A 501c3 Proudly Helping Youth and Teens Succeed Since 1978
Debra E. Brown-Thompson, a native of Chicago, Illinois, and current resident of Brooklyn, New York, is the Founder and Executive Director of The Learnatory (aka GenTech), an innovative educational organization with a mission to close the education opportunity gap by advancing, advocating, and delivering transformative learning experiences for elementary and high school students.
Integrating STEAM with Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) 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 potential, and build pathways to success.
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 for 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 several Fortune 500 corporations as well as federal and state governments.
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, 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.