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Mundo Academy provides competitively-priced, effective test prep and tutoring services to students in Los Angeles, CA and surrounding areas. We invest our resources and expertise to partner with schools and nonprofit organizations to offer tutoring and test preparation in economically disadvantaged areas in an effort to foster equity in the college admissions process.

  • We are proud to create an environment that is welcoming of all individuals and is a safe space for people of all ethnicities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • We seek to nurture students’ academic experience while providing expert guidance.
  • We give ownership to students of their academic progress.
  • We support our students in order to empower their academic experience.

Mundo Academy will treat everyone with respect and tolerance.

Marina Grijalva

Founder & President

Marina began her career in education as a teacher immediately after graduating from Pomona College. She obtained a M.A. in Spanish Literature from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her double major in Math and Spanish opened the door to many teaching opportunities at the university, middle and high school levels. Marina’s success with students not only depends on her teaching expertise, but also her patience and willingness to reach her students. Marina creates an environment where adolescents can thrive and tackle academic weaknesses without feeling intimidated.

Marina began her tutoring career in 2008 after working as a classroom teacher for 10 years. Her focus has always been teaching students techniques that will help them find their voice. Because Marina works with students from different geographical and economic areas, she has a clear understanding of the different obstacles students face. Marina is working on expanding her reach in order to help students of color obtain the resources they lack that can have a major impact on their ability to apply and be accepted into the college of their choice.

Marina Grijalva grew up in Calexico, California, which is a small town on the U.S.-Mexico border. Marina’s father worked as a farm laborer in the Imperial Valley while her mother stayed at home raising five children. The youngest of five, Marina is the only person in her family to graduate from a 4-year university.

It is with this mindset, that Marina has created academic coaching and test prep programs that will target the needs of every student.


Monica Ruz

Director of Learning and Instruction

Monica has taught several elementary school grades in various school settings. She is a National Board Certified teacher, has an MA in Educational Psychology from UCSB and an MEd from UCLA. During her time at UCLA Monica was motivated to further help to close the achievement gap often created by policy and institutional practices. Her work at UCLA has been instrumental in her current path and passion to work with Mundo Academy, to aid students and to bring about change for historically underrepresented groups. Her attributes include curriculum design, coaching, teaching strategies, and knowledge of culturally relevant pedagogy.

Thomas Williams

Student Success Coordinator and Humanities Tutor

Tom specialises in socio-political history and studying primary source material, especially literature. His goals include demonstrating how history is relevant to life today, bringing the past to life, and finding unique true interpretations of the human story. He earned his Master of Arts (Honours) undergraduate degree in English and Mediaeval History from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and his Master of Philosophy postgraduate degree in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic from the University of Cambridge in England.

Tom grew up in a military family and lived on a sheep farm in the English countryside for most of his childhood, so he knows how much hard work is required to study and succeed at the highest levels of academia. He has received multiple academic awards, including being named on the Dean’s List for Outstanding Academic Achievement in his final undergraduate year. In his free time, Tom is an avid fan of rugby and soccer, and enjoys video and board games. His favourite class in High School was Theatre Studies.

A good education was not always a guarantee for Tom; he had to work hard for it. He wants to make sure that students who face similar challenges today have the same opportunities for a better life that he did, and he will absolutely do his best to be the tutor that your child needs.


Rachel McGovern

Math Tutor

Rachel’s experience began in high school where she was a volunteer tutor for students in grades K-5. After graduating Elon University with a degree in mathematics, she moved to Los Angeles and tutored online aside from her full time job at a skincare company. To this day, she still has the pleasure of tutoring students of all ages, backgrounds, and skillsets online. Rachel loves seeing the lightbulb go off in the student’s heads when they grasp a new concept or recognize the pattern within the problem to solve. Eventually, her love for tutoring lead her to want to pursue it as a full time career.

As your tutor, Rachel will not only help your child with the answers, but how to develop their time management, organization, and prioritization skills. When she is not working, you will always be able to find Rachel in dance class or rehearsing with her dance team! She loves to do all styles of dance.


Zoe Juneau

Science and Math Tutor

Zoe Juneau first received an Associate of Science in Physics at College of the Canyons before transferring to UCLA. Here, she continued studying astrophysics with a minor in geophysics and planetary science. After graduating she continued to spend her time researching the evolution of exoplanet orbits; she looks forward to discussing the science and math behind everyday questions with her students, such as: why don’t we fall out of our seats during a rollercoaster loop? How do planes fly? and many others that were first introduced to her in high school. She hopes to further her research in graduate school, and continue teaching others how to love math and science.

Jamie Katzenstein

Academic Coach

Jamie studied criminology, psychology, and classics during her undergraduate years before obtaining an MS in Counseling from the University of Oregon. Working for local school districts and as a private tutor, she has extensive experience teaching students of all ages, backgrounds, and academic levels. Jamie is particularly fond of teaching grammar, essay structure, and early reading skills. Her clinical training deeply informs her pedagogical philosophies. She enjoys building rapport with students, tailoring instruction to individual learning styles and encouraging students to create and implement routines that will set them up for success. Jamie relishes seeing students shift their perceptions and gain confidence in their abilities. A music enthusiast, Jamie loves watching rock documentaries and reading celebrity memoirs. She recently purchased an electric drum set with the hopes of not being “that neighbor” and strives to one day play a decent paradiddle.