ABOUT YANNA

I have 15 years’ experience teaching and coaching over 4000 teenagers. I have an innate ability to form strong relationships with teens that are built on trust and respect, to understand behavioral patterns, blockages, and most of all, recognize their talents, niche, and passions as I get to know them. With a genuine sense of empathy, compassion, and an authentic way of communicating with teenagers, I enable and inspire them to become leaders and change makers in their own lives. My method unleashes their potential as they learn to appreciate who they are and who they can become.

I have been teaching at a professional level since 2005, but have been involved in teaching, in some shape or form, since 1997. Many students I’ve taught are still in contact with me till this day. My teaching experience, combined with my education, organizations, associations, and higher education institutions I work with have shaped my understanding of teens and young adults. My humble beginnings trace back as an art instructor for a local art company. I was mentored and given a chance to teach, by a local artist and entrepreneur, way before I had completed my schooling.

 

I had embarked on a journey of being mentored and empowered by the most talented and gifted educators and leaders. For some, I had the honor of working with, and some I had the honor of studying with in my early years, and later in grad school. All of these thought leaders shared one common characteristic, they asked me the right questions. They taught me how to think, rather than what to think. These mentors instilled in me that although we all have the same education, we have different areas of expertise, passions, talents, and our own niche that sets us apart from the crowd and helps us create a life and career that is fulfilling and rewarding. I do this for my students, and I do it for the teens I work with. My passion has become guiding teens along the same path of self-discovery, early in life, and giving them the tools to light up their own path and unleash their own potential. As someone who has been lucky enough to have had many coaches and mentors on my journey who empowered me, I wish to empower teens who are embarking on theirs. 

When I walked into high school on the first day of Grade 11, I had just moved from Greece and I didn’t know a single person in that school, with a student population that exceeded that of my home town, and with the exception of my sisters and parents, I didn’t know another soul in this country. I would get lost on my way to the next class and end up either leaving or spending the period in the library studying alone. Once I worked up some courage, I relied on teachers, and later classmates, to help me navigate the school system, school culture, and university applications.

 

Although I spoke English, fluently, I was not able to access the supports available to me because I didn’t know what it was I needed. I didn’t have a road map. To make matters worse, the fact that I had language fluency, made it impossible for my teachers to imagine how new I was to the country. This made it even more awkward for me to ask questions or advocate for myself. The fact that I was born in Canada didn’t help me; I was caught up in a system that was moving fast and I had no tools to keep up.

 

25 years later, 3 degrees later, and after having been a teacher for 15 years to over 5000 students in junior high, high school, and college, I see my students struggling with the same challenges as I did then. Although I always attributed my struggles to the fact that I was new to Canada, it turns out, it’s not about being new, it’s about having the right people to mentor and inform you, guide and support you, see and empower you. This is what builds resilience and success. This is why I coach.

I have an innate ability and expertise to form strong relationships with teens that are built on trust and respect, to understand behavioral patterns, blockages, and most of all, recognize their talents, niche, and passions as I get to know them. With a genuine sense of empathy, compassion, and an authentic way of communicating with teenagers, I enable and inspire them to become leaders and change makers in their own lives. My method unleashes their potential as they learn to appreciate who they are and who they can become.

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