We had the good fortune of connecting with Whitney Shashou and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Whitney, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind the success of my brand is our focus on quality over quantity. We are a boutique educational advising group focused on providing the highest-quality support and we place quality over quantity in all that we do. This starts with the number of families that we work with each admissions season. In order to provide our families with full and individualized attention, we keep our roster small. This means we are able to tailor our approach to each family’s needs so that they are best set up for success. We make our client’s family a part of our family. By making deeper connections with a fewer number of clients, we cultivate security and ensure a high quality approach.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My last role before founding Admit NY was at Breakthrough New York, a 10-year college-access non-profit based in New York City, where I served as High School Placement Director. It was there that I learnt the ins and outs of the New York City school landscape and admissions process. My primary responsibility was to plan, lead and oversee high school placement for all students, tasked with the goal of increasing independent school acceptances and ensuring that 100% of 8th grade students matriculated to college-prep high schools across the country.
I’ve had a passion for education from a young age. Growing up in Aspen Colorado, in a school system that valued outdoor education (we had all school ski-day every Thursday) and close student-teacher relationships (teachers often came over for family dinner), I realized that my school background was not reflective of others’ experiences. So, upon acceptance to the University of Pennsylvania I focused my studies on Urban Education. I decided that I wanted to study educational systems in a variety of contexts so I could better understand the system as a whole and determine how I could make the biggest impact. I taught part-time as a public school teacher in West Philadelphia, volunteered in countless other Philadelphia public and charter schools, oversaw an academic program that provided small group, individualized literacy instruction for low-performing elementary school students, and spent one semester in Cape Town, South Africa as both a high school English teacher and volunteer elementary school teacher at an orphanage in Khayelitsha, one of the largest townships in South Africa.
After finishing my studies at Penn, I joined Teach for America – where I served as a 4th grade classroom teacher and lead writing curriculum developer at Achievement First, a charter school in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Following these experiences, I transitioned to Breakthrough New York after which I founded Admit NY.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m not a Miami local, but I have been coming here since I was little. I would be at the beach all day and take them to Joe’s Stone Crab for lunch and Mandolin Aegean Bistro for Dinner
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My company’s success wouldn’t be possible without my rockstar all-female team (Taryn, Emily & Stacy). They are experts in their field, masters at evaluating school fit, and they approach their work with compassion, enthusiasm, and an attention to detail that is like no other.