“Positive, Patient, Helpful!”

“Athena is everything you could ever ask for in a coach:  she is highly professional, hard-working, patient, focused, and a stellar interpreter.  Because of our coaching sessions, I feel more prepared than ever to take the highly competitive oral portion of the FCICE.  Even more importantly, thanks to Athena, I feel I have improved as a court interpreter and taken my skills up to the next level.  I always look forward to our coaching sessions since I feel I grow and improve so much with each lesson.  Athena is always punctual, and well-prepared for our sessions.  Her natural warmth, good sense of humor, and collegial manner make it very easy to be receptive to her feedback.  I never feel she is criticizing me when she corrects me, instead I feel that we are a team working together with a common goal of growth and improvement.  She is a brilliant interpreter and yet always unassuming and open to suggestions.  Her listening and organizational skills are superb.  Athena never loses her focus and always helps me stay focused as well.  I really appreciate that she is honest with her feedback and that she is so detail-oriented.  Before I began our coaching sessions, I had slipped into the bad habit of omitting details, but Athena has patiently and systematically helped me get out of several bad interpreting habits I had fallen into over time.  Both my listening and note-taking skills have also improved dramatically since she started coaching me.

“The time I spend coaching with Athena is the best investment I could possibly make in myself to improve as an interpreter.  I highly recommend Athena to anyone that is looking to improve their interpreting weak areas.  We are very fortunate to have such a star in our profession!”

Sandra Henry-Álvarez
Certified Spanish Court Interpreter, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Certified Medical Interpreter, Spanish


“I am a conditionally-approved court interpreter studying for the state exam. In the past, even if I felt prepared for a test, my nerves always lowered my scores.  After my first tutoring session with Athena, I realized that it was the best decision I’d ever made regarding my career as an Interpreter.  Her intuition is amazing. She was able to immediately pinpoint my weaknesses and strengths and tried different learning methods when necessary. Athena is very positive, patient, helpful, encouraging, and has a natural teaching ability.  She helped me improve not only my interpreting skills but also my memory skills.  This time around, I felt confident and prepared and was able to keep my calm during the examination. I feel my investment and time with Athena was well-spent.”

Pamela Giacobbe

[Shortly after writing this testimonial, Pam received her results: She had passed to Journey and is now the Vicinage Coordinator of Interpreting Services in Camden, New Jersey.]


“They say that madness is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.

“In 2006 with very little preparation, I took the NJ State Interpreter Exam and failed abominably. I totally gave up the idea of ever retaking the exam until 2013, when I began to study in earnest to adequately prepare for and take the exam again.  I retested in May, 2013. The outcome was better than in 2006, but still, “no cigar.”  I had only passed one section of the exam and needed to retest for the other two. I KNEW if I was to retake the exam expecting to pass, then I would have CHANGE what I was doing.

“Athena and I met in January of 2014. She helped me see that it was NOT what I was studying that was the roadblock, but rather HOW I was studying. She helped me develop a strategic study plan specifically designed to take advantage of my strengths and build on my weaknesses.

“In May, 2014, I took and passed the remaining two sections.  Out of the three sections of the oral exam, my true “Achilles Heel” was the Sight Translation.  And yet to my surprise, (apart from the written exam), it was the section where I scored at the Master Level.  There was no doubt in my mind that scoring Master on the section that had caused me the the greatest angst was due to Athena’s guiding hand. Her practical approach on how to study for and prepare for the Oral Exam combined with her positive outlook (when mine was faltering) and wisdom beyond her years helped me to achieve my goal.  Thank you Athena!”

Liz Barreto

[Liz is now a NJ State Approved and PA Certified Journeyman Court Interpreter]


“Athena is an amazing teacher. She helped me go from conditional to journey.”

Jorge Puerto

[Jorge is now a full-time Master-level staff interpreter at Mercer County Superior Court in New Jersey.]