Empowered Learning Transformation Center (Part 2)

Empowered Learning Transformation Center

This is the second review in series of monthly updates. Read the first review here.

Jonathan’s progressed nicely over this past month. Through different brain-training exercises, he can recite all of the U.S. states from the west coast to the east and vice versa. He can also name the first 20 U.S. presidents and recite them in reverse order as well.

When I asked how it made him feel to know this information and be able to recite it so confidently, I expected an answer of “It’s fine,” or, “It’s no big deal.” I was pleasantly surprised to hear, “Good. I can do more than I thought I could.” Jonathan has never had strong self-esteem, and his sessions at Empowered Learning are definitely giving him a confidence boost. As a parent, this is invaluable to me. I feel strongly that if my son has healthy, realistic self-esteem as a teenager, he is better prepared for adulthood.

I continue to be impressed with the way Empowered Learning’s staff members interact with Jonathan and the other students. We walked in one Saturday morning and a counselor was working with Nathan, who is about 5 years old. Nathan’s session was over and the counselor asked him to put on his shoes. As the counselor counted, Nathan was giggling, but knew he needed to get his shoes on by the time the counselor got to 25. Sure enough, he had them on in time, and his counselor began reviewing the 25 facts Nathan had learned that session. Nathan went from giggling, dancing and singing to completely focused and on task. It was amazing to see how well the counselor worked with him. He ended Nathan’s session by praising him with “Good work today!” and another counselor added, “Yes, he surprised me today. He was awesome.” Nathan beamed with pride.

As students walk into Empowered’s facility, they immediately store their personal items (no phone, hats or shoes are allowed in the classrooms to minimize distractions). Right away the kids get to work on an exercise – on the balance boards, the computer, the trampoline, bean bags, etc. Empowered Learning’s Co-Founder Peter Riddle explains that he wants to create chaos so students can focus and redirect attention. In the real world, it’s rare to have a place that’s always quiet when you need to focus, so by teaching students to focus during chaos, they can lower their stress levels and relax. It’s amazing to see how these innovative and creative processes are working for my son, Nathan, and the other students around us. That’s what Empowered Learning is all about.

Empowered Learning Transformation Centers

8120 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 150

Bethesda, MD



Nancy S. is a northern VA mom to son Jonathan, age 13. Like many DMV parents, she works full time and strives to find balance in her work and home life. She will be writing a series of reviews about her son’s experiences at the Empowered Learning Transformation Center, so check back to follow his progress.

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