Our driving mission is helping students distinguish themselves and get into great universities. DistinguishMe is a resource and service for students to develop their differentiator through their passions and tell their unique story to universities.
Our proven step-by-step process and framework helps students to develop, prototype, and launch independent passion projects with the following characteristics:
- Authentic Passion: There is no better way to distinguish yourself to a college than with your passion. We help students deeply reflect on who they are and what they love to do.
- Demonstrated Action: We know that successful people don’t just talk about their passions, but they take the time to act on them in a meaningful way. We work with students to consider actionable and achievable steps to bring their passion to life.
- Impactful Goals: Finally, it’s important for students to consider their impact on other people, communities, and/or the environment. It’s clear that top universities and employers are looking for people who want to use their talents to make a difference. We help students better understand how they can change the world for the better.
Students also gain the following skills and competencies through passion projects:
- Self Awareness
- Risk Taking
- Problem Solving
- Active Listening
Matt is passionate about working with students and seeing them succeed. He has a unique background that combines education, engineering, business, and entrepreneurship. He is currently Director of Undergraduate Programs at the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship. Previously, Matt served as the Vice President of Research and Development at Iontera, a startup focused on developing drug delivery and cosmetic products. Matt is also a patent agent with deep experience in intellectual property. Matt received his Engineering PhD at the University of Michigan.
Moses has spent the past 10 years working with students to succeed. Moses is the cofounder of Seelio, an education technology company that partners with universities to help prepare students for meaningful careers. In 2014, Seelio was acquired by Keypath Education, a global education company with offices in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Prior to Seelio, Moses directed TechArb, the University of Michigan entrepreneurship accelerator and taught the entrepreneurship practicum courses. Moses graduated with a BBA and MA from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.
Brian is a technology professional who works with youth and students in his spare time. He most recently led the iPhone and iPad teams for iHeartRadio and was responsible for millions of users. Prior to that he founded a social and mobile gaming company. He has worked with students from tutoring to mentoring and currently is leading youth at a local church. Brian graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University.
Jessica Lai is passionate about coaching students to communicate the value in their ideas. She has won the University of Michigan Business Model Competition and was awarded the Organizer’s Award for insight discovery at the UofM business competition. Previously, she has worked on start-ups such as Yo Mama Packed It!, FindCare.org and Humble Plum. Her public health expertise includes starting “Chef’s Club” a nutrition cooking class for middle schoolers, managing a farmers’ market in Detroit, as well as community organizing to encourage college students to vote. During her spare time, she is a martial arts coach. She graduated with a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Michigan and went on to pursue her Masters of Public Health at the University of Michigan as well.
Andy is excited to share his love of entrepreneurial thinking and coaching experience with students and faculty at other schools. He has served as a middle school educator and administrator for the past 15 years, at schools in United States and Switzerland. Andy has also coached swimming and water polo at all age and ability levels for over 15 years. He earned a BA in Education from Purdue University and a MA in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University.
We have formal partnership with Beacon Star Educational Consulting to better serve and support our students in the United States and in Asia. Beacon Star was founded by Sally Champagne, a senior admissions officer at Harvard University. After spending 20 years at Harvard University voting to weed out highly talented and intelligent students from an array of even more talented students, Sally decided that she would much rather help students gain entry to a school of choice instead of barring their admission.
Sally draws from over 20 years of admissions experience at Harvard University where she served as a Senior Admissions & Senior Financial Aid Officer on the undergraduate admissions committee of Harvard College. At Harvard, Sally read and evaluated approximately 30,000 admission applications and easily read triple the number of student essays included as part of those applications. Not only drawing from over two decades of admissions experience at Harvard, Sally also taps her other educational experiences when advising students and supervising our counselors and writing mentors. Sally’s experience prior to Harvard involved serving as an assistant director of financial aid Yale University and also time spent in admissions and as dean of students and assistant to the head of school at Miss Porter’s School and The Ethel Walker School respectively.
Beside being in charge of administrative aspects at Beacon Star, Paul enjoys working with students and helping them to find their future school/careers. As someone who has been active for the past 30 years in managerial positions in different industries in Asia, this accumulated skillset has been shared with our students by helping them with techniques for Learning & Study, Time Management, as well as Organizational skills. As a partner in Beacon Star, Paul also specialize in finding great schools in Europe.