I was always the girl in high school making everyone's class schedule and planning my friends' futures. And since then, almost every job I've held has involved helping young people optimize their potential—whether I was developing career programs for underserved teens, working with college students at SMU, or collaborating with teens to start the first mental health chat room in the country. My goal was—and still is—to create opportunities where students could try on new skills and grow, both personally and academically.

Along the way, I became a mom—and a fierce mom, at that. When my oldest started planning for college, I wanted her to have opportunities I didn't have in my own college search. We hired a wonderful educational consultant, and in our first meeting, she told me: "You have the perfect background to be a college consultant."

The seed was planted for College MatchPoint.

I started the company at my dining room table. I had one goal: for my students to thrive in their selected college. I wanted to help them discover places that would prepare them for a successful future—places that met their needs emotionally, socially, and academically. And because I started the company during a recession, I also wanted to be sure their selected colleges would be affordable for their families.

As the practice began to grow and flourish, I added team members with various skill sets. This was the best decision I made for the company: The talent we added far exceeded my wildest expectations, and we became our own internal admissions committee. That's really our secret sauce: a collaborative team that meets, strategizes, and ponders where and how our students will thrive.

In 2016, Bob Carlton, my husband and fantastic business partner, joined College MatchPoint full time. Bob is an extraordinary coach, cheerleader, and mentor. He added a much-needed layer to our team: many years working in industry, hiring young people and mentoring them professionally. Bob has become a nationally known leader in the field of career development for high school and college students. In that way, we were able to expand our impact beyond college admissions to professional development and career growth.

Our goal has remained the same since the early days: We want our students to thrive in their selected college and career. We are a fluid and dynamic team-based company, always looking for ways to better serve our clients. And the glue that holds our team together is a never-ending passion for empowering students.