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What was it like to work with Sharon?
   
What’s the one thing you got from Sharon that meant the most to you?
   
What advice would you give to the newbies?
   
How different would the process have been had you not worked with Sharon?
Sharon and her students 2006
What was it like to work with Sharon?

"It was great! Sharon is relaxed yet down to business. Chill yet focused."

Crystal Springs Senior

Accepted Early Action to Tulane. Also accepted to Carnegie Mellon, Indiana, UC Boulder, Puget Sound, UC Santa Barbara, and Boston University. Will attend USC's Thornton School of Music.

"I loved it! I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through the whole process without her. I was confident that I was always on schedule, applying to schools that I would love, getting all the pieces of my story across in every application."

Senior Bay Area Student
Accepted Early Action to Georgetown. Will attend.

"I am so glad the college app process is done and over thanks to you ! Our child is finally starting to enjyo her last year at High School a bit. I never got a chance to thank you for all your help and guidance. You were wonderful with our child and she loves you very much. I really appreciate all you have done for her and for making my job a piece of cake. I'm so glad that you were referred to us and it was a great pleasure working with you.

Parent of Student
Accepted to Emerson. Will attend.

"I really enjoyed it. Sharon is the nicest woman in the world; I felt I could be honest with her about my problems or concerns with the process. She always respected my opinion, and actually tailored her systematic approach to fit my situation. I felt that she pushed me to work on and improve my application, and yet was sensitive enough to realize when I was uncomfortable, overloaded, or burnt out."

Graduate of Gunn - Gap Year Student
Accepted to UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, Wheaton with a Merit scholarship, and Clark. Will attend Washington University in St. Louis.

"Sharon swooped in and saved me when I was lost. She guided me and made me push for excellence. She's truly been my college angel with getting me to focus and given me the confidence in my writing and my applications."

Senior Bay Area Student
Accepted to University of Arizona and the SALT Program,
University of Oregon, Willamette

"A dream... She was so available and seemed to click with both me and my daughter from the start. We felt she understood my daughter's goals and would partner with us to achieve them."

Parent of Houston, TX Senior
A
ccepted Early Decision to Emory University. Will attend.

"Your work with our daughter over the last summer gave her the platform on which to have emotional space to consider her interests and hopes for college. You helped her manage the work so well and I really think that she was able to follow her heart. We are most grateful!"

Parent of Student
A
ccepted to NYU. Will attend.

"For us, it was heavenly to have you as the primary person interacting with our daughter regarding college issues. Removed a huge amount of tension and pressure from our shoulders and allowed our parent-child relationship to remain intact."

Parent of a Bay Area Senior

"My son was applying to what may be typical; 3 safe,
3 solid, 3 stretch schools, plus the UCs, so there was considerable work to accomplish on top of what was a challenging senior year curriculum. Great management skills are required, and Sharon you are a super manager, part cheerleader, part organization guru."

Parent of Crystal Springs Senior

"Working with Sharon was an absolute joy. She is organized, creative, sensitive and very tuned in—both to her advisees and their parents. She has good instincts about how much each student can (and wants to) handle at a time, and tailored her interactions and the follow on assignments so that the pressure that often surrounds the college application process was minimized. She is an effective task master with a very light touch, and made the research and strategy sessions fun and the 'to do' tasks straightforward and manageable. She has a knack for empowering the students to 'own' the process, and developed a very effective rapport with our daughter. Together they developed a plan and schedule, and Sharon gently kept our child on task—while making herself readily available for consultations and support of any kind."

Parent of a Bay Area Senior

"Very helpful, supportive and encouraging. Also, despite the fact that I am a college professor, and know about the process, it is different when it's your own kid and the perspective is blurred. Sharon helped us 'to see' our kid's strength and weaknesses and offered ways to present him objectively."

Parent from Princeton High School, New Jersey

"Sharon's patience, optimism, focus and experience allowed our daughter to manage the process with the confidence she, no doubt, would not have had if her father and I had been allowed to muck things up too much!"

Parent of a Bay Area Senior
Accepted Early Decision to Amherst. Will attend.

"We want to thank you for all of your help with our son's college admission process. We never would have never learn about Cornell College were it not for you. We are eternally grateful for you creating the opportunity which allowed Drew to enjoy such a wonderful college experience.

Parent of Cornell College Graduate

"I can't emphasize enough your ability to assess our son and 'his needs.' He gets discouraged and depressed easily and then will shut down completely. You were able, through tremendous support and encouragement, to keep him on track throughout this whole process so he could reach 'his goals.' This is not usually the case."

Parent of Foothill Middle College Senior
Accepted to CalPoly. Will attend.

"Comforting! I knew I was in 'good hands' and that nothing would slip by me. But it was more than that, because I knew everything I submitted would be my best work."

Senior
Accepted to Colgate. Will attend.

"It was personal. We met a lot, and we got a lot done. It was great working with Sharon and I know that she was definitely a major part in my getting in early to Davidson."

Senior
Accepted to Davidson. Will attend.

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Sharon and her students 2005
What’s the one thing you got from Sharon that meant the most to you?

"The one thing we got from Sharon that meant the most was our daughter's renewed confidence that she was progressing beautifully through the process."

Parent of Houston, TX Senior
A
ccepted Early Decision to Emory University. Will attend.

"Sharon gave me my much-needed motivation. I was practically burnt out by the beginning of senior year and I had a lot of work still ahead of me. Sharon was able to lovingly kick me into gear."

Senior Bay Area Student
Accepted Early Decision to Dartmouth. Will attend.

"Individual Attention!!!! Laughter, enthusiasm, incredible creativity --college visits, writing up of recommendations. You have the right combination of kindness, humor, and support with the push that our daughter so very much needed."

Parent of a Bay Area Senior

"Sharon got to know me well and that awareness helped us gel and get a clear sense of what I was looking for quickly. Although I had ideas, Sharon encouraged me to go out and do a little work that I hadn't yet thought of (college guides, researching specific departments, etc.) and helped me to really grasp the extent of the task."

Crystal Springs Senior
Accepted Early Action to Tulane. Also accepted to Carnegie Mellon, Indiana, UC Boulder, Puget Sound, UC Santa Barbara, and Boston University. Will attend USC's Thornton School of Music.

"You cared about our son's progress. The cover letter was the most helpful objective thing that you did --this task would be incredibly difficult for Michael (or me) to do well."

Parent of Foothill Middle College Senior

"You recognized something special in my son at the very beginning and let him know that in such a positive and supportive way. He can be a challenging personality and the 'college application process' for him couldn't be handled by just anyone or by the standard methods. He requires a lot of support."

Parent of Foothill Middle College Senior

"You provided a structure and oversaw the myriad details that in turn relieved some of the (inevitable) stress building up at home. The writing workshop with Joyce Maynard, although not the most critical aspect of your work, was especially creative, provided camaraderie, and got those juices flowing."

Parent of Crystal Springs Senior

"I am now keenly aware of the importance of capturing the essence of the student’s personality, talents, accomplishments, ambitions, and potential in a concise packet of application materials, supplemented by interviews and visits. Sharon’s approach is both practical and inspiring at the same time—and all of us are convinced that because of Sharon, our daughter was able to communicate with colleges in a lively and engaging way. So the thing that meant the most to us out of our work with Sharon was that throughout the entire experience, we lived with a happy, motivated child who felt in charge of the process and optimistic (and realistic) about the outcome."

Parent of a Bay Area Senior

"Our daughter got into all her colleges... Thanks for your support and brilliant advice."

Parent of Walnut Creek High School Senior
Will attend American.

"The fact that our son would listen to you for advice when he would not listen to the same advice from his parents. The focus that you brought to the process by having scheduled meetings."

Parent of Senior

"Confidence. It's really daunting for your whole family to go through the process for the first time, and what makes Sharon the best is that she instills this confidence."

Senior
Accepted to Colgate. Will attend.

"You got things done, you encouraged me to make it happen. The single most impressive thing you did for me though was when you called Trinity for me before I went. That meeting with the professor was really special."

Senior
Accepted early to Davidson.

"I did not have to be the one coaching, pushing, etc. which...."

Carol Darby
Parent of a Senior

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Sharon and her students 2007
What advice would you give
to the newbies?

"I wish I had started earlier. Despite all of the planning we did to get all of the applications out the door early, my WashU application still came down to the wire. If I had started in the summer, I could have toured more schools, and done more on location research into each of the schools I was applying too."


Graduate of Gunn - Gap Year Student
Accepted to UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, Wheaton with a Merit scholarship, and Clark. Will attend Washington University in St. Louis.

"Do your work when Sharon suggests! I know it's hard but it will only make your life easier down the road. If you can't do it exactly on time, don't beat yourself up. Just put it behind you and try your best to catch up. Under no circumstances is it recommended to sit in denial of the fact that you have college applications. Also make sure to talk to Sharon about how you're doing in school, sports, and the college process. Once she hears where you are, she can help reorganize the workload to help you."

Senior Bay Area Student
Accepted Early Decision to Dartmouth. Will attend.

"It's important to work in school not only because you want to get into college, but because you find what you're doing interesting. Try to take classes in subjects that interest you and make sure your extra-curriculars are activities that you'd continue with through college, be it music, sports, art, whatever."

Crystal Springs Senior
Accepted Early Action to Tulane. Also accepted to Carnegie Mellon, Indiana, UC Boulder, Puget Sound, UC Santa Barbara, and Boston University. Will attend USC's Thornton School of Music.

"Time, follow-through, and organization --this process takes a lot of it; the best school counselors (and we had an excellent one) are shepherding a large flock."

Parent of Senior

"Talk with them first. Some counselors are abrupt and immediately tell the kids they have no chance for a particular school. Sharon allowed our daughter time to work the process herself."

Parent of Houston, TX Senior
Accepted Early Decision to Emory University. Will attend.

"Start early --sophomore year to just meet and greet. Write essays over the summer. Include the school college counselor --don't assume all needs are handled by Sharon because while she is awesome, the college counselor writes a very important recommendation. I know you advised our daughter about this, but I don't know how seriously kids take it."

Parent of a Bay Area Senior

"Sharon makes sure you apply to schools that fit you."

Senior

"DO WHAT SHARON TELLS YOU TO DO! Get organized earlier. I had to play catch up because I was a slacker."

Senior

"With so much competition for so few openings would strongly advise outside counseling. "

Parent of a Senior

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How different would the process have been had you not worked with Sharon?

"I doubt I would have gotten in early to my top choice. I really felt like after working with her, I had a solid package that I was very proud of and I knew for sure that I was a good match for the school and, more importantly, that they would see that from my application. Every angle was covered or as Sharon says, 'we squeezed out every drop.'"

Senior Bay Area Student

Accepted Early Action to Georgetown. Will attend.

"I think I would have put an OK application out the door, but because I worked with Sharon I felt that I sent out the best application possible. When I mailed my first application a year earlier, I knew that I hadn't put my best foot forward. After using my summer to take classes during my gap year at Santa Clara University, I couldn't stand the idea of selling short my accomplishments by not 'turning over every stone,' as Sharon did."

Graduate of Gunn - Gap Year Student
Accepted to UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, Wheaton with a Merit scholarship, and Clark. Will attend Washington University in St. Louis.

"If I had not worked with Sharon, I would probably not be speaking with my parents right now. The tension between my parents and me decreased considerably."

Senior Bay Area Student
Accepted Early Decision to Dartmouth. Will attend.

"No doubt we would have had much more household stress over the process and would not have been as organized or confident about a happy outcome. As a parent, I didn’t need to worry about keeping our child on track or making sure that nothing fell between the cracks. The process brought us closer to our daughter. For all the hype, it is a very exciting and rewarding process of self discovery and personal growth. "

Parent of a Bay Area Senior

"Well, I didn’t even know what a non-school-affiliated college counselor’s purpose was until I had a meeting with Sharon, so I don’t think I would have been nearly as successful. I think that I would not have had nearly so easy a time figuring out what schools I wanted to apply to and I would’ve had a harder time getting my stuff done in a semi-timely fashion."

Senior

"I don’t think our son would have been able to complete all the work necessary to get through all that is required to apply for college. Just keeping track of everything is a challenge for anyone. And our son would not and does not let us participate, or at least, very minimally. I know he needs to 'own the process,' but without Sharon’s guidance and long term planning, he wouldn’t be receiving those college acceptance letters!"

Parent of Foothill Middle College Senior

"The process is difficult enough, but when the parent tries to act as advisor, then along with the child's struggle for independence, the tension between parent and child increases and hurts everyone."

Parent of Senior
A
ccepted Early Decision to Emory University. Will attend.

"It would have been detrimental to our family dynamics. Also, we trusted Sharon, so we didn't push our son."

Parent of a Bay Area Senior

"Totally different. Our daughter would never have been able to narrow down her choices without your help. In this way she was able to apply early decision. You helped her so much to ask the right questions and find the useful experiences. Our high school seniors have so much going on that this process often feels overwhelming. You are great at helping to break it down into bite-sized chunks."

Parent of a Bay Area Senior

"We’d be in therapy."

Parent of Senior

"I try not to think of the college process without Sharon. I would have been WAYYY more stressed out, on all different levels: I wouldn't have done my essays in the summer, so I would have had to cram them in during the year. I would have probably stressed about the wrong things. I would never have known how to present myself in the awesome way I did."

Senior

"My essays would have been much worse and my overall application would not have been as cohesive. You added some great college choices to my list that made sense for me."

Senior

"Much more painful and perhaps a totally different outcome."

Parent of a Senior

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