Kate Barker and Jennifer Schlegel

Founders and Co-Owners of My Admissions Sherpa
 

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TEAM MEMBERS
 

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JENNIFER SCHLEGEL
 

Jenny has a BA in History and Secondary Education, a Masters in History and will finish a Masters in Educational Technology this spring.  She has been working as a private college admissions counselor since 2001 and has loved every minute of it. Over the years, Jenny has acquired a unique knowledge of the culture of individual schools as well as their respective admissions processes and procedures.  She excels at matching students with schools that meet their specific list of wants and needs. Jenny also develops instructional materials and writes curriculum. She recently c0-authored an online course that walks students through the admissions process.  And....teenagers are her absolute favorite age group to work with!

KATE BARKER
 

Kate has a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and a dual certification in Secondary Education School Counseling and English. She has over 24 years of experience in the field and utilizes her skills and knowledge of the developing adolescent to help them as they prepare for their post secondary experience. She loves helping students achieve their personal and academic goals. As a secondary education counselor and family therapist, Kate also has the unique ability to provide personal counseling to students and families as well. 

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MICHELLE PURCELL
 

Michele Purcell has a Master of Education degree in counseling psychology with a dual certification in school counseling. She has over 20 years experience in college admissions counseling, and is proficient in helping improve college acceptances & assisting students in finding the “right fit” in the college selection process. She has aided students in applying & getting accepted into numerous schools such as The University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Yale, Cornell, University of Notre Dame, Georgetown, & Johns Hopkins just to name a few! 

ABBEY LEDERMAN
 

Abby Lederman is the co-author of Finding the Path: A Novel for Parents of Teenagers and has written many professional articles on topics ranging from children’s theater to overcoming the fear of swimming in older adults. She has been supervising programs for young people and teens in the United States and Canada since 2012 and is currently writing a historical novel about a female inventor growing up in the mid-19th century.

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JACKIE JOYCE
 

Jacqueline Joyce serves as a college adviser with the College Advising Corps where she has worked in both the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Camden City Schools. She received her B.A. in 2019 from Dickinson College where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with degrees in Spanish and Sociology. Through both her current work and her previous experience as a tour guide and career adviser, Jackie has become well-versed in the intricacies of the college admissions process, knowledgable about best practices in constructing successful application materials. In addition, Jackie has revised and assisted with hundreds of admissions essays, personal statements, resumes, and cover letters in both higher-ed and high school settings, while bringing her recent experience navigating the rigorous fellowship application process, where she has earned two U.S. Department of State Fellowships. Her position as a near-peer and newly-minted college graduate allows her to connect with students from diverse backgrounds as well as provide a hands-on approach to advising students in their post-secondary endeavors.

CHRISTINE MCLAUGHLIN
 

Christine grew up in Newtown, Bucks County, and earned her Bachelor's degree at the University of Pittsburgh in Psychology and Anthropology and a Master's degree in Secondary Social Studies at Widener University.  She has been teaching high school Social Studies to all levels of students for over 20 years. She loves working with students to help them navigate the college application process and achieve their goals. 

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JASMINE JAMES
 

Jasmine is a proud Philadelphia native, but enjoys traveling whenever she get the chance! She attended Drexel University and graduated with a B.A. in English and a minor in politics. During her time at Drexel, she volunteered at West Philly's branch of Mighty Writers, contributed to creative non-fiction and photography anthologies at Drexel's Writer's Room collective, and thrived as she worked at the Drexel Writing Center. Post graduation, she has continued to cultivate her passion for teaching writing skills and working with youth. Currently, she is an English teacher at Excel Academy North and is continuing to seek opportunities to refine her skills and learn from new experiences.

KIM LENT
 

Kimberly Lent has a Bachelor's of Science in Speech Communication and English Education from Ithaca College. From there, she went on to pursue her Master's in Higher Education Counseling plus Elementary and Secondary Counseling from West Chester University. Kimberly has been a Counselor in the Philadelphia School District for the past 27 years, and although challenging, absolutely loves her career! She has experience in K-8th grade counseling, but the majority of her career has been working with high school students, and helping them to plan their future educational and/or career paths.

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PAULETTE ANDERS

Paulette Anders has a Master of Science degree in school counseling from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Business Administration in marketing from Mount St. Mary’s University. She is a dedicated and solution-driven school and college counselor with over 30 years of college admissions experience at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels. Paulette has proven success in establishing rapport and building trusting relationships with students, parents, and admissions offices. She demonstrates a commitment to students’ success by implementing effective coaching techniques, providing solutions, and promoting realistic student expectations and resiliency. Currently, Paulette serves as a college and career consultant to Saint John’s Catholic Preparatory School. Paulette and her husband claim Florida as their home but find themselves in Maryland often with their daughters. Easily connecting with high school students and families, Paulette brings confidence to the high-stress college admissions process.  

JIM O'KANE

Jim O'Kane has enjoyed teaching 12th grade English for the past twenty-seven years. During the past seven years he has developed and implemented a Co-Op program for high school seniors providing opportunities for students to intern in a career of their choice.  Jim has coached four different high school varsity sports programs,  both male and female. He has also been an advisor for many student clubs and organizations such as Student Council, Yearbook, Class Council, and Drama. Jim holds a Master’s degree in Education. He has been an integral part of developing his school’s college and career readiness program. He has extensive experience with the college essay and application process, assisting students from diverse backgrounds who have continued their academic studies throughout the country. He is an avid traveler who has visited many different college campuses across the United States. Personally, Jim resides at the Jersey Shore with his wife and two high school boys. He has a daughter who is enjoying college. He also has a dog named "Nittany" after his alma mater, Penn State University.

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CLAIRE TOMASI

Claire is a published writer, cartoonist, and educator with extensive experience crafting fiction stories in young adult and middle-grade prose using core narrative systems, illustrative techniques, and agented publication industry knowledge. Claire is a dynamic multi-genre writer specializing in writing compelling narratives ranging from Historical Fiction for young adults, Illustrated Sports novels for young readers, and Poetry. She is also an agented professional adept at communicating with literary industry professionals, publishers, universities, and independent companies looking to work with a professional published writer and educator.

PAULA LONDONO

Paula Londono has a B.S. in Education and Geography-Geosciences, an MA in Reading Education, and an MA in School Counseling.  She has been working in public education for 33 years, first as a high school teacher for 22 years, and currently as a high school guidance counselor for the last 11 years in South Jersey. She is passionate about helping students discover what motivates them intrinsically, so they can find the major and college fit that will bring them joy and success. 

Our Mission Statement
 

To guide, educate and empower students through each step of the college admissions process and identify schools that will help them grow in all facets of life: intellectually, socially, culturally, and spiritually. At My Admissions Sherpa, we strive to streamline the admissions process to make it less stressful while helping kids get into their top-choice schools.  The opportunity to guide each student as they take their first major steps towards becoming independent and self-sufficient adults is both an honor and a pleasure. 

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ASHLEY DEEGAN

Starting as a tour guide working in her college admission office, Ashley has spent her career supporting students seeking a higher education. She has the balanced perspective of having worked on both the college admission and high school counseling sides of the admission process.  Ashley has extensive experience breaking down the application process while focusing on the individual needs of students.  She holds a Master's Degree in History from West Virginia University and has a passion for writing, research, and America's National Parks!