Organizational Coach for 15 year old

My 15 year old needs an "organizational coach" throughout the 2016-17 academic year for weekly or bi-weekly meetings. Enormous challenge for my teen to keep track of assignments, exam dates, projects, etc. Plenty smart, just baffled by lack of planning skills.  I would appreciate appropriate referrals/recommendations.  Thank you so much!

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While I don't have anyone to recommend -- I am eagerly watching/waiting responses to your question.  We are looking for the same thing for our 7th grader!

I cannot recommend Paul Gabriel strongly enough. My daughter, who is starting at Oberlin in a few weeks, worked with Paul for her Junior and Senior years of high school. I had spent countless, frustrating hours trying to work with her, and it was becoming an issue in our mother-daughter relationship because she felt she could never live up to my expectations and I felt she just needed to try harder. Enter Paul: Identifier of problems, implementer of solutions, and explainer to parents of what is going on with their kid. He got all three of us through these past two years and our daughter is leaving for college with a set of skills she can apply to a lifetime of organizational demands.

Paul Gabriel: paul [at]

I would recommend Lesley Martin. She worked with my teenager during her Freshman year at Berkeley High. She checked in with her on her assignments, helped her prioritize them, and also helped her figure out just what the teacher was asking for. She was really a godsend in being a constant supportive presence. She did a lot to help her understand time management, and also helped me know when and how to ask for help from my daughter's teacher. She helped me be a good advocate. 

Lesley is based in San Francisco. My daughter met up with her a few times there near a BART station, but they mostly had their sessions via Facetime or Google Hangout.

She can be reached at lesley.martin2010 [at]


I highly recommend Linda Lawton, who runs The Center of Attention and Learning in Albany (near El Cerrito Plaza) -- she provided exactly this sort of help for our family several years ago. I don't know what we would have done without her actually!  Our child has since gone on to thrive at a selective college far from home, and just successfully finished junior year, still using strategies learned from Linda.  Linda is very warm and supportive, and she has a bunch of different tools to try, because everybody's issues tend to be a little different!  You can reach her at info [at] or (510) 559-3110.

Grateful Mom

Hello,  I can personally recommend Pat LaDoucer in Albany.  Here is a link to one of her many ways to support teens.

 Take the Stress Out of School

Check out my new, completely updated Skills for Academic Success coaching program for students in middle school, high school, and college. I help students rock their grades, and create more time for friends and fun.

We used Nancy, an executive functioning coach.  It wasn't cheap.  She has an office in Berkeley and one in Walnut Creek.  She is a super nice person and admittedly has no formal training and worked to send her 2 sons to great colleges.  She basically helped our son draft a plan and to stick to it, and also calls him several times in the evening to check in with him so that you don't have to ask your child questions and create a power struggle.  He went from a 2.9 GPA entering Junior year in high school (very competitive) to a 3.8 GPA by end of Junior year while taking on AP classes at the same time.  Now his cumulative is 3.4 or 3.5 I believe, so eligible to apply to decent B-rated colleges next year.  We paid about $1,000 for 11 sessions where she met my son weekly.  Then there is a final parent conference at the end.  We had her work 2x w/ my son, and paid $2,000 total.  After the first time, I refused to take him there so my husband took him. I didn't see what she was doing was worth all this money, but my husband felt that taking away the nagging about getting the grades up, if homework was done, etc.. decreased stress in the family.  I am grateful for whatever reason his grades went up although he didn't improve much the first semester she worked with him, His 2nd semester improved a lot.  Not sure if it's Nancy, but we'll never know.   She does not coach on anything else but executive functioning so be forewarned... she knows nothing about coursework, strategies to get into college, etc... only is a warm and encouraging person that knows how to get a kid to set up his own plan and encourages him to stick w/ it.  But the plan is the child's, so if he/she aims low, that's the plan, e.g. his goal was straight B's except for on 2 classes, and he achieved that.   If your child doesn't want calls after school however, she won't call him/her! and then your fees do much less.  Those calls were great. Her questions would be like, "So what does your evening look like?"  Tell her Ben's mom referred you.  She will probably be shocked :  ) knowing that I thought it was a waste of money at first.

You might want to contact Leda Schulak at lschulak [at] She raised a daughter with learning disabilities and has developed excellent coaching skills. She helped a friend's son who also had organizational challenges. She also has her own business as a college consultant specializing in helping kids find schools that best meet their needs.

Attn:  Ben's mom!  How do I contact "Nancy" the executive functioning coach?

Thanks to each of you who responded to my inquiry--very, very helpful; your recommendations really cut the stress and the time looking for the correct individual.  Warm regards to you!