"Melinda assisted my daughter with all aspects of her post-secondary school planning – from SAT prep, university choice, school applications and scholarships. Melinda’s outstanding knowledge of the American and Canadian school systems, together with her excellent organizational skills and wealth of resources, enabled my daughter to find a program that was a perfect fit for her, both academically and athletically. Melinda’s guidance throughout the whole process was invaluable. After our many sessions together we think of her as not only as a top-notch educational advisor, but as a friend. I highly recommend Options Solutions."
S.M., West Vancouver
"Educational counseling is much more than opening a University Calendar and checking to see if one has made the grades to get in. Educational counseling is the total assessment of the student academically, emotionally and intellectually. Melinda takes the time to assist the student in making choices based on their personal learning style, aptitude, and career choice. She provides options and solutions that give the student direction. After a session with Melinda the student leaves feeling empowered and more focused. Suddenly the ability to make a decision is not so daunting and the energy needed to pursue it is in abundance. Melinda has all the skills and tools needed to assist any individual in an educational/career choice. But more than that she exudes enthusiasm and passion for her work and that is clearly observed by the student."
E.J.M., North Vancouver
"Melinda is genuinely interested in helping each student achieve their potential and “be the best they can be”. She has a wealth of knowledge about the current post secondary opportunities for students in the Canadian and the US system. From the very first meeting she connected with our son quickly and he developed respect and trust in her ideas. She helped him set goals for the future that were realistic and attainable. Melinda’s energetic personality made each session fun and packed full of valuable information- not a moment was wasted- money well spent!"
N.S., North Vancouver
"At the end of Grade 11, my daughter told me that her dream was to attend a drama school at a U.S. university. This was not a sudden whim – since she was a little girl, my daughter has been fascinated by the stage and has taken part in many productions. When I started to look into what was needed to apply to a U.S. university, I have to admit, I felt daunted. I had no experience with SATs, or with the U.S. application process. Luckily, a friend mentioned Melinda and her company, Options Solutions.
Melinda helped my daughter refine her search and develop a plan for studying for the SAT and a schedule for applications. As well, she was an encouraging and sympathetic listener to both my daughter and me. Melinda made an often overwhelming and stressful process manageable. And she did it cheerfully and with real empathy. She was delighted when my daughter received an early decision acceptance to a highly competitive university drama program in New York City.
While I greatly appreciated Melinda’s organizational abilities, it was my daughter who put her finger on why Melinda is so good at what she does. She came home one day from a session with Melinda and said, “You know, Mom, the best thing about Melinda is that she really likes kids.”
J.M., West Vancouver
"When our family realized that a sports scholarship was a possibility for our son, we began the process of identifying colleges and universities, but found the task overwhelming. We needed help! Melinda was a phone call away and in very short order our son had emailed his tailored resume to dozens of specifically identified NCAA Div. I colleges. It then became evident that his academic grades needed some improvement. With Melinda’s influence, positive encouragement and weekly tutoring sessions our son stepped up to the plate and brought his GPA up from 3.1 to 3.7 in a few short months."
B.C., North Vancouver
"Our experience with Options Solutions was incredible. The knowledge and expertise you provided with regard to the various Canadian universities and their application processes was invaluable. Our daughter was able to enjoy the remainder of the school year knowing she had made the right choice! We would highly recommend your services to anyone who has a child considering a post secondary education."
M.M., North Vancouver
"Options Solutions is a company that benefits every high school student who walks through its doors. Melinda Giampietro’s understanding of what is required to gain acceptance into post secondary institutions is outstanding! My husband and I have recommended Options Solutions to many of our friends. Every single one of them has thanked us!"
S.R., West Vancouver
"Melinda, you’ re an exceptional consultant , coach and a gifted communicator. Somehow you always have that tuned diagnostic ability to identify in the blink of an eye what is needed – and to calibrate that into a tailor made structured plan . My daughter now has study and organizational skills that set her up for lifelong successes . And in a very short time, you have accelerated my daughter’s chances of reaching her desired SAT test results and US admission academic goals. Thank you. She is enjoying the ride! Melinda, you really know your stuff – and you make it so easy. We’re very lucky to have found you."
H.C., West Vancouver
"Our son started his grade 12 year with a concept of studying and playing sports. Melinda guided him through a series of decisions and choices and he has finished with a great opportunity at Queens with a vision for his future while playing sports. It is a wonderful process which helped our son make difficult choices and become focussed for his future."
E.R., West Vancouver
"I had the good fortune to meet Melinda when my son was in Grade 11. He was anxious to explore the opportunities available to him after graduation and he was eager to meet with Melinda. Little did I know that Melinda could be such an invaluable asset to a high school student. Options Solutions was able to test my son for abilities, aptitudes and interests. This led to Melinda providing assistance to my son with choosing Grade 12 courses, a task that many parents undervalue. Melinda was able to help my son establish goals for grade 12 and keep him constantly focused on meeting and exceeding those goals. When it came time to apply for various universities, Melinda’s knowledge about the facilities, the faculties, the courses and marks they would require was invaluable. She orchestrated applications prior to the numerous deadlines and kept my son on task for completing all the forms. Options Solutions turned a stressful process into an absolute pleasure. My son will be attending the university of his choice this year – I honestly don’t know what I would have done without Melinda’s assistance."
"Melinda Giampietro was not only caring and dedicated in helping my daughter and I navigate through the extremely complex US school application process — her expertise and knowledge was invaluable. Melinda coached my daughter, tutored her for writing the ACT tests, and most importantly, helped my daughter to find a school with the right ‘fit’. We could not have done it without her!"
L.K., West Vancouver
"I am writing this letter as I will always be grateful to you, Options Solutions, for how you helped me with my daughter and son. As a busy single father, when I first consulted you three years ago, I was experiencing difficulty understanding my children’s educational goals. My daughter was anxious about what to do after Grade 12 and was uncertain about how to proceed. You quickly won her confidence and your system of evaluation and planning reduced her anxiety and stress level. You gave her confidence and a path. My son is in Grade 10 and he has become an early adopter. He asked me if he could talk to you about his future. Following your testing he too is more confident about his selection of academic subjects and how these choices will benefit him down the road. I have referred a number of friends to Options Solutions and I would like to thank you not only on behalf of my children, but as a parent, who was in search of honest guidance, you have provided that to my family."
“Melinda is a positive force who immediately engages you with her enthusiasm and infectious smile. She is very responsive to the student’s needs and provides thorough, comprehensive and unbiased guidance. Melinda’s strength lies in her ability to quickly develop a rapport with her students which allows them to confidently explore the possibilities.”
D.V., North Vancouver, BC
“One of the best things I have ever done for my children, Options Solutions has been of great help to both my teenage daughters understanding of their interests, aptitudes, learning styles and post-secondary opportunities and potential career paths. The knowledge gained has been very beneficial and empowering and has taken a great deal of the uncertainty and anxiety out of this important decision making process.”
S.C., North Vancouver, BC
"When my son and I started researching post-secondary schools and scholarship opportunities we found the process ‘overwhelming’. We didn’t know where to start and it became very time consuming. We were introduced to Melinda by a family friend. I knew from the first phone call that Melinda was knowledgeable and easy to converse with. My son met with her and liked her instantly. It is apparent that Melinda really enjoys working with teenagers and tries to learn what their goals and interests are. Not only does Melinda know an incredible amount about the strengths of different schools in both Canada and the US, she pays particular attention to her student’s aptitude and endeavors to find the right ‘fit’. My son was also amazed at how much they would accomplish during their sessions together. Melinda has a way of motivating kids to see their potential. She also provides insight into different areas of study that they would not have previously considered or known was available. We only wish we had started the process in Grade 11."
A.W., North Vancouver, BC
"It has helped us maintain a peaceful household during this trying time by keeping Mom and Dad (who are viewed as not being an authority on anything) out of the nagging process about getting it done in a timely manner, or getting it done at all! Your weekly e-mails with lists of things to accomplish kept our unorganized son right on track and kept us out of the process. We never would have had the time to keep him organized in our busy lives or the know how to even START figuring out who needed what and when. I don’t know if we can fully express how much you helped us and how appreciative we are of all your efforts and genuine interest in Steve getting into a fabulous college, which he did!"
K.H., Telluride, CO
“Melinda brings a refreshing approach in assisting teenagers navigating life decisions based on their passions, desires and sense of self, to reach goals and make decisions that are focused and attainable.
Melinda embodies many strengths, outstanding knowledge of post secondary choices and processes, a focused insight, efficient, organized, and in-depth testing skills in an atmosphere of trust, kindness and compassion.
Melinda understands what makes teenagers "tick" and helped my son focus on both short and long term goals that fit for him in pursuing academic programs following high school graduation.”
T.P., West Vancouver, BC
“My daughter had just returned from a year of travel after graduating and Melinda successfully ignited her desire to return to school. Melinda has also been extremely valuable at guiding my daughter in career choices, and providing a wealth of information regarding appropriate schools.”
E.M., Vancouver, BC
“After being told by coaches, teachers and sports officials that the chance
of getting a response from a NCAA Division I school was pretty much
impossible, the twenty-five letters our son has at home speaks for itself.
The advantage that Options Solutions gives your child is priceless. Thank
goodness we found Melinda.”
H.M., North Vancouver, BC
“Melinda is a vibrant and energetic individual who connects easily with high school students as well as with their parents. She has innovative ideas. Her experience and background allow her to focus on the specific needs of the individual. She inspires confidence in her ability to navigate the realm of post-secondary education and is responsive and respectful of the needs of her clients. I highly recommend her services.”
K.A., North Vancouver, BC
"Melinda’s broad knowledge of career paths and genuine desire to help the student to find his or her own "best fit" were invaluable to my children. I highly recommend her services.”
R.N., CA, West Vancouver, BC
“We read about Melinda and Options Solutions, Inc. in the local newspaper in West Vancouver, when we were visiting. We had the fortitude to call and make an appointment for our 18-year old son. Jeremy is a typical graduating young man with so many choices out there and so much missed information through regular channels, we felt it best to consult Melinda.
We can honestly say that it was the smartest thing as parents we have ever done. We walked away from that first meeting feeling positive, clear thinking and with a comprehensive idea of choices for Jeremy. He had a clear view of courses, and plans for his future education. The best part was that Melinda seemed to have a grasp on Jeremy’s needs, desires, academic strengths and weaknesses, and personality plusses and minuses in just one meeting. We continued to meet with her, she tested Jeremy: she counseled him and in no way pushed him into anything she or he felt was wrong for him and what he wanted to pursue. The sky was the limit; she encouraged him to go after his dreams even if he needed to upgrade some courses, or take a University Transfer course first. I cannot say enough about her services, and her effervescent personality, professionalism, and positive attitude towards the young people today. We have recommended her to many of our friends in the same situation, and they have thanked us! Some have even traveled a distance to meet with her.
Our next step-getting our 16 year old daughter in to see Melinda before she is in grade 12! The earlier the better-Melinda is critically up to date on all incoming post-secondary changes and offerings.
We would highly recommend her services, and have enjoyed the association, the personal touch, and the caring and resolve with which she attends to her career. We now feel privileged and honoured to have had not only her services professionally delivered, but to consider her a friend to our family, and a support to our teenagers as they embark on their journey to adulthood.”
G.D., Powell River, BC
“There are a variety of guidance counselors and mentor programs that offer rules but seldom provide the tools that will allow the students to form an opinion and direction. These programs typically fall short of answering the question “What must I do to get there” ?.Your practical and realistic approach to the subject of post-secondary education has helped Taylor and Elisse. What came through for both girls was a clearer understanding of themselves, their strengths and their weaknesses which helped to empower them to better understand who they are. This one key element of empowerment helped them to relieve a burden of choosing amongst a multiple of alternatives that was simply overwhelming their ability to decide their futures.Your enthusiasm and passion for your work is refreshing and is quickly picked up by the girls who now see the future as “I can” rather than “I can’t." They also learned that post-secondary education does not mean you must choose a University. What they now look for is a facility best suited for their individual learning style as well as being recognized as a leader in their area of study interest. As a parent, you have helped to solve my feeling of “Panic”. The clarity you provide and the study training you make available is a very well rounded approach that has given the girls the tools that will help identify a positive path for their future."
B.T., North Vancouver, BC