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.

SUPPORT STAFF AND TUTORS

Brianna Chu

English, Writing and Math Tutor

Brianna Chu earned her MA (Hons) in International Relations and Psychology at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She first started tutoring at Learning Works! Charter School as a Polytechnic School student volunteer in 2010, and has worked as a teaching assistant in multiple subjects for PolySummer as well as tutored privately in the decade since. Brianna mostly tutors mathematics, English, and writing, and guides students through the college application process, especially writing college essays.

Brianna enjoys getting to know each of her students, figuring out how to make that challenging idea click and helping them express their voices most clearly in their writing. An avid culinary enthusiast, she shares stories of local restaurateurs and their food for the Pasadena Independent. She also holds the role of Digital Storyteller for the Pasadena Educational Foundation.

MEET WITH BRIANNA

Thomas Williams

English, Writing and History 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.

MEET WITH TOM

Elizabeth Nguyen

English and Writing Tutor

Elizabeth has been working with students of all ages for ten years. She is a graduate of CSULB (2015 B.A.) and USC Gould School of Law (2019 J.D.). Her specialty focus is on test prep, reading comprehension, essay writing, and study management skills. She loves to cook Vietnamese food, play escape rooms, and has a grey tabby cat named Bader!

MEET WITH ELIZABETH

Rachel McGovern

Math Tutor

Rachel’s experience began in high school where she was a volunteer tutor for students in grads 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 love 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.

MEET WITH RACHEL

Brigett LaPorte

K-6 Tutor

Brigett graduated from California State University Northridge with a degree in Liberal Studies: specialization in Performing Arts. She is continuing her education at CSUN in the Credential Program, pursuing a Multiple Subject credential to become an Elementary school teacher. Her teaching experience includes online and in-person teaching for a 1st grade class (as a student teacher last semester during the pandemic), individual Literacy development with a Kindergarten student, and volunteering for a 2nd-grade class.

Brigett has a strong background in music performance and education which influences her teaching style. She played trombone all throughout Middle School, High School, and College and aims to use her love of music in the standard curriculum taught in schools. While teaching, she uses the student’s individual learning style and interests to make learning engaging, effective, and fun! She is finishing her last semester at CSUN and is excited to soon have a class of her own!

MEET WITH BRIGETT

Adelina Yakubova

K-6 and Science Tutor

Adelina graduated from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) with a Bachelor’s of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology. During her years at the university, she provided service to several educational programs. Upon completion of her degree, Adelina had already built teaching experience working with students ranging from pre-kindergarten to high school age. Although she enjoys working with students of any age, she is currently enrolled in the credential program at CSUN where she will receive a Multiple Subjects credential with an authorization to teach secondary biological science.

Joshua Sosa

Science Tutor

Josh earned his M.S. in Chemistry from California State University Los Angeles where he worked as a graduate assistant for the Chemistry department. After graduating, he began working full time for a pharmaceutical company that researches autoimmune and cancer treatments. His favorite part of being a GA was getting to help the students with their experiments and seeing them understand the relationship between what they learned in the classroom to what they are doing in the lab. He enjoyed interacting with the students so much that he discovered his love of teaching and wants to pursue a full time career in the field. In his spare time, you will most likely find Josh cooking or playing with his 3 dogs.

MEET WITH JOSH

Cristal Ramos

Math Tutor

Cristal Ramos is currently a LAVC student who will be transferring into an Aerospace Engineering program with a minor in Mathematics. Cristal intends to pursue an exciting career in the Aerospace Industry. She has been tutoring incoming freshmen at her college and also has experience tutoring younger children. Additionally, Cristal has helped many first generation students easily integrate into the college lifestyle.
Cristal enjoys encouraging others to be optimistic about themselves and their academics. Her main focus is math and science. Cristal loves animals, playing video games, and traveling. She constantly improves herself through experience and newly found knowledge. Cristal promises to provide clear and attentive guidance to any student!

Montserratt Elvir

English, Middle School Tutor

Montserratt attends Los Angeles City College on a path to earning an English degree. She aspires to become an English High School teacher. It is her pleasure to help students feel confident in their studies and make sure they fully understand the material she is teaching.

 

Tatiana Becerra

Testing Coordinator and Science Tutor

Tatiana graduated from Barnard College – Columbia University with a degree in Biology. She loves biology, but also enjoys writing and was Editor in Chief of a music magazine during college.  While attending Polytechnic School, she was a dancer and played varsity basketball. For the past four years she was as a teaching assistant at PolySummer, working with kindergarten – high school students.

Tatiana is excited to work with students in Mundo Academy and is dedicated to helping them achieve their goals and catering to their individual learning styles.

Monica Ruz

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.