Your Coach, Susan G. Wolf
Susan, a writer/director in theater, television, and film, was recruited in 1992 by the non-profit organization, One Voice, to participate in a newly created college essay writing program for inner-city high school students. The students assigned to her were not necessarily at the top of their class, but each of them had expressed to their counselors a desire to go to college. Some of them would not only be the first in their families to graduate from high school, but the first to go to university.
Their first drafts of the common app essay were written to sound like the upper-class kids they thought the schools wanted to enroll, they didn’t reflect the challenges in their personal lives. But by 1992, the first murmuring of the need for diversity could be heard in many educators’ circles.
It was easy to say “Don’t try to impress anyone. Just be yourself!” It took time, patience and trust to coax one story about the weekly visits to see dad, or raising four younger siblings since mom left, or the after school job at a low paying storage facility. And still maintain a 3.6 GPA, 4 AP classes, being on a varsity basketball team, etc. You get the drill.
But, each one of these kids did. And their stories were raw, honest, and memorable. Susan was impressed by their courage in telling these stories, and thrilled by their acceptance to the most competitive colleges and universities. Word of the program’s success rate spread and so did Susan’s track record. She has been a writing coach teaching the art of the personal essays to college and graduate school applicants ever since.
With Advanced Technology, Susan Can Work with Students Throughout the World.
Susan has the gift to draw original and compelling essays from students who believe they have nothing to say. She loves being a writing coach for young adults, helping them discover their own voice, and showing them tips on how to write an unforgettable essay. News of their ongoing achievements and successes, once they get that first foot in the door, brings a big smile to her face.
Students who worked with Susan on their undergraduate applications often return to work with her on their graduate degrees. These include a J.D., M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., M.F.A. and other professional degrees.
Susan’s Additional Credits Include:
- Assistant writer and director of the Julie Andrews variety specials for producer Blake Edwards (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the Pink Panther films), at ATV Studios in England.
- Co-author of the award-winning The Adventures of Albert, the Running Bear children’s series for Houghton Mifflin.
- Writer and Director of musicals for J. P. Nightingale, a children’s theater company that performed annually for the L.A. Junior Arts Program and the Hollywood Bowl Summer Program.
- Writer and Director of the Emmy-nominated television special, In the Center Ring.
- Co-author of The No-Mess, No-Stress, No-Problem College Application Handbook.
Susan’s many awards and achievements include recognition from the State of California Senate in 2006, in appreciation of “all you have done for so many students to ensure their college admission and self-esteem, for your charitable contributions to Juvenile Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis research, and…your indomitable spirit and your zest for life.”
Susan received her B.A. in 1968 in English Literature from UC Berkeley in California, her home state. In 1970, she received an M.F.A. in Theater Arts: Writing/Directing from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). A native Californian, Susan lives and works in Santa Monica, California.
She has two grown children, Dr. Alexandra Wolf (Sprecher), a veterinarian, and Jonathan Wolf, a film writer/producer and owner of Jonathan Wolf Tutoring. Her family includes her granddaughter, Orli, and her granddog, Charlie.
What Students Say About Susan
"Susan was a lifesaver during my college essay writing process! From brainstorming creative topics to editing the final draft, Susan was by far the most helpful aide I had. The college application process can be so overwhelming, especially with the numerous essays required at each school, and to have someone to coach you, and yes, at times hold your hand, saved my sanity and my applications. Susan is the most supportive, creative and compassionate woman that I have had the pleasure of working with and I have no doubt in my mind that when grad school applications roll around she will be the first one I call. Thank you Susan for everything you have done! You’re amazing!"
Pitzer Class of 2010
"Susan not only helped me to write the best personal essays I could, but also taught me how to express myself in clear, concise and persuasive prose. What I learned from her helped me get into college and allowed me to flourish there. In fact, Susan's emphasis on brainstorming, free-writing, rewriting, and self-editing have become the cornerstones of my own writing process, which has served me well professionally and personally. Susan is a teacher and mentor of unparalleled wisdom and skill. She is my personal guru, and I sing her praises to the heavens daily. I cannot recommend her highly enough. If you ever have the chance to work with Susan, grab it!"
Yale Class of 2002
"Susan Wolf helped me throughout--from conception to execution. She was a guide and mentor, helping me refine my ideas and craft a series of application essays. Working with Susan was instrumental for me, and the single reason I believe I got accepted. She helped me keenly identify the things that could help distinguish me from the hundreds of other applicants. She worked with me to make sure that my essays were more lucid but still retained my voice. As a writer now for the Wall Street Journal, that was very important to me. I've worked with a lot of editors in my job and can honestly say that she is exceptional. I feel very lucky that I got a chance to work with her on my college application process.
Princeton Class of 2004
"As a writer, its my job to tell stories. One of the hardest stories to tell is your own story. Susan Wolf helped me tell my story. If it wasn’t for her knowledge and dedication, I don’t think I would have been admitted to the college of my choice. It is rare in life that we meet someone who truly cares for our well being. Anyone who has the opportunity to work with Susan will get 100% of their money’s worth."
Emerson Class of 2014
"Susan listened to the personality beneath the words of my first draft and pushed me to create a unique college application. She has the experience to guide you and the energy to spark your writing."
Duke Class of 2013
"Susan is a breath of fresh air in the college application process and gives you the tough love you need. She's direct, insightful, and knows exactly what to tell you to move your application to the next level - whether it's thinking through schools, assessing your application as a whole, or wordsmithing your personal statement. Most importantly she performs her job within a context of caring and fun so that working on your app becomes a fun challenge rather than a source of dread. She was critical for my results and the process couldn't have been better!"
Harvard Class of 2007