Brain Balance of North Oakland
Kurt and Carrie’s desire to open a Brain Balance™ Achievement Center is born out of the 15+ years they spent searching for and exploring solutions for their son, who suffered from ADD, dyslexia, and generalized anxiety disorder. Alec, a junior in high school when they were introduced to Brain Balance, had been medicated for these issues since sixth grade. Alec’s positive experience and outcomes with the Brain Balance program are not unique, and Kurt and Carrie have met dozens of parents whose children have made remarkable gains and achieved a quality of life that they’d previously thought impossible. The Odrobina’s are now delighted to be part of the Brain Balance family, on mission to assist other families as they enable their children to reach their potential and overcome developmental challenges and disabilities.
Carrie Odrobina serves as Center Director at the Brain Balance of North Oakland, and is a Board Certified Cognitive Specialist. Carrie is an executive with 20+ years of experience as an entrepreneur, business consultant, executive coach, strategist, educator, and process improvement facilitator in the automotive and health care industries. With degrees in Human Resources Training/Development and Psychology, Carrie has spent her career ensuring individuals reach their potential. Her ability to assess situations and transform environments to create lasting change is as relevant at Brain Balance of North Oakland as it has been in corporate environments.
Carrie and her husband, Kurt, know first-hand the frustration families experience when their child is struggling. They were Brain Balance parents first. Before Brain Balance, Carrie and Kurt tried countless therapies and interventions to help their own child overcome academic, social, and behavioral challenges. After years of testing and treatments that didn’t identify or address the root cause of their child’s struggles, they began to lose hope. Brain Balance felt like the last effort to unlock the potential of their son, who was desperate to be off medications and to have the skills and abilities to achieve his relationship and career goals. The experience their son and family had with Brain Balance was eye opening and transformational, and Carrie couldn’t be more thrilled to be on mission to help more kids and families. There is no greater gift than seeing a child accomplish what others said they could not.
Lead Sensory Motor Coach and Assessor
Jill is a Lead Sensory Motor Coach and Assessor at Brain Balance of North Oakland. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Physical Education and a minor in Dance and is also a Board-Certified Cognitive Specialist. Jill brings many years of experience teaching Physical Education and coaching gymnastics, cross country, volleyball, and track. She is organized, honest, patient and caring, and loves that she gets to work with the wonderful staff at Brain Balance to help kids reach their goals and succeed in life. She loves that she gets to help kids change their mindset and turn their challenges into achievements. When she is not at Brain Balance, Jill likes to be active outdoors, and spend time with her husband and two children.
One of her favorite quotes by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer is, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change!”
Lead Sensory Motor Coach
Dezz is a Lead Sensory Motor Coach and Assessor at Brain Balance of North Oakland. She attended Oakland University, where obtained her bachelor’s degree in Integrative Studies. This degree allowed her to combine concentrations in Sociology, Psychology, and Health Science. She is currently studying at the University of Michigan where she will be attaining her masters in Social Work. She has been a Lacrosse Coach within the State of Michigan for 11 years and was a 2-time All-American lacrosse player during her career at Oakland. Her favorite part about being in the Brain Balance family is that she gets the opportunity to use her spunk and love for children to support each student in their success! Her loyalty and passion for helping others allow her to connect with and inspire each child that walks through the doors! Seeing the growth and success of the students who have been a part of the Brain Balance Program has been the greatest blessing to Dezz. One of her favorite quotes is from Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light!” When she is not busy at Brain Balance, Dezz loves to spend time with her family, especially her Great Dane puppy, Valentine. She also plays hockey and is a huge Detroit Red Wings’ fan!
Emily is an Assistant Director and an Academic Coach at Brain Balance of North Oakland. She has a degree in Psychology with minors in Studio Art and Spanish and is a Certified Cognitive Coach. Before joining the Brain Balance team, she nannied and worked as an assistant teacher at a preschool. She loves working with kids, and her patience and calm demeanor help her adapt to a variety of situations. Emily was particularly drawn to Brain Balance having grown up watching her own brother struggle with the social and emotional challenges of Asperger’s. She understands how discouraging it can be for these kids and their families and is excited to share the hope that Brain Balance provides. She loves that she can help students see the best in themselves and reach their full potential as they progress and are able to do things that were once difficult or seemingly impossible. When she is not at Brain Balance, Emily likes to spend time with her family and three dogs. She also enjoys being creative through photography, writing, and lettering.
One of her favorite quotes by A.A. Milne is “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
Leah’s sunny disposition and desire to help both the families and students at Brain Balance, make her the perfect family liaison and home program/nutrition cheerleader for our Center. Leah is also trained as a Sensory-Motor/Academic Coach, and Assessor. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Rochester College, and is a Certified Cognitive Coach. She absolutely loves working with kids! Before joining the Brain Balance team, she coached high school softball, tutored, nannied, and taught Vacation Bible School. She is thankful that Brain Balance gives her the opportunity to get to know the kids and see them grow and succeed throughout each session. She is excited to be a part of each child’s journey to support them on their way towards success. She is dedicated and always gives 100% to help our students and families achieve their goals. Leah is also passionate about her faith, her family, her fiancé, and her French bulldog, Harmony. In her free time, she likes to read and drink way too much coffee.
One of her favorite quotes by Dr. Seuss is, “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so… get on your way!”
Sensory Motor and Academic Coach
Sarah is a Sensory Motor and Academic Coach at Brain Balance of North Oakland. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology, and the heart of a teacher! She has over ten years of experience working with children of all ages, as a preschool teacher, special needs caregiver, Detroit Zoo summer camp counselor, and a para educator for Lake Orion Community Schools. Her patience, kindness, compassion, and empathy allow her to connect with students and encourage them to believe in themselves. She is excited to meet all the amazing students and families that come to Brain Balance and to motivate students to give their best in sessions while having fun. In addition to making an impact on kids’ lives, Sarah loves spending time with her family, working with animals, and teaching about wildlife conservation…especially bats!
One of her favorite quotes by Maya Angelou is, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
Sensory Motor and Academic Coach
Julie is a Sensory Motor and Academic Coach at Brain Balance of North Oakland, and is a Certified Cognitive Coach through IBCCES. She is a licensed massage therapist and has years of experience in the Holistic Health field. She is highly knowledgeable about the implementation of Alternative Health Techniques to promote natural wellness and combat a variety of chronic conditions including allergies, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders. She also worked as a bus driver for handicapped and special needs students. Her kindness and caring heart allow her to connect and engage well with everyone she works with. As a grandma with grand-kids who live out of state, Julie loves that she can get her “kid fix” at Brain Balance while helping support and motivate students in overcoming their challenges and reaching their full potential! One of her favorite quotes by Walt Disney is, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” When she is not working, Julie enjoys spending weekends at her cabin up north, as well as training for charity bike rides for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training and the Make a Wish 3 day ride.
Community Relations Liaison
Carol Verville is the Community Relations Liaison at Brain Balance of North Oakland. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Cedarville University. She has experience as an RN in both oncology and labor and delivery units. She is also a mother to kids who have experienced a lot of trauma. Her kindness, compassion, empathetic nature allow her to keep a positive outlook on all aspects of life. She is particularly passionate about foster and adoptive kids and families, as she works a lot with these families to provide support, resources, and connection. Carol is most looking forward to helping families find hope and encouragement, as well as seeing students progress. She is also excited to be working alongside the kind staff at Brain Balance. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her five kids, as well as kayaking, hiking, and going to the beach. She also has two cats and a dog.
One of her favorite quotes is “Wonder is the hopeful expectation God is going to do.”
Educational Consultant and Mindfulness Coach
Larry Hochman is the Educational Consultant and Mindfulness Coach at Brain Balance of North Oakland. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in School Counseling, with an advanced professional diploma in Educational Leadership. He loves working with people, and his 26 years of experience as a high school guidance counselor have allowed him to see things from different angles. In addition, he has traveled around the country as a keynote speaker training and entertaining as a juggler and juggling trainer. He is very excited to be a part of the Brain Balance team and to have the chance to change the lives of kids and families. Having spent so many years in a school setting, he understands the frustration that comes with trying to fit into a system you aren’t prepared for. As Larry says, “There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going. But there is a path of least resistance.” Larry wishes he knew more about Brain Balance when he was a guidance counselor. “I could have helped so many more students by sending them in the direction of Brain Balance!”