Post-Secondary Counselor

Ayako Lainez

Ayako Lainez

Ayako is excited to support students in her work as a post-secondary counselor. She has completed the UCLA College Counseling Certificate and has worked previously at Fusion Los Gatos as the academic counselor. There she analyzed prior transcripts and supported the planning of a school journey that would help students reach their goals.

She received a BA in Liberal Arts from International Christian University (Tokyo), then later went to UC Berkeley Extension and earned a diploma in Business Management/certificate in Marketing. In addition, she earned a master’s degree in Special Education and completed the credential program at Notre Dame De Namur University. She holds a Clear Education Specialist (mild/moderate) credential.

Prior to joining Fusion, Ayako’s first job after college was in investment banking. In her spare time, she volunteered as an interpreter for visiting international therapeutic riding coaches. She was amazed at how people with significant disabilities could ride a horse much better than she could! Through this experience, she discovered what the right coaching could do to help someone reach their goals. This led her to working for non-profits and then eventually becoming a special education teacher. As a special education teacher/resource specialist covering grades K-8 , she taught small group lessons and assisted families to navigate the IEP process as case manager.

Outside of work, Ayako enjoys listening to records/music with her husband, playing with her cat Mika, reading, cooking, hiking and riding horses. She also likes to write and has been a journalist at international equestrian events such as the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and 2010 World Equestrian Games and remotely for 2020 Tokyo covering the Para-equestrian sport.

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Michelle Lawrence

Michelle Lawrence

Michelle Lawrence is a Post Secondary Counselor for Fusion Global Academy. She earned a Bachelor’s in Communication from The University of Toledo, a Masters in Counseling Psychology from American University and a Masters in School Counseling from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.

Michelle worked as a School Counselor for the past 7+ years in a traditional high school setting. She loves assisting students find their life path and creating the steps to get there.

Michelle loves the outdoors and reading! She enjoys cooking for her two children, sailing with her husband and hiking with her Vizslas.

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Shamira Pierson-Porter

Shamira Pierson-Porter

Shamira was born in Dallas, Texas, and moved to Atlanta when she was eight years old. The youngest of three, she knew from elementary school that she would work in education. She originally wanted to be a teacher until she worked as an elementary paraprofessional as a college student. She realized she wanted to foster the social-emotional aspect of education.

Shamira earned her BA in Psychology, MEd in School Counseling, and is currently a doctoral student of Psychology. She is in her 21st year of counseling with experience working with students Pre-K through college.

She is the proud mother of a 16-year-old son whom she loves to spend time with. Her hobbies include crafting and event planning.

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