles and patiently taught me the things that were missing. Though that was a long list and I was resistant, she continued to perceive me as someone who could learn. Over time, I became the person she knew I could be.

Aside from my parents, Helaina was the first adult who believed in me. My relationship to her brought me a confidence that I never had before. I’ve come a long way from the girl who thought she was stupid and I owe a lot of my current success as a college student to the tools she imparted on me.

-Sabrina B.
New York, NY

As a former student of Helaina’s from her early days of teaching, I can say this about her: she was the first person in my life who taught me to think critically, to express myself clearly, and to have confidence in who I was. She did this for me and my classmates by caring deeply about what who we were and where we were coming from. Helaina was that rare adult who didn’t judge us for acting how kids act–foolishly, impulsively, boldly. She was more interested in how we could harness all our angst and use it to empower ourselves.

I am not surprised Helaina became a coach–before it was a popular field, one of my classmates suggested it to her as an option for her next career! She is magnetic, insightful and intuitive. I have known her for 15 years and she continues to be an important mentor and  truth-teller in my life.

-Christine Y.
Brooklyn, NY

Helaina Altabef

New York Metro Area


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