Les has earned a Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, where he also served as an Admissions Associate. His greatest learning from this experience is the importance of viewing the college application process as a simple pie chart with three key slices: academic life, involvement in or with a community, and personal story. Each of these slices is viewed equally for the top 20 schools, meaning one’s personal statement holds the same weight as their high school transcript in the decision-making process.
Les understands that the admissions cycle is a jarring experience. In fact, his challenging journey to college is what sparked his interest in coaching students. Even though he attended a high school recognized as a college preparatory school, Les found it troubling how minimal access he had as a high school student to college counselors, SAT and ACT prep, and information about private institutions outside of the state.
Moreover, during his college application cycle, his college counselor highly suggested he keep his college search within a more “reasonable” scope. He spent countless weeks and hours crafting his applications and was accepted into 14 of the 18 universities he applied to. Les was the first in his high school to attend Stanford. He is passionate about guiding students and parents through this process to ensure their success!
Les’s greatest strengths as a coach include helping candidates develop and execute a project plan and timeline, identify a list of schools tiered for maximum success and admission reassurance, and highlight their strengths and voice in their essays. Additionally, Les is highly skilled in interview preparation, helping students curate a stellar resume, and tailoring essays to fit the expectations for each desirable school choice.
In his spare time, Les loves going on runs along the San Francisco harbor and Golden Gate Park. He also enjoys listening to NPR politics and the Wall Street Journal report in the morning. His interests include cooking new recipes, reading, talking to friends and family, and developing himself professionally!
Les’s Pro Tip?
Admissions officers want a well-rounded candidate they can argue for before a committee of their peers! Bring your voice. Bring your story. Bring your insight. Your essays hold the key to your potential spot at the school of your dreams.
Aaron is a PhD candidate at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, pursuing research projects in cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology. He graduated from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and has worked as a research fellow at the National Institute of Health. Aaron discovered his passion for mentorship at SBU when he ran and supervised a college admissions mentorship program for high school students in New York City.
While at Stony Brook, Aaron served as a writing mentor and was elected President of the university’s undergraduate research journal. In this position, he supervised and trained incoming editors and writers. Aaron’s writing has led to publications in high-impact journals and a research grant from the American Heart Association as a principal investigator. As a coach, Aaron excels at helping QRI students develop strong writing, interviewing, research planning, and management skills to help them successfully execute their research projects. Aaron encourages his mentees to pave their paths, creating their own opportunities through research.
April has a Bachelor's degree in Film and Media Studies from Yale University and a Master's degree in Film Directing from Brooklyn College. Professionally, April has experience as a playwright, phylogenetic researcher, video artist, documentary filmmaker, and teacher.
April believes that a great coach is both a role model for and an ardent supporter of their students, a north star of both focus and big-picture thinking during a demanding period in students' lives. April is passionate about using her narrative insight as a filmmaker to help college applicants find and communicate their sense of purpose in the world to specific audiences: in this case, the college of their dreams. April has coached hundreds of students over the past five years, and her passion is to guide them toward educational experiences that will be challenging, formative, and a good fit for their life purposes. College is no exception!
April's greatest strength as a coach is helping students identify and compellingly represent their strengths through essay writing and the interview process. She begins with the big picture of the whole student - their strengths and what they have to give to the college community and the world - and structure the application prep process from there, bringing focus and clarity to the small, important details that go into a successful application.
When April isn't coaching, she loves to cook, discover new and old music, play and write songs on the guitar, go hiking, and research how movies are made.
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