It's our birthday today, as it was August 16, 1999 that I officially filed papers with the County Clerk of Orange County to start Collegewise.
At that time, the Backstreet Boys had the number one CD. Neither the Ipod nor Facebook had been invented yet. Google was still privately owned and (founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were still in graduate school at Stanford). And I was driving to kids' houses to help them fill out college applications at their kitchen tables. Yes, things have changed a lot for all of us since then.
But rather than celebrate everything that's happened to us in the last 11 years, I thought I'd share some the things we're going to accomplish before our 12th birthday:
- Sometime next month, we'll be rolling out a new version of our website. One of the features will be an online storefront where we'll soon begin selling products like online videos and written guidelines to help students find, apply to and attend the right colleges.
- We'll be launching Collegewise University, a series of workshops for counselors on topics ranging from basic college admissions training, to how to help kids find their best stories for college essays, to how to build and run a successful college counseling business.
- In the next few months, students anywhere in the world will be able to work with a Collegewise counselor or essay specialist. We're not ready to release the details just yet, but this one, we're particularly excited about.
- Arun Ponnusamy of Open Road Education and I will be working together again on all of these projects. Arun helped me build and grow Collegewise from 2004-2009, and we've both done some of our best work together. As part of our collaboration, Arun and I will be doing regular installments of the tentatively titled "Collegewise Live," a series of free webinars where we'll be answering live questions and sharing our advice for students, parents and counselors.
So those are some of the things we'll be looking to celebrate by the time we turn 12. If you'd like to be kept up-to-date with our progress, subscribe to our blog or join our Facebook page. Then you'll be the first to know when each shiny new product is released.
Thanks for reading, and happy birthday to us.