Nice to meet you!
I'm Robert, your guide through the college maze.
Where it all began...
When I was in high school...
I rushed the college search, winged the application timeline, and wrote all my essays right before the deadlines. I wasn’t being lazy... I was terrified! On New Year’s Eve, the night of the deadline, my mom gave up on nagging me. She said, “whatever happens happens.”
When I received my results, I felt like a fraud because I didn’t know why I was going to this school, or if I belonged there.
At the Johns Hopkins freshman orientation, I met the admissions officer who read my application. I told her, “I think you made a mistake,” and I laughed with gratitude. However, she didn’t join me. She said, “we don’t make mistakes in my office.”
That year, I came to learn the many ways I was a good fit for the school, and some of the ways I wasn’t. I ended up realizing what the admissions officer meant and why my comment annoyed her so much. She had decided I was a good fit, imagining me on campus and seeing me succeed and fail, and wanting to bring me into the community. But our conversation revealed I had not done any of that work myself.
Driven to help students make their best college plans, I became a college consultant to help students cut through the chaos.
I did the hard work to learn about as many colleges as I could. I boarded flights to all sorts of destinations to learn about new colleges and refresh on familiar ones, in person, meeting admissions representatives and students – and I continue to do this as often as I can. I became an expert in need-based and merit scholarship options. I created processes and timelines to help students go through the process easily. And I practiced helping students do this even as admissions trends and policies change, literally, all the time.
Now, as an expert in colleges and the college process, I’m the options guy. I help students narrow down all the options to find their best-fit college list, and I guide them to submit confident, timely, strong applications with the least amount of stress possible. With guidance to reflect, plan, and take action, my students go to colleges where they thrive, become their best selves, and go on to make an impact in the world.
I'm passionate about inclusion and driven to help LGBTQ+ teens.
I'm one of only a handful of consultants in the U.S. who specializes in guiding LGBTQ+ teens to safe, happy, supportive colleges. In fact, I wrote the textbook chapter on it (NACAC, Fundamentals of College Counseling, sixth edition). The college search for LGBTQ+ teens is complex and nuanced, with considerations that are unique and individual just to them. I work to understand the individual journeys of my students and guide them to campuses where they'll find community and thrive.
When I was a teen growing up in Georgia, I kept silent about my identity. When I went to college, I kept silent there too for the first two years. What a waste. Now, getting to know individual students for who they really are and guiding them on their college journeys is a rewarding way to utilize my special expertise and make change in the world for LGBTQ+ people.
In March 2023, I co-founded the IECs for Human Rights organization, which leads letter-writing campaigns, educates colleagues and the public about issues facing LGBTQ+ students, and guides leaders in the college counseling profession to include LGBTQ+ rights in their programming. National advocacy is one way I create change in the world, and it directly supports my mission to help LGBTQ+ teens create safe, happy, successful futures for themselves.
Not all my students identify as LGBTQ+, but more than half do. Whatever your identity, you belong in our community of luminaries as long as you're an open-minded ally to others and believe that all humans deserve to live safely and authentically in our society.