Understanding Myself

The summer intensive workshop made me understand myself as a person and not just as a high school applicant to college. I had lots of fun and got close to different kinds of students. I was very satisfied with my college essay. I got into Brandeis University, my first choice!

Dedication and Rigor

I have rarely met a better writing teacher than Sara. As a former math teacher, I know that being able to teach Calculus well, clearly and with passion is a rare thing. Sara is this kind of writing teacher. I have seen her take even the most rudimentary of writers and develop their voice with care, dedication and rigor.

In Full Command

Sara was a true delight to work with! She guided us and our daughter in the essay preparation process, and helped us manage deadlines, always allowing our daughter to be in full command. Sara brought out the best in our daughter's essays, while fully respecting her voice and her style. Thank you Sara! You are very talented! We are always happy and delighted to serve as a reference.

Personal Resolve

It seems like just yesterday Sara was helping me figure out how to structure my personal essay in the most cohesive and creative way; and although it was super challenging and I am so happy that that phase is over, I miss our one-on-one sessions. To be honest, it almost felt like I had a personal psychiatrist because I came across a bunch of personal revelations; with Sara’s help, I essentially learned how to resolve my issues through the wonderful tool of writing.

Finding Gold

Sara begins with premise that every person’s story is special and interesting. She is amazing at gaining trust and so gets intense, beyond-the-surface answers. Insightful at finding the gold in her student’s “ordinary” journey, Sara does not judge along the way, and that gives students confidence as their voices unfold.

Unbelievably Effective

Sara is a joy to work with. She understand her students unbelievably well and provides them the framework and encouragement they need to articulate their thoughts in the most effective manner for their college essays. She makes a huge effort to get to know her students, and their goals and ideas, in order to make the most appropriate suggestions and edits to their writing. I could not recommend Sara highly enough, to anyone seeking any sort of advice and guidance with their writing.

A Model

Sara is dearly loyal and committed to student success, willing to go “the extra mile” and a fierce grammarian. She brings peace into the room and is a model for students in that she always aims to nourish her own mind, body and spirit in equal parts.

Unlocking the Writer

With the essay playing such a critical role in the undergraduate college application process, my son was fortunate to have an amazing coach/counselor to help him find his voice in writing. The writing process was a life-changing journey of trusting the feedback and of developing confidence in expressing my son's personal experiences and aspirations. To write an essay is more than words on a page, it is sharing your soul to the world. It is a creative process and truly Sara is an engaging, outcome oriented and diligent professional. If you trust the process and fully commit, your child will produce an amazing essay and develop useful tool that transfer to college writing. Sara unlocked the writer in him and now he is a confident writer who is prepared to sell himself with his words. This is an important life skill that will serve him well into the future. I am thankful for Sara's patience and guidance during this emotional roller coaster. It is a great investment in his future.

Genuine & Insightful

Working with you (Sara Nolan) was a delight. You were able to prod at what I was really trying to say and get me to actually say it. I was able to be genuine, clear, and insightful.

Exquisite

Sara Nolan is, in every sense of the word, an extra extraordinary Teacher. She is as demanding of her students as she is nurturing—allowing any being to reach his/her highest heights. Sara is the teacher with whom I wish my own children could have the privilege of studying. She. Is. Exquisite.

Amazing and Beneficial

My time with Sara was amazing and and beneficial to my writing skills. She challenged me to add more juice and style to my writing. Each detail I put in my personal statement I was asked questions about. It was as if she was guiding me in peeling an onion to its center. Each evening she would sit with me listening as I expressed my thoughts to her. She became my pencil that helped converts my thoughts into words on paper. Each email sent was words of encouragement and cheer that uplifted my spirit. This motivated me to continue writing every time I got writer’s block. I found a reason to be happy about my writing instead of being ashamed of it. I appreciate the time and dedication Sara spent working on my essay with me because it helped me get admission to the schools I was interested in attending. I was able to find my voice, use my words, and tell my story because of Sara’s assistance.

Curiosity

After having had Sara as a Latin and poetry teacher, our daughter chose Sara to help with personal essay for college next year. Sara brings awesome focus, whole-being caring, curiosity and high standards. She always has her game on and is extraordinarily well prepared.

Strong and Compelling

Natalia shared her finalized essay with the family last night. I have to tell you that I was almost in tears! Words cannot express how much I appreciate your kindness, time and effort. Natalia has learnt so much from you over the past week, I am really happy that she was able to apply what you taught her to writing such a strong and compelling essay. Thanks again for allowing her to come to your class. The experience was extremely positive for both Natalia and I. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Elevating My View

Sara met me in my struggle to help me refine my essay. She asked: "Do you love your essay? Please read it to me." These simple questions elevated my entire view on a personal statement. She wanted to understand me before giving me feedback. After multiple drafts, I made it happen. Without Sara, I wouldn't have been able to balance my poetic tone with narrative. Now I am proud of how much strong writing came out of me.

Achieving Dreams

"Sara is truly an expert in helping young people craft their best personal essays. Her live workshops and her speedy, thoughtful online essay feedback-- for our three TFI cohorts nationally-- were incredibly helpful in our fellows achieving their college admissions dreams."

Conscientious and Effective

Sara not only helped me produce a personal statement that I'm proud of, she also taught me to write conscientiously and effectively. I now feel like I know myself better, and have the power to advocate for myself. However stressful the college process is, I feel like I at least learned a great deal from it. Sara is incredible.

Dream Come True

You were truly my inspiration that guided me through the period when I was confused and wondered. I have gotten admissions from USC, NYU, Babson, UCLA, UCSD, Richmond, Brandeis, and UNC. The one that excites me the most is the offer from the World Bachelor in Business (WBB) program of USC. This pioneer program provides unparalleled opportunities and challenges. And students will live in Los Angeles, HK, and Milan to learn business by immersing in diverse cultures, so I have decided to go there! Being admitted by this program was literally like a dream coming true as it is very competitive, only 45 students all around the world every year. Without you I would not have accomplished the results I have today!

Unexpected blessings

I want to express my sincere gratitude and deep appreciation for the continuous support and love you have extended to us. Our dreams are realized because of your passion and gift.. Truly I believe that  God has blessed us with you. Justus has received college acceptance to five (5) colleges so far with two(2) offering Dean's scholarships. Without an amazing essay and constant mentorship, we could not have receive such amazing results. The hard work and sacrifices were well worth it and in return Justus received many unexpected blessings. The gift of a voice to express his thoughts in written format, the confidence to share his career goals/dreams are priceless and gratitude to pay it forward. We are so encouraged and hopeful for an amazing journey for our son in college. The seed that you planted continues to grow and we share the lessons with others often. Game changer sums up your impact.
Antonia McDonnell headshot

A True Representation

When I started the college process the one thing that I was really sure of was that I never wanted to try to fit who I was into who I thought colleges wanted me to be. When it came to my personal statement, I was adamant about not forcing the events that have shaped my high school experience to seem presentable and neat. Because they had not been and I felt like I owed everyone involved with the college process as close to a true representation of myself as I could manage. Sara not only aided my and guided me through this process, but she encouraged my writing to be raw and lyrical in the ways I thought it should be. Writing with Sara not only helped with my college process, but also with my writing and thinking processes.

Get Her On Your Team!

There are many considerations when one contemplates application to business school or grad school. Among the most important is: who do I work with to help me streamline my process, articulate my thoughts in a way that is concise but delivers my message and tells my truth? There is an abundance of consultants, former this, current that, graduated with honors from wherever, but at the end of the day all the acronyms and pedigree don’t tell you whether this person cares to tell your story. As an investor-- and the time and money associated with business or grad school application (s) is certainly an investment-- you want someone with skin in the game. For me that was Sara. I was willing to go with her over those who had a cookie cutter approach because my situation and circumstances required more than a generic tool box. They required her thoughtful conscious effort to represent me. Our interactions were collaborative, and I saw her input as helpful. As it turns out a huge promotion got in the way of my school plans. But as I assemble my team for my next business school application, Sara will definitely be part of the team. If you require more than statistics and acronyms, I encourage you to add her to your team as well. The first time I read an email from her and she closed “with heart” I did not know how much that would end up meaning to me.

Mentor & Specialist

My son Josh worked with Sara on several college essays. She really helped Josh put together some meaningful personal essays that highlighted his personality and voice. Sara was lovely to work with as well. She demonstrated tremendous patience and empathy when dealing with Josh during his senior year of high school. I highly recommend Sara as a mentor and specialist for college essay writing!

Unlocking Hidden Potential

We all think we know how to write. Just put pen to paper right? The answer is no. Sara showed me this, but oddly enough, she never directly told you that anything was wrong with your work. It was sort of like her and this part of your brain were best friends, and she told that part of your brain to reveal what was wrong. Sara’s approach to making me a better writer was unlike anything I ever expected. From her hippy meditation sessions, to inviting me to her own home for the sake of editing an essay, I am lost for words for how much I appreciate Sara and all the aid she’s given me in my writing as well as my personal statement. The way she unlocks one’s hidden potential and hones their skill is God like. If you ask me, she should work for the government.

Loaded with Ideas

"You are great at getting kids to talk! I came empty minded concerning what I was going to say for my college essay. I left feeling confident and loaded with new ideas about what I could feature in my essay!"

Bring Out the Best

Sara was able to “bring out the best” in my son, and help him to write an outstanding, original and creative essay for his application. She in no way wrote it for him, but pushed him to think through what he wanted to say. The thinking process also allowed him to do some planning for his future and focus on career paths and options. I recommend her highly.