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& counseling

I Am Me Mentors’ college-readiness & counseling department allows passion development to pervade our work so there is a clear light at the end of the tunnel guiding students (even those applying undeclared). As a cooperative of millennial educators of mixed east and south asian descent, one of our niches in college counseling is how up-to-date we are in assessing admissions officers ever-changing essay prompts and correlating hidden values, most recently and thankfully, heading in the direction of valuing student voice, leadership, advocacy, social justice, self-awareness and intersectional awareness. We are diversity education facilitators by training and for students who are just beginning their self-reflection in these areas, we offer an array of coaching tools in discovering authentic self-interest in the social issues being asked about, as they navigate these increasingly challenging essay topics.

College Student Enjoying a Book

What Makes Our Services Unique?

Excerpt written by department chair, Michaela Miller

**Not an exhaustive list of services**


  • Passion development: We recognize that college admissions is no longer just about grades and test scores. Fortunately, colleges are also looking for the exact qualities that can intrinsically support students in thriving in high school, college and beyond: being in touch with their passions and pursuing leadership. We make sure to offer unique passion development services sprinkled throughout our packages, upon request, as well as allow students' aspirations to be the light at the end of the tunnel as they work through the many boxes to check amidst the college – readiness journey. 


  • College research: We use the best – fit approach to college research, not only because it allows students to find their home after high school, but also because colleges are now, more than ever, seeking demonstrated interest in applicants. Those that can make a case that the school is a best – fit for them are more likely to receive acceptances and large merit-scholarships. For example, just this past application cycle, I had even my student with the lowest GPA (a 2.55 from Mountain View High School) get accepted to a dozen liberal arts schools with an average of a $30,000 annual merit scholarship through the best – fit approach. I also had a student who had loved math all his life, discover a passion for humanitarian engineering through our college application journey. I connected him with engineers of all types for informational interviews through our own volunteer network to solidify his major selection. He ended up with a $30,000 annual merit scholarship to RPI, even though it was a reach for him, because it was the only school that offered humanitarian engineering research, student groups and programming and he made a case for this in his application shortly after discovering such a niche passion.


  • College essay mentoring: I've been a college essay mentoring specialist for 10 years and have honed in on a unique approach to bringing out students' personal transformations. My students' personal statements, regardless of the prompt they choose after the work we do, display where they're coming from, who they are now and optionally, where they are headed, to bring out themselves on paper as a dynamic, not static, protagonist of their story. This writing journey is personally transformative in and of itself, as students discover and further develop their transformations. Supplements are similarly dynamic and also bring in the best – fit approach (mentioned above) to bring together the college application as a cohesive and colorful portfolio. Browse our “College Essay Sequence and Samples”.


  • Study skills & time management: I have been a study skills and time management coach for 12 years, a service that has become increasingly popular and crucial since the pandemic. My approach is unique in fostering students' agency, initiative and self-efficacy. I always get students' buy-in, even if I'm being incredibly directive, if and when called for by the student and family. For example, I had a couple of students who didn't want to use comprehensive Google calendaring in January because they felt their other applications and planners were sufficient, but we quickly analyzed together the impact of not having structured out the students' time management and now all of my students, including him, are self-motivated to build in, not only structured homework time by subject matter, but additional study time to utilize the new skills I've taught them in creating and implementing their own study guides, flashcards and practice tests.


  • Time management and study skills coaching may include (not an exhaustive list):​​


    • Note-taking

    • Test-taking

    • Schoolwork organization

    • Annotating 

    • Personal responsibility

    • Interpersonal responsibility

    • Initiative

    • Creative problem solving

    • Time management


  • “Demonstrated interest” skill-building: (increases chance of acceptance and scholarships)

    • Communication with admissions representatives in & outside of visits

    • Early action prioritization

    • Interview preparation and simulations

    • Demonstrated interest “checklist” management, such as: signing up for school’s email list, opening emails etc.



  • Academic foundations in… Math/Literacy/Science/Spanish/ESL etc. & academic accelerated courses: Mentoring sessions with I Am Me Mentors are not your typical tutoring session. We maximize session time with rigorous academic instruction that can support or replace course content. Challenging activities promote critical thinking and self-efficacy. Our carefully tailored curriculum helps fill in foundational gaps in understanding and/or covers brand new content to help advanced students achieve their goals of preparing for a future course, entering gifted and talented programs or skipping/replacing grades or courses. 


  • Cooperative business model: I Am Me Mentors is a full-service tutoring and educational consulting cooperative. My co-owner, Rowen Thomas, with a PhD in Higher Education and Student Affairs, teams up with me for college research, SAT reading, APUSH and more! As a cooperative, we can tackle high school tutoring needs in house, oftentimes as a flexible mix-in to a college-readiness session, as needs evolve. 


  • Unique add-on products and services: We don't just dedicate ourselves to our students during session time, but we also include credits towards our add-on products and services outside of session time within all of our packages. Some highlights include... Five College Recommendations: often repeated every semester so that we can do a deep dive into student and family priorities to recommend hidden gems and respond to evolving college criteria. Passion Development Analysis & Exploration Plan: foreshadows potential pathways for a student to explore their interests in high school, college and/or the workforce. Five Summer Pathway Recommendations: strategizes summer programming, studies, jobs and/or internships. Study Skills Analysis & Time Management Plan: supports the student in being accountable to their own academic journey...As well as many more!

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