The Learnatory is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization
The Learnatory is an education technology company empowering young people to succeed while exploring their passions, purposes, and paths. Through mentoring, enrichment, and leadership education, we encourage students to envision, plan, and achieve their best lives.
Since 1978, The Learnatory has served over 12,000 youth and teens in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. In 2020 due to the pandemic, we began our virtual programming which was a thrilling success! Through the design, development, and delivery of programs and interdisciplinary activities, The Learnatory has sought to permeate the minds of young people with the curiosity to explore, the confidence to discover, and the character to lead with excellence.
By continually assessing programs, and research, and surveying participants, The Learnatory aims to move to the forefront of re-imagined education for college-bound students. Today, The Learnatory serves the college-bound community through in-school, after-school, weekend, summer, and assessment programs and provides a multitude of resources for families and educators, supporting students Grade 3 through 12.
The Learnatory is proud of its history of serving the college-bound community with passion and excellence.
The Learnatory's Executive Director, Debra E Brown-Thompson, brings over 40 years of extensive experience, research, and dedication to elementary and secondary students and their parents.
Debra E. Brown-Thompson, a native of Chicago, Illinois, currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Thompson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Speech with teaching credentials from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Science in Organization Development with a concentration in Organizational Behavior from Benedictine University.
Thompson began her career in the field of education teaching English at Bloom Township High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. After 3 years, she moved to New York City where she wrote training manuals for telecommunications companies and tutored academically challenged youth in Harlem.
Thompson established The Learnatory in 1978 at the University of Southern California. She has taught at the Beverly Hills High School in Los Angeles, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, and Bloom Township High School in Chicago. She is the founder of The Learnatory and of the former Frank London Brown Academy, a private school, in Chicago.
Thompson served Director, Leadership and Executive Development for Ameritech after working 3 years as a Training and Development Specialist with Tellabs, a telecommunications manufacturing company in Lisle, Illinois
The STEAM program opened in Brooklyn in January 2018 and has operated at numerous public and charter schools as well as independently at St. Francis' and St. Joseph's Colleges. In 2020, The Learnatory converted to a digital, online format due to the pandemic and is currently continuing to offer its classes and camps virtually. Live, in-person camps are available for other camps and organizations. T
Thompson is the proud mother of three children, all of whom hold degrees in creative fields. Brandi Thompson-Ullian and Ryann Thompson are both High Honors graduates of New York University in Communications and Film Production, respectively. Trenton Thompson holds a Masters of Art in Animation and Screenwriting from the American Academy of Art in San Francisco.
The staff of The Learnatory must share two key components: A passion for Performance-Driven Excellence and a commitment to seeing young people succeed.
The Learnatory hires Independent Contractors who are each specialist in their fields. They must hold a minimum of a Bachelor's degree and/or have at least 3 years of experience in their area of expertise. Experience must include working with young people in an academic or recreational environment. Learnatory personnel is carefully vetted and must demonstrate a passion for teaching and a commitment to building excellence in young people.
The Learnatory prides itself in hiring individuals and organizations recognized for outstanding research and practical applications in their fields. Our goal is to bring our students top-quality, insightful professionals and real-world transformative learning experiences.
Instructors receive training in The Learnatory Methodology which focuses on self-discovery and analysis. We seek to take the risk out of learning new things and cultivate a love of learning within every child.
"I am glad that I discovered The Learnatory STEAM Program. I believe that my child has an edge and an advantage that has shifted, if not broadened, his educational path. As a parent, The Learnatory has made me a believer!
I see a change in my child after three sessions with The Learnatory. The subjects, the instructors, and the atmosphere settled my child’s learning experience. He is so inspired after each class session, that he wants to join the next.
I am glad that I have found the right educational fit and I look forward to where it takes my son. This is my child’s pre-college experience. I am so smiling. Why? I see the possibilities in his future. Thank you, Learnatory.” — Loriann, Parent
"My son was part of the GenTech* (The Learnatory) family from 2nd grade to 7th grade. He's graduating from HS next year and as we prepare his college essays we realized GenTech and Debra's work became the impetus for his love and passion for STEM. GenTech was just a start-up when he began but it taught him methodology, programming, and building. Most importantly, Debra's work, empathy, and drive made my child and many others successful. Debra is an innovator and ahead of the curve."
* The Learnatory was "GenTech" in Chicago, IL