Welcome To Gramma’s Jam!

Our mission is to help students develop the most impactful college applications that will enable them to get accepted into colleges that best fit them. To get there, students will embark on a journey of self-reflection to better understand who they are, what motivates them, and what they want from their college experience. No matter your background, budget, or learning style, college is for you, and Gramma’s Jam can help you get there!

A Little Bit About Me

Let me begin with my “what.” The surface stuff. To start, I am the founder of Gramma’s Jam. I am a graduate of the University of San Diego and had the good fortune of studying abroad in Oxford, England. After completing my studies, I worked as a technical and freelance writer. Then, nearly two decades ago, I started my career in education as an English teacher in the classroom, ultimately transitioning to tutoring.

I was both a tutor and a director at two distinguished tutoring companies before embarking on my own independent college consulting career. I am a certified College Counselor (UCSD) and current member of both HECA (Higher Education Consultants Association) and NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling). My expertise lies in guiding students in the college admissions process and assisting them in crafting compelling college application essays. In fact, I even “wrote the book” on it: The College Application Essay Mindset – The Essential Guide for Writing Impactful Personal Statements and Supplements! I live in San Diego, California, with my wife Rose and our pup Rudy.

Now, let me share my “why” with you, that is, the inspirations that lie beneath the surface. First, I am motivated by helping students hone and utilize their writing skills to share their personal stories, enabling them to get accepted into the schools that suit their wants and needs. I feel truly blessed to be a part of that journey. 

Second, I pride myself in teaching students how valuable lessons learned in the “classroom,” such as journaling and self-reflection, can be applied to their everyday lives, enriching them exponentially. 

What’s In A Name?

I bet by now you’re wondering, Why are we called Gramma’s Jam? 

My grandmother Cleo used to make the most delicious jam. Every year, when it came time, she painstakingly plucked the plump boysenberries from the vines that grew along the old, rickety fence surrounding her backyard. She transformed those berries into the jam that she proudly passed out to her four children’s families. Honestly, when I close my eyes, I can still taste the jam all these years later!

In a figurative sense, my grandmother’s “jam” was teaching her grandchildren the importance of education and reminding us how significant a role it would play in our lives. 

My grandmother always encouraged me to do well in school and attend university. Without her influence, I know that education would have never become my “jam,” nor would I be as passionate about the work I do with students today.