Helping Youth and Teens Succeed Since 1978.
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.
Debra E. Brown-Thompson
Exceptional Innovative Educator • Results-Oriented Change-Maker
Extraordinary Program Designer and Developer • Inspirational Facilitator
Debra E. Brown-Thompson, a native of Chicago, Illinois, and current resident of Brooklyn, New York, is Founder and Executive Director of The Learnatory (aka GenTech), an innovative educational organization with a mission to close opportunity gap by advancing, advocating, and delivering transformative learning experiences for elementary and high school students. Integrating STEAM with Social-Emotional Learning strategies, she has engaged thousands of students in their pursuit of excellence by boosting their self-esteem and providing tools to develop high-octane grit and agency. Her innovative programs encourage students to appreciate their uniqueness, identify their passions, tap into their potentials, and build pathways to success.
Through The Learnatory, Thompson has taught students to “Envision Success” emphasizing strong intrapersonal, interpersonal, and transpersonal communications skills through her delivery of experiential learning workshops. She has successfully led efforts to matriculate thousands of students at some of the nation's top colleges, universities, and HBCU's many of whom have gone on to excel in the sciences, education, social service, social justice, music, and business. Through The Learnatory, students learn to envision success and confidently strive to actualize their potentials.
Thompson is a recognized expert in the field of Individualized Progression mentored by the late Dr. Helen McNamara, noted author of “Individualized Progression”. She has implemented academic and enrichment programs in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York through teaching and consulting. Her diversity ranges from low socio-economic communities such as Bloom Township High School in Chicago Heights, IL, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) after-school programs in Harlem, New York, and the LA Unified School District, to the more affluent Beverly Hills High School, Naperville Dist. 203 (IL), and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools where she taught an aggregate of 6 years.
Thompson also has an extensive background in the corporate sector specializing in corporate learning and development in the telecommunications industry. She has been Director, Leadership and Executive Development at Ameritech and a Training & Education Consultant for AT&T, SBC, Verizon, Sprint, and Motorola as well as an organizational change manager for several Fortune 100 companies. She provided consulting services to the Office of the Mayor of the City of Chicago, the Chicago Board of Education, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
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.