Our Counselors

TJ

Counselor/Tutor

TJ has been advising, consulting, and tutoring students in the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the last ten years, giving him an intimate knowledge of the area and its student population. TJ has successfully guided hundreds of students through the ever-confusing labyrinth of college admissions and high school curriculum. Having studied in prestigious institutions himself, TJ understands the rigorous preparations that are needed to not only gain admissions, but also to succeed once the student begins his/her studies. TJ has master’s degrees in biochemistry and public policy from UCSF and Columbia University, respectively. TJ has also earned a Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA. In addition to his extensive technical expertise, TJ’s ability to empathize and relate to students has garnered praise and trust from both students and parents.

Education

MA, Columbia

BS, UCSF

Major

Public Policy

Biochemistry

Language

English

Korean

Counseling Since

2009

Aileen

Counselor/Tutor

Aileen earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania. She went on to earn an MSEd from Penn as well as an MA from NYU. After teaching abroad in Japan for three years, she returned to Southern California, where she has worked in independent schools throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. In addition to tutoring in History and English, Aileen has guided students through the testing and admission process for over 15 years. Her students have been accepted at prestigious institutions including Princeton, Cornell, and UC Berkeley.

Education

MA, NYU

MSEd, Penn

BA, Penn

Major

Art History

French

Language

English

French

Japanese

Counseling Since

2004

Luke

Counselor/Tutor

Born and raised in Palo Alto, California, Luke ventured to the East Coast for two years at Harvard College before transferring to Stanford University, where he earned his B.A. in English. Since 2003, he has helped hundreds of students achieve academic excellence. An expert in SAT and ACT prep, he has helped students increase, on average, 200 points in SAT and 4 points in ACT. A seasoned college counselor, he is particularly proud of the many students he’s helped gain admission to colleges which they thought were beyond their reach, including Stanford, UC Berkeley, Brown, MIT, and many others. He believes studying and college planning should feel empowering and efficient, and works hard to give his students a sense of personal mastery and independence. 

Education

BA, Stanford

Major

English

Language

English

Counseling Since

2003

Ulises

Counselor/Tutor

Ulises holds an undergraduate degree in Developmental Psychology from UCSC and has earned a certification in College Counseling from UCLA. Along with over eight years of tutoring and test prep experience in a variety of subjects, Ulises uses his training and expertise in developmental psychology to help students learn and study more efficiently. Apart from working with students to improve English skills and compose strong college essays, Ulises has worked with many students to earn ACT and SAT scores that have led to acceptances at UCLA, UC Berkeley, Yale, and various other prestigious institutions.

Major

Developmental Psychology

Education

BA, UCSC

Language

English

Spanish

Counseling Since

2011

Ji

Academic Director

Ji received her Ph.D. in education from USC. Ji’s research focuses on understanding and assessing how students succeed in college. Ji has published in peer-reviewed journals, including Higher Education, Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Journal of General Education, Innovative Higher Education, and Journal of International Students. Applying research to practice, Ji started advising students since 2010. She is passionate about helping students not only get into but also succeed in college. When not advising students, Ji enjoys building statistical models to assess teaching and learning at USC Marshall School of Business, where she is the Associate Director of Institutional Research. Before coming to the U.S., Ji was a college English teacher, and received her BA and MA in English from Huazhong University of Science & Technology, China.

Education

PhD, USC

MA, BA, HUST, China

Major

Education

English

Language

English

Mandarin

Counseling Since

2010

Nicholas

Counselor/Tutor

Nicholas graduated with an undergraduate degree in Screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University and has earned a TEFL certification. Apart from his four years of English and ESL tutoring experience, Nicholas has taught full time abroad in South Korea and has worked professionally in the entertainment industry. Nicholas uses his background in creative writing to help students find unique but concise ways to write more productively. Along with helping students improve their reading fluency and composition skills, Nicholas can also aide students with crafting distinctive college essays to better help them achieve their college goals.

Education

BA, LMU

Major

Screenwriting

Language

English

Counseling Since

2019

Jackie

Counselor

Jackie is a Los Angeles based digital marketing professional and graphic designer. She studied design and photography at USC's Roski School of Art and Design. Shortly after graduating, she started her career as a graphic designer at the world headquarters for GUESS? Jeans in downtown Los Angeles where she developed packaging concepts, lookbook designs, direct mail campaigns as well as outdoor creative. Jackie later earned her MBA from Pepperdine and works full-time as Associate Director of Digital Marketing at Pepperdine's Graziadio Business School. Jackie is a passionate counselor and relishes any opportunity to help students excel in applied arts and art theory across a wide spectrum of mediums ranging from paint and drawing to advanced digital formats.

Education

BFA, USC

MBA, Pepperdine

Major

Fine Arts, Marketing, and Business

Language

English

Mandarin

Counseling Since

2019

Michael

Counselor/Tutor

Michael is a graduate of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Shortly after graduation he began writing content for humor channels at a large YouTube studio. Since then, he's worked in various marketing positions in the entertainment and manufacturing space. In his spare time he enjoys humor blogging and working on his long form fiction. Michael is excited to help students at Peninsula Academy write admission essays that are reflective of their best selves.

Education

BS, U Penn

Major

Economics

Marketing

Language

English

Mandarin

Counseling Since

2015

Lauryn

Counselor/Tutor

Lauryn received her undergraduate degree from UCLA, where she majored in English and minored in Art History. She went on to earn two MA degrees in Literary Studies from NYU and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, Lauryn is completing her doctoral degree in English. Her scholarly and research interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature, narrative, critical theory, and aesthetics. She has taught courses in writing composition / rhetoric at the college and high-school level. With seven years of experience working as an editor and academic advisor, Lauryn has guided many students through the college application essay process.

Education

BA, UCLA; MA, NYU; PhD(c), UW-Madison

Major

English

Language

English

French

Counseling Since

2015

Peninsula

Academy

Our Location

550 Deep Valley Dr., Ste 277

Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274

office@penacad.com

Tel: 310.377.1297

© Copyright 2020 by Peninsula Academy

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