Our Team

Preparing Students for Success in College and Beyond

Experienced Advisors

All Five Summers advisors graduated from top universities, and we love sharing our experiences with students to ensure their time in high school and beyond is  academically and personally meaningful.

With our advisors’ diverse educational backgrounds and years of expertise, Five Summers offers effective personalized university plans and application guidance to maximize students’ chances for success in the university application process.

Supportive Mentors

We match our advisors to students based on their interests, values, and personalities, ensuring that every student is paired with an advisor who is best able to connect to and motivate them.

We respect our students’ choices and listen to them. We are mentors and often friends. In Five Summers, we are happy to see students acquire academic and practical knowledge, to develop curiosity and a positive attitude toward the world.

Comprehensive Program

We are proud of our students and believe the knowledge and positive attitude our students gain through working with Five Summers will help them throughout their university career and beyond.

Our university planning program and university application advising program are complementary, allowing those who wish to start early the chance to apply to university with greater self-confidence, time-management skills, personal development and success.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Evan Brown

Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, Evan studied English and Education at Stanford and Harvard Universities (BA 2006; MEd 2011). Evan’s passion for language and literature earned him admission to many top universities including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and UC Berkeley. He was awarded Stanford’s Intellectual Exploration Grant, which he used to conduct research abroad. During the interim between his undergraduate and graduate studies, Evan traveled and lived in Europe, Asia, and North America. He has taught high school English in the US and China. In the past few years, he has served as a college admissions coach. During his teaching and advising career, Evan has had the privilege of encountering many of today’s most exceptional and talented young minds, and he has helped them gain admission to their dream schools. He speaks fluent Chinese.

Michele Venetz

Michele is a dedicated teacher and coach who has taught English, creative writing, and tennis for many years. Michele earned her degree in English and Education from Columbia University. Michele has taught secondary school in New York City, where she also coached tennis and basketball. She was involved in a literacy program in Harlem, where she discussed life and literature with children, and worked to instill in them a love of learning. Upon returning to BC, Michele has been actively teaching, writing, and coaching. She has taught creative writing classes, and has fully realized the therapeutic benefits one receives from the simple act of writing. She is currently guiding students along their own educational paths, helping with standardized test preparation, and improving reading and writing skills. Michele still seems to find magic in words, and continues to share this discovery with her students.

Sinatrio Raharjo

Sinatrio was born in Indonesia and grew up in Calgary, Alberta. Having been very competitive since he was young, he always had an interest in sports and has been an accomplished competitive fencer since he was 11. He chose to attend the University of Pennsylvania as it continued to nurture his two passions: academics and fencing. At Penn, Sinatrio took a wide selection of courses, from biology to music history, in order to broaden his academic palette. Having been most interested in societal dynamics and the complex nature of criminal behavior, Sinatrio graduated from Penn with a degree in Criminology. He continued to fence in college with Penn’s varsity fencing team where he served as a leader and role model. Fencing has also led him to travel and live around the world for competitions/training camps including many countries in Europe and Asia. Sinatrio speaks English, French, and basic German.

Lauren Hathaway

Lauren was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She moved to NYC to attend Fordham University, where she majored in English and minored in Spanish and Creative Writing. While at Fordham, Lauren wrote for the student newspaper, co-founded the school’s Irish dance group, and landed her dream editorial internship with Penguin Books. Following junior year, she mentored international high school students at a UCLA-based summer program, which sparked her interest in working with young people. After graduating summa cum laude in 2013, Lauren spent four years teaching English in Spain. She has a TEFL certificate from the International University of Catalonia and is pursuing a master’s degree

in Children’s Literature at UBC. In her free time, Lauren loves hiking, cooking, and watching old movies.

Peter Morelli

Born just outside of Vancouver in the small town of Mission, Dr. Morelli spent his childhood years running around in the forests of northern British Columbia before finding his way back to Vancouver via the Okanagan. He completed a Bachelor of Arts First Class Honors in English with a Major in Humanities at Simon Fraser University, then continued on to graduate studies at the University of Cambridge in the UK, where he completed an MPhil in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies and a PhD in English. Peter specializes in the literature and politics of the British Romantic period and in literary, critical and political theory and practice. Dr. Morelli has taught in the English departments of both Simon Fraser University and the University of Cambridge and helped research and develop course syllabi for the World Literature Program at Simon Fraser University. When he isn't reading, writing or teaching, he can usually be found playing football (soccer) or hiking through forests and up mountains.

Josephine Wong

Born in Malaysia and raised primarily in Hong Kong, Josephine studied philosophy and art history at Swarthmore College (BA, 2014) before moving to Vancouver to continue her studies at the University of British Columbia (MA, 2017). Before beginning her work as an Education Consultant for Five Summers, Josephine worked as a graduate teaching assistant at UBC, and for the education departments of various arts non-profits including the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Josephine is a native speaker of English and Mandarin, and has also dabbled in Spanish, Cantonese, and French.

Tom Douce

Born in Ohio, Tom split his childhood between Michigan and Ecuador. He attended the University of Michigan, where he earned a BS in Cell & Molecular Biology, with a minor in Philosophy, and a Masters in Biomedical Engineering. He went on to work as a researcher in the biotech industry in Salt Lake City, and in a bioengineering lab at MIT. A reflective type, Tom still wanted to develop in how he interpreted the human story and what it means for how we live. To this end, he came to Vancouver for graduate studies in theology at Regent College, where he has led tutorials in the history of Christianity. He feels called to help people learn and thrive in wholesome and meaningful lives, and plans to pursue a PhD in Psychology. Tom speaks Spanish and reads Biblical Hebrew. He enjoys unusual discussions, strategy board games, and writing poetry.

Kasey Kimball

Kasey grew up in a small town on the northeast coast of Massachusetts. She received her BA from Johns Hopkins University with a major in International Studies and a minor in French. In her third year, she studied British history and politics at one of her favourite places in the world: Oxford University. After graduation, she stayed in the Baltimore area to work at Goucher College. As a campus minister, she gathered and mentored a diverse group of students, facilitated discussions around the big questions of life, trained leaders, led service trips, and developed her own skill and passion for teaching. In January 2018 she completed her MA in theology at Regent College with a thesis on medieval theologian St. Bonaventure. She enjoyed contributing to the Regent community as a teaching assistant, student council VP, Academic Symposium presenter, and caterer. To Five Summers she brings her life-long love of learning and experience helping others grow as thinkers, writers, and community members. When she's not working, she can be found running with her favourite dog Finley, watching British detective dramas, studying Latin, and listening to podcasts.

Li Sha

Dr. Sha has a Ph.D. degree in Educational Psychology from SFU and a postdoc experience at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a member of AERA (American Educational Research Association), APA (American Psychological Association), and ISLS (International Society of Learning Sciences). As an educational psychologist, Dr. Sha was not only involved in many significant research projects conducted at SFU, University of Hong Kong, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the University of Pittsburgh but has also published a number of influential research articles in highly ranked peer-reviewed academic journals.  One of the focuses of his research was on parental influence on K-12 students’ self-regulation, motivation and achievement in learning. Apart from giving seminars/presentations to the Chinese community in his spare time,  Dr Sha’s individual consulting service on parenting as well as children’s psychological development and learning take up most of his time.  His expertise, professionalism and work ethic have been highly praised and appreciated by many Chinese parents and their children.

Vanessa Milost

Vanessa grew up in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and earned a B.A. in Economics and International Studies with a minor in Italian from Bryn Mawr College, an all-women's liberal arts school in Pennsylvania, U.S. Since graduating magna cum laude in 2014, she has worked in the software industry and co-directed a university admissions program catering to high school students in her home country. Her work and research have taken her to communities in a number of countries, including Argentina, Nicaragua, Mexico, Peru and, most recently, Canada. Vanessa now resides in Vancouver and is pursuing an M.A. in International Studies with a concentration in Latin America at Simon Fraser University. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, reading mystery books, and biking along the seawall.

Le Tran

Le grew up in Oakland, California, and attended college at Brown University in Rhode Island. Since graduation, he has worked in social justice and education. Le has also lived in Vietnam, Spain, and France for work and research. As a humanities teacher, Le's mission is to build platforms for youth empowerment and meaningful learning experiences. With a love for travel and adventure, Le has been to 40 countries--and counting! His next journey is to South Africa, where he will embarking on a Fulbright fellowship. 

Allison Wattenbarger

Allison grew up in Philadelphia, where she stayed to attend the University of Pennsylvania for her B.A. She graduated magna cum laude from Penn with a major in English and a minor in Jewish Studies, and went on to receive her Master of Divinity, magna cum laude, from Duke University. Allison has lived and worked in Rome, Tunis, and Jerusalem as a programming coordinator and educator in the arts, refugee resettlement, religious life, adult education, and interfaith dialogue. Through her travels and degrees, she has studied French, German, Arabic, Latin, Biblical Hebrew, and Biblical Greek. Allison delights in teaching students of all ages to explore texts and to develop clear, thoughtful, and vibrant writing for academic, application, and professional settings.

Jeffrey Hu

Jeffrey was born in Beijing and moved to California when he was in middle school. He attended Stanford University, where he majored in Economics and also studied Japanese intensively. At Stanford, Jeffrey received various awards including the J.E. Wallace Sterling Scholastic Award and the President's Award for Academic Excellence. After college, Jeffrey moved to Hong Kong to work as an associate consultant at Bain & Company for two years. He then worked for a company that invested in, developed and operated retail real estate in China. From 2009 to 2011, Jeffrey attended the Harvard Business School for his MBA. He currently works in Shanghai as an associate at Morgan Stanley in its Real Estate Investing Group. He has advised successful business school admits to the Kellogg and Harvard MBA programs.

Katie Anderson

Katie grew up in North Carolina and studied English and Theatrical Design at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Katie has a passion for the English language and focused her undergraduate coursework in British Literature, linguistics, and folklore. After graduation, Katie followed her love of learning to Duke University Press, where she worked closely with top editors in the humanities and social sciences. After three years in the publishing industry, Katie served as the Staff Assistant to the Academic Council at Duke University. She is now pursing as Master's degree in Theological Studies at Regent College in Vancouver with a focus in the cultural history of Christianity. When she isn't in the classroom, Katie enjoys yoga, camping, rock climbing, or curling up with a good book and a cup of tea. 

Raymond Ngu

Raymond graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College with a major in Sociology and Anthropology and a concentration in Educational Studies. During his time there, Raymond was awarded the Grove Scholarship, as well as the Multicultural Alumni Network Scholarship to pursue a summer internship at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC. Originally from Toronto, Raymond has served as a college Writing Consultant and a Resident Assistant, two roles that have afforded extensive experience mentoring students in both academic and personal capacities. He has also counseled his peers in his roles as a Sociology/Anthropology Departmental Adviser and a Campus Advocate Against Sexual Harassment and Assault. Raymond belongs to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and is proficient in Mandarin, Cantonese, and French.

Jessie Booth

Jessie was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her deep love of travel and learning has led her to study micro-finance in West Africa, ecology in the Appalachian Mountains, and civil rights in the American South. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Environmental Studies with emphasis on sustainable development, ecology, and environmental justice. An avid city-dweller, she is interested in sustainable urban development and design of public space. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Before returning to school, she was the development operations manager at the Nature Conservancy in California, a global environmental organization.

Maryam Garba

Maryam is a fashion designer. Originally from Nigeria, Maryam relocated to California in 2006 to attend Stanford University. She majored in Human Biology and African Studies and graduated with honors. She then went on to Harvard to earn her MEd with a focus in Biology. True to her name, Maryam Garba launched her eponymous fashion label to create stylish and interesting work clothes for professional women. Maryam served three years as co-director of the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program, where she guided 48 students through their college applications. Her students gained acceptance into Stanford, Brown, Dartmouth, among other top tier schools. Maryam brings a strong passion for working with young people and helping them realize their dreams.

Angela Steele

Angela was born in Phillipsburg, NJ and now lives in Oakland, CA. She attended public schools for 17 years and enrolled at Phillips Academy Andover for her final year of high school. She went on to Stanford University, where she majored in Cultural and Social Anthropology with a concentration on Mandarin and Chinese Popular Culture. Enrolling in Chinese on a whim freshman year, Angela never knew it would lead to years of study and a lifetime’s worth of adventures. On her first trip to China in 2004, Angela befriended many urban artists, dancers and musicians and wrote her undergraduate thesis on Hip Hop in Beijing. Angela was the MVP of Stanford’s 2006 National Championship Women’s Rugby Team. As a 2007-2008 Fulbright Scholar, Angela documented Hip Hop culture in 13 Chinese cities. Angela is currently the Operations Manager of a student travel company.

Jessica Gordon

Jessica is originally from Miami, Florida. She graduated from Brown University, where she majored in International Development, focusing on Latin America and China. Jessica has previously lived in China where she travelled across the country, took an in depth study of the Chinese language, and took part in Jingdezhen pottery workshop design. Recently, she was involved in energy research with Oxfam's Beijing office. Jessica is a passionate environmentalist and loves art, animals, and travelling. Currently, she is pursuing a master's degree in Environmental Science at Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is experienced in directing US and Chinese students apply for undergraduate and graduate institutions, and have succeeded in helping her students get accepted into their ideal American university.

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