A Love for Teaching
With an addiction to all things education and a passion for instilling a love of writing and words in my students, I have been teaching for over thirty years – the last fifteen years before officially retiring my white board markers as an Academic English and Writing professor at Houston Community College. My love of teaching began as an ESL writing teacher in the sixth ward in Houston, shaping my dedication to the entire educational process and the development of the essay from the birth of my teaching career. Additionally, I taught pre-kindergarten (yes – writing to preschoolers!) and was a curriculum coordinator at Becker Early Childhood at Congregation Emanu El. I also honed my educational skills as a private tutor and test prep coach with my tutoring company, Learning Now.
Lifelong Education Enthusiast
My life-long love of the written word led me to a BA in English at the University of Texas at Austin, and then a Masters in Liberal Arts with a concentration in English Literature from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. I’ve also done dyslexia training at the Neuhaus Institute in Houston, and am a certified ESL teacher. Additionally, I’m a graduate with distinction from the UCLA College Counseling Certificate program and have taken editing and writing classes at Cal Berkeley. In 2016, I attended the Summer Training Institute at Swarthmore College for IECA--the Independent Educational Counselors Association, and I’m a professional member of NACAC, TACAC, IECA, and HECA, the Higher Education Consultants Association.
Mindfulness in College Admissions
I ground my work by using mindfulness and intention throughout. The anxiety and stress I found in my community, among my private students, and the Reddit community was alarming, so I began learning more about mindfulness as a way to help students and learn more about myself. Since then, I’ve taken an MBSR course (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction), become a certified Koru Mindfulness Teacher and a certified Yoga Teacher. I continue to include mindfulness, meditation, and yoga in my daily life. While I’m eager and excited to work with all kinds of college-bound students, I particularly enjoy, understand, and am interested in meeting the needs of students with anxiety, learning differences, late-bloomers, and gifted students, especially those who might be labeled as "underachievers." I encourage my students to take ownership of their admissions experience, and I do that by helping them dig in and learn more about themselves than ever before as they discover what they want and what's important to them. It's amazing to me to watch students' transformations as they go through the experience and become even more sure of who they are and what they want out of life and college.
I love being a mom to my three mostly grown and flown kids, and hope I have raised them to be excited about exploring the challenges of their futures and with a willingness to make mistakes and to look at life creatively. All three attended River Oaks Elementary and St. John's School in Houston, and I was actively involved in both schools. Being addicted to all things education, the college admissions process fascinated me as my kids went through their own admissions journeys. Each of my children is certainly very different from the other, and that made the experience interesting and exciting each time. My oldest attended Vanderbilt, Class of 2011; middle went to Harvard, Class of 2015, and my youngest graduated from Tufts University in 2018.
In 2016, in addition to starting my college admissions consulting business and beginning my work with individual clients here in Houston, I also joined the subreddit, r/ApplyingToCollege (A2C) where I found an online community of applicants from all over the world, and in 2017, I became a moderator. You can learn more about me as AdmissionsMom and my work on Reddit on my other website, www.AdmissionsMom.college. You can also learn more about my Reddit experiences on A2C in my book, “Hey AdmissionMom: Real Talk from Reddit,” which you can find at your favorite online bookstore.
For the last several years, I’ve become a student of colleges and universities and have visited over 85 of them. I look forward to collecting more colleges on my visit journeys in the next few years. Problem-solving and researching colleges that match a student’s strengths are important to me. I love putting all the pieces of the puzzle together to help students find their academic, social, and financial matches. You can find a list of all the colleges I have visited in person here.
"Thank you so much for your help throughout my application process. I honestly could say I don’t think I would have gotten half the decisions without your help. I officially committed to Tulane so I’m very excited."
admitted to Tulane, Wellesley, U San Diego, Fordham
“I just committed to Duke!” Going to Duke was just a far-fetched dream of mine when I first applied so thank you for helping me turn it into reality.”
admitted to Duke, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Virginia, William & Mary, Fordham,
Boston College, George Washington, Georgetown, NYU
“COLUMBIA ACCEPTED ME! I’m so happy! Thank you for your support. Thank you for your help in this process. I really enjoyed working with you. I will recommend you to every person who’s applying!”
admitted to Columbia ED
“Thank you so much for your help with writing essays, filling out the Common App, and choosing schools to apply to. I’m still a little bit in shock as to how well this whole process went, and I would not have been as successful without your support.”
admitted to Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Brown, Swarthmore, Oxford, University of St. Andrews, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara
“I just wanted to tell you my college results. I got into great schools like Harvard, USC, Grinnell, and UCs! I can't thank you enough for your advice you gave me personally, and I truly think your advice helped me get into these schools. Again, thank you so much for your help.”
admitted to Harvard, USC, Grinnell, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Irvine
“Hi! I wanted to thank you again for helping me with my common app essay. Here’s an update: I didn’t get into Brown (which was my top choice back then), but I did get accepted by Johns Hopkins! Honestly, I’m so so happy with my overall application and results, and Hopkins is way better for engineering (my intended major) anyway!”
admitted to Hopkins and various others
“You've been INSURMOUNTABLY helpful for me. I can’t think of a single other person -- even my own parents and high school counselors -- who’s kept me calm and helped me understand the college admissions process more than you. I couldn’t be any more thankful; you’re awesome! I got into my dream schools (Kenyon and Vassar) with full rides. You’ve changed my life forever -- I can’t thank you enough, truly!”
admitted to Kenyon and Vassar
“I just wanted to let you know I’ve been accepted to Colby with a full ride. Your guidance played such a pertinent role in this, and I’m soooo grateful -- especially the essay you looked at at the last minute. I changed it after thinking about what you said. This couldn’t have happened without you. So thank you so much again.”
admitted to and attending Colby
"I'm still shaking lol. I can't show my gratitude enough, and thank you for all that you've done for students like me. I hope the rest of this year goes well for you, and thank you so much. Maybe our paths can converge one day in person so that I can thank you in person. Until then, thank you virtually--so so much.”
admitted to Stanford, UCLA, Northwestern, Penn, Duke