Founder Mary Sykes had an 18 year career as an academic and college advisor and school administrator in public and private secondary schools in the New York and Connecticut. She is a permanently certified New York State school counselor.

She has helped hundreds of teenage boys and girls and their families successfully navigate high school and the college admissions process. Most recently, Director of College Guidance at Convent of the Sacred Heart, a K-12 independent school in Greenwich, CT, Mary has also been Director of Guidance and College Counseling for School of the Holy Child in Rye, NY, nd a tenured Guidance Counselor at Rye Neck High School, in New York.  She started her career as an Associate in the College Counseling Office of Greenwich (CT) Academy and left to get her degree in school counseling when her own daughter reached college application age there.

Mary developed strong and successful college programs for the schools at which she worked. Even as class sizes grew, she ensured that quality, personalized counseling services were available to all students and their parents. Each year students were admitted to a range of competitive and geographically diverse colleges.


Master of Science in Educational Counseling from Long Island University, New York

MBA from Columbia University University, New York

BA from Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts

Attended the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions and The Practices and Principals Institute of the Independent Educational Consultants Association.


National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC)

Independent Educational Counselors Association (IECA)

Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA)

American School Counselor Association  (ASCA)

Former trustee of REACH Prep, Stamford, CT, an organization that prepares underrepresented minorities for placement in independent schools in Westchester County, NY and Fairfield County, CT; Trustee and former President of the Rye Free Reading Room, Rye, NY


Before settling in suburban New York City, lived, studied and worked in many different places both in the United States and abroad, including Texas, Massachusetts, Washington DC, Delaware, Malaysia, France, Switzerland, and the Dominican Republic.

Mother of a son and two daughters, all of whom have applied to and attended competitive colleges, Mary has “sat on both sides of the desk” and as such, brings understanding and a refreshing sense of humor to the stress, angst and, ultimately, joy, the process brings to families.