The skills Emily Levy acquired whilst she was working in finance continue to be useful in her real choice of career – tutoring students who require additional help.
What’s your story?
I grew up in the field of special education. My mother started a school for students with learning disabilities. I spent much of my childhood working at her school and learning various techniques for helping kids. However, I wanted to “carve my own path” so after college, I worked in finance for a few years. I quickly realized though that it wasn’t my calling and began tutoring kids all around Manhattan during after work and weekend hours. I saw a vision for creating a tutoring business for special education students and eventually turned it into the business it is today.
What excites you most about your industry?
There is a big need for special education services; in fact roughly 20 percent of kids have some kind of special education need. While I started EBL Coaching as an in person tutoring company for special education students in the NYC area, I have expanded the business to NJ and all areas surrounding NYC, and we now help kids nationally and internationally with our online tutoring program. There is a great deal of potential growth. It is a truly rewarding, fulfilling field.
What drives you in your career to push beyond what other people consider normal?
My passion for helping kids is my real drive. So many kids struggle in school and have poor self-esteem. If I can help them become self-confident, successful students, that brings me a true sense of accomplishment. It is this drive that keeps me pushing forward during challenging moments, knowing that am I changing the lives of so many individuals.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
When I worked in finance for a few years, I quickly learned that it wasn’t a long-term career for me. However, from that experience I developed a comfort in working with numbers and talking about money, skills that still help me today. I have also learned how to develop and sustain relationships with clients – something that is so important for longevity.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Don’t let a failure stop you! Learn what went wrong, why it happened, and what you can do to prevent it going forward.
Who inspires you?
My mother is an entrepreneur in the field of education, like I am. Her business was different than mine, but similar. She is a very hard worker and someone who has always been a role model for me. I have watched her thrive in business while also being a fun loving, energetic, creative mom.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
Something that continues to amaze me is how many kids continue to be diagnosed with a learning disability, ADHD, or autism (or a combination thereof). There is much more awareness and diagnosis now, but there continues to be increasing number of students diagnosed with these challenges. The pandemic made these difficulties even worse. There is a huge need for support to help these students.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I can honestly say I am so happy with my path and how it has led me to where I am today; I have learned valuable lessons every step of the way and I truly wouldn’t change anything.
How do you unwind?
I love spending time with my husband and my four daughters. I enjoy exercising, traveling, and having a nice glass of red wine at the end of a long day.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your career?
When I first started my business, I felt I was “the best” and needed to do everything myself. However, I have learned that with certain tasks (including tutoring!) some individuals are actually better than me, and that’s okay. I’ve come to accept and appreciate that principle.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg – especially for women!
Shameless plug for your business:
Our tutoring at EBL Coaching has changed the lives of thousands of kids with learning challenges. We use research-based, multi-sensory techniques to help students in grades prek-12 develop reading, writing, math, and study skills. We continue to help students nationally and internationally.
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.