Tiffany Sorya Is Pioneering A Non-Traditional Approach To Education
Tiffany Sorya is changing the way we think about traditional schooling. After spending years in the standard education system as a tutor, she pioneered a brand new approach to academics. Her program, called Novel Education Group, sees academics through a new lens by taking into account each students’ individual careers, hobbies, interests, goals, and more.
Essentially, Tiffany strives to help the younger generation find value and meaning in an education system that can seem bland, systemic, and standardized. She seeks to enrich the lives of young people with the true value of knowledge, serving clients from all backgrounds, including high-profile celebrity students like Kylie Jenner and Hailey Baldwin.
Name: Tiffany Sorya
Company: Novel Education Group
Job Title: Founder/CEO and Educator
Current home base: Los Angeles, CA
Originally from: Portland, OR
Your superpower: Prioritization/efficiency
One thing on your bucket list:
Open a school/hospital in Cambodia (I’m first generation).
A woman in history you admire & why:
Sally Ride. The scarcity of women in STEM back in her time was significantly more pronounced than it is now. I cannot imagine the hurdles and perseverance required for women in that field, at that level, at that time. Such an accomplishment.
A present-day woman you admire & why:
Jan Radar. She is the Fire Chief in Huntington, West Virginia, and she’s at the front line of the fight against the opioid crisis there. Substance abuse is a very personal issue to me, as it is a topic my family has dealt with for a long time. It’s really her selfless compassion that I love and laud. Anyone who works as a teacher or in any other social service job understands the personal sacrifice that comes with supporting others and helping them do better. They have to be okay with staying behind to fight the fight while others continue on to bigger and better things. I think that is real dedication.
Quote/piece of advice that you live by:
I don’t live by quotes because each person has his/her reasons for reaching success. I will say that it’s really important to understand that you can’t DO everything, but you can try everything. We should never be upset or discouraged that we weren’t able to “do” something, as long as we give it a genuine try.
What inspired you to start (or get involved with) your current venture?
My inspiration for starting this business has been twofold:
1. My unexpected love for teaching, which emerged in college when I was a Biology major trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and what my passions were. Even then, I realized it was more than the act of teaching itself that resonated with me. It was about seeing the confidence that emerged and transformed my students and classmates when they “got” the material. Suddenly, everything seems accessible and tangible, and it was then that I felt a strong responsibility to share the art of education and the purpose behind teaching. In this age, especially in Los Angeles, there is a ubiquitous belief that education is increasingly less relevant in a world of growing entrepreneurs and social media stars. However, I developed the tools to change the way young people think about education by guiding them into gaining new appreciation for knowledge and showing them how it can impact every avenue of their lives. Especially with my uniquely influential clientele, the possibility for change became very clear.
2. Fulfilling a huge void in the market for private, specialized education. After working with several agencies, schools, and curricula, I had first-hand knowledge of what worked and what didn’t. My goal was to consolidate the successful components of my experience and bring the best practices to Novel Education. Our clientele has ranged from middle class, emotionally struggling teens to international families to Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Ireland and Hailey Baldwin, and the kids of Dr. Dre. If I’ve successfully changed the way these students perceive the value of learning, then we can change the way our younger generation engages with education on a larger scale. We provide full-service, customized education that caters to the needs of each individual student. Students are able to achieve high academic success while being creative and pursuing hobbies and career goals that complement their schooling. Education is another way of enriching the mind rather than conforming to the traditional structures of a top-down, delegated curriculum. We seek to provide something unique and fulfilling by “Making Smart Stylish Again.”
How is your company making a positive impact and/or generating change in your industry?
Novel Education Group thrives at the intersection of education and entertainment with non-traditional lifestyles. Finding a way to make curriculum relevant and connected to young people, allowing students to discover and pursue passion and be creative while achieving high academic success, has been our greatest impact thus far.
What is one thing you and/or your company have accomplished that you are most proud of?
I started this company with only one client, Kylie Jenner, and was able to grow it into a thriving and coveted academic agency. Working with some of the most brilliant and creative minds of the younger generation has given me the opportunity to watch students’ growth over the years as critical thinkers and leaders. Helping them cultivate the tools and knowledge to prepare for the real world is my greatest passion.
What is one project you are currently working on that you are most excited about?
We’re at a place right now where we’re focusing on expanding Novel Education’s message and presence, which is very exciting! Part of the mission is to leverage our reach, network, and community of influential voices and supporters to connect with a larger audience. Sharing my philosophy and innovative perspective on the value of education, especially in our digital media age, is a big part of that. As we grow our team and build capacity, speaking engagements, panels, brand partnerships, and client development are the main areas of focus for us. And even beyond the education space itself, speaking to what it means to be a woman, an entrepreneur, and a minority only resonates that much more with our community.
What, in your opinion, is one of the biggest challenges facing your industry today?
Getting people to care (can I say that?). That’s half in jest, half true. We’re at a time, particularly within entertainment and social media, when education has been put on the back burner, seemingly carrying less weight and recognition than it used to. But if you parallel the career and life trajectory of two young people in the same field, the one with a strong educational foundation will have more longevity, long-term success, better critical thinking, and life skills than the other. My goal is to bring back what it means to celebrate educational achievements.
What is a trend in your industry that you foresee becoming popular in the future?
Non-traditional education structures and curriculum. The world is changing so rapidly and becoming increasingly digitized. We don’t need to follow the rules of historical educational structures. Homeschooling and supplementary academics can work beautifully in tandem for students who are still enrolled full time in both public and private schools.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced at this job?
Until recently, dealing with the pressure of doing it all by myself has been a significant challenge. Building the business and all its infrastructure from the ground up has been extremely educational and empowering as an entrepreneur. That said, understanding that students’ entire high school experience is dependent upon Novel Education is no small feat. The skills they carry with them into adulthood is reliant upon what and how we teach them. But this is what makes Novel Education stand out. We’re comprehensive and handle all-things-academics from A-Z for students and families.
What were you doing before your current role?
Tutoring students six days a week, for about eight hours a day, all over LA.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to other female founders & change-makers?
Be strong but stay empathetic and compassionate. The more you share your own vulnerabilities, the stronger you are and the more you can connect with people.
Are there any great resources you have discovered that you would like to share?
DailyYoga app – I truly believe in and have seen the positive impacts of taking care of and educating yourself in a well-rounded and holistic way. I also use the Yummly app for recipes because I really love to cook. Bootcamps and pilates are also part of my routine and keep me sharp!
Fun fact about yourself:
I love to bake. I also play poker every week for the last 3 years (I love a good card game)!
Follow Tiffany and Novel Education Group here: