Katie Lewin, UCSC 2015
Applying for colleges was an incredibly overwhelming process for my family and me until we enlisted DesignWorlds for help! Frona and Ted were so enthusiastic, patient, and knowledgeable. I really appreciate the way they made an effort to get to know me as an individual, especially since the application process was beginning to make me feel like a 'number.' Through a series of comprehensive and eye-opening personality tests as well as lots of open, personalized conversation they helped me recognize and articulate my talents and positive attributes so as to appear as best I could on paper, while simultaneously advising me in which university and programs would be a good fit for me. I loved their thorough, comprehensive (but never elitist) insights about the schools I'd been considering as well as their warm, fun approach that brought some much needed comfort, perspective and levity to what would otherwise be a pretty stressful experience! It's not easy at eighteen to have to sum yourself up into a marketable package and face potential rejection, but Frona and Ted's innovative and encouraging program instilled in me enough confidence to do just that--and end up somewhere where I'm thriving, challenged, happy-- and very grateful for their guidance!
Parents of Zoe, Tufts 2014 and Max, Stanford 2015
Ted and Frona Kahn and the team at Design Worlds have been an incredible resource for our family. Without their wisdom, warmth, and generosity throughout the last year, the daunting search for colleges for our twins would have been so much more overwhelming. Even though we had a good high school counselor, we found Ted and Frona provided an important supplemental source of knowledge, support, and advice. While everybody’s situation is different, as parents of two strong-willed, independent kids, we found that “it took a village” to get through this process. We didn’t fully appreciate what a tough emotional process this would become with our kids until crunch time grew near. Ted and Frona provided a unique combination of emotional and strategic support well beyond what the high school counselor could offer. This could only happen because of the strong bond they formed with our kids. In the final critical stages, Ted and Frona were an invaluable “outside” source of independent support and advice for our kids. At every step of the way they were great listeners and our whole family looked to them as touchstones..
They really took the time to "get" who our kids are as people, to assess their strengths and understand and encourage their aspirations. They helped them clarify their desires beyond college and got them thinking about career paths, life goals and values. We all benefited from their optimism with a dose of realism thrown in. Our kids were encouraged to go for their reach schools and at the same time choose target and safety schools that they felt good about.
In addition to their coaching skills Ted and Frona were “there” on a regular basis keeping our kids focused on target deadlines. They offered thoughtful and practical organizational tools for planning and keeping track of the many steps involved in the college exploration and application process.
High school counselors may be biased, (even unconsciously), by whom they think are “truly exceptional” students. This can have the affect of undermining the confidence of students falling outside the counselor’s determination, especially when pursuing their “reach” schools. Ted and Frona are able to look beyond the traditional ways of viewing students and see what is special about them. I believe that both of our kids got into their first choice reach schools because they were able to communicate their authentic selves and articulate clearly what truly felt like the “best fit” for them. Ted and Frona helped facilitate this exploration and we are very grateful for their skills, resources, sensitivity and humor throughout this important journey.
Tanya Mallavarapu, USC Marshall School of Business 2012
The happiest day of my life (in recent times) was when I got my acceptance to University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business. Working with Frona was amazing, together we developed a plan, timeline and via skype, phone and email, she pushed me, daily!! She helped me create a really strong resume and portfolio for admissions and a list of colleges that fit me and my goals. One of the things I appreciated most was her professionalism--she knew all these admissions people, and helped prepare me for interviews and could answer almost any question I had--and there were a lot of them!! She helped me understand what colleges wanted in an applicant, and how to position my experiences and talents. IT WORKED. I love USC, my professors, friends and am graduating in 3 years going on for an MBA. Thank you Frona and DWC.
Apparo Mallavarapu and Latha Swarna, Bangalore, India
The International School of Bangalore is a long way from Silicon Valley, but the world truly is flat when you work with DesignWorlds for College. Frona and her team worked 24/7 via skype, email and phone to support our daughter's college admission process. She helped us develop a strategic plan, including : rank schools, developing a strong list, many essays, interview skills coaching and positioned our daughter as the strongest candidate possible for schools that fit our daughter's talents and personality . As executives and devoted parents, we knew that Tanya's admission process was being managed well, so our stress level was greatly reduced. Their professionalism , dedication and admissions advocacy is unparalleled. Our daughter gained successful admission to USC's Marshall School of Business and is happy and thriving as a a straight A student, able to graduate in 3 years. DesignWorlds for College has my highest recommendation.
Daniel Goldhaber, Harvard '13
DesignWorlds brings not only an intimate knowledge of the fundamentals of the college application process, its employees have a uniquely personal touch that continues to be reassuring throughout the difficult and stressful college application process. It is a comforting fact to know that your application adviser not only knows the admissions officers at your top choice school, but they have helped numerous other students out with their applications. They seem to be there at any time, and got me out of more than one tight spot with an application late into the night. The combination of their personal touch with the wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise makes DesignWorlds a unique and extraordinary company which I would thoroughly recommend.
Jane Cook, Saratoga , California
Son: Brady Cook, University of Oregon, 2013 (Graduate of Bellarmine Preparatory, San Jose)
Design Worlds for College is a results-oriented, multi-level service with the goal of getting your child into their first choice college. The level of knowledge and personal attention was so impressive - Frona made frequent calls to admissions departments, provied thoughtful recommendations and guidance, and when needed, hand-holding! DWC focuses on a complete range of college prep needs with an expert team of professionals - from tutor referrals to help maintain high school GPA, aptitude testing, essay coaching and application deadline tracking. The results speak for themselves - our son received early admission to his first choice college.
R.B. Palo Alto, California
...DWC has found internships for students in such industries as politics, fashion, medicine, science and computer science... They have a fabulous record for getting kids into their top choices... This is not a "one size fits all" kind of counseling service... They give the kind of attention that school counselors simply are too strapped to provide these days.
Chaplain Bruce D. Feldstein MDDirector, The Jewish Chaplaincy at Stanford University Medical Center
...Most importantly, I am deeply appreciative of the personal growth he [my son] has made working with the Kahns and their entire team... I never would have anticipated the insight and self-awareness our son has gained, as well as his level of confidence and skill at expressing himself...I really appreciate the way Frona and Ted bring together their background in psychology, business and education...
Miriam von Guggenberg, Junior, Brandeis University (Graduate Menlo-Atherton High School, Menlo Park, CA)
DWC inspired me to pay attention to what I was interested in - my passions, goals, and dreams... They encouraged me to look at colleges I had not thought of before, and because of this, today I am at a college that meets my academic ability and encompasses my passions and interests.
Philip von Guggenberg, Ph.D., Director of Business Development, SRI International
(Parent of students at University of California, Berkeley and Brandeis University)
Frona and her team are a godsend. I would have been completely lost without them. I am a technologist. What do I know about liberal arts colleges?
VM, University of California, Berkeley (Graduate Monte Vista High School, Cupertino, CA)
DWC changed my outlook... I was not driven in one direction or another, but rather encouraged to take myself places that I wanted to be. I am indebted to DWC for allowing me to discover myself through the process and define it, rather than letting it define me. I am glad that DWC guided me through this path to help me gain the most from the experience.
Joanne Weiss,Partner & COO, New Schools Venture Fund - Parent of a student at University of California, Berkeley
The DWC team managed our son’s college admission process in an extremely professional and strategic way. As full-time working parents, this was a huge relief, and stress-reducer...We also learned a tremendous amount about our son, his interests, strengths and possible career paths.
Sarah Sleeter, Columbia University - Barnard College (Graduate Kehillah High School, Palo Alto, CA)
Without DWC, I don't know if I could have achieved both of my dreams: spending my senior year of high school in Israel and getting into Columbia University (Barnard College). The DWC team provided invaluable coaching, essay help, and emotional support… while I was in Israel.
Ibuki Kamei, Carnegie Mellon University 2012, Engineering
DWC guided me through the process, but in the end, they always let me and my family decide what to do. DWC to me was a compass, to help me navigate through the confusion and uncertainty that is the college application. Although college counseling may not be for everyone, personally, I am grateful that ?I had DWC to help me through the application process.