With twenty years of teaching experience and substantial clinical background, Gelena Gorelik brings her knowledge and expertise in coaching and education to people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Her innovative and engaging methods have helped hundreds succeed in their personal, professional, and academic endeavors.
Besides being a successful educator, Ms. Gelena is a Certified Strategic Intervention Coach, a Registered Dietitian, a book author, and a Reiki Practitioner. She has been a speaker at multiple National and State Conferences for Health Education Schools. She is a member of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association). Her prior professional engagements included teaching at San Jose State University, San Jose City College, De Anza College, as well as practicing medical nutrition therapy at San Jose Medical Center and Enloe Medical Center.
Master of Science, Nutrition and Endocrinology, UC Davis
Bachelor of Science, Dietetics, Biology, UC Davis
Director of Online Education, Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts
Strategic Intervention Life Coach Bay Area Happiness Coach
Gelena Gorelik – Autobiography for Readers Magnet
My family immigrated into the United States when I was 17. Straight out of Lithuania high school, I dove head first into the American culture. This was the start of my many adventures on the way of self-discovery and life journey. However, never could I have imagined in all those years that I would be writing a book.
I studied Nutrition and Dietetics in college (UC Davis) and became a Registered Dietitian with Masters in Nutrition and Endocrinology. I worked for some years as a clinical dietitian at San Jose Medical Center, learning to take care of others, getting to know people’s stories, growing intellectually, emotionally and spiritually in the process. Yet, I always felt that my soul sparkled the most when I shared my knowledge with others. So, I took on part-time teaching, while still working at the hospital: first, at community colleges as the instructor of biology and health sciences, then at San Jose State University.
But suddenly, in 2004 the medical center where I worked closed its doors forever, causing many people, including myself, to lose jobs, and I decided to pursue teaching full time. This is when I began my work at Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts. I started by creating new courses and teaching them for the Nursing program, and as I connected with my students, I found more and more how much they valued my support and guidance. (I am still an educator at Gurnick Academy, teaching online classes.)
During those years, I also became a mom of two wonderful kids, Abi and Sam. My daughter Abi was always my spirited child, while my son Sam (he is younger) became my compliant child. From the days of elementary school, I noticed that despite of being extremely bright, Abi took a long time to complete her assignments. Her teachers constantly complained that she was the last one to submit work, the last one out of the classroom, always behind. I did not give it much thought, until Abi’s grades started declining steadily. By the time she got to middle school, Abi was really struggling, and started showing signs of depression. And the worst part of it all was that my relationship with Abi deteriorated rapidly: there was constant fighting and yelling, door slamming, followed by long periods of silence.
Being smart as much as spirited, Abi asked to see a therapist. That’s when Dr. Ruth Nevo came into the picture. After a few sessions Dr. Ruth called a parent meeting and shared frankly that Abi was depressed and possibly suicidal. The news devastated me, but there was more: Dr. Ruth suggested that Abi probably had Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD), and recommended some tests. After seeing a psychiatrist and running several tests, it was confirmed: Abi had a combined ADHD with anxiety.
This knowledge was liberating and frightening at the same time. It explained Abi’s declining grades at school, constantly falling behind, missing assignments, and forgetfulness. And yet I wanted to scream: “Why can’t I just have a normal child!?” I was grieving. Grieving the loss of my expectations and dreams for my daughter, I struggled knowing that she won’t be a straight-A student like I was.
However, being a fighter and a problem solver all my life, I decided to learn as much as I could about ADHD and to reconnect with my daughter. I convinced myself that a healthy relationship with Abi was more important to me than her school grades. That’s when I started to read and study as much as I could to understand what Abi was going through. And gradually, a beautiful thing happened: the more I learned about ADHD, the more my relationship with Abi improved.
But this was not the end. I wanted to help other parents like myself to restore peace at home and to rebuild their relationship with their ADHD child. I believe, no parent should struggle through this path alone, like I did in my time. That’s when I chose to become a life coach and signed up at Strategic Intervention Institute by Mark and Magali Peysha. At first, I went through the training for myself, but as I learned more techniques and strategies, I saw that I could apply these to help others. I went through additional training as a Relationship Coach and Advance Elite Coach training. I made it my mission to help as many people in my lifetime as I can.
In my book “From Havoc to Harmony” I have put my best strategies and tools I learned from all my years of training, college, and parenting my spirited kid. I hope, this book helps many struggling parents of ADHD kids, but if my book can help even one person, I will feel that my mission is complete.