Marisa De Marco-Costanzo, Executive Director and Co-Founder, received a Master’s degree in Art and Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University (2007) and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Fashion Institute of Technology – State University of New York. She holds her professional New York State teaching certification in Visual Arts (K-12) along with her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification. From 2007-2014, she taught Art and Technology at a premier North Shore Long Island school district, ranked as one of the “Top 300 Public High Schools in America” (#224 out of 18,841). She has also served as a pre-college summer program professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, guiding students to develop art portfolios for future college admissions. She is a member of the International Association of Professional Writers & Editors and has written over 150 articles and essays, which can be read in a variety of prestigious publications. Since 2015, Marisa has closely worked with college-bound students in the development of their admission essays by providing extensive consulting and editing services. Marisa has devoted her career to educating students from all walks of life and guiding them to reach their highest potential.
Andrea Schiralli, Executive Director and Co-Founder, holds a Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University (2014) and a Bachelor’s degree in French Literature from Cornell University (2010). She also studied at the University of Paris as a French Literature major (2008-2009). She has taught high school English, English as a Second Language (ESL), and SAT courses at both private and charter schools in New York City. She also served as a professor at a college in Jiangxi, China. Since 2014, Andrea has been working as an education consultant, coaching students on their college application essays. She also teaches intensive writing and literary analysis workshops throughout the world and appears as a keynote speaker at educational consulting conferences in China. She has written and published numerous SAT and GRE books and has created an SAT vocabulary app. She is a member of the International Association of Professional Writers & Editors and her poetry and short stories have been published in various anthologies including Bards Annual, ALANA – Harvard’s annual anthology, and The Public Journal – Cornell’s student magazine. Her goal is for students to appreciate classic poems and novels, to learn to manipulate language for effect, and to have fun while finding their writing voices.
Steven Flores, Expert Consultant, is a writer and educator based in Wisconsin. Over the past eight years, Steven has been involved in higher education as a Teaching Assistant, Adjunct Professor, Lecturer in English, English Advisor, Academic Writing Specialist, Director of Academics, and Director of the Milwaukee Office for a boutique college counseling company. In this latter role, he worked with approximately 100 students on 1,000+ essays to selective and highly selective colleges and universities. He believes in a holistic approach towards essay writing—one in which the essays work in harmony to put forward the best possible picture to admissions readers. Steven holds a BA in Philosophy and English (Iowa), an MA in Literature (UChicago), and an MFA in Fiction from the highly-selective (1% admit rate) University of Wisconsin-Madison Creative Writing. Steven has published short fiction in The Iowa Review, Contrary, and elsewhere, and he has received multiple fellowships in support of his novel-in-progress. He believes in the aphorism, “A writer is someone on whom nothing is lost,” and is eager to help not only on college admissions essays, but also on academic papers and graduate admissions essays. In his freetime, he enjoys swimming, cycling, yoga, and traveling.
Lillian Zambuto-De Marco, Expert Consultant, is an award-winning educator with over 40 years of experience. She taught at a premier North Shore Long Island school district, ranked as one of the “Best School Districts in America” (#34 out of 10,758). She has served on the Teachers Center Advisory Board, the School Budget Committee, and as a cooperating teacher for Hofstra University student teachers and participant observers. Lillian has successfully implemented Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project within her classroom. During the Reading Workshop, students were taught to predict, visualize, infer, comprehend, analyze, and evaluate texts. In the Writer’s Workshop, she served as a coach as she modeled the use of language to craft meaning. She demonstrated ways to help students brainstorm and organize their ideas clearly to be understood by readers. Her goal is for students to love learning, understand accountability, and become successful and well adjusted members of society. Lillian is a published writer, professional photographer, and volunteer at the Nassau County Museum of Art. She holds a Masters of Science in Special Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Adelphi University.