The SOS4Students Story
For more than 25 years, Beth Samuelson and SOS4Students coaches have collaborated with parents, caregivers, students, teachers, and clinicians in the Bay Area to do the troubleshooting and detective work necessary to identify issues affecting student academic performance.
Our first brochure
SOS4Students founder and director Beth Samuelson started her journey as an educator in 1985. She first taught public school elementary grades in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and later in private schools. She also provided academic support through an LA-based psychology practice, as well as college counseling, SAT prep, study skills/tutoring, and workshops for teens through various organizations.
With a Masters in Developmental Teacher Education, she came to teaching with a focus on cognitive and moral development, a cutting-edge field that explores how students mature through several stages of cognitive ability, ranging from concrete to abstract logical thought.
Beth soon discovered that no matter the setting, socio-economic background, or even their intelligence, most students struggled with the same academic issues. They had difficulty starting projects, juggling priorities, completing assignments on time, and prepping for tests and papers. They weren’t challenged by content necessarily, but rather by learning differences in the form of ADHD, dyslexia, emotional challenges, and especially struggles with executive function.
Teaching overseas for several years in both London and Istanbul reinforced for Beth that the challenges faced by students were universal. To address them, she realized she would need to develop a keen understanding of the teen brain and executive function.
Returning to the United States, Beth resumed teaching. She also began to work one-on-one and in group settings with gifted students who struggled with projects, organization, and overwhelm. Soon, she noticed her students were leaving the sessions empowered, excited, and pumped. Apparently, she was addressing student executive function challenges successfully without even knowing it!
Inspired, Beth started Student Organizational Services (“SOS”) in 1997, later rebranding the company as SOS4Students in 2002. Her goal was to go beyond tutoring to understand where breakdowns and challenges were occurring for students so she and the SOS4Students team could identify and address specific short-term and long-term learning and executive function needs.
SOS4Students believes an effective coach is part detective and part brain mechanic. They get under the hood and translate their findings into concrete takeaways for students, parents, and other stakeholders. By focusing on the science of learning and the workings of executive function, SOS4Students teaches long-term study strategies that are not only effective tools for the classroom today, but tools students can use for their lifetimes.