Guest Post: A Parents’ Perspective Times Two

About the Authors: Anne’s & Dan’s two daughters both moved away from home this fall to start college–one as an upper division transfer at University of San Francisco and one as a freshman at Baylor University.  Their experience helping both daughters’ pay college expenses was featured, along with Creative Marbles, in the October issue of Comstocks Magazine.


As I reflect to one year ago, I can say that I never would have expected the results our two daughters have achieved, in fact it is beyond all of our wildest dreams!

We started working with Jill Yoshikawa from Creative Marbles when our youngest daughter was in her junior year of high school 2010-11. At that point Caitlin had gone from researching universities and majors her freshman year to settling for junior college by the time she was starting her junior year. That’s when we met Jill and were impressed within the first half hour of our time together. One of the first areas that Jill opened our eyes about was considering private university’s. She informed us that the CSU and UC systems were affected by budget cuts, decreasing class offerings and majors, a longer length of time to graduate and frustrated students who have to get classes at the nearby junior college in order to fulfill the requirements and to hopefully graduate in 5-6+ years.

Since that first meeting Jill and Caitlin would meet in person, talk on the phone or e-mail each other on a regular basis. It was great as their working relationship grew tenfold due to the respect they gave each other and that Jill looks at the student differently, than the parent. More importantly, it wasn’t her mother nagging or questioning her progress. Thank God! because I knew that I knew nothing when it came to the college app process. It’s been more then 30 years since I applied, and the scenario has changed dramatically, to say the least. The incredible amount of information, detail and technology that has enveloped our society takes a skilled technician and that would be Jill, Art and Creative Marbles Consultancy.

We gave Jill and Caitlin carte blanc for schools to research, because I felt we needed to know that the next place Caitlin would make her home, would also be the best place for her grow academically and mature. We wanted her to venture way outside her comfort zone to fully explore all her options. She applied to Baylor University, San Diego State, Chico State (our alma mater), University of San Francisco and Sac State. She applied to Baylor, and San Diego for their academic, athletics and Greek life. The others as a fallback, in case her first two choices didn’t work out. She was accepted to Chico, Sac State and Baylor. We were so excited!

Caitlin chose to accept Baylor for many reasons. Everything that she looked into on their website and researched, she and then us, were more and more impressed with the school as a whole. It felt very welcoming to her. Baylor goes out of their way to help you, parent and student. In fact, on move in day we pulled up at our designated spot at our designated time and 10 volunteer students walked up, greeted us and unloaded our car, completely. My husband didn’t carry one thing. Since then, Caitlin has settled in to Baylor, has a great roommate, made new friends and she is involved with the school outside of class.

Our oldest daughter is finishing up her degree at USF, and would not be there had it not been with the help of Jill and Creative Marbles. She had a different path–trying CSU, Monterey Bay right after high school, then junior college in Washington, thinking University of Washington was her school. When that didn’t work out, she came home. She worked full time at Karen’s Bakery in Folsom, CA, while attending all the local junior colleges. She found her interest in Hospitality Management at American River College and her job. Working with Jill, Chelsey narrowed her choices to staying closer to home with USF, San Francisco State and Saint Mary’s College of California. She was accepted to USF and SFSU. Chelsey really did her homework on both of these campuses and was torn between them. She visited them, spoke with alumni and current students from both, and worked out a spreadsheet when it came to cost. Although she is attending a private and it does cost more to attend, she felt that in the long run she would have much more leverage upon graduation and the smaller class size would afford her to really know her professors. One of the biggest factors in choosing USF, was the fact that she would get all her classes when she needed to take them and graduate in the shortest time between the two schools. Luckily she chose USF. SFSU sent her a letter in June telling her that due to more budget cuts, they rescinded their offer and were not going to accept her. Chelsey has thrived in her new home, is involved in clubs and enjoys getting to know her teachers and fellow students.

Jill and Art intelligently and with much forethought, consider the student’s individuality and best interest. They have really helped our daughters make their own well-informed choice and as parents we could not have asked for more. It’s a “Look, Mom!  See what I can do” outlook and attitude which gives them a much springier diving board upon their future graduation. Who knows where they will go on this adventure? I am happy and with a lot of pride going to hold on and go along for what I am sure is going to be a great ride. We can’t thank Jill and Art enough for their amazing skill and dedication and wish them all the best. We will always recommend Creative Marbles.

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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