Mark Lewis worked with both our twins—a girl and a boy—beginning in their junior year of high school. One twin was an honors student, the other struggled in school. However, Mark was able to guide both of them through what could be the intimidating process of finding which college, applying, and getting accepted. He also offered plenty of advice on funding opportunities and scholarships. Of course, this is what you expect all counselors to do.
Mark began by having our twins define who they were—via discussions and written essays. Then he helped refine these self-portraits, drilling down to what they believed in and why they felt as they did about themselves, society and their life goals.
Mark’s “in the trenches” knowledge of the admission process and his tales of own academic career gave my kids confidence that they could apply anywhere and succeed. He offered advice on many angles and unusual opportunities—such as how Harvard was actively seeking students who loved Latin.
Mark ferreted out a unique concern of my daughter’s—her efforts to bridge ethnic clique-ness at her high school—and suggested that could be very attractive to admission screeners. This social work set her apart from other college applicants with similar grades and test scores. Who she was as a person helped her get accepted to a very competitive college.
My son was convinced that Engineering was where his future lay. Mark suggested schools offering programs that fit a variety of my son’s interests. A niche Engineering school might have seemed the perfect fit, but Mark could sense how changeable our son was. Sure enough, during Freshman year, our son realized that Engineering wasn’t for him and switched to Design. Fortunately, Mark had guided him to a school that offered opportunities in many disciplines.
If you are concerned about the expense of a college admissions consultant, ask yourself how much your child’s future is worth? Before you begin spending on tuition, dorms and text books, Mark can help you and your child choose well. Our daughter thought UC Berkeley was out of reach, but Mark helped her raise her expectations and came up with the strategy that got her accepted there—with scholarships.
We found Mark through a cousin of his who we’d known for years. Of course, given Mark’s warm personality and optimism, he will quickly establish himself as a trusted friend helping your kids follow their dreams.
Everybody wishes for a wise Merlin “gatekeeper” to help us on our journey. Mark’s experience and savvy make it easier to cross the scary college threshold with both knowledge and confidence. If you doubt my opinion, call Mark and talk for just a few minutes. He’ll win you over. You’ll see that gaining acceptance is his special talent.
Best of luck to you and your children.