Founded in 1991
We work with 2 School Districts
California Educational Centers (CEC) was founded 26 years ago operating out of a small homework lab serving a couple students. We have since grown to a large facility serving thousands of students through individual tutoring and after school programs.
From our office in Cerritos, we serve school districts around the LA/Orange Country area reaching thousands of students through our award winning after school programs.
Serving thousands of students
DreamPrep SAT & College Goldmind
Since 1991, CEC has served tens of thousands of students through our after school programs and tutoring from our office. We have worked with many school districts and community outreach projects.
Our new College Goldmind program helps students get into the college of their dreams by packaging their application to excite readers. Our DreamPrep SAT prep courses are helping students beat the standardized tests.
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 Inc., or CEC, now boasting several contracts with school districts, valued community relationships and a staff of more than 100, including credentialed teachers, college graduate and undergraduate students, who reach out year-round to all students. CEC is proud to receive continued 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.
While the facility and the student base has certainly grown and changed over the years, the principle behind the company remains the same. The vision was, and still is, for an educational center with 3 core values: safety, education and fun! Together these components, along with the mission statement, "to help each student reach his/her highest academic and social potential" brings to life an educational center whose unique environment inspires academic and social success for its students.
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 childs mind, and utilizing the latest in educational technology in its multimedia computer lab, Vision Learning Labs.
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 own budget.
Even though he is legally 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, four highly respected companies, 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 neighboring community fueled in large part to our staff's dedication and enthusiasm towards student achievement!
Meet Our CEO
Brian Tom is an exceptional CEO and teacher. He built California Educational
Centers (CEC) when he was just 20 years old back in 1991. He is a graduate
of Gretchen Whitney High School, which is also known as the #1 high school
in California. In 1992, he graduated from his dream school, the University of
California Los Angeles (UCLA).
Brian's story is both inspiring and profound due to all the pain and hardship
he had to overcome in his life. He was an exceptional student growing up and
was always excelling in his studies thanks to the motivation to support his
family. Brian went to UCLA to pursue a career that would allow both of his
brothers to receive the opportunity to attend a university. Brian was on the
right track when he was suddenly struck with misfortune. He developed
Glaucoma in his early 20's which caused him to lose complete eyesight in his
left eye. His right eye was badly damaged as well and it blurred his vision. Brian was now blind.
Even though Brian was now blind, he didn't let his disability hinder him from achieving his dreams. He learned to adapt and thrive with his new condition. He stayed active and motivated. It was around this time where he developed and grew California Educational Centers into the business it is today. Brian received huge success and recognition with CEC. He was even presented with an award in 2013 from the City of Cerritos to thank him for all the work he has done for the community.
Even with all the accomplishments of CEC, Brian did not stop there. He went on to create Blind Start of America which is an award-winning, non-profit organization dedicated to helping the visually impaired find the resources to live normal, healthy and fulfilling lives. Brian's personal philosophy of "No Excuses" allowed him to flourish his career and he wanted to share his success with others through Blind Start. He didn't want them to think that having a disability would keep them from reaching their full potential. The organization works with CEC to hold and participate in events in the community to raise awareness and provide support to those in need.
Up to this day, Brian Tom is still being recognized and awarded for his work. He was also awarded in 2016 by his Alma Mater, Gretchen Whitney High School by inducting him in their Hall of Fame, an honor reserved for those who've really made a difference in the community. Brian wants to share his story in hopes to encourage everyone to pursue their aspirations and to not let anyone or anything hold them back from living up to their fullest potential.
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.