Founded in 1991
California Educational Centers (CEC) was founded 30 years ago operating out of a small office serving a few students. Since then, CEC has served thousands of students throughout California and now globally online.
Serving thousands of students
Since 1991, CEC has served thousands of students through our after school programs and Online tutoring. We have worked with many school districts and community outreach programs.
Our College Goldmind consulting program helps students get into the college of their dreams by packaging their application to excite readers.
How it all started...
In 1991, Brian Tom's seedling educational center, Cerritos Education Center, consisted of a one-room homework lab, a used van, and a staff of 5 employees...
Today, the educational services company has transformed to become California Educational Centers (CEC), serving many school districts and community partners. CEC has proudly received support from the community through partnerships with institutions like the California Chess Academy, Chick-Fil-A, Elephant Bar Restaurant, Network for a Healthy California and Project APPLE.
From in-person teaching to online tutoring, the core principles remain the same; Safety, Education, and Fun! CEC's mission is to help students reach their highest academic and social potentials.
CEC strives to guarantee academic and social success for its students. CEC continues to be at the forefront of education, constantly developing new programs and curriculum designed to inspire every aspect of a child's mind, and utilizing the latest in educational technology.
As the company has grown, so has the diversity of its clientele. CEC's goal is to make its educational services available to all students, of all backgrounds. With this goal in mind, CEC has worked hard to offer special year-round discounts to make CEC's work with each family's budget.
Although Blind, Brian Tom has a clear vision to educate others and is motivated to share this vision. From the very start of his journey, which began with his diagnosis of glaucoma, to his present achievements, Brian and his staff have maintained their devotion to education and continue to provide students with a visionary path to success! California Educational Centers continues to be an integral part of the Community fueled in large part to our staff's dedication and enthusiasm towards student achievement!
Meet Our CEO
Brian Tom, known as the Blind CEO, America’s Visionary Speaker and author, is no stranger to survival and overcoming adversity. As a 1st generation son of Chinese, Mexican and Native American parents, Brian worked 3 jobs while attending the #1 ranked high school in the state while simultaneously helping to raise his 2 younger brothers in a struggling single-income household. Through these early challenges he honed his passion for leadership, tutoring prowess, public speaking, business savvy and tenacity to the sharpest degree. Even losing his sight to Glaucoma didn’t stop him from creating California Educational Centers (CEC) at 20 years old with only $4,000, 3 friends, a beat up old Subaru and a vision of delivering the best tutoring services in Southern California that would rival educational giants like Kaplan. CEC prospered under Brian’s relentless dedication to delivering top-tier specialized tutoring, employing over 100
staff members that served local school districts throughout Los Angeles County and Orange County. Although, with greatness comes even greater responsibility and the stress and day-to-day challenges of managing a large company and maintaining its quality came with a toll. In 2017, Brian survived a heart attack at 46 years old right after his daughter, Leilani, was born. The nearly fatal event inspired him to reassess his lifestyle and company structure to become healthier, smarter, and more efficient. He scaled back his staff from 100 to 10 and hired Valedictorians from the #1 High School in California. Who better to teach kids how to study, speak and strategize for success than the best of the best? The testimonials were glowing and the new approach was working! Then in March 2020, COVID forced CEC to stop tutoring in person. Rising up to this unprecedented challenge, Brian did what he does best, he quickly assessed and adapted. Within one weekend, he worked with his young, whip-smart and tech-savvy staff to help him transform CEC into a fully Online platform using Zoom. Furthermore, he reached out to fellow online educators such as Joanne Kaminski while observing his own daughter’s experiences with online learning to then implement changes that took CEC’s Public Speaking and Study Skills Mastery classes to the next level. The parent of one of his students named Angeline testifies, “CEC’s current learning environment is amazing, positive, safe, engaging and fun! Angeline actually looks forward to every class and recommends them to her classmates.” CEC celebrates its 30th Year Anniversary this September 2021 and clearly it continues to flourish and enrich students under Brian’s direction. CEC is focused on teaching students the highest paid skills in the world that are not taught in school. Our mission is to help students Grade K-12 to succeed and reach their highest academic and social potential. To learn more, you can visit us at CECtutoring.com or call us at 562-860-7633. Have a blessed and VISIONARY day!
Meet Our Staff
Ofie Chanco - Community Relations Manager
Ofie Chanco is the California Educational Center's (CEC) very own Community
Relations Manager. She first started out as a customer here at CEC where
she put all four of her daughters in the program. Ofie was very astounded
with how the tutors and the educators worked with her daughters to develop
and improve their math, reading, and writing. Through the hard work of the
CEC staff, all of Ofie's daughters were accepted into Gretchen Whitney High
School also known as the #1 high school in California.
Ofie was so impressed with how the CEC staff cultivated and flourished her
daughters' skills that it inspired her to join the team and work as the
Community Relations Manager. She wanted to help CEC help other students
shine like how CEC helped her daughters. As the Community Relations
Manager, Ofie works with parents and students to assess their knowledge
and find out where they excel and where they need help. She works really
hard to make sure the children are put in the right program and that parents
are getting the best deal with the best results. She plays a major role in helping them grow and improve not only in their knowledge but also with their limits.
Ofie inspires students to go above and beyond their capabilities to truly excel at their best. She wants parents to know that every child is special and that each one has the capability of being excellent, they just need to be pointed in the right direction. She really believes that with the committed efforts of both her and the rest of CEC, your children will be able to achieve their goals and get closer to their dreams.
STEM Advisory Council
Hometown: Bakersfield, CA
Employer: Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX)
Position: Mechanical Design Engineer
Alma Mater: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Degree: Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering
K-12 Education: Stockdale Christian School & Bakersfield Christian High School
What advice do you have for aspiring STEM professionals?
Find something you love to do that is useful (not video games) and develop your talent in that area. When I was kid, I loved fixing things. I'd fix radios, computers, desks - anything that was broken, I'd make a mission to fix, whether by looking up how on the internet or just by fiddling around. That developed into engineering. If something in science, math, or other subjects interests you, investigate it. Learn more! Explore! Mess around with stuff! Experiment!
What interested you growing up?
When I was a wee little kid, I wanted to be a train engineer because I loved watching Thomas the Tank Engine. As I got older, I wanted to be a farmer, a fighter pilot, a policeman, and an architect at different times.
Hometown: Former Soviet Union
Employer: Kythera Biopharmaceuticals
Undergraduate Alma Mater: University of California, Davis
Bachelor's Degree: Bachelor of Science, Biotechnology
Postgraduate Alma Mater: University of California, Irvine
Postgraduate Degree: Ph.D., Biomedical Science
What advice do you have for aspiring STEM professionals?
Our industry is growing tremendously and more talent and creativity is desperately needed. Young investigators that are computer savvy, energetic, bold and creative can have profound, exciting and gainful careers and I would love to encourage more students to pursue this field.
What interested you growing up?
My interest in Biology began when I was about five years old growing up in former Soviet Union. I used to smuggle little bugs and worms to my room and do little experiments with them causing significant distress to my mother. When I moved to the United States, I realized that my dream of becoming a biologist could be a reality.
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Employer: Los Angeles City Fire Department
Position: Fire Protection Engineer Associate
Alma Mater: California State University, Los Angeles
Bachelor's Degree: Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering
What is your journey like as a professional engineer?
After graduation I worked for the City of Los Angeles - Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) where I helped reviewed large construction projects. I also worked for V&A, Inc. a civil and traffic engineering that focuses on building freeways, bridges and light passenger trains. As a V&A engineer I worked in the traffic division designing traffic signals, street lighting systems, and signing and striping plans for some of the area’s largest public works projects such as the Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail, the Westside Subway Extension and the 6th Street Bridge Replacement Project. Currently I work for the Los Angeles City Fire Department.