Welcome! My name is Andrea Chernin, and I am a Professional Educational Therapist and the Clinical Director of Illuminate Educational Therapy Group - a private practice located in both Santa Monica and in Calabasas, California.
I grew up in Calabasas, California and graduated from Calabasas High School. I attended college at UCLA (Go Bruins!) and majored in Psychology with a minor in Public Policy. During college, I was an English Composition, English as a Second Language, and Psychology tutor for my peers at the Academic Advancement Program for historically underrepresented students. I enjoyed the rewarding experience of working one-on-one with students so much that I began my own tutoring private practice.
It was at that point in my life in which I realized that my true passion lies within the realm of education. Thus, I went on to earn my Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential and my Masters degree in Cross-Cultural Education, enabling me to teach 4th grade at Round Meadow Elementary School (the elementary school that I actually went to!) While teaching, I had several students in my class who seemed to learn differently than the other students. I was intrigued by their self-taught compensatory strategies, yet I felt somewhat frustrated that I did not always have the proper metaphorical “tools” to help these learners. Therefore, even though I was extended an offer to continue teaching within the Las Virgenes Unified School District during the following year, I instead decided to further my education by immersing myself in a subset of special education in a field called Educational Therapy.
I finally felt as though I found my ideal niche as I worked toward earning my Post-Masters Certificate in Educational Therapy. In conjunction with my graduation from California State Northridge’s Educational Therapy Certificate Program, I became Bridges Academy’s first Educational Therapy Intern as I worked alongside a well-known educational therapist in the field named Marcy Dann. This invaluable experience combined with my education-rich background primed me to step into a private practice as an Educational Therapist in 2007.
Since then, I have been an active Professional Member of the Association of Educational Therapists and have enjoyed continuing to develop professionally alongside my incredible colleagues. In 2018, our practice has expanded to a second location in Calabasas! I can honestly say that I love what I do, and I look forward to many, many years in the field.