About Me

Houston-Area Admission Essay Coach

There’s a lot of pressure for students to spend their high school careers cultivating a resume that generates attention-getting college applications. Great grades, top rankings, ample activities, impressive test scores, meaningful community service. It can all get a little overwhelming.

But one thing that doesn’t have to be stressful for students is writing their personal statements and supplemental essays. While I don’t have a magic wand that makes the essays write themselves, I do have the next best thing: smart, effective strategies that students can use to make the brainstorming and writing process simple and, dare I say it, sometimes fun.

Here’s what I’d like you to know about me and how I help my students write amazing essays.

My Background

I've been a professional writer for more than 15 years, helping businesses craft their stories for their websites and print publications. I’ve also written more than 500 corporate bios and hundreds of blog posts and email campaigns — all designed to attract attention and generate business. While I’ve loved this career, back in 2018, I wanted to start making a difference in the lives of individuals.

So I combined my master’s degree in counseling psychology and my extensive writing and editing background and became a college essay coach. My unique combination of skills lets me, as an admission essay coach, help students find their deepest stories, develop their voice, write essays that can help them stand out to admissions officers, and develop the writing skills that will serve them long after graduating from high school.

In 2019 and 2020, I had several opportunities to learn from the well-respected College Essay Guy (Ethan Sawyer) online and in person. Many of the techniques and strategies I use today were developed by him (and are used with his permission), and I encourage students and parents to check out the wealth of resources he makes available on his website.

I continue training today by partnering with mentors; taking online workshops (I completed the WOW College Essay Experience in March 2021); testing out my techniques by writing my own personal statements (check out my latest one here), and reading books and blog posts and listening to podcasts to ensure I'm giving my students the best, most current information I can.

Most recently, I've been working with Dr. Cynthia Colon and ObiCoach as an essay coach and editor and learning more about their approach to essay writing, brainstorming, and editing. I'm also a contributing writer to the College Essay Guy's website.

About My Approach

Working one-on-one or in small groups — in person and online — I help students recognize their accomplishments and draw the unique connections between their life experiences, their values, and their college and career goals that help their essays stand out. I offer a customized approach to writing the college essay, and I believe my accessibility for questions and support is unique to my business.

I can also help students who have already written their essays but want an impartial third party to review them for style, grammar, theme, craft, and more.

I'm proud to say that with many students, our working relationships don't end after they graduate. Instead, they come back to ask for help and advice with college essays, resumes, and new admissions essays as they begin to focus their studies and apply for specialized programs.


Acceptances

My past students have received acceptances from a range of great colleges and universities, like Auburn, Baylor University, Caltech, Chapman University, Colorado School of Mines, Columbia, Florida State University, Georgia Tech, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Penn State, Pepperdine, SMU, TCU, Texas A&M (College Station), Texas Tech, the University of Arkansas, the University of Florida, the University of Miami, the University of Michigan (including the Evans Scholarship) the University of Tennessee, the University of Texas - Austin, and Xavier.

Media

“Forest Lifestyles” article (September 2019)
Julia Byrd: Essay Coach in Forest Lifestyles Magazine
Podcast appearance on Bybee College Prep (August 2021)
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