Meet the Founders

Brad Duquette

Lost in the career maze? Brad's got your map. After his own missteps, he blazed a trail into education as an entrepreneur launching a nationally recognized company where he mentored and trained thousands of students across diverse campuses. During his travels, Brad witnessed their struggles with career clarity and rising high education costs - this frustration became fuel. He ignited a passion to guide young minds away from wasted years and money onto fulfilling paths.
Brad's impact isn't confined to classrooms. He also co-founded Helpiing, a platform sparking connections and empowering mutual support. His personal journey illuminates his professional mission. Now, watching his own children face similar choices, Brad cherishes the opportunity to make their "Major Choice" a brighter journey. Brad is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and a veteran of the Army National Guard.

Ed Goyette

Ed Goyette is a lifelong social entrepreneur who is passionate about enriching the lives of others through his work. Prior to co-founding Major Choice, he was focused on helping parents strengthen their relationship with their children through the launch of a project called “Yours for the Asking” – an engaging program that helps them put action against their child’s curiosities through the art of asking. Ed is also the founder of The Thought Center, an education course production company, and owner of BeanTowne Coffee House, a nationally award-winning café based in New Hampshire. Ed is also a Tedx Speaker and Global Presence Ambassador for one of the largest parenting organizations in the world. He is married and the proud father of three, who are a continuous source of inspiration.

Meet the Education Advisors

Valerie Kipper

Valerie Kipper received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from UCLA, and went on to pursue a teaching credential and Master of Arts degree in Education and Psychology from Pepperdine University. Valerie worked in public health as a Health Educator and Program Coordinator before returning to graduate school at San Diego State University where she earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree, as well as a Pupil Personnel Services credential. Valerie has worked for more than ten years in public schools with students from pre-K through 12th grade as a teacher, tutor, administrator, and social worker. In addition, Valerie worked in a private practice psychiatry office for several years. She enjoys supporting young people as they work to realize their full potential. Most recently, Valerie started her own home organizing and decluttering business, specializing in helping adults with mental health challenges. In her spare time, Valerie enjoys reading, going for walks, and karaoke. She lives near Los Angeles, CA with her husband, son, cats, and hamster.   

Patricia Piacentini

Tricia Piacentini is an educator with more than 20 years of experience. As a parent of two adult sons on the autism spectrum, creating opportunities for people with disabilities has been a life-long passion. Tricia has a Master’s Degree in General Education from Lesley University and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Fitchburg State University.Tricia started her career as an educator while working for Early Intervention, a program through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Later, in her role as a special education teacher, Tricia worked with administration to create, develop, and implement a program for students on the autism spectrum for Amesbury Public Schools. Additionally, Tricia has worked as a Home Trainer, teaching students with special needs how to generalize their skills across home and community settings. Tricia continues to work with students with a variety of disabilities including autism, adhd,and language-based learning disabilities, in a co-taught classroom, where students are able to receive services in an integrated setting. Tricia maintains three teaching licenses including Elementary Education, Moderate Special Needs, and Severe Special Needs and holds an Autism Endorsement through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Tricia knows first-hand that adults with disabilities can build rich and meaningful lives through their work. Nothing gives Tricia more joy than watching students prove to themselves how very capable they are.
Tricia lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.

Lara Raymond

Lara Raymond received a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development from Rivier University, and her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from SNHU. Most recently she was the Adult Autism Specialist for the Northeast Arc’s Support Center, providing resources, and social opportunities to adults in the Lowell area. This followed 7 years of supporting those with developmental disabilities in New Hampshire. This
included time supporting adults as a direct support professional, working with NH START, a program that specializes in supporting individuals with both a developmental disability and a mental health diagnosis, as well as time as an employment specialist with a local day program. She currently provides mentoring services to adults on the autism spectrum, through the Northeast Arc. Lara is energized when able to implement person-centered approaches, which she believes enables individuals to set and achieve
their goals. Lara lives in southern NH with her husband, young daughter, and dog. She is an active member of the Lions Club. In her free time she enjoys attending concerts, baking, and taking beginner Irish step dancing lessons.

Joe Norton

Joe Norton earned a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Psychology and minor in Legal Studies from The University of Massachusetts, Lowell and is currently working towards an M.Ed in Special Education from George Mason University. He worked at a McLean Hospital as a mental health counselor in their residential program for individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder helping those individuals navigate the transition from inpatient facilities to independent living. Currently, Joe is working as a learning disabilities teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia. In his role as a learning disabilities teacher, Joe works to create, develop, and implement individualized educational plans for students with a broad range of learning and emotional disabilities. In his spare time, Joe is an avid hiker and skier. He currently lives outside of Washington D.C. with his fiancée and cat.

Christina Giannopoulos

Christina Giannopoulos is currently a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire graduating with her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree this December. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies with a Minor in Special Education from the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine in 2021. Christina is also a trainee for the New Hampshire-Maine Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NH-ME LEND) program and will complete this program in Spring of 2024. Christina has a strong passion and background working with individuals with disabilities over the past 10 years. Throughout her high school and college years, she volunteered at several Special Olympics events, became a Challenger Baseball league coach, worked as a Direct Support Professional at a day program for adults and children, and has mentored children in the local elementary after school program. Overall, Christina thrives in environments where she is able to help individuals accomplish their goals and reach their full potential. Christina loves to stay busy, watch sports, go to concerts, and spend time with her family at their lake house in Southern New Hampshire. 

Kara Sotirakopoulos

Kara Sotirakopoulos graduated from Keene State College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and went on to pursue a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Cambridge College.
Kara has 20 years of School Counseling experience working with students from Kindergarten through grade 12. She currently holds a School Counselor/Admissions Counselor position at VLACS, the public virtual school for New Hampshire and has also worked as a Middle School Counselor in a public school in Massachusetts.
Kara is passionate about working with students to help them reach their full potential.
Kara lives on the north shore of Massachusetts with her husband and two young children. In her spare time
she loves to spend time with her family outdoors and enjoys gardening, hiking, camping and boating. 

Erin Hussey

Erin Hussey received a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education K-12 and Oboe Performance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and she has been teaching music in Massachusetts Public Schools for 5 years. Erin is passionate about social emotional learning and student-centered growth inside and outside of the classroom. In her current role as an elementary music educator, she created a pop culture-centered curriculum that she presents to Music Educators across Massachusetts. Outside of school, she coaches a social emotional running group, teaches dance, teaches private instrumental lessons, and leads a student leadership council. As a young woman that has navigated the beginning of her career and independent adult life during a global pandemic, Erin is excited to help other young adults navigate the challenging beginnings of their own career path.
At home, Erin has an extremely hard working younger sister with Prader-Willi Syndrome, a very rare genetic autism spectrum disease. She has seen firsthand at home that individuals with disabilities can defeat all odds and build a meaningful livelihood for themselves. Outside of work, Erin enjoys running and playing the oboe. She lives near Boston, MA with her cat named Butter.

Jason Wallace

This is my twentieth year as a special educator in Fairport, NY. During the school year, I have taught grades 6-9 as a Case Manager, 5:1:1 Resource Room, 12:1:1 Self Contained and 15:1 Integrated Co-Taught teacher. For the past 20 summers I have helped develop and teach the Better Together/Bright Future Summer Programs. Although Better Together is focused on developing social/pragmatic language strategies for students on the Autism Spectrum, we have expanded to include any student who displays regression of social skills, strategies and/or interests over the summer months. Perhaps sometimes to a fault, I tend to “choose adventure” whenever afforded the opportunity. 
My experiences have ultimately led to an incredibly fulfilling teaching and coaching career. As a teacher, coach and mentor, I have a passion for sharing my journey, and for inspiring others to find the passion to do the same. 

Kerry Radochia

Kerry Radochia has over 15 years of teaching experience. As a parent of an adult on the autism spectrum, she has been involved in every aspect of her son’s education, social experiences and his professional success. Kerry started her career in a small private school before taking time off to be with her young family. Kerry has her Masters in Teaching from Emmanuel College and is currently a Massachusetts Public School Health Teacher at a local Middle School. Her focus in the classroom aligns with the CASEL framework that focuses on self awareness; self management; social awareness; relationship skill and responsible decision making. Representing Major Choice as a mentor is an incredible opportunity. Kerry knows first hand how difficult it can be to find employment within the neurodiverse population. This is a motivating factor to inspire; reach out and offer support to others in a similar capacity. Kerry currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband and 3 children.

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