Hello-.- Service & Fees


 

BIO                                                                   

I come from a fully Venezuelan family of distant European and Sephardic ancestry with high moral and educational standards. Since my Dad, an educator also, wanted us to learn native English, I studied from kindergarten through high school in Kansas City, Kansas, USA. That's where my teaching experience begins, though informally. Since high school, I was always the one to help others in English (my best subject).

I have always been learning. I read the complete (yes, complete) World Book Encyclopedia from the age of 10 through 14. The Guinness Book of Records was another favorite. Since then, I have never stopped learning. During my teen years, I studied from French to World War II history. I was also heavily into computers. However, I was not the stereotype braniac. I was a fun and very well-known dude that went to all the parties. I truly developed my social side because beyond learning many subjects, I was also an MC (master of ceremonies), point guard on the basketball team, running back on the football team, hip-hop break-dancer and I was the lead singer of my high school rock band.

During one vacation in Venezuela, I joined a break-dance group from Venevision called The Breakers. We danced on Sabado Sensacional, The Miss Venezuela pageant, other TV shows, and I was even in a movie called The Halley Generation (La Generación Halley).

Out of high school, I took a pre-college year to study photography and Jungian/analytical psychology. Soon after, my parents decided it was time to move back to Venezuela. I was the only one of my brothers that could afford a life change, so as the youngest son, I assumed the duty of accompanying my parents back to the homeland and seeing what the heck I could do there. At this time, I started studying Spanish intensely. Once back, I took many equivalency exams to be a Venezuelan high school graduate. I joined Magique, a local "miniteca" (DJ service & sound company) at the time as their MC and showman.

At the same time, I took up an entertainment industry job in Sonorodven (a record company) as Label Manager. My job was to make records and represent the company internationally. I worked in many hit album compilations and helped in the production of various international artists. I was also a company representative at the world's most important music convention: the Cannes Music Festival in Cannes, France. I was actually the youngest record executive there. At about this time, I began to tutor other executives in English, on the side. I also began many study courses in everything from time-management to marketing strategies.

Work and study was impossible, so I departed from the record label and dedicated fully to studying law as my general-knowledge and Spanish-enhancing base major. At this time, I also delved into small business, from marketing bathing suits to ties. I later began formal studies in computer architecture (diploma program) and started making computers with a friend on weekends. Instead of Dells, we sold Nels. At this time, demand for me as an MC and English tutor grew. As soon as I finished law school, I studied broadcasting (public speaking) and obtained my certification as an official broadcaster. My next step was to perfect and certify my other skill: teaching.

Upon obtaining my broadcasting certification (N# 26.640), I took a gap year to work, teach and skate around the world. I traveled solo through dozens of cities across the US and Southeast Asia. I spent nearly a year in the US where I participated in many seminars and short-courses on education and the English language. After skating most major US cities I crossed over to Taiwan. While there, I worked as an international trade consultant with Leona Trading Corp., a local export company. At the same time, I also taught in a few Taiwanese English institutes. This is when I fully realized my talent for teaching and consulting, because I had the opportunity to compare my abilities with other teachers. In my classes, students were smiling all the time and an army of moms asked me about prospective college admission in the US. I also did some TV commercials there, both as actor and voice-over artist. On my way back to Caracas, I stopped by Miami where a friend that was starting a locally-caught fish business invited me to join him with work and capital. I decided to stay and learn more in the meantime. I did all the office and public relations part in the fish business. After 6 months of stiff competition, we sold, but I gained another wonderful experience. I even swam in the Miami river backwaters with an endangered Florida Manatee.

Back in Venezuela, I decided to dedicate my life to education. I began coaching high level executives for symposiums and conferences, and teaching English at the corporate level. Soon an offer came to me from the Liceo Los Arcos, an elite Venezuelan bilingual school. I became Family Affairs Coordinator and occasional teacher. My student base for private tutoring and college counseling expanded incredibly. During this period I began the Trinity College London TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification procedures and preparation with Trinity College London examiners sent to Venezuela. When I finally took the exam at the teacher level (very high level test) about a year later, I got the highest score in all Latin America (95 over 100). I also began doing voice-overs for TV and radio commercials, and radio production. In the meantime, my sound company Magique had gone into the nightclub business with some other partners, and I joined in. We called the club Blue, it was in Altamira and later in La Colina (USM). I was the public relations manager and club promoter. The place was a hit, but due to partner dishonesty, we closed.

Some time later, I met a fantastic and life-changing family in Altamira that provided me with one of the most inspiring student I've ever had, Saul. From then on, I left Los Arcos and decided to solely dedicate to being the best educational consultant and college counselor I could be. However, I did give business another opportunity by getting into the car sales business, but lost due to partner dishonesty again and auto thefts. Some businesses are simply not for nice people.

One summer in the mid 2000s, after a proposal from the Hebraica youth center, I began an English summer camp called Megateens. It turned out to be quite an unexpected success. Over 50 kids from 10 to 12 years old shared in fun and laughter with us. The following year, I participated as guest counselor and photographer/video maker. I wish I had a clone to participate every year.

For two years I also did an experimental general knowledge program in English called KBM (Knowledge is the Best Merchandise) at the Moral y Luces Herzl-Bialik school in Caracas, in which only 6 students per class sat in a room full of colored bean-bags, where we discussed the most varied topics.

During this time, I applied to become a certified TOEFL Test Center Administrator, passing the international examination to do so on the first try. This certification makes me an official TOEFL representative for Venezuela. Shortly afterwards, I co-produced a show on radio station Jazz 95.5 called Mundo Curioso with producer/broadcaster Ernesto Garcia Uribe.

Today, as the high school counselor of the Moral y Luces Herzl-Bialik school and full-time college counselor, I feel fulfilled and proud, having a fantastic and select group of applicants. So far, I have gotten ALL my undergraduate and transfer students into the major academies, colleges and universities of the United States, such as Brown, University of Chicago, Cornell, University of Miami, Harvard, Parsons, Princeton, Emory, Columbia, Boston University, Georgia Tech, Emerson, Stanford, and most others.

I am currently professor of English I and II at the School of Social Communications of the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello. I also do community service by sharing my knowledge at the Hebraica Cultural Center with a fantastic group of children in the English discussion group called KIP (Knowledge is Power). These two activities, sponsored by my private practice, are my way of giving back to my community.

 

Parallel to these main activities, I am Editorial Director of Jewish Way magazine (www.jewishway.com), a fantastic US lifestyle magazine that covers everything from interior decorating to philosophy. I am also the photographer for my wife, entertainment journalist Sara Kafrouni (www.sara.com.ve) who writes for ZETA magazine. As a certified broadcaster, I do voice-overs for TV commercials and institutional videos. I'm not an MC anymore, but I occasionaly host English speaking events. As of late, a small tourism business of mine called Nelson's Place has prospered, garnering me the Trip Advisor 2013 Traveler's Choice Award.

As you see, I'm an active and happy guy, giving my best to my applicants and students, trying to help them be integral and successful invdividuals. That is my mission; that is my life.


nelven@gmail.com