Each year, Options Solutions helps students all over North America understand and navigate the complex post-secondary selection processes in Canada, the United States, and abroad. Our successes demonstrate our commitment to our clients. In 2010-2011 alone, Options Solutions clients were accepted into over 45 Canadian universities and 60 American universities, and our specialized services assisted them in qualifying for over five and a half million dollars in scholarships. Contact us today to get enrolled before our classes fill up for this semester.
Today’s young people face an overwhelming number of adult decisions, choices that will ultimately affect their educational and professional futures. In order to make informed decisions, adolescents require expert direction and support.
Founded in West Vancouver, British Columbia in 2003, Options Solutions was created to help students, ages 14 to 24, and their families explore and pursue educational and professional opportunities available to them during and after secondary school. Options Solutions is a comprehensive educational consulting practice dedicated to assisting with course selection, study skills, career counseling, prep classes, sports recruitment, and post-secondary placement.
Options Solutions is a unique educational practice. We not only advise, but also educate and encourage students and allow them to explore their future in a safe and nurturing environment. Our primary operating principles are focused on the belief that adolescents need to be supported during this crucial developmental period, and our policies and procedures incorporate the latest adolescent brain research and psychology. The role of an Options Solutions educational consultant is to work with students by exploring, evaluating, and constructing progressive action plans for the future, based on their individual strengths, values, and interests. During each session, we work to empower and energize our students, leading them towards academic success.
Have more questions? View our FAQ’s page.
The Red Binder is the trademark of Options Solutions. We use the red binder as an interactive tool for our students and as a resource guide for our families. Each binder is customized to fit each student’s individual needs and to assist with their career exploration and post-secondary search. The binders are updated every appointment and the result is a comprehensive program guided by the student’s individual interests, values and needs.
Melinda Giampietro, president of Options Solutions, is a vibrant and widely respected educational consultant in the fields of academic planning, career counseling, university admissions, and sports recruitment. Melinda believes options are empowering, and she helps students–and their parents–work together to find careers, majors, and universities that match each student’s unique academic aspirations.
Melinda holds multiple degrees in Education, and she is a graduate of both the Counseling for College Institute and the Harvard Institute on College Admissions. She has worked the last fifteen years as an Advanced Placement (AP) teacher, an assistant principal, an acting principal, head of a counseling department, and an academic planner focusing on university admissions. She is a member of the British Columbia College of Teachers and a certified teacher and principal in the United States.
To provide the best possible service to her clients, Melinda attends regional and national conferences, and to stay current, she continually travels throughout Canada and the United States visiting universities and meeting with admissions personnel. She is also a member of numerous educational and college counselor associations leading to a broad and diverse professional network.
Melinda is an advocate for adolescence as a developmental period, and she leads adolescent leadership conferences throughout North America.
A university and career counselor with extensive experience for over 14 years, Edwin Liew is passionate about helping clients achieve their goals and aspirations in higher education towards a rewarding career path.
Edwin is a BCCT educator and a three-time graduate of the University of British Columbia with an M.A. in English Education, B.Ed. in Secondary Science and Mathematics and a B.Sc. in Biology. As an Educational Consultant on the Options Solutions team, Edwin offers valuable expertise in personalized academic planning, the university and college search process, program selection for ‘best fit’, and admissions guidance.
He specializes in university advisement on applications to institutions in the UK, Canada, and the US. Additionally, he has developed resources and taught academic study skills and university preparatory classes in writing resumes, personal statements and college essays, and workshops for the SATs, TOEFL, and IELTS. Building on the strengths and capabilities of every applicant, he can also provide training on admissions interviews to the US Ivy League schools and the UK Russell Group universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.
In recent years, he assisted applicants in gaining scholarship offers totaling over US$450,000 in financial awards to well-known universities and Art & Design colleges worldwide.
Monica Brown, Writing Consultant at Options Solutions, hails from a family of writing professionals. She has an M.A. in English from the University of British Columbia, and a B.A. (Hons) in English (Rhetoric and Professional Writing) from the University of Waterloo. Monica is presently a Ph.D. candidate in English at UBC.
Alongside her work in academia, Monica writes, edits, and proofreads professionally. This is her fourth year of leading Writing Workshops at Options Solutions, which focus on strengthening students’ core writing and communication skills. Monica strongly believes in the value of post-secondary education, and as an undergraduate fundraised over $300,000 for scholarships and priority projects at the University of Waterloo. She looks forward to another exciting season of helping Options Solutions students use effective writing to achieve their educational goals.
As Options Solutions Coach, Nicky assists students in mastering the writing, reading, French and study skills needed to succeed in both high school and university. Nicky is available for one-on-one appointments in English tutoring, French tutoring, SAT prep, ACT prep, PSAT prep, SSAT prep, essay writing and study skills. During application season, she helps students with the writing components of their university applications. Nicky also teaches several workshops through Options Solutions, including Essay Writing Workshop, Provincial Exam Prep, Final Exam Prep and Study Skills. She is also a regular workshop leader at Writing, Application, and SAT workshops.
Nicky graduated from UBC at the top of her class in the English Language program. She is looking forward to continuing her studies in the Bachelor of Education program at UBC in September 2012. Nicky’s previous work experience includes six years of tutoring at the high school level, as well as two years as a member of the Options Solutions team.
As the newest member of the Options Solutions team and an Options Solutions Coach, Marisa Grizenko is excited to be helping students strengthen their writing, sharpen their critical thinking skills, and develop effective study strategies. She is available for one-on-one appointments in English tutoring, French tutoring, SAT prep, ACT prep, PSAT prep, SSAT prep, essay writing and study skills.
Originally from Quebec, Marisa is a native French speaker. Marisa has an M.A. in English from the University of British Columbia, and a B.A. with Honours in Liberal Arts and English from Concordia University. Over the past few years, she has been studying Russian, tutoring high school and university students, and working as an editor and proof reader.
Why use an Options Solutions Educational Consultant?
More young adults are applying to colleges and universities than ever before. Admissions is competitive, and the result is students completing multiple applications. Each institution has a unique set of admission requirements and deadlines. We can help your child navigate the process with efficiency and integrity.
As a parent you have likely spent hours of time, energy, and commitment researching educational issues and have found yourself overwhelmed by the information you have found. Time is money. Sound advice is peace of mind. It is essential you receive timely, direct, and accurate answers to your questions. Options Solutions is a sound investment in your child’s future.
Consider these facts:
|Many parents do not have the time, energy, or background to help their children navigate the secondary and post-secondary worlds. Options Solutions academic counselors have an extensive knowledge base in course planning and post-secondary options. We make it our mission to stay current and accurate.|
|The standard answer may not apply to your child. Your child has individual strengths, interests, and abilities that make him or her unique. Options Solutions consultants do not use prescribed formulas or offer opinions. Instead, we offer personalized insights and recommendations specific to the needs of your child.|
|What was true last year may not be true this year. The Canadian, American and UK admissions processes are constantly evolving. Ministry mandates change from year to year, as do admissions requirements. It is critical to have the most current information. Options Solutions consultants are in constant contact with the Ministry and with college and university admissions advisors.|
|If you’re not organized, opportunities will pass you by. All universities and colleges have different deadlines for admissions, scholarships, supplements, and housing. There are often several steps to the application process. Options Solutions consultants have years of experience with colleges and universities and their application deadlines and requirements.|
|Tensions can run high in homes with adolescents. Communication often breaks down or is strained. Options Solutions consultants offer families a place to discuss a child’s future in a supportive and knowledgeable environment.|
Contact us today to get enrolled before our classes fill up for this semester.