Why We Started EmpowLearn?

Jen & Yvonne

When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, history was made when schools closed down completely. Teachers could not reach students, students’ learning was limited to online resources and screen time, while parents became overwhelmed with the task of organizing and coordinating school at home, working/not working anymore, and maintaining a household (chores, shopping, bills, etc.).

Our own families’ lives were suffering from the very same frustrations that many other families may have been experiencing. Our children were developing fears and anxiety centered around learning, we watched our children who once loved learning, become disinterested and disengaged; whereas the amount of conflict between parent and child increased dramatically.

Jen and I were at a loss, and we knew we needed to figure out how to reconfigure “school life” and “home life” before we both went crazy. Talk about an ego-check! Here we sat, almost 20 years of teaching experience each, and we were not experiencing any level of success integrating housekeeping, childcare, schooling, and work/career. Forget the social life being two single moms!

We believed every area of our life was suffering and we wanted to reclaim the quality of life we once enjoyed… then we realized we weren’t alone! We saw the power in reaching out for support, encouragement and collaboration to improve the quality of life for kids, but more importantly to maintain the well-being of parents while taking on more responsibility than ever before. We found solutions and put them into practice in our homes.

Now it’s post COVID, and we recognize that parents are at a loss of what to do moving forward while children are left behind by our politicians and public education system. What support is out there to help?

The Mission

Our mission is to enlighten and empower parents to be able to support and enhance their child’s education at home. We help parents obtain the skills and confidence needed to maximize learning time with a solution-oriented approach with encouragement and cooperation which will enhance relationships among teachers, parents, and students.

The Vision

Our vision is to provide an innovative service for families to ensure that their children have the opportunities and resources necessary to learn and become adequately prepared for college or career entry. With training and guidance, parents obtain the “power” to further impact their child’s education while nurturing the parent-child relationship.

This partnership with parents will encourage our children to continue to learn and grow at school, at home, and eventually on their own! Together, we will co-create a joyful learning experience for our children and ourselves.

Who We Are

Yvonne Percell

Co-Founder & Literacy Specialist

I am Yvonne Percell, a former first grade teacher and current Literacy Specialist. Throughout my 17 years as an educator, I have specialized in literacy. In addition, I coordinate Response to Instruction (RtI). I create intensive intervention plans that address poor performance in reading, due to learning a second language, lacking foundational skills or showing behaviors which can prevent their ability to learn. I have also mentored new teachers and continue to provide professional development and staff training for teachers.

I grew up in Las Vegas and am a product of Clark County School District. I worked at In-N-Out Burger for five years, as a store trainer, while I worked my way through college at UNLV, where I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education K-8 and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in young adult and children’s literature.

I am a single mom with split custody of one very special son. I grew up with a single mom, so I understand the amount of work it takes to “do it all” for your kids, which I have found great pleasure and challenge in all at once.

I love teaching and learning, especially if I can do it by reading a great book, which is how I spend most of my free time.  I also take every opportunity I can to get outside to observe beautiful, everyday events that are often taken for granted. Mother Nature has so many important lessons to teach us about life, living, and working in harmony to create something grander than we ever could have achieved as an individual. 

My Personal Mission

My mission is to help families, especially single-parent households, immigrants and underrepresented families among the working class. I don’t want parents to feel uncertain or ill-equipped to prepare our children for college and career entry. When I was a child, my mom strongly encouraged me to do well in school and go to college. She knew it was my only chance to escape the vicious cycle of poverty that I grew up in. Knowledge is power! EmpowLearn allows me the opportunity to inspire and empower families who may not believe that they already have the necessary resources (time, money, knowledge, etc.) to help their children with academics at home. Because of this service, I get to ensure that an equitable education remains accessible to all families, especially the families who don’t have the available resources and necessary skills required to adapt to the educational changes that are constantly taking place. Together, we can learn how to adapt in a healthy, productive way to achieve more than we ever would have individually!

Jennifer Phillips

Co-Founder & Math Specialist

I’m Jen Phillips, a Math Coach and licensed K-8 teacher since 1999. I have worked in the classroom over the past 20 years with both students and teachers. My career began teaching at the middle school level (ages 12-14). Here I learned how to teach math and English in real life encounters, especially when working with the NASA Explorer School program.  As I worked at the middle school level, I noticed that children had missing pieces in their math understanding preventing them from learning the middle school curriculum. They had already developed an “I hate math” or “I’m not good at math” attitude, which I found to be a generational legacy with every family I encounter.

The latter part of my career has been centered around mentoring teachers to improve their teaching practice and perform at higher levels of efficiency. As a teacher leader out of the classroom, I have worked as a technology specialist, data coordinator, and learning strategist. My role is to help teachers understand the content they are required to teach while monitoring what the data reports children are ready to learn, and help them make a game plan for their instruction.

I am a single mom with split custody of a daughter and three sons. We moved to Las Vegas in 2000 and it has been more wonderful than I could have expected. Growing up with a father in the military, I travelled all over the world attending 12 different schools. Before Las Vegas became my home, I lived in Ohio where my family currently resides.

I am a lover of learning and enjoy intellectually stimulating conversations as I learn new things from the people in my life. When I have a free moment, you can find me line dancing, 2-stepping or painting with friends, if I’m not traveling.

My Personal Mission

I will grow my life and business because I would love to help those who feel abandoned and without hope worldwide. When I was a child I felt alone, unwanted and insignificant and I don’t want others to feel worthless, unloved or unimportant. By expanding my business and life, it allows me the opportunity to serve the forgotten and marginalized by providing education, support and services to challenge them to learn their values and worth in the world. Because of this service, I get to change the world one person at a time while I enjoy every moment of my life.

Our Partners

Dr. Alok Trivedi has been a mentor and teacher for us since the fall of 2019. During COVID, we came up with idea that families would need help and with his encouragement we made the leap to start this business. We will be forever grateful for his support and community.

To learn more about how Dr. Trivedi has transformed our lives and how he can help you HEAL yours, consider attending his next event, Think Wealthy Challenge. We will be there with you. Until the next perfect time…

Gail Swift is a certified Kolbe professional and taught us how each of us is programmed with our own specific modus operandi (MO), our instinct of how we work.

You have probably found over time, you are very different from each person you encounter and the better you understand that individual the better you work together. As you get to know us, you will learn Yvonne is very different from Jen and how they think, process and operate is different as well. 

Gail Swift can help you and your family with this. The Kolbe program using a very specific bag of toys to determine Conative Activity is called BrainyAct.

This youtube video shows you a little bit about what’s in the bag and from the child’s activity with the bag we are able to determine HOW THAT CHILD WORKS WHEN FREE TO BE THEMSELVES.

Learn more from Gail as she continues to teach others to trust themselves as they prosper.

Jen Phillips, co-founder of EmpowLearn, has created an additional company, The Mathamagician, to serve families of children under age five developing mathematical thinking in the formative years.

  • Helping parents increase the learning capacity and understanding of the world around their child without the use of technology.
  • Focusing on the need for students to be working with concrete materials is critical to development.