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Ryan "CHOICE" Choi

Founder & Lead Consultant



I am the founder of and lead consultant at Sapient Academy. I have degrees in education and business administration from Columbia University and in creative writing and international business/global management from the Haas School of Business at Berkeley. I am currently pursuing advanced studies in education at Teachers College, Columbia University and in intellectual property law at Cornell Law School.


I am particularly fascinated by study skills and test-taking strategies and interested in deconstructing complex concepts using more straightforward problem-solving techniques. I study the mind, the brain, and how they interact with how we learn and apply knowledge. 


Over the past 16 years, I have taught SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL/TOEIC, LSAT, MCAT (CARS) AP Lang., AP Econ., and English CORE classes (high school and college-level grammar, essay writing, and reading) to more than 30,000 students in Korea, China, Singapore, Brazil, Canada, and the United States.


I also specialize in college and grad school admissions, helping students better prepare for the application cycle and stand out from other highly competitive candidates. My clients have been admitted to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, MIT, CalTech, INSEAD, Oxford, Cambridge, and a number of other top universities around the world.


If you are interested in any of the services we provide, please feel free to contact us. We would be more than happy to guide you through the process and to help you succeed.


Aaron Blumenthal

Literature & Writing Specialist | Chief Strategy Officer

Hey everyone, Leyla inspired me to change my bio to first person.


I graduated from Harvard with a BA in English and the New England Conservatory with a MM in Jazz Performance. I have over ten years of teaching experience and six years of application counseling experience, helping students into schools like Oxford, Princeton, Columbia, and Berkeley.

My courses and 1:1s focus on literature, creative writing (fiction and poetry), essay mechanics, and grammar.

If you're reading this, there's a chance you already know me from 1:1s or counseling. I also do everything on this website, including the blog. You can find out more about me if you click my face.


Jamie Kim

Creative Director | Coordinator, International Outreach Programs

My name is Jamie Kim. I am a pre-med student at the University of Southern California (Go Trojans!), and I am majoring in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. I love science, especially those fields that complement medical-related studies. I am also quite proficient in English, particularly in grammar and essay writing for the SAT and ACT. In fact,        I earned a score of 1590/1600 on my SAT.

I aced all my AP classes and tests (AP chemistry, language, biology, calculus), and I am confident that I can teach all science-based subjects, including, but not limited to, AP biology, chemistry, math, and physics.

I studied under Director Ryan and worked as his TA for many years. I have recently been promoted to an instructor position and have started tutoring at Sapient Academy. I love working with middle and high school students, and I enjoy sharing my insight on how to succeed in high school, especially during the college admissions process.

I hope to see you guys soon. Please do not hesitate to contact me for help with any of the aforementioned subjects.  

See you and stay safe! 


Mike Zhuang

Math & Science Specialist

Mike Zhuang graduated from UCLA with a BS in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution and has obtained a teaching credential in foundational math and biology. Prior to joining Sapient Academy, Mike taught high school science and served as a head badminton coach.


Leyla Emrani

English Language & Literature Specialist

Hello, my name is Leyla. I am patient, passionate, and excited to help you reach your academic goals. I graduated from from CSUF with a BA in English Literature with a minor in child and adolescent development. I help students from elementary school to college with reading, writing, spelling, grammar, phonics, and essay editing.


My strengths are making readings exciting and breaking down complex concepts into easy-to-understand language. My favorite authors are Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, and Mark Twain. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and writing poetry and short stories.

At Sapient (a Ryan Prep Company), we are a small group of elite test-prep instructors, school subject teachers, and college admissions consultants with one mission in mind: empowering students academically. We have worked ardently for more than 15 years to help students maximize their potential and make their way to the colleges of their dreams. Today, as a team, we bring more than 50 years of combined experience and have, so far, taught more than 30,000 students in live sessions, counseled more than 1,500 students, and reached out to more than 2,000,000 online students to help them reach their academic goals.


Our mission doesn't stop there. We believe that academies must stand for something and offer an array of solutions to meet today's competitive study environment. Our Socratic method of teaching can equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle even the most challenging questions, not by the process of elimination but by fundamentally dissecting the problems at hand and confidently answering without guessing. We call this process the XO Strategies: finding self-reliant ways to go from WRONG to RIGHT. 


We have designed our services to challenge those who aspire to excel in their specific fields of study, those who want to revamp their bad study habits, and those who wish to raise their academic standards. Again, we are not your traditional academy. We stand for helping students become self-sufficient, we push our students to their limits, and most importantly, we do everything in our power to help deliver the results students deserve.


So, join us if you are ready for a challenge; join us if you want to change. Together, we can challenge the norms, raise the bar, and help you become a better student, a better test taker, and an irresistible candidate to colleges.


At Sapient, we help students build strong academic as well as professional portfolios, guiding them to present themselves as competitive college applicants. Our programs push students to think outside the box, encouraging them to crystallize their passion and strategically work toward their goals, no matter how big.


At Sapient, we are a small group of elite instructors educated at top universities. We aced the tests, we made it through the admissions process with, and we’re passionate about helping you do the same.


We know this is an incredibly important time in a student’s life, and that’s why we’ve worked so hard for more than fifteen years to help students maximize their potential and make their way to the schools of their dreams.


Is it possible to answer an entire reading comprehension section correctly without reading the passage? Ryan can (not that we recommend it, of course)! His time-tested, logic-based strategies will give you the keys to decode those tricky SAT questions, whether its modifiers, math, or main idea.


We help students build strong academic and extracurricular portfolios. Our programs encourage students to crystallize their passions and strategically work toward their goals, no matter how big, no matter how unorthodox. We’ve worked with all types, from clarinetists to CEOs (yes, really!) to help craft show stopping college applications.


Today, as a team, we bring more than 50 years of combined experience and have, so far, taught more than 30,000 students in live sessions, counseled more than 1,500 students, and reached out to more than 2,000,000 online students to help them reach their academic goals.

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