Ellen Martin has worked as an independent college counselor since 2004. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina she works with clients from New York to California. The thing she likes best about helping students is essay writing. At the time of application, most criteria that colleges consider are already determined. Given equal GPA, test scores, level of course difficulty, resume and recommendations, the essay is one of the few opportunities students have to distinguish themselves at this point. Ellen feels it is fascinating and exhilarating to help facilitate each student’s discovery of their unique story that they will tell in the college application essays. For over 20 years, Ellen has interviewed applicants for the University of Pennsylvania and remains an active participant in Charlotte outreach programs for highly selective colleges. She founded educational advocacy groups such as Together for Excellence At Middle Ring schools (TEAM) and served on several Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools’ oversight committees. She has appeared on television news shows and is cited as an educational source in the Charlotte Observer. Ellen graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and has a Masters of Arts in Community/Organizational Psychology from Georgia State University.