I met David and Myra the summer before my senior year through my mom’s friend. As the first in my family to attend college in the states, I needed genuine college counseling and guidance to pull through the college process. By then, I had heard enough about Korean private academies/ “hagwons”, such as Elite, putting intense pressure on students to get into top colleges, scamming parents with an expensive cost for college counseling, and rewriting students’ personal statements to leave no trace of their identities. When I learned about David and Myra’s reasonable cost for college counseling with unlimited applications, I realized they were different. David and Myra didn’t ask me what my GPA was or what my extracurricular activities were on our first meeting, but asked what I envisioned pursuing at my future college and whether I looked at any colleges besides the ones in CA.
They used big words like “return on investment” and “pre-professionalism” and enlarged the scope of my college search. They provided me with options and respected my thoughts as we held meaningful conversations each week.
David and Myra not only revised my college essays, but also looked into fly-in programs, messaged me scholarship opportunities, and helped me decipher my family’s tax forms when I applied for financial aid (those notorious hagwons would charge extra for this). They understood the mental and physical stress seniors faced, and it was comforting to know that we had supporters who cared about us. David created a safe space for open discussions about our personal statements. By peer reviewing other students’ essays, I was able to reflect on my own and be inspired by others.
GPA taught me to think critically and act responsibly. It was this mindset that GPA ingrained in me which led to my acceptance at University of Pennsylvania.
David’s all-nighters editing our college essays and Myra’s constant updates regarding college deadlines showed me that they were altruistic people who wanted the best for their students. I am utterly grateful for David and Myra having confidence in my capabilities and helping students realize their potential both emotionally and visibly with an abundance of college acceptance letters by the end of year.