Wednesday, April 17th, 2019


testimonials“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

“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

“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.”
J.S., 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.”
P.B., Vancouver

“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

“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

“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 our daughters. 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

“We couldn’t be more grateful for your support, encouragement and most of all skill and knowledge. We 100% believe it is because of our son’s relationship with you and Option Solutions that he was able to fulfill his dream of studying at Chapman and getting the scholarship he needed to make it possible to attend. You helped make a far reaching dream a reality for him.”
S.M., North Vancouver, BC

Working with Edwin allowed for me to maximize my potential in Grade 12. From the beginning we set lofty goals, which he helped me achieve, while also giving his honest opinion on how things were looking throughout the year. His experience with university essay writing, along with the application process made my transition much easier.”
R.B., Surrey

“We were extremely pleased with our experience with Edwin. Edwin is articulate, methodical, and precise about all the information he provides. His productivity as a consultant is exceptionally high such that every session with him was valuable and generated ideas and action plans. His coaching always provided deep and meaningful food for thought and his advice was spot on.Our daughter was accepted early to both her first choice programs and schools (Business at UBC and SFU). We feel that this success is due, to a significant extent, to Edwin’s guidance.”
K.G., Vancouver

“Edwin’s manner was a perfect fit for us! He created a very comfortable environment and we felt each hour was well spent and full of information. My daughter always left her sessions with Edwin with something to work on before the next session. Edwin expertly guided us through the exploration and application process, and kept us calm throughout the year by always having the answers to all of our questions and concerns. Through meeting with Edwin, my daughter learned about the Creative Industries program at Ryerson, the program in which she is currently enrolled. It has been a perfect fit!”
M.M., Vancouver

“Through working with Edwin at Options Solutions I was able to secure places in multiple international medical schools. I felt fully supported, and was very impressed with the depth of knowledge that Edwin had on the various universities, and the application and interview processes. As well, his strategy in ensuring I received acceptances was very helpful.”
A.J., West Vancouver

“Edwin helped our son from the beginning of his exploration when he was unsure what he wanted to study and where. He simplified the entire process, keeping our son on track and focused on the big picture and the next step. He always was available to us when we had questions in between visits. Having Edwin as our consultant ensured nothing was missed or overlooked and the end result was that our son was accepted into his first choice school and program. Thank you, Edwin!”
R.B., Surrey

“Edwin is a wealth of knowledge on post-secondary institutions in North America. He knows all the application deadlines and what courses are required for which programs. He is especially helpful in keeping us in the know on how to deal with inconvenient deadline changes and the little details that stress students out.”
M.T., Surrey

“Working with Edwin allowed me to stay on top of my goals and tasks in preparation for university. Having Edwin’s support has helped me to obtain acceptances to my first choice programs at prestigious universities throughout Canada. Overall, I gained confidence in my abilities to establish an education path and, furthermore, a career.”
C.G., Surrey

“Our son had a very successful grade 12 year – with very high marks – and received two scholarships, one from Queen’s and one from BC Hydro (the President and CEO scholarship), and working with Edwin was a key to the successes he achieved. The process followed at Options Solutions, and the ongoing feedback we received from Edwin produced a service that helped our son immensely. He received offers to every program he applied to and received scholarships from three of the six universities he applied to as well. He is attending Queen’s Commerce in the fall, his first school and program choice, thanks to Edwin.”
T.S., West Vancouver

“Sincere thanks to Options Solutions and to Edwin for all you have done to assist my son with achieving his objectives at this stage in his academic journey. Edwin was an enormous help and encouragement over the last three school years, and his help with the discernment, planning, and applications processes was invaluable.”
M.J., Vancouver

“You met with my son last year a couple of times. I wanted to let you know he has had a good grade 12 year. He achieved the highest mark in the school in History 12. He has been accepted into MIT at Western University. Thanks for telling him about the program. He’s also been accepted at Queens and Guelph. Thanks again. You had a real impact on him.”
J.M., Vancouver

“We connected with Monika at a time when two of our teens were facing challenging decisions about their education. With her strong foundational knowledge of the options available at different universities, and the different paths available within those universities, she quickly discerned what information they needed and offered it to them in an unbiased and respectful manner, enabling the kids to feel like the drivers of their own futures. This is exactly what we were hoping to receive from Options Solutions. What we didn’t anticipate was the extent of Monika’s listening and communicating skills, which enabled her to effectively ask questions that clarified for us all the many issues and options that had not been clear before seeing her. I can honestly say that working with Monika has not only provided my kids with the opportunities and information that have enabled them to start choosing their paths, but has also given them the ability and confidence to examine and question their own choices, an important skill to learn in their journey to adulthood.”
C.H., Vancouver

“Monika put my daughter at ease from the start! Her humour and relaxing manner together with her support and knowledge made our experience pleasurable. She has a great attention for detail and a genuine desire to help. I would recommend Monika and Options Solutions to everyone trying to navigate the post secondary maze!”
L.S., Surrey

“Monika’s support and guidance throughout the application process was invaluable. She helped me explore my ideas and develop my goals, and empowered me to achieve these goals myself. Monika provided insight into the admissions process, focused advice on my applications, and a personal approach to navigating decisions. What I appreciated most about working with Monika was her ability to inspire confidence in me; I left each session feeling well-prepared and equipped to present my best self in my applications. I have been accepted – early decision – to my first choice school, Northwestern University, and I am so grateful to Monika for her part in helping me achieve this.”
B.C., Vancouver

“Monika, I wanted to let you know that our daughter has decided to attend Acadia University. This would not have happened without our visit to you and your recommendation to look at the actual university, size and feel, in addition to the programs offered. I also want to say thank you for helping explain the application process and encouraging her to change her courses way back in the fall to ensure she had enough academics for early admission.  It really worked and in the end she received entrance scholarship offers from several schools. You really got us on track with the university seeking, and I truly appreciate it.”

J.C., Vancouver

“After being selected to interview for a Masters program, I needed assistance with effective interview skills in order for me to be a successful candidate. Monika provided me with the tools required for this process. Apart from practicing many possible interview questions and doing a mock interview, Monika also provided me with helpful tips and resources. My sessions allowed me to feel  prepared for the interview and more confident within myself. Monika was an integral part of my interview success and I was later accepted into the program!

K.N., Vancouver

Monika was a very positive influence on my daughter; she comes away from the meetings feeling inspired. Going to university isn’t the big black hole it once was a few months ago!”

G.T., Surrey

After working with Amanda, I gained a much clearer view of how to apply to universities and felt much better about the whole process. Amanda told me about some programs that I hadn’t heard of or considered before, which was really interesting.”
K.H., West Vancouver

“We were extremely satisfied with Amanda’s guidance. My daughter went into the session feeling confused and overwhelmed, and came out feeling confident and excited about her options. It was a very rewarding experience.”
M.N., West Vancouver

“I loved meeting with Amanda! She listened to everything that I had to say, and then she gave me tips on and ideas of how to achieve my dreams.
M.B., West Vancouver

We are exceptionally happy with the information we received from Amanda and our overall experience at Options Solutions. We are looking forward to coming in again to follow up with Amanda and make use of the additional services available to us.”
J.H., West Vancouver

Amanda was very friendly and helpful and answered all my questions about university applications. Thank you, Amanda!”
C.W., West Vancouver

Amanda was very knowledgeable and made me feel comfortable and supported. I really enjoyed my session and I can’t wait for my next appointment.”
G.M., West Vancouver

“Our session with Amanda was very informative, and we left the session with a wealth of good information. We learned a lot about the Canadian post-secondary system from Amanda, and during our meeting we were able to focus our thoughts and narrow down some of our opportunities. We left our session with a clear plan of action to move us forward.”
D.D., West Vancouver

“It was really helpful to speak with you. With your help we have managed to: open our son’s horizons to the possibilities of combining his interests; clarify course selection for his senior years; develop a personal profile organically – adding to existing areas of passion; and equip us with confidence to make aligned choices.

Thank you for sharing your expertise and enthusiasm and for providing us with so much value in such a short period of time. We will certainly be looking to seek your advice again!”

C.M., Squamish

“I just wanted to take this time to really thank you from the bottom of my heart. I really appreciate how much extra time and effort you put into my daughter’s application. It was greatly appreciated! Not only have you given her admissions guidance, but more importantly what you have helped develop is self-esteem in a young girl.”

K.S., Vancouver

“I just want to say thank you for all the help that you gave me in regards to my university applications.

I’m very pleased to say that I got accepted by the four schools that I applied to: UBC, Quest, UVIC and SFU. I am so pleased. I’ve decided to accept UBC and hopefully get into the Coordinated Arts Program. Thank you for letting me know about that program.

I really appreciate all the help you gave me. I am not sure if I would be where I was without your support.”

I.P., Vancouver

I was offered entrance into Engineering at every university I applied to and I truly believe I could not have done it without your help on my applications. Queens even offered me a $6,000 scholarship, but I will be attending UBC, where I successfully made it into the Pre-Biomedical pathway and I would like to sincerely thank you for all your help with my application for this timetable.”

A.D., Vancouver

“Marisa has been an integral part of my college application process. As a writing coach, she pushed me to step outside of my comfort zone and dig deeper to uncover my true voice in my college essays. She is patient, encouraging, and passionate about writing and teaching. I enjoyed our sessions so much that I looked forward to them more than any other activity on my schedule last year. I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to work with Marisa; she has given me the tools to get into and succeed at my dream school.”
A.P., Vancouver

“I had a great time working with Marisa and learned a lot about the components that make up a quality research essay. My ability to organize a structured essay that effectively expressed my thesis greatly improved over the course of our sessions. I initially contacted Marisa for help writing a large term paper that required me to research a number of sources from various backgrounds to help develop a thesis on a specific topic. Together we worked on researching sources that were reliable and related to the topic and organizing and quoting them in a way that was beneficial to the argument I was making in my paper. I appreciated the knowledge I gained through the sessions as well as all the hard work Marisa put in outside of our scheduled meetings.
M.H., West Vancouver

“Marisa has been a tremendous help to our family. My daughter wanted to go to school in the USA, but needed to improve her ACT score for a scholarship. After a few sessions with Marisa, she had a much better understanding of basic grammar and writing, and she achieved the mark she needed. Thank you!

My son also worked with Marisa in grade 12. Marisa supported him to put his thoughts down on paper, and gave him confidence through the university application process. Marisa is patient and approachable. At the same time, she believed in my son and supported him in setting the bar high.  She is a very knowledgeable and skilled teacher, who is a master at her craft. I highly recommend her.”
B.K., Surrey

“In the fall I was advised by many of my friends to go see Marisa Grizenko. At the time I was beginning to write my supplement essays for university. We sat together, one on one, and she looked over my work with great detail. On essays I hadn’t yet started, she worked with me to plan it out and bulleted the key points that I should include.

I also worked with Marisa in preparation for my English 12 provincial exam. I took my English 12 course in the summer going into grade 12, so I hadn’t been writing for almost a year and was worried about the English provincial exam. I loved working with Marisa so much, and I knew she could help me. So as soon as I could, I signed up for all of the English 12 Provincial Prep classes. During each of these two-hour sessions, Marisa walked us through all of the steps of the provincial and highlighted the most important parts and key things to include. She taught us how to properly analyze poems and strategies to be more efficient while reading. She taught us ways to interpret multiple choice questions and rule out the wrong answers. In addition, we learned how to structure our essays based on what the exam markers would want to see.

Marisa knew all the do’s and dont’s of the exam and taught us things I would have never known to do had I not seen her. Working with Marisa was extremely helpful. She was very friendly and humorous! I would highly recommend Marisa to anyone for any type of writing that you need help with.”
K.K., West Vancouver

I cannot thank you enough Marisa for ALL the advice you gave my son at his one-on-one session followed by your exam prep class. Fantastic!”
J.V., Surrey

“Very satisfied with Marisa’s expertise. Our son is becoming more confident in his writing ability and as a result is doing better in English.”
M.A., Vancouver

“I really enjoy my learning sessions with Marisa. It’s very easy to bounce ideas back and forth which is a tremendous help, as she is a very open and easy going person.”
G.K., Vancouver

“I began taking sessions with Marisa to prepare for the Critical Reading and Writing sections of the SAT. Working with her, I realized that I had the potential to be a great writer, but hadn’t learned the best techniques to effectively express my ideas. In every session I learned something new, and became better able to objectively reflect on the quality of my writing. Not only did Marisa’s feedback on my writing help me to see where I needed to improve, but through continually working together, I began to intuitively understand my strengths and weaknesses immediately after writing something new.

Aside from SAT prep, Marisa and I continued to work on my writing abilities into my Grade 12 year, when I took AP English Language and Composition. I earned a grade in the mid-90s by the end of the year, without a doubt due to the foundations and feedback Marisa gave me. I am now going into my second year at one of the top schools in California, and in my Freshman year, my lowest grade on a paper has been 88 percent, and my highest has been 100 percent. I have had two papers kept and made anonymous by TAs and professors as examples of ‘A’ papers for future students to refer to. Marisa’s tutoring has indubitably played a major role in my development as a writer, and I am so glad I got to work with her in preparation for college—the effects have been extremely rewarding, and I would recommend her to anyone I know.”
P.B., West Vancouver

“Marisa did an amazing job of helping my son polish his writing. Applying to multiple American and Canadian universities is a huge undertaking. Marisa was instrumental in helping my son present well crafted, articulate and personal essays. She is passionate about her clients and was a wonderful investment. My son learned skills he continues to use in his writing. I recommend her very highly, and look forward to having her work with my daughter!”
S.F., Vancouver

“In this industry it can be difficult to find coaching that is reliable and capable. With Marisa I have found both. Not only has Marisa helped me book professional work, but she has also led me into a deeper physical and intellectual understanding of writing. I look forward to working with Marisa in the future and would recommend her to writers of all levels.
A.F., Vancouver

“During the college application process, I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of essays and writing supplements I had to complete. With Marisa’s guidance, we tackled those detailed essays, we navigated through college websites locating specific information for each writing supplement, and ultimately, we improved my overall writing ability.

The thing I admired most about working with Marisa was how she would use her knowledge and expertise to ensure that my ideas were on track. When making a correction to my work, she would not just make the change, but she would teach me why it was wrong, to ensure that I didn’t make that mistake again.

Although Marisa and I were hard at work during each of our sessions, we always managed to find time to share a laugh. Her kindness and approachability made her a pleasure to be around and I truly don’t think I could have survived the college application process without her. Thank you, Marisa!”
K.H., West Vancouver

Provincial Prep

“I took the English 12 mock exam/debrief workshop at the South Surrey office and I just wanted to send my appreciation for how great it was. I consider English as one of my more challenging subjects and I really felt like the workshop gave me several very helpful pointers on how to make my essays better for the exam. I actually ended up taking the feedback and making a sort of mental checklist/criteria for each of my essays in the exam, which was really beneficial. I just got my exam results back and I got a 95%, so thank you so much! I will definitely be recommending the workshop to my friends.”

R.N., Whistler

“I’ve just finished all my provincial exams for the year, and I just wanted to check in and express my thanks to the instructor for being an extremely useful asset to my success. I’m pretty sure I did quite well on it, and it was undoubtedly partly because of the wonderful help and advice I received during my debrief session. I am extremely happy with your services and I ask that you pass on my thanks to your instructor for all her work! I will be sure to use your services again when I inevitably need to study for my SATs/ACTs next year and will recommend Options to all my friends.”
I.C., Vancouver

“I just wanted to send you a quick email to let you know how well my son did on his English 12 exam in January. He took your English 12 exam overview session and also did the practice write and review. He scored 91% on the provincial exam (he went into it with an 85% from his course work). He was so pleased with himself since he couldn’t get anything higher than a B out of his English teacher. He is a math and science guy, so his love for English doesn’t really exist, but he knew he needed to do well in this course to improve his odds for his university applications. Taking your courses gave him the confidence he needed and he finally achieved that A.”

C.B., Surrey

“The provincial prep session was comprehensive and engaging. The instructor took the time to answer every question in detail and to ensure that every student understood the material before moving on with the session. The depth of the material that was covered really showed me what I needed to work on!”
L.H., West Vancouver

“I learned how to analyze texts, properly decipher poems, and actively read through texts, as well as strategies to approach the exam questions. The session covered every area of the exam, and the instructor’s insight into the exam’s format and content was very helpful.”
K.N., West Vancouver

“The session’s comprehensive coverage of the subject area helped me to strengthen my weaker areas in the subject matter. There were many good examples the instructor reviewed, and now I feel more confident about taking the provincial exam after attending the session.”
D.H., West Vancouver

Summer Boot Camps

“I liked that we discussed ‘why’ we were attending the session and completing different exercises. We covered the subject from start to finish, and all of my questions were answered along the way. I now feel ready to start the school year with a solid foundation in the course.”
L.K., West Vancouver

“I loved that rather than just telling us what to do, the instructors let us get to work on our university supplements and helped us brainstorm ideas in a helpful, and stress-free environment. Even though it was a group session, I received individualized help and feedback specific to what I was working on. I found this format extremely effective!”
C.R., West Vancouver

ACT Prep

“The prep courses provided me with answers to questions I had and strategies to help me with the test. I am glad I took the course & it was definitely helpful.”
C.D., West Vancouver

“The sessions gave me a clear idea of what the ACT is about and how to handle the different sections of the test. The course was well organized & well prepared.”
M.W., Surrey

Writing Workshop

“I enjoyed the Writing Workshop because the instructors gave me immediate feedback on the pieces I had already written, and I was able to solidify my ideas for my other supplements based on their input and evaluations. The workshop provided a very productive space to work in, and I was able to get a lot of work done. All the instructors were available and ready to help!”
N.L., West Vancouver

“I got an educational and productive start to the application process. The instructors were very knowledgeable and helpful with editing. The whole session was very constructive and I have realized what I need to work on going forward.”
E.C., Vancouver

Study Skills Workshop

“I learned that there’s no ‘right’ way to study and I was encouraged to learn that there are multiple ways to study and to learn. The time spent planning for a specific course was very helpful. I left the session feeling like I was productive and had made a pro-active start to the upcoming school year.”
M.H., West Vancouver

Law 101 Workshop

“Kerry had a through understanding of all the topics discussed in this information session, and did a great job sharing this information with the participants in an exciting and enthusiastic manner.”
A.M., Vancouver

“I found the session with Kerry very informative and helpful. He covered a lot of information you cannot find online or from an advisor as well as, answering many of my questions. What really stood out was the breadth and depth of the information covered, and that a law degree provides many career options aside from being a lawyer. As a result, much of my uncertainty has diminished. I have decided to write the LSAT this October and apply to law schools this fall so I can attend beginning fall 2016.”
K.M., Vancouver