We Are PBA Ventures
We make learning easy and fun!
Our insured team of professional tutors provide first class communication and are not only trained, but also dedicated to ongoing professional development!
We work with a number of private, charter, and public schools in the area, and, with your permission, we'll communicate with your student's teachers and administrators.
Director of Test Prep
Ryan graduated Davidson College in 2012 with a degree in Philosophy and a minor in Neuroscience. After getting his Master's in Molecular Neuroscience in Germany, Ryan returned stateside to do scientific computing at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
He has tutored Biology, Algebra, Physics, German, and Test Prep off and on since 2014. Special test prep cred: he was one of two students in Georgia to get a perfect score on his ACT senior year of high school. In his off time, Ryan enjoys playing one of his instruments, running, listening to beaucoup podcasts, and reading.
Elizabeth has been teaching for the past fourteen years in North Carolina. Originally from Kitty Hawk, she moved to Davidson to pursue her love of education at Woodlawn School, where she has been a Spanish teacher, middle school tennis coach, assistant girls varsity basketball coach, and one on one tutor. It was at Woodlawn School where she met Patrick Braxton-Andrew, and a fast friendship was formed. Elizabeth graduated in 2005 from Lynchburg College in Virginia where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Secondary Education. Helping people has always been a passion of hers. Elizabeth is excited to be managing PBA Ventures and maintaining the great work that Patrick started in 2016.
Amanda graduated from UNC-Charlotte with a BA in English and a minor in Philosophy. Her parents and grandmothers were all teachers; Amanda followed in their footsteps and has now been teaching in North Carolina for over 20 years. She is a native of Huntersville and is currently teaching English and Journalism at her high school alma mater, North Mecklenburg. Amanda lives on a farm in Huntersville where her family raises cows and horses. She spends most of her free time outside - working in her garden or her horse's pasture, walking her two dogs, or reading in the porch swing. Amanda loves traveling, live music, trivia, coffee, and chocolate ice cream. Her favorite novelist is Stephen King, and her favorite poet is William Carlos Williams.
Alexander graduated from Queens University of Charlotte in 2014 with a BS in Chemistry as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow. He immediately went into teaching after college and has been a public school teacher for 3 years. Alexander has been tutoring professionally for almost 6 years but has been tutoring peers and classmates for as long as he can remember. Alexander resides in Charlotte with his dog and enjoys spending time with his friends when he's not teaching. He specializes in most middle and high school math and science courses.
Will is Mathematics and Economics double major in the class of 2020 at Davidson College. Both of his parents are educators, so an environment of learning and teaching has always surrounded him. Will started tutoring calculus during his freshman year, and that has grown into tutoring Davidson students in math and economics at the college’s Center for Teaching and Learning, and tutoring students from the community with Patrick and PBA Ventures. He looks forward to meeting many more tutees, and helping them develop an understanding of and a love for his favorite subjects!
Tony Solís is a senior at Davidson College studying Educational Studies and Public Policy. In the future, Tony hopes to teach, be a school principal and fight for progressive education policy that supports all students. Tony is easy going and likes to run, juggle and play music.
Amy Strong Pasko
SAT Test Prep
Amy is a Charlotte native and alumna of the IB program at North Meck High School. She received her BA in History from the University of South Carolina where she rode on the varsity equestrian team and spent a year studying history at the University of Warwick in the UK. On graduation she returned to her high school alma mater ten years ago to teach World History and IB International History. Amy completed her education (for now) with an MA in History from UNC-Charlotte.
Rachel grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. She graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in NH and earned her B.A. from Dartmouth College where she graduated with an Asian Studies and Government double major. After graduation, she worked as a consultant at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). She continued her consulting work at Plaut Consulting, where she worked on client sites in Denmark, Austria and Switzerland. Eventually, she and her husband Nick formed a consulting company. As the mother of three academically-engaged, sports-loving sons and in her role as an alumni interviewer for Dartmouth, Rachel has for years closely followed trends in education. Rachel has ample experience helping students navigate both the pressures of school and the constantly evolving college admissions process. Rachel excels in helping students find their voice through college application essays, as well as helping them to research and plan their pathway toward a successful high school and college experience.
ACT/SAT Test Prep
Zach is a senior at Davidson College studying English and preparing for medical school. He has experience tutoring high school students in English and math, and he has worked with younger students to improve all-around academic performance. Outside of class he volunteers as an EMT with the Davidson Fire Department, is the president of an on-campus fraternity, and enjoys making music.
ACT/SAT Test Prep
Gwen graduated from the University of Richmond in Virginia in 2015 with majors in Psychology and Spanish and a minor in Portuguese. She loved studying abroad in Brazil so much during college that she became a Fulbright English Teaching Fellow in Argentina after graduating to keep immersing herself in other cultures. Gwen loves tutoring Spanish and math but has a special love for SAT and ACT prep after her own preparation in high school got her all the way to a top 99% score! Gwen is currently studying Clinical and Mental Health Counseling at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte and spends her weekends (while not in class) cooking tasty food and singing with the Charlotte Master Chorale.
ACT/SAT Test Prep
Benjamin is in the class of 2022 at Davidson College. He specializes in Math, Grammar, Physics, Spanish, and SAT/ACT prep. Benjamin did peer tutoring in high school and has since honed his skills as a tutor with PBA. In high school, he ran cross country and played soccer while balancing several AP classes. He understands the busy life of a high school student. At Davidson, he plans to be a Political Science and Economics double major. Benjamin understands how a valuable tutor can really influence a young student's life, he hopes he can help as much as he can with everyone he meets.
ACT/SAT Test Prep
SherriJo is a fun-loving, mathematics-nut, teacher, tutor, and mom of three boys. She has a bachelor’s of science in mathematics and a teacher’s certificate in education, along with experience in public school systems. SherriJo homeschooled her sons from grades K-12 with her children eventually attending college with full tuition academic scholarships to several universities, and going on to earn double or triple degrees. Now that her youngest has graduated in 2018, she is prepared to help with any subject with a focus on middle school aged students and a strength in encouragement. As a current mathematics instructor and mentor, SherriJo understands the necessity to guide students to be organized, focused, and prepared.
Emma grew up in Arlington, Virginia and came to Davidson in 2015. In high school, she tutored her classmates with limited English proficiency in math (conducting most tutoring sessions in Spanish) and sought several tutoring opportunities here in North Carolina, both professionally and as a volunteer. As a chemistry major with an applied math concentration, Emma loves to work with middle and high school chemistry and math students, but have occasionally tutored some Spanish learners as well! Getting to share her joy for science and math with learners of diverse experience levels has been one of her favorite experiences as a student and educator.
Hanna is an Honors student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently majoring in Mathematics and Chemistry with a Creative Writing Minor. She graduated from the International Baccalaureate Program at North Mecklenburg High School in May 2018 and has been a member of the Davidson community since 2012. She tutors elementary and middle school as well as higher level Math, Physics, and Chemistry.
Isabel grew up in Winston Salem, NC with two brothers and a plethora of pets. She attended Loomis Chaffee, a boarding school in Connecticut for high school, but could not stay away from the South. She is now a proud member of Davidson College's Class of 2020. Currently, Isabel is a Biology major with a minor in Health and Human Values. In her free time, she is actively involved in several volunteer organizations and love to play sports. Isabel has a lot of experience working with kids all ages. She tutors all levels of school-curriculum math and sciences and specializes in the SAT and ACT as well.
ACT/SAT Test Prep
Joel was born in Reading, PA, and
after high school, attended Davidson College and graduated in 2012 with a BS in neuroscience. Joel went on to earn an MS in neuroscience from Baylor College of Medicine in 2016 He taught high school and community college biology courses from 2016-2018 and will never stop talking about the brain as long as you continue to show interest in the topic! Joel enjoys learning obscure/forgotten skills like blacksmithing, Mongolian throat singing, and shifting without a clutch (none of which should be attempted without guidance of course).
Shannon is a Systems Engineering student at UNCC, class of 2020, with a Concentration in Energy and a Minor in Math. Tutoring and teaching has been a longstanding passion of hers and she loves working with students of all ages. In Shannon's free time, she loves to go hiking with her rescue pup, snowboard, kayak, or read science fiction. Her time with PBA Ventures has truly been inspiring and fulfilling.