The driving force behind the IvyMaven mission is my particular mix of education, experience, and personal history.
I'm a first-generation college graduate who attended city, state, and private universities. I earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Syracuse University, counseled undergraduates, and also trained as a family therapist. For several years I worked as a Psychologist and Child Development Specialist for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. I provided consultation to parents and schools whose referral questions focused on optimizing educational fit. Typically this included conducting extensive neurodevelopmental assessment of individual learning styles, strengths and weaknesses, and more. The children ranged from those with learning differences to the highly gifted (and at times "twice exceptional"). I found I made my most creative recommendations when consulting on the educational needs of gifted adolescents, where the resources seemed most limited but the potential gains to student and society most promising. I also provided counseling and consultation for parenting issues and for individual and family life transitions. This strong foundation informs my college admissions work.
I have been married to Don Linzer for 32 years. Together, we've raised our three children in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: a daughter who's a summa cum laude graduate of Yale and Stanford's Graduate School of Business, a second daughter who also graduated Yale with Honors and Harvard Graduate School, and a son who is a current undergraduate at Yale.
I began to actively expand my interest in how to best achieve student-school fit to the college/university level when our eldest was in 8th grade. I made it my mission to learn everything about selective college application and admission, as well as the diversity of cultures, curriculum choice, and outstanding options across various campuses. I found my purpose and continue to visit campuses and keep up-to-date on both macro-level trends and the ever-changing details in standardized testing and in the overall college landscape.
"I have a lot of passion for the journey traveled by students--and their parents--as they transition from the high school years to leaving home for college. Selecting a college is the first big decision that students make on the road to adulthood. The repercussions can be profound. I feel honored when a family invites me to share their journey, and I give it my all."
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Helane Fruchter Pittsburgh Sheepshead Bay HS Brooklyn Collegehighly-motivated high-achieving selective college admissions ivy maven