Our Counselors

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Ji

Counselor

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. 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

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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

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Mike

Counselor/Tutor

Mike graduated from Columbia University with majors in physics and philosophy, where he was awarded the David H. Siff Prize in the Philosophy of Science. He also holds a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University. As an aspiring polymath and a passionate teacher, Mike brings a wealth of experience to his role as a college counselor. He has written and edited both in academic settings and for publications like The New York Observer. He is a seasoned tutor, and understands the multifaceted challenges of the college application process. He has spent over ten years helping students improve their writing, increase their standardized test scores, and achieve their goals in subjects across the academic spectrum.

Education

BS/BA, Columbia
MA, Columbia

Major

Physics, Philosophy 
Architecture

Language

English

Counseling Since

2010

Lauryn Gold

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, UW-Madison

Major

English

Language

English

French

Counseling Since

2015

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Jamie

Counselor/Tutor

Jamie grew up in Southern California and attended public schools in Irvine before enrolling at Harvard-Westlake for middle and high school. She earned a B.A. in political science from Stanford University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. Between undergrad and law school, she worked for three years in tech and consulting in New York, San Francisco, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Jamie has a passion for teaching and mentoring and a love of reading and writing that she hopes to instill in her students. In helping students craft the perfect college essays, Jamie works closely with them from brainstorming ideas to improving clarity and flow to finetuning each sentence. 

Education

BA, Stanford
JD, Harvard Law

Major

Political Science
Law

Language

English

Counseling Since

2020

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Theo

Counselor/Tutor

After graduating with a BA from Columbia University in Creative Writing and English, Theo immediately began tutoring students in the art of how to craft effective college admissions essays. He is driven by the desire to help students achieve acceptance into their dream schools, and leads them through a multi-step process encompassing everything from the initial brainstorm to the final edit. Theo is an experienced tutor in reading and academic writing, and has worked as a writer and editor in a wide variety of areas, recently preparing a full-length university management textbook for publication. A lifelong learner, Theo enjoys working closely with both professors and students in order to create his own unique and effective teaching style.

Education

BA, Columbia University

Major

Creative Writing, English

Language

English

Counseling Since

2013

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Ara

Counselor/Tutor

Ara has worked in many areas of education throughout his career, including college admissions, administration, and teaching. Ara has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Southern California, a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Otis College of Art and Design and is a member of the American School Counselor Association. He is passionate about the college application process, and is well versed in all the current trends affecting both private and state school admissions. Ara believes that mentorship is an integral component of the college counseling process and is passionate about helping his students realize their hidden potential.

Education

BA, USC

MFA, Otis

Major

English

Writing

Language

English

Counseling Since

2014