Jennifer Mejares-Pham
Independent College Counselor / Executive Director
Learning With Jen / Emerson Royce Academy (CA)

What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
I fell into the world of college admissions by accident almost two decades ago. I had a mentor in college suggest that I take a college counseling class…I thought I was going to learn how to help some friends on campus, I did not even know this industry existed before I applied to be a student member of NACAC. The knowledge learned in UC San Diego’s College Admissions Counseling Certificate Program — in conjunction with the training from NACAC — provided me with the tools to create a community-based resource. It quickly took on a life of its own, transforming a community in rural Southern California by cultivating a college-going culture.

What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of this job has been watching my students grow as humans. After being invited into such a sacred and intimate space of the application process, I often stay in touch, and I have been invited to wedding and baby showers. 😊

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
Credibility, resources, community, and mentorship!

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
The biggest challenge facing our profession today is helping middle-income families afford and have access to higher educational opportunities.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
In my free time, I enjoy collecting memories and experiences with my three little kids.

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
If I could be a fictional character, I would be Jessica Pearson from the TV show Suits. She is powerful, respected, and an industry leader who shattered glass ceilings.


Published May 29, 2023