Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephnie Sahadeo
Hi Stephnie, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Growing up, I had many talents. Among those talents, learning and helping others learn was one that came naturally. Like many, I envisioned a variety of careers from Marine Biology to Chiropractic work to Journalism to Education. I graduated high school in 2007 and immediately started my Bachelor’s program at UCF. Given a fine-tune in my list of careers, my heart led me to play on my biggest talent…. my love for education. I had my entire career life planned from that moment. Well, as you know, with life’s many “opportunities,” I have been guided down a different path. After graduating in 2011, I was hired on the spot at the school I completed my internships. My goal was to teach as an Elementary Special Needs Education level teacher for five years, which was the required amount of time to be eligible for a public service loan forgiveness. My plan was to acquire my Master’s at that time since it was financially appeasing with loan forgiveness.
From there, my goal was to open up a center for students that suffered in class due to disabilities of all sorts, including behavioral disorders. A center that those students would spend their elementary school career attending to get the individual support that they need. Well, with my love of learning and always having such a diverse spectrum of interests, I decided against using my loan forgiveness credit for a whole new vision. I enrolled and earned my MS in Human Resource Development at Villanova University in 2016. This degree changed my goals and planned a bit more. I was now heavily interested in business management and organizational development. Still a teacher at this point, I had too much time on my hands and chose to expand my palette. An elementary school teacher by day and an Adult Education teacher by night through Orange Technical College. This opportunity gave much insight on teaching many different age levels. I fell more in love with education and my gifts for reaching learners. In 2016, as I was teaching at a City of Orlando summer program through my current position in the Parent and Family Engagement Dept. of Orange County Public Schools, I was approached by a funder asking if I knew anyone that could help her girls. My response was “Me.” I started tutoring them and continued tutoring them for a year. I wanted to make it easier for the clients, so I always insisted that I come and meet them. It went well and I was referred to others. My once planned out career life then changed once again. Tutoring in my free time was going extremely well. The students that were referred were from general education K-12, and ESE and EBD K-12 until I received a reference to tutor college. Yikes. I spent some time processing with both my head and my heart. Thank goodness I did. From that moment, I started building my business plan and strategies of what a tutoring company would look like. I went back and forth revisiting my original plans of opening up a center and my heart and head led me to where I am today. In May of 2017, I officially started One Brain Learning Center. Until last year, I was the owner, business manager, HR manager, compliance and bookkeeper, secretary, tutor, and registered agent.
In the first two years, I have seen anywhere between 2 to 10 clients on a weekly basis. Today, One Brain Learning Center has four tutors, including myself, one marketing director, one website constructor, and one graphic developer. The company currently sees 10-21 clients a week. The more I grow and improve with my visions, the more One Brain Learning Center grows. We are currently offering mobile face to face tutoring sessions for all ages through college, virtual tutoring sessions, multilevel book clubs, and test prep. We are still a mobile tutoring company and are more than happy to travel to clients. One Brain Learning Center has come a long way with the support of our team, family, and clients and continues to grow.
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Like everything in life, there are always some ups and downs, especially when establishing a business or running a business. My challenges started early. In the developing stages, I had an extremely hard time finding a name that was meaningful. I wasn’t able to register the LLC until I had a name. This pushed back my production drastically. This was just the beginning of struggles. Luckily, I am a solution-driven person. Life gives many opportunities and also many learning curves. Thankfully, my MS in Human Resource Development helped me prepare for many of the business logistics. A major obstacle for me is time. Being that I work a full-time job, sometimes I have and always have had a hard time finding the time where I have the energy to complete all of the back end tasks. Other than constant time constraints, I have learned to ebb and flow with life. I have learned the good and stressful parts of running a business as the road is led. There are things that if you don’t know, then you don’t know how to get the help in solving and creating. I have learned that a breath will take you far. Instead of allowing a pile-up, I have learned to do one thing at a time and to ask for help when needed. This was and is a hard thing for me……. as we tell our clients… “Progress is still progressing, no matter the size.” I look to the light always, and this helps me fine-tune my vision and mission…. allowing me to see all obstacles as opportunities.
Appreciate you sharing that. Please tell us more about you?
My name is Stephnie Sahadeo. I am 31 years old. I moved to America in 1997 at the age of seven. I am an overachiever and love to learn. I always say, “If someone were to pay for me to go to school, I would be a full-time student as a career.” As a young child, I was very mature and responsible. I had a knack for being a leader on the playground or for any group projects. My organization and management skills and drive have taken me a long way. At the age of 13, I had my first job at Forest Lake Academy in the housekeeping department. Tuition wasn’t as affordable for a single-parent home, so in order to attend this high school, all of the compensation from working was used to help pay my tuition. Within a few months, I was moved up from a worker to a supervisor. This was the trend from any job since. I move up very quickly in the hierarchy. I graduated from Forest Lake Academy at the age of 17, in May of 2007. I quickly started my course at UCF in June of 2007. During my time at UCF. I worked a full-time job as a manager in retail. I worked at several stores at the same time. Once I graduated from UCF in May of 2011, I was hired to teach at West Oaks Elementary school under Dr. Donald Richardson. Doc saw my potential immediately during my early internship and gave me an opportunity. I shared my goals with him, and he helped guide me in the right direction. Coming up to my five-year teaching plan, I enrolled in my MS program through Villanova University.
At the time, I had to really prove my worth in business to get accepted into this program. Sixteen months later, I graduated with my MS in Human Resources. I have two businesses today, the co-founder of a non-profit, iFete Gives Foundation, a board member for a few other non-profits, and have a full time job with OCPS. As you know by now, I am the owner of One Brain Learning Center (a mobile tutoring company), but I am also the owner of Creatives Management Firm. Creatives Management Firm is a small business built to support creatives. Creatives are often so passionate about their talent and trade that sometimes they get taken advantage of or just can’t come up for air to establish themselves as a corporation. My firm helps creatives to write business plans, develop organizational operations, and maintain the legal and mandatory required licensing. We also help write business proposals, sponsorship packages, by-laws while monitoring attraction to marketing. In 2018, I along with my partner, co-founded iFete Gives Foundation. iFete Gives Foundation is an all-volunteer organization registered in Florida since 2018 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is the goal of iFete Gives Foundation to be able to build and equip several computer labs in underprivileged or impoverished areas of Guyana. Our goal is to set up computer labs in low-income schools using both donated and new hardware, including free and open-source software and educational content that is accessible without Internet access. Our primary purpose for building these much needed computer labs is to support and provide a continuum of learning. With all the work I do throughout my day, balance is something I am always striving for; I can’t say I am the point where it has gotten easier. However, I am very fortunate to see my worth and my talent and to be able to multitask. Because of this, it is so important for me to give back any way I can.
What do you like and dislike about the city?
I love Orlando. Orlando has been my home since 1997. The most overarching reason for my love of Orlando is diversity. I am Guyanese and Trinidadian, but an English national. I love that I live in a hodgepodge of race and religion. In my younger years, every year, I was insistent on moving to another state because I thought that I had outgrown the city and the people…. boy, was I wrong. Everything happens for a reason, and there is a bigger and deeper meaning to why I haven’t left. I can’t imagine moving away from friends who turned family or from my childhood home. I love to experience the arts and the Orlando culture. Being that I have lived here for so long and I can safely say I still have not explored nearly half of Orlando is so exciting. We have a great balance of city and suburbs. I am also vegan and there is quite a bit of options for me here. I am beyond comfortable here. The scene and the support for local businesses is great. As big of a city as we are… we are able to come together as one.
- Elementary Tutoring Services are $40/hr
- High School Tutoring Services are $50/hr
- College Services are $50/hr
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.onebrainlearningcenter.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/onebrainlearningcenter/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OneBrainLearningCenter/
Corey Gunter (male tutor) Kevin Budhu (student) Daniel West (student with glasses) Stephnie Sahadeo