Our Story

Gonzalez is the coordinator at the Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet, Michael’s high school.

At the Law Magnet, Michael and Gonzalez saw two sides of the same coin: college admissions. Michael saw how confusing and scary the process was, and Gonzalez saw how teachers and counselors weren’t doing enough to guide their students.

With both the perspective of a student and an educator, Michael and Gonzalez have created a program that will demystify college admissions for everyone.

Director – Don Gonzalez

Gonzalez has worked in public education for over 20 years as a teacher and administrator. He earned a Master’s in Education Administration from the University of North Texas where he also received a graduate certification in Gifted Education. His thesis paper focused on identifying gifted students from under-represented backgrounds.

When he attended SMU for his undergraduate studies, he became the first person on either side of his family to attend college. His family’s lack of experience with the college application process, coupled with a poor school counselor, cost him an Ivy League education. It’s that experience that drives him to help others.

Gonzalez has guided 100’s of inner-city students through the college application process. The following is a list of some of the schools he has helped his students be admitted:

  • Amherst (3)
  • Brown
  • Columbia (3)
  • Dartmouth (2)
  • Duke (2)
  • Georgetown (8)
  • Harvard (2)
  • Kenyon
  • Northwestern
  • Notre Dame
  • NYU (2)
  • Smith (2)
  • Stanford
  • University of Chicago (3)
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Vanderbilt
  • Wellesley (4)
  • William & Mary
Director – Michael Gao

My name is Michael Gao, and I just went through the college admissions process. The process was hard: too hard. Now, I want to help others applying for selective colleges by giving them the best and most recent advice possible. A lot of people have a lot of advice to give about college applications and test prep. Only a few have actually done it.

I’m a junior at Columbia University, but I was also accepted to many other top schools including Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, Vanderbilt University, Emory University, Duke University, and Rice University. I was admitted to and received full merit-based scholarships to the University of Southern California, Swarthmore College, University of Texas’ McCombs Business School, University of Texas at Dallas, Fordham University, and the University of Virginia.

As a recent high school graduate, I understand the difficulty of maintaining good grades, participating in extracurricular activities, carving out time for a social life, and also writing the dozens of essays the college application process may require. I’ll help my students maximize their time by focusing on what counts.

I know this process is hard because I remember the long and frantic hours writing essays and finalizing my Common App. Now, I want to make it easier for you.