A Grand Island college admissions counselor is hoping to empower students with the tools to be successful in post-high school life.
In 2014, Grand Islander Danielle DelMonte of PrepStart Consulting, who works in public relations and marketing, saw a need for students to make strategic choices about their education after she saw people with the wrong degree for the jobs they wanted.
"I just thought there's got to be a way to help students be thoughtful throughout the college decision process, so they make a decision in their best interest," DelMonte said.
She said her services help take a lot of stress off both students and parents in what is becoming one of life's biggest financial decisions: where to go to college.
"I work directly with students and their parents through the entire college admissions process," she said.
DelMonte said the typical user of her consulting services is a junior in high school now thinking ahead to college. She helps students set up a plan for taking standardized tests, advises them on their college essays, and uses her database of colleges to make sure students apply to colleges that are cultural, financial, and academic fits for them.
She also helps college students and recent college graduates. Her clients are making the transition from high school to college, and from college to career, she said.
DelMonte said college admissions counseling assists high school students with the admission process and helps students market themselves in an authentic way to colleges.
She said she is "very strategic in my approach."
"I provide very strategic insight and guidance throughout the process," DelMonte said of her system. "I'm there with them every step of the way. I make sure they're aware of next steps, what they need to be doing. I develop a very tailored plan for each student - it's not a cookie-cutter approach."
She's certified in the college admissions process through UCLA.
DelMonte said she is a consultant not affiliated with any school or organization.
DelMonte said she fills a void that guidance counselors don't have the time or resources to fill.
"Certainly some families don't need outside help, they don't need desire it, but there are a lot of families, especially on Grand Island, who really would hire a consultant to help them, they just don't know who does it and they don't have enough information about it," she said.
DelMonte said she works with students for an 8-12 month time frame.
Her office is based on Grand Island at 1980 Whitehaven Road, in the Metro Realty building.
Her online presence is located at http://www.prepstartconsulting.com/.