About Virtual College Counselors
Virtual College Counselors provides stress-free, personalized, and professional one-on-one college guidance with innovative and passionate experts from the comfort of a student’s own home. While college might be the goal, we emphasize the holistic development of a student including academic, professional, and personal growth. At our core, we believe that every student deserves an opportunity for success and happiness. Supporting and advocating for our students requires honesty, transparency, and authentic relationships with students to guide them in cultivating a sense of agency and empowering them on a journey of holistic development. As we work with students, we emphasize six major Growth Goals: Fostering Independence & Cultivating a Sense of Agency, Aligning Personal Values With Academic & Professional Goals, Promoting Critical Thinking & Creativity, Encouraging Self-Reflection, Improving Communication Skills, and Embracing Uncertainty.
Sawyer is an education professional who has worked in both college admission offices and small startups. His admissions experience has taken him across the U.S.A. and Asia. During his tenure as Assistant Director of Enrollment at Hendrix College, he managed the university's enrollment coaching program and recruited domestic and international students alike. As a first-generation college student, he is passionate about the transformative power of education and the pursuit of equity in the world.
Sawyer's prior work experience includes oversight of launch operations at Admissions Geek (Ed Tech Startup), project coordination for In Tune Inc. (Online Music Startup), and conducting international marketing in Shanghai at SMH International Consulting Agency. He graduated from Rhodes College with a B.A. in International Studies focusing on East Asia. During his undergraduate years, he spent nine months abroad in China pursuing intensive language studies at Nanjing University and volunteered as a language instructor through an English as a Second Language (ESL) program. He was named a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar by the U.S. Department of State, and a Buckman International Fellow. He was also inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies.
Sawyer has been a member of SACAC, TACAC, International ACAC, and is currently an Associate Member of IECA.
Jessica Chermak is an Independent College Counselor with over a decade of experience in academia and helping students navigate the college admissions process. She also spent four years conducting research at University of Colorado Boulder’s Institute of Behavioral Science, and the prior two years working as an Operations Research Analyst for the US Army at the TRADOC Analysis Center, in White Sands Missile Range, NM.
Jessica graduated from Chapman University with a BA in Psychology. At Chapman, she was a research assistant in the cognitive science laboratory, studying hemisphere differences for processing emotional language. She was also a founding member of the Honors Organizational Board of Students, and an active member in Mortarboard Honor Society and Hillel. Upon graduation, Jessica was awarded the SMART Scholarship (Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation) to attend the University of Denver for an MA in Forensic Psychology. She is a Certified Educational Planner, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), and Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA). Jessica is also a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the Rocky Mountain Association for college Admission Counseling (RMACAC), and serves on the board of the College Consultants of Colorado (CCC).
meet our intern!
Olivia Porta is an intern for Virtual College Counselors as well as a past client. She's a senior at Westgate Community School and set to graduate with her Associate's Degree from Front Range Community College in May of 2021. After that, she'll move on to New York University where she'll create a personalized major at the Gallatin School of Individualized study that focuses on creative writing and sociology.
Olivia has always had an interest in writing and is published through Amazon. She aspires to write books for a living and write comedy sketches for Saturday Night Live one day. As a senior member of the Improv Club, she's very interested in making people laugh.
As an intern, she gives insight into the college admissions process through the eyes of a student. College should be accessible to everyone, but sometimes it's confusing, especially coming from the mouths of adults. Olivia is here to provide a fresh pair of eyes.
Recent Professional Projects
College Consultants of Colorado Board
IECA Fall Conference Presentation
The Matchlighters Scholarship Mentoring
Compton Early College High School "Application Clinic" Partnership
IEC Anti-Racist Action Group
IECs Confronting Racism
From Nest to Wings College Video Series
Hubspot Social Media Marketing Certification
Google Analytics Certification