BrainStorm Tutoring & Arts is a diverse and highly-skilled network of young professionals who use motivation and mentorship to inspire personal and academic excellence in students of all ages. Launched in 2006, the company is the brainchild of Scott Doty and Ashley DiPetrillo, local graduates (Ramsey HS ‘99 and Ramapo HS ‘98, respectively) who saw a need in their community and have worked diligently to meet it ever since. To learn more about why we exist and how we’re exceptional, click here.

Meet the Founding Family

Ashley and Scott met at the audition for a musical at college (Tufts University, where Ash studied Civil Engineering and Scott studied International Relations). Ashley, a former Miss Wyckoff, adored Italian cooking and calculus; Scott, a lifelong mischief-maker and non-beauty pageant winner, played a mean piano and was starting striker for the Tufts varsity soccer team. They hit it off.

After they both graduated with honors, Scott won the prestigious Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship, sending him to Australia for his Master’s in International Business. Ashley joined him in Melbourne, where she decided to get her Master’s in Civil Engineering. Upon return, they launched their first baby: BrainStorm. A few years later, after getting hitched, they started creating human babies, too: Alejaya (now age 6) and Teadora (now age 4).

Scott & Ashley are thrilled with the impact BrainStorm is having in their lifelong Bergen County-area community, and are committed to continuing to create an atmosphere in which inspired professionals provide “exuberant learning” opportunities for families and students are empowered to experience Dominance on Test Day, Confidence for Life.


OS + BR = AA



Say hello to the most skilled academic mentors in the New Jersey/New York City area – they are brilliant, accomplished, and rigorously trained super-pros. And even more important: they are some of the most wonderful, soulful, genuine people on the planet.

Click the Pics to see Quick Bios!

Jack Grimes

EDUCATION: Tufts University, BA Philosophy & Political Science; Seton Hall, MA Theology


FUN FACTS: For more than four years I was the legislative aide to a NJ State Assemblyman!

Emily Faulkner

EDUCATION: Eastern Nazarene College


FUN FACTS: I lived in China for a year and can speak Mandarin!

Andy Balbuena

EDUCATION: A.B. in Philosophy, Harvard

AREA OF EXPERTISE: English, History, Languages, Test Prep

FUN FACTS: I’m a total linguaphile who invests countless hours into obscure philosophy texts and Twitter.

Kevin Doty

EDUCATION: B.S. in Chemistry and Certification in Secondary Education from Lebanon Valley College in PA.

AREA OF EXPERTISE: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Algebra 1&2, Geometry

FUN FACTS: I played soccer in college and studied abroad in New Zealand

Sean Faulkner

EDUCATION: Bachelor's of Social Work (BSW) from Azusa Pacific University; Master's of Counseling from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary


FUN FACTS: I was born in Japan; Did Peace Corps in Micronesia; I am a therapist; Go NY Mets & Giants!

Erica Rolek

EDUCATION: TCNJ- Master's in Urban Education, Bachelor's in STEM and Elementary Education

AREA OF EXPERTISE: K-8, HS Entrance Exams

FUN FACTS: I've met Derek Jeter!

Michael LaCorte

EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree from Pace (Westchester) and culinary degree from ICE

AREA OF EXPERTISE: All things verbal/English, high school entrance exams, and general school subjects/study skills

FUN FACTS: I just celebrated 5 years at BrainStorm!

Dan Izquierdo



FUN FACTS: Self-taught programmer

Suganthi Thirunavukarasu

EDUCATION: BS Biology from SUNY Plattsburgh, MA Biomedical Science from Midwestern University

AREA OF EXPERTISE: Math ( Geometry, Algebra 1 & 2), Science ( Biology, Chemistry, Physics) and Test Prep( SAT, ACT)

FUN FACTS: I am finally learning to swim 🙂

Kristen McDonald

EDUCATION: Pace University BS in Mathematics

AREA OF EXPERTISE: ALL math topics (middle school-college, Standardized Test Prep

FUN FACTS: I'm a fantasy nerd, especially when it comes to reading. I'm in the middle of reading the series A Song of Ice and Fire for a second time, and I've read every Harry Potter book more than 10 times!

Renee Patterson

EDUCATION: BS Portland State University MA in Education, Long Island University (TOH Certificate)

AREA OF EXPERTISE: College Coaching: choices, applications, essays & supplements PSAT/SAT Test Prep (Reading, Writing, Language) ACT Test Prep (Reading, Writing, Language, and Science)

FUN FACTS: I always wake up in time to watch the sun as it rises and my Aura is emerald green.

Michael Kucharik

EDUCATION: Bachelor's Degree from The Ohio State University

AREA OF EXPERTISE: Test Prep and Math

FUN FACTS: I run a sports blog and podcast in my spare time.


Say hello to the brains behind our Sportika/Manalapan location!

Janine Weiss

Janine Weiss is the Director of Sportika’s BrainStorm!

EDUCATION: Ithaca College, BA Psychology

The George Washington University, MA School Counseling

AREA OF EXPERTISE: College Coaching LD Tutoring

FUN FACTS: I have no middle name!

Jessica Friedel

Jessica Friedell is the Assistant Director of Sportika’s BrainStorm!

Education: Rutgers University, Psychology & Criminology; Montclair State University, Counseling & Human Services with a certification in School Counseling

Area of Expertise: SAT, ACT, College Coaching

Fun Facts: I'm a huge Harry Potter nerd, and I've read each book at least 10 times.

Our “Ideal Match” Guarantee:

We are committed to finding the ideal match for your son or daughter and won’t rest until we do.

In fewer than 2% of our matches, the family requests a different mentor. If you’re part of that tiny minority, we’ll send a new mentor your way for a FREE first session to ensure that your family is thrilled with the experience. To put it simply: we got you. We really care.

CALL 201.84.STORM today to find the perfect academic mentor for your child so that he or she can STORM THE TEST!!