( ENSPIRE She Did That ) Cindy Chanin, CEO and Founder of Rainbow EDU Consulting Inspires Students to Grow Through Innovative Full Spectrum Education and Tutoring
ENSPIRE Contributor: Re’Dreyona Walker
Cindy Chanin has a gift of making education a positive, holistic experience for students, and has transformed lives through the power of personalized education and impactful mentoring and enrichment. Once a very skeptical girl who lacked confidence within herself, Cindy Chanin worked hard to achieve not only academic success but also personal growth and achievement. Today, she is now leading a company that’s internationally sought by ambitious parents who seek success for their children. Rainbow EDU Consulting & Tutoring not only specializes in guiding students to academic success but also helps them achieve their dreams and empower them to find their purpose or ‘why’ in the world.
After being bullied by peers and being misdiagnosed with a learning disability, Cindy thrived throughout school and her story has fueled her passion for personalized education, leading her to create her brainchild Rainbow EDU. She took her previous challenges and created a program that helps students break down barriers and leads them to their personal success both in and out of the classroom. Cindy and her team of the nation’s top educators work towards transforming lives through personalized education, impactful mentoring, and enrichment. From working with elementary, middle, and high school students, to working with empty-nester parents, Rainbow EDU Consulting & Tutoring provides various services that are tailored to each individual and their personal path – no story is the same.
How did you discover you had a passion for Education?
I always had a propensity for numbers, coupled with a deep connection to the imagination. I always joke that I practically emerged from the womb fluent in mathematics, despite the fact that I could barely put together a coherent sentence in English. I spoke my own vivid language quite fluently, yet it wasn’t one that made much sense to those around me. My peers—and even some of my earliest teachers—were quick to label me as “slow” and “learning disabled.” Subsequently, I was taken out of my mainstream classroom to attend resource and work with a speech therapist. I felt a great deal of shame and isolation being limited to the lowest level “cat, hat, bat, sat” reading group in my second-grade classroom. Furthermore, it baffled me that my supposed language barrier would somehow negate my demonstrated aptitude for math, with the teacher outright denying me participation in the accelerated math group. After a year of senseless charade games and haphazard attempts at securing an in-roads to my education, I ultimately found myself in a different classroom with a new kind of teacher… a teacher who changed everything. She had us learn about history through reenactments and monologues, explore scientific principles through song and dance, memorize formulas through mnemonics and clever raps and rhymes. I eagerly took to this expressive, performative, kinesthetic, outside-the-box learning style — and with that — something within me “clicked.” I was no longer limited in fluency to just numbers and Cindy gibberish. I found my way into learning through an innovative approach, and with the help of a teacher who saw something in me – who mentored me and believed in me – I transformed from a delayed learner to an honors student.
I went on to excel both in school and in the arts. Come 5th-grade, I would go home after school with friends and we would work on assignments together… everything from word problems and creative writing journals, to book reports. Next thing I knew, their parents were contacting my parents and offering to compensate me for studying with and “teaching” my friends. Hence, at 10-years-old, I began my very own mama-papa tutoring service.
Teaching comes very intuitively to me. Drawing upon my background in theatre and psychology, along with years of analytical and creative writing, fluency in mathematics, and an in-depth understanding of individual learning styles, I possess a myriad of resources to help guide my approach. I hone-in on how a student is wired, what will resonate, and the different ways I can go about explaining a concept to have it meaningfully and authentically sink-in. Educational mentoring is my gift and my passion.
The word passion can be broken down into Pass I On. I have a passion for activating a spark in those whom I get to mentor, and then encouraging them to grow that spark into something that ignites their curiosity and creativity both inside and outside the classroom. Education serves as the vehicle for me to “pass along my passion” while encouraging others to do the same.
How have you seen your clients grow throughout their academic journey with Rainbow EDU? What has been the most heartfelt testimony you’ve received?
I have witnessed outright alchemy within some of my students – assisting them from shifting from mindsets of self-doubt, limitation, and/or complacency to ones inspired and emboldened enough to take initiative, create their own opportunities, and believe that they have something compelling and vital to offer to the world. Many students come to me and Rainbow EDU in need of a chemistry tutor, a test prep coach, or a college counselor, yet ultimately emerge with all that and something far greater – their vision, mission, and lives.
I have had the joy of mentoring quite a few middle school and high school students over the years, including several who very recently participated in our Paving the Way teen entrepreneurial and self-development immersion programs at UCLA as well as others who have worked with us one-on-one to start six-figure businesses, develop apps and video content that have gone viral, engage in service-learning projects and endeavors that have launched them into large-scale projects, as well as help them pave their way through high school and toward college and well beyond.
We have a stellar track record of helping students get into their top choice undergraduate and graduate programs, write impressive personal statements, and secure internships to boost their resume and experience in the field. This past year I have helped a few of our teens advocate for themselves, pursue, and procure internships with JPL/NASA, the White House, Google, CodeRev, Vogue, Bollare (an international fashion/culture/celebrity PR firm based out of Los Angeles), the Mark Taper Forum, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Love Goodly, the Sundance Film Festival, the Brady Campaign, and Tesloop, to name a few.
We have guided many students through their entire educational trajectory – from starting multi-subject homeschooling with children as young as 1st or 2nd grade, to eventually working with them on independent school placement come middle school, only to prep them for APs or IBs in high school, to ultimately counsel them through college exploration and subsequently graduate school admissions just a few years later.
I even had the privilege of working with a dyslexic woman in her 50s on prepping a 120+ page dissertation to receive her Ph.D. in Psychology, a goal that had eluded her for many years.
I absolutely love mentoring teens – especially individuals who are in recovery from low self-esteem, addiction, or eating disorders. I help them find ways to anchor themselves within academia and in their extracurricular endeavors, reframing any circumstance that might seem like a liability into an asset. I have helped several students who were expelled from high school just shy of their graduation rechannel their efforts into meaningful service projects and/or vocational work. They went-on to wonderful colleges as well as thriving careers in film, tech theatre, nursing, and social work. I have helped a young woman transform a long history of body shaming and starvation into becoming one of the country’s youngest certified body-positivity facilitators, now conducting workshops for other teens all over the United States as well as sharing her inspirational story through an award-winning Ted Talk. I have worked with Emmy-Award winning actresses, Broadway performers, inventors, STEM-kids, filmmakers, musicians, budding novelists, and dedicated athletes.
When I think back on all this, it nourishes every fiber of my being. Still, some of the most poignant testimonials I have ever received are when students have sought me out to share how our work together enabled them to fall in love with learning, to the point where they now want to pay it forward by becoming an educator, mentor, or coach in their own right. For those who once felt lost in academia – like I first did – it means the world!
How has Rainbow EDU assisted students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
The education system has been seriously affected and because of this, students and parents are navigating through something they never once expected. At Rainbow EDU, we believe that this period does not necessarily need to disrupt students’ academic progress nor preempt their exploration of longstanding passions or budding aspirations. We see it as an opportunity for students to leverage: to get caught up, get ahead, and/or get inspired, as we strongly believe that distance-learning can offer a host of advantages for students.
Rather than honing-in on the negative, we encourage students and their parents to shift their mindset of making the most of this time at home, creating an opportunity for meaningful growth and enrichment. Students who might have been struggling in certain subjects can now use this time to seek extra support and build a foundation that they might have been lacking in the mainstream classroom. On the flip side, for students who feel bored or held back, they can use this time to accelerate and get ahead by deepening their immersion in certain topics or new areas of study. Examples of this could include, entrepreneurial pursuits, learning a new language, coding, filmmaking, psychology, journalism, service-learning projects, and more.
Whether a student is in need of additional support or restlessly searching for ways to capitalize on their abundance of free time, we’re here to help. In fact, we have a few opportunities for parents and teens to take advantage of. The first virtual event, “LETS TALK” is on May 14 and is a complimentary teen forum facilitated by myself and a leading teen psychologist. We will discuss a variety of topics such as how to deal with the uncertainty and massive change, identifying motivators to stay engaged while being homebound, coping skills to manage quarantine-related stress, and more. Secondly, we will have another complimentary, unique, and timely event that will repeat itself on June 4 and June 6 called “College Ambitions & Admissions in Corona Times.” Led by a panel of experts in education, college admissions, standardized testing, and teen entrepreneurship, this will be an interactive, virtual panel discussion aimed especially at high school families.
We at Rainbow are an optimistic bunch, and we choose to see these developments as invaluable opportunities to provide our students with all the resources, structure, and mentorship they crave to embolden them to take initiative during this homebound hiatus. We have homeschooled many students, developing customized programs that are meaningful, personalized, and creatively enriching, and our educators all have extensive experience working remotely on a variety of platforms. From the innovative, engaging, and impactful approach that distinguishes our virtual test prep methodology; to bolstering skill and confidence in academic subjects in which an individual student has room for growth; to passion finding, teen entrepreneurial paving work, and service-learning projects, our mentors and educators are committed to empowering and inspiring our students.
To learn more about Rainbow EDU Consulting and Tutoring, please visit www.rainboweduconsulting.com