Katherine Firestone had a successful academic career, but it was not always easy. That’s because Katherine struggled with undiagnosed ADHD until her junior year of high school, when it was finally diagnosed. However, because of her supportive family, excellent teachers, tutors, and, what would now be called “Executive Functions Coach,” Katherine graduated high school at the top of her class and went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Katherine’s honors thesis on recognition memory was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition and she graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Already determined to help students like herself fulfill their potential, and knowing that to have credibility in the education industry you needed to have teaching experience, Katherine obtained a job as a teacher at the Greenwich Country Day School after college. As a teacher, she discovered that the educational experiences of all students, no matter how bright and capable they are, can be enhanced with at-home support. And parents want to help, but they do not always have the training necessary to effectively support their children.
After Country Day, Katherine worked as an Executive Functions Coach at the Southfield Center for Development, where she taught middle and high school students the skills needed to be successful scholars. Again, she met parents who wanted to help, but who did not have the required knowledge base.
With this background, Katherine knew she wanted to help children succeed by opening a nonprofit dedicated to parent training. However, she wanted to make sure she could run her nonprofit efficiently and avoid the many pitfalls that have led other nonprofits to not live up to their potential. To further her mission, Katherine went to the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School where business is taught with humanity in mind. After graduating, Katherine spent some time working for a for-profit company to further her understanding of good business management, so she could ultimately apply those skills to her nonprofit.
Katherine officially launched Fireborn Institute in 2014.