SMITH RIVAS is a study skills and academic coaching company founded in 2014. We help high school and college students around the country earn better grades in less time so they can go do cool stuff.

We’ve worked with students from 60 high schools and middle schools in the Washington DC metro area, and many more nationwide. We teach the smartest kids in the country, the least fortunate, and everybody in between.

SMITH RIVAS students learn how to design and manage their own success, and are now thriving at places as different as Caltech, Harvard, and Howard.

Schedule your free consultation today at (202) 615-7791 or

  • Paul Rivas
    Paul Rivas Founder

    Paul Rivas taught study skills at UC Santa Barbara and has a lifetime of experience supporting NCAA Division I student-athletes.

    Prior to discovering study skills, he helped more students earn Gilman International Scholarships for diversity in study abroad than anyone in the country, leading UCSB to a #1 national ranking for this federal award in 2011-12.

    Rivas studied literature in Mexico City, backpacked from Spain to Syria via Morocco and Wales, performed stand-up comedy in Spanish in Buenos Aires, and traveled from Argentina to the United States by bus.

    He has a BA in Mathematics, Sociology, and Spanish from UCSB, and an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from The New School.

  • Colenn Berracasa
    Colenn Berracasa French Tutor

    Colenn Berracasa taught study skills at UC Santa Barbara, surfing in San Diego, and women’s health in Chile. She also served as an admissions counselor at UCSB and interned in the US Department of Education.

    A native French speaker, she attended a French-American school and visits Paris as often as she can stand her grandmother’s guilt-trips. For fun, she swims in the ocean and hangs out with her dog.

    Colenn has a Master’s in Public Policy from George Washington University and a BA in Global Studies with minors in French and Spanish from UCSB.

  • Radha Parameswaran
    Radha Parameswaran Chemistry, Math & Physics Tutor

    Radha Parameswaran taught chemistry as a New York City Teaching Fellow at The Brooklyn Latin School. She has also conducted research at Columbia University and Northwestern University investigating single molecule conductance and electron transfer in quantum dot systems.

    Currently, she is the STEM Coordinator at Blyth-Templeton Academy, where she teaches algebra, chemistry, and physics. For fun, she experiments with cooking and practicing yoga.

    Radha has an MS in Chemistry from Northwestern University, an MST in Adolescent Education from Pace University, and a BA in Chemical Physics from Barnard College, Columbia University.

  • Lindsey Poole
    Lindsey Poole Biology Tutor

    Lindsey Poole taught biology and chemistry laboratory for three years at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She also served as a research laboratory technician for the Ragon Institute for HIV Research in Boston, and has overseen data collection and quantitative projects for an umbrella organization in western Massachusetts and interned with a DC think tank.

    She has traveled to the Dominican Republic several times, and studied in Spain with a stop by Zurich, Switzerland on the way back. For fun, she rows on the Potomac and stocks shelves at a food pantry in Arlington.

    Lindsey has a Master’s in Public Policy from George Washington University and a BA in Biology with a minor in Spanish from Mount Holyoke.

  • David Sekora
    David Sekora Computer Science & Math Tutor

    David Sekora has four years of experience teaching computer science and mathematics to middle school, high school, and college students in a variety of roles and settings. He has also worked as a researcher at several universities, as well as for organizations such as the Data Science for Social Good Fellowship and the US Army.

    In his spare time, he enjoys programming, creating digital music, folding origami, and cooking.

    David is currently pursuing his doctorate in Computer Science at the University of Maryland. He has a BS in Computer Science and a BA in Mathematics from the University of Rochester.