Meet our Counselors
At Great College Fit, we specialize in creating a personalized admission strategy for every student.
Today’s college applicant must be strategic and thoughtful as they navigate through college admissions. We believe that students must be active participants in the college admissions process. There is no “one right college” but there is a RIGHT way to approach college admissions.
Amy Mendelson, M.Ed., President and founder
Born and raised in Orange County, CA, Mrs. Mendelson’s entire professional career has been spent working with teenagers. After graduating from UC Berkeley with an English degree, she went on to earn her California teaching credential and taught in several high schools in and around Orange County. After earning her MA Ed., she served for seven years as a high school administrator. She transitioned to college counseling in 2006.
She holds a Certificate in College Counseling from UCSD and is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, (IECA) The Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). In 2017, she became a Certified Educational Planner, which is the highest level of professional certificationavailable in the field of college counseling. She is a member of MENSA and has served as a Cal Alumni Scholarship interviewer.
In her free time, she loves to read, shop, travel and hang out with her husband and daughters.
During my 16 years as a high school educator, I realized that students weren’t getting the guidance they needed to apply to college. They were left to their own devices at a very critical time in their lives. By founding Great College Fit, I was able to develop a personalized program to support students and families so that getting into college wasn’t so daunting.
Jessica Holtrust, M.S., School Counseling and Leadership
Jessica has a passion for helping students and families navigate the daunting and complex college application process. After attending high school in Mission Viejo, California, she graduated with honors from California State University, Fullerton, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Development. She went on to earn a Master’s Degree in School Counseling and Leadership from California State University, Los Angeles, where she graduated at the top of her class. While working as a college counselor at an Orange County high school, Jessica developed and implemented an original College Admissions Workshop series. Jessica is passionate about giving back to the community through advising Orange County teenagers as they search for the right college fit.
**Jessica is currently on maternity leave and home raising her twin boys and baby Josie**
I remember struggling with the college admissions process, and wishing there was someone who could help me. Helping today’s students get through the process with less stress and more confidence is very fulfilling to me personally.
Tom LeCarner, PhD.
Tom LeCarner brings over a decade of higher education experience to Great College Fit. After earning his B.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine, Tom went on to attend Gonzaga University School of Law.
After passing the California Bar Exam, Tom practiced business litigation law for several years before founding The 180° Group, a successful consulting firm in Beverly Hills, California. No longer able to ignore the calling to teach, however, Tom decided to return to graduate school to pursue a career in education.
After completing his M.A. in English at Loyola Marymount University, Tom was accepted into the doctoral program in English at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he earned a Ph.D. in English literature in 2014. Dr. LeCarner is an award-winning teacher who has taught at the university level for 14 years, and now teaches AP English in Broomfield, Colorado.
He also served as an AP grader for the AP Literature & Composition exam for six years. Dr. LeCarner brings a unique, insider perspective to Great College Fit families as he works with them to demystify the college admission process. Dr. LeCarner is a member of RMACAC, the Rocky Mountain Association for College Admissions Counseling.
Having spent over a decade in higher education, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my expertise and “insider’s perspective” with Great College Fit families. I am all too familiar with the anxieties students experience during the admissions process, and I look forward to helping to ease that anxiety.