Testimonials: The Author’s Work with Teenagers


Author Stacy Padula has been working with teenagers since 2008. As a mentor, tutor, and college counselor, as well as a youth group leader, Stacy deeply values her time spent encouraging, educating, and edifying adolescents. Click here for Stacy’s full author profile.


To Whom It May Concern:

We hired Stacy as a college prep tutor for several reasons.  The college preparation process is completely overwhelming to say the least. We really had no idea where to begin. Stacy was recommended to us from a friend, and we called her having little idea what would be needed over the course of almost two years prior to the college application process. From the very beginning she put us at ease as to how to begin, and what we would be facing over the many months to follow.

We began with SAT/ACT preparation and tutoring. Stacy was amazing at preparing my son for the tests, and highlighting shortcuts and test taking strategies. This wasn’t a one shot deal. After each test they worked together to improve test-taking skills and raise the scores on subsequent tests.

Once the tests were behind us the real work began. Stacy put together a comprehensive report of target, reach and safety schools for us to focus on. When that was complete we were able to fine tune applications and essays for the schools my son wanted to apply to. Navigating the application and essay process is not an easy task, but having Stacy to keep us on track was priceless. Her essay organizational and editing skills are amazing and she was able to fine-tune my son’s essay to perfection.

I would highly recommend Stacy for any family beginning the college search process. My son was accepted to his number one choice of colleges, Babson College, and he couldn’t be happier. I owe a great deal of thanks to Stacy for helping him achieve his goals!!

Jennifer Antaya – Duxbury, MA


To whom it may concern:

Senior year for my daughter, Marlena, was the most overwhelming year for her. My daughter was a top student; however, the demands of the college process while trying to keep up with her Advanced placement courses were crushing her confidence. Never had I seen her so emotionally stressed as she attempted to conquer the challenging task of applying to the colleges of her choice.

I attended the school’s College Information night, but that honestly overwhelmed me. I could see why she was so stressed with the many items on the checklist to complete the application process and all the deadlines to meet for both early and regular decisions. That’s when I realized the best help I could give my daughter was to reach out for someone to assist her — she worked so hard to get where she was and she deserved to go through the process with someone who knew exactly what they were doing. You see, I am a high school teacher, and I saw firsthand that the stress of applying to college was not unusual at all. There are so many decisions to make, choices to narrow, essays to write, forms to fill out, and of course all awhile keeping up with the senior year curriculum. It is an extremely emotional and unsettling time in a teenager’s life as they are doing all this while trying to enjoy and engage in their final year of high school. As much as I thought I could help her, I realized I was just adding to her anxiety. This is when I contacted Stacy Padula to help out — and it was the best decision that I made.

My daughter’s first meeting with Stacy immediately relieved her of much apprehension. Stacy helped our daughter tackle her college essay (which she had previous attempted, but it was as though she couldn’t form the words to express herself in a distinctive way and she felt as though her life depended on it — creating again, more anxiety!). Stacy helped her to form the exact words to express herself in such a unique way. It was our daughter’s writing, her personality, her story and it was perfect! Simultaneously, Stacy had her working on her Common Application and her final SAT exam preparations. The expertise that Stacy offered immediately calmed our daughter to get back on track and checking off the details that needed to get done. I was amazed at how much Stacy accomplished in such a short time. She helped our daughter confidently work out her decisions, regain her self-confidence, and get all the necessary details complete to finalize the process.

Our daughter got accepted to each college that she applied to and she was offered sizable merit scholarships at most. Boston College, Fairfield College, Quinnipiac College, Stonehill College, Sacred Heart College, University of Vermont, UMass Amherst, and Providence College each offered her enrollment. Our daughter proudly selected Providence College which offered her the Honors Program and the St. Joseph’s Merit Scholarship which awarded her 40 percent tuition cost each year.

As parents, my husband and I will forever be indebted to Stacy Padula for her guidance, help, and knowledge. She is truly an expert in her field. She understands her client’s fears, doubts, and worries, and turns them into confident and manageable accomplishments. She takes your child’s dreams and helps them turn into reality. She takes the insurmountable and turns it into manageable. . … There is no better gift that I could’ve given my child.

I write this as a testimonial of what Stacy has given to us. She gave us peace at an overwhelmingly stressful, yet exciting time in our lives. I give Stacy my highest recommendation without any reservation. Those whom employ Stacy’s expertise and services will not be disappointed — I say this with the utmost confidence!

Marcia Forrester
Quincy, MA


To Whom It May Concern,

Stacy Padula began tutoring our daughter Kerri in July 2015 for the ACT exams. Stacy has a wonderful personality and is easily liked by adolescents of this age group. Kerri had previously worked with three other Sat tutors who were unable to improve her English SAT score. Stacey was always on time and easily able to get the most out of the sessions when she worked with Kerri. In addition to improving her English score from a 31 to a 34, she was also able to improve her Science score.

My daughter Kerri was in AP English in September and was solid at writing. I must say that the task of college essay writing is daunting for even a high achieving English student. Stacey was diligent and organized about guiding Kerri through the process. Stacey allowed Kerri’s authentic voice to shine through the essays while meticulously making sure all parameters were met. This included the Common Application essay along with supplemental essays for Boston College, Georgetown, Brown, Harvard and Tufts. All this was accomplished in the most time effective manner which entailed reusing parts of some essays to accommodate other ones. Kerri has been accepted at Boston College’s Carrol School Of Management’s Honors Program early action. Without Stacey’s help, it is doubtful Kerri would have been able to get the applications completed in a timely fashion, with her senior courses to deal with and a part time job. It is quite remarkable that Stacey is so well liked and respected at the end of such a rigorous process. I can only attribute this to her winning combination of reliability, organization and an unusually even temperament.

Patrice and Tom Shields
Shields Healthcare Group


I can’t say enough about how wonderful Stacy was with the college essay writing process. She worked with all three of my children and helped them to conceptualize, edit and refine their essays. She was extremely patient and made the whole experience as relaxing as possible for my stressed out teenagers. Stacy had the ability to help my children discover their voices and create personal and very meaningful essays. All of my children got into their top choices for schools. As a parent I appreciated the fact that Stacy was super organized, open to input from me and very accommodating when we needed to schedule extra days to work. Stacy recently helped my oldest daughter, who is in college with her business school application essays. They worked remotely and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. Stacy is a pleasure to work with and I wouldn’t hesitate to use her services again.

Jodie Kaplan – Needham, MA


Our family has been working with Stacy for the last four years and it has been a fantastic experience. We first met Stacy when she was tutoring our oldest son for the SAT, ACT and SAT subject tests during his junior year at Xaverian Brothers High School. Stacy and our son connected immediately and worked extremely well together. In addition to helping make sure he understood the subject matter, Stacy was able to provide test-taking strategies to maximize his scores — when to guess, when to leave answers blank, etc. As a result of his work with Stacy, our son did very well on both the SAT, ACT and SAT subject tests and took each only once. He scored a 34 on the ACT.

After working with our son on test prep, Stacy worked with him over the summer between his junior and senior years to prepare his Common Application, including the essay, as well as the supplemental essays required by the schools to which he was applying. It was a great approach and our son was much more receptive to receiving feedback on his work from Stacy than he would have been from us. He started his senior year with the vast majority of his application work complete. His essay was great. His personality came through and it was clearly his work, but Stacy’s work in refining his drafts and helping polish the final draft was invaluable. He applied Early Decision to the University of Richmond and was accepted.

Stacy just finished working with our second son, who is currently in his senior year at Xaverian Brothers. Stacy and our second son also got along great. She also worked with him on SAT, ACT and SAT subject test prep. On his own initiative, he took the SATs multiple times and ultimately put together a super-scored 2250 and three 700+ subject tests. As she did with our oldest, Stacy also worked with our second son on his Common Application and essays over the summer and this fall. He was accepted early action into the Honors Program at Boston College Carroll School of Management and has applications pending at a number of competitive liberal arts schools in New England.

Stacy is a pleasure to work with. She connects very well with teenagers, is patient and able to keep them organized and on schedule. We have many friends who have attempted to navigate the process without someone like Stacy and the experiences are almost always stressful and sources of family tension. Our experience with both of our sons was exactly the opposite and about as stress-free as we can imagine the test preparation and college application process being.

Dan & Kate Moynihan
Needham, MA


My daughter and I met Stacy Padula several years ago through a mutual friend. I had been homeschooling my daughter since kindergarten, and she was just then entering high school. I wanted to continue homeschooling her, but I felt she needed an objective and experienced instructor in advanced essay writing. My daughter worked with Stacy throughout high school on essay writing, SAT preparation, and college applications. She scored highly in all areas of the SAT with an almost perfect score in the Writing portion. Consequently, she was accepted into her first choice college with a full tuition scholarship. She is currently a second semester college sophomore with a 4.0 GPA. She has received an A in every paper she has written in college thus far and has even received a request from a professor asking permission to print her paper in the syllabus as an example of how to write a particular assignment. We are extremely grateful for the obvious value that Stacy has added to our daughter’s education and would not only recommend her but would encourage anyone’s decision in utilizing her services.
Ruthie Walker
Cohasset, MA


To Whom It May Concern,

It is with great pleasure that I am writing this letter of recommendation for Stacy Padula. Stacy has been our son Matthew’s tutor for many years. Matthew first started with Stacy his junior year of High school. Helping Matthew get the grades so he could enter a college of his choice. She guided Matthew through the difficult process of his college essay and college applications. Stacy has firsthand knowledge of what school could be a good fit knowing how Matthew learns. Stacy just doesn’t tutor the student she looks at the entire picture of the person and works with them to be the best version of themselves. To me that truly is a gift. Stacy’s tutoring style makes each student feel empowered, important and knowledgeable in what she is teaching. She is a warm, bright and caring person. Stacy gives the students the tools to succeed. Now that Matt is in college he still meets with Stacy to tutor him in several subjects. Through her encouragement and tutoring style Matt is having a very successful semester. We couldn’t be happier with Stacy Padula. If you are lucky enough to have her as a tutor you will indeed have a friend for life!

Julie Sheehan
North Attleboro, MA


My name is Lexi Richards and I am a senior at Quincy High School. This year I was lucky enough to work with Stacy Padula on my college application process. Stacy was amazing to work with. She helped me complete the college application and essays, reviewed and provided great feedback, and was always available to answer questions. With Stacy’s help, I was accepted into all my schools and I received merit scholarships that I was not expecting. She is incredibly talented and knew exactly what to include on the application.
I have known Stacy for approximately six months and can honestly say that she has become one of the most important and helpful people in my life. Therefore it is with great pleasure that I recommend Stacy to anyone seeking qualified and professional academic consulting services. Not only is Stacy talented, but she is an amazing person as well. She is smart, honest, and kind. You will benefit from working with her.

Lexi Richards
Quincy, MA


Stacy and my son connected from their first tutoring session. They worked together every week to prepare for the SAT and ACT tests. She is knowledgeable with the material for both of these tests. My son felt confidant going to take these tests and his high scores reflected this. Stacy continued coming to our home to work with my son on his college essays. They worked on them all summer and set a manageable time line for their completion. I was so comfortable in her ability to guide him in this process that I did not read the essays until we were submitting his college applications. The essays were a true reflection on my son and I was pleased with all of them. Stacy worked with us adjusting the days and times of my sons sessions as his sports seasons changed. She made the entire college application process a smooth one. We look forward to working with her in the future with my other children.

Jean Brown
Dover, MA


Stacy Padula is a life saver! She worked with each of my two daughters as they prepared essays for college applications. My older daughter disliked writing and never developed terrific writing skills even though she was a bright student. Over the course of one summer working with Stacy she became an accomplished writer. She even became the “go to” person for her friends and fellow students because she was able to bring out the best in others’ writing after her experience with Stacy. It was amazing! Stacy’s patience and guidance was a sight to see. She knows how to sit quietly back and allow the student to find the words and then helps them to improve it from there. In contrast, my younger daughter was a prolific writer and needed different guidance. Stacy helped her to tighten up her writing and find her genuine voice. Again, Stacy showed incredible patience, letting the student evolve rather than directly instructing her. In addition to Stacy’s skills as a tutor she is a lovely person and a pleasure to be around. We got to know her very well as she was with our children and it was always a joy to see her.

Trish Conway
Westwood, MA


Letter of Reference – The Harvey Family, Needham, MA – click to read


The Mitchell Family, Needham, MA