Janice Kirn-Sottilaro's activities
I come to SpanOne as a seasoned college counselor after having spent many years actively working with students on the college search and application process. It is, in short, my passion!
I began my journey in the field of education over 2 decades ago as a classroom teacher, working at the high school level. Wanting to understand my students and their struggles more, I enrolled in and completed an MA program in both Individual and Group Counseling and, Student Personnel. After 6 years of full-time teaching and a part-time educational program, I became for the first time, a high school Guidance Counselor on my way toward becoming, 22 years later, an Independent College Coach which I have now been, for approximately 5 years’ operating my own business: Janice Kirn-Sottilaro, Educational Consultant.
I spend a good amount of time visiting college campuses and asking others questions about their career choices and how they found their way to their present positions. It is not uncommon for me to ask an individual, how did you come to your career or, where did you go to college? Choices people make interest and educate me. I am always open to learning new information that will help me in assisting students. I stay up to date by staying informed regarding changes colleges make to their admissions profiles. I stay equally up to date regarding admissions testing being very familiar with college expectations as well as those institutions that no longer require SAT or ACT scores.
For me, this season of life is very exciting and yet, it can be overwhelming. My aim is to arm students and parents, with information and organizational structures, which will allow them to move through this process with as little frustration as possible. I have had many clients share how this experience has served to bring their family closer together instead of it being a time filled with anxiety. I am the type of counselor that has a process. It is in keeping with this process which, allows students to be in control of their lives in turn, helping to bring the level of anxiety felt, down to a much more manageable level. Together, with parents, we help students find the best fit, for them.
When working with clients, I hope for them that, their final year of high school is filled with life long memories. Those memories can be enjoyed all the more, when they know, when they enter, the fall of senior year, having essay(s) and college selections along with the common application and testing behind them.
Together we walk the road. Together we share the struggle. Together we get you, where you want to be! And if you are a student with Special needs please know, I have a great deal of experience in this area covering topics of: should I declare my learning issues to, what type of services does your school offer. There are many items for students with special needs to consider and I know how to help you tick off, each one.
I am also one that truly enjoys the development of that all-important college essay. Some of my favorite student essays over the years have been: Reflections on Being a Big Brother to 3 Sisters, The Inherent Worth & Dignity of Every Person, Why my Life Matters, The Agony of the Tallest Girl in the Class, Yes I'm a Hair Twirler, A Red Sox Fan in a Yankee World, The Heartache of Standing Up.Bi-Polar and Proud, What Makes Us Different, Makes Us Strong, Coming Out to Happiness, Finding my Way Back, No, I Can't do it All.
There is an old movie titled I Remember Mama from the era of black and white film. The story speaks of a high school student that dreams of being a writer but can never seem to have her essays accepted by any publisher. One day, her mother tells her to write about something personal, something from her life, something real because, in writing something real, passion will be behind the words yet somehow, that passion will shine through. For mom, the topic of her daughter's essay should be about her father; someone she loves and adores, someone she can really write beautifully about. Fast forward several months and the young woman, now a high school graduate, walks into the family sitting area to share the news that her first essay has been purchased. The family, very excited for her, asks her to read them her story and so she does and the title of the story is: I Remember Mama and goes on to speak of the ways mama kept financial worries from her children and kept them in food and clothes. It is a beautiful story that pulls you in reflecting back to us the thinking that serves each college essay the best: speak from the heart about something you feel passionate about. It has been exciting to share thoughts and so enjoyable to share conversations, on building these and other, college essays with my clients.
In addition to college coaching, I spend free time with my husband of 10 years and our fur children as we like to call them. Sports be they football, baseball, hockey, etc. keep us entertained as does reading and the wonderful world of music and Broadway! An active walker, I am big on getting in enough steps to conquer 4 to 5 miles a day allowing me ample time to clear my head able to address items on my desk with clarity and a joyful spirit.. In addition, volunteer work also fills my time as a preparer of 30 lunches, weekly, for a local shelter as well as spending time on various Carter builds working with Habitat for Humanity. For myself, I look forward to volunteer experiences throughout the year and actively help students build resumes to present their own experiences. We "tweak" resumes together, finding and ordering, those activities which will help students stand out when meeting with an admissions counselor.
Some colleges past clients have been accepted to are:
UNC - Charlotte
Montclair State University
William Paterson University
The College of New Jersey
- And many, many others!
Come, let's take this journey, this fun filled, anxiety provoking, all exciting journey together!
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