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College Transfer Success Story of A Gifted but Struggling International Student

December 2, 2016

We are a Foreign Service family with a college transfer success story of a gifted but struggling international student.

We had used RNG Interrnational Consultant Rebecca Grappo (Becky) with our first daughter who had an undiagnosed learning disability. We went back to Becky for assistance when our second daughter was re-applying to colleges after a rough start her freshman year. Our second daughter is a very different story (in terms of her academic abilities and success). She was always at the top of her class. In fact, she was identified “gifted and talented” in art, in math, and in English at various points during elementary and middle school. After our overseas assignment, we moved to another post where there was no accredited American high school. In applying to colleges, our younger daughter chose mostly what I would term “reach” schools and did not fare well in her acceptances. She also did not have many back-up schools on her list. Becky was not involved in generating her list because we felt, at the time, that the boarding school was doing a good job with the college counseling. Our daughter chose to attend a university which was not a first choice for her.

During her first semester there, our daughter discovered that it was not a good fit. She hated the academics, thought the environment was not challenging, and wanted out. What to do? I immediately contacted Becky. Her advice was again right on. We decided to bring our daughter with us overseas again and got her admitted to finish out her freshman year at the local campus of an American university here. Becky reminded us that she needed to at least get freshman year under her belt before trying to transfer. Then, Becky worked very closely with her (via Skype conversations) to identify what type of school she was looking for, what program of study she might want to pursue, etc. Becky helped her to generate a list. She spoke directly with her and then after several sessions, let us in on some of the things she had learned about her preferences. At this point in the process, it was important for our daughter to talk to Becky without us butting in. She really opened up to her.

Transfer applications are a bit tricky because there are many fewer spaces for applicants. And our daughter began the process a bit late in the game – April of her freshman year. With Becky’s knowledge and connections, she personally took extra steps to assure her admission as a transfer student to the University of Denver. She is soooo happy in Colorado, majoring in business, and loving her experience. What would we have done without Becky Grappo? She not only helped our daughter identify the right school for her, but called around to see which of her choices were accepting “late” transfer applications. Our daughter was also ready to give up on college (a parent’s nightmare when you have a talented kid) and Becky turned that around for her.

I have talked to many Foreign Service families who have used Becky’s services. Everyone sings her praises, as we do. She takes time to visit colleges and universities. She knows how to talk to teens, she asks the right questions, and ultimately, the outcome reflects her caring about the students she works with.

We credit Becky with helping our daughters find their way. And she helped us understand what might be important for our child, vs., the expectations we had. All in all, a very positive experience.

Swiss Boarding Schools
Rebecca (“Becky”) Grappo on a school tour abroad

One Response to “College Transfer Success Story of A Gifted but Struggling International Student”

  1. Kristin Kane says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I had a very similar early college experience to your second daughter’s (and I fortunately also got steered in the right direction). The post really resonated as we look to avoid that situation for our teen. We will likely be reaching out to Becky for help. Thank you!

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