William Arthur Ward once said, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” Our team is dedicated to inspiring students to be authentic and courageous as they search for the right college match and fit. The dynamic team at CollegeThoughts brings a wealth of college advising and test preparation experience from educators with more than 20 years in the classroom to college students from elite colleges and universities. The diverse range of talents among our staff members allows us to find the right person to assist you through the college process in a professional and honest way.

Our college student consultants attend some of the top colleges in the country and are able to provide excellent near-peer college advising for a lower cost. Our staff members bring their varied teaching experiences to the process. And between those groups, we are able to create solutions for a wide variety of scenarios as we work towards helping good students to attend great places. We are proud to introduce you to our amazing team.


Isabella Trauttmansdorff

Senior College Advisor

After earning her MA (University of Pennsylvania) and BA (Wellesley College), Isabella taught at a charter school and managed student service at two national non-profit organizations.  At last count, Isabella had logged more than 200 school visits and tours, and counting!  In addition to helping families through the college process, she is also a writing coach at Palomar College and does a bit of photography on the side. (

Wesley Rouse

Senior College Advisor

Wesley Rouse has been teaching in the Wallingford- Swarthmore School District for 25 years. He received a Bachelor’s Degree from Hampton University (Mathematics, 1986), and a Master’s Degree from Drexel University (Education,2001).  He’s a dynamic presenter on a variety of academic topics and a sought-after tutor.  A quarter-century of helping students maximize their potential…and he’s just getting started!

Prasant Nukalapati

Senior College Advisor

Prasant Nukalapati received his BA from the University of Chicago. He has worked with students and families for over 20 years as a classroom teacher, admissions advisor and program director. Prasant specializes in developing the leadership potential in all the students he works with and brings this expertise to bear in helping them navigate the college application process.

Rylla Smith

Senior Tutor

Rylla Smith has her Bachelor of Science degree from BSc from Lehman College in the CUNY system as well as her NJ Teaching  Certification.  A longtime middle school teacher in Jackson, NJ, she has been tutoring students for private school and college standardized testing for the past 12 years.  The best evidence of her ability to guide students to high scores could be her own two children who both matriculated Columbia University.

Lily Katz

College Advisor

Lily Katz is a current fifth-grade teacher with the School District of Philadelphia. She has been working as an educator for nine years teaching middle and high school English Language Arts and special education. She attended Alfred University where she earned degrees in English, Theatre, and secondary education and obtained an M.Ed from Arcadia University.  She’s a sought-after presenter who knows how to bring the essay writing process to life for students.

Daeshawn Gray

College Advisor

Daeshawn is a recent graduate of the University of Delaware.  He’s a self-advocacy enthusiast who enjoys watching young people take charge of their academic and future success. From personal and professional lessons,  he has learned individual profitability is drastically impacted by how much an individual is willing to invest in themselves and uses his own life story to inspire students to pursue greater goals than they may have ever previously thought possible.

Taryn Anderson

Executive Assistant

Taryn is a recent graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia, with a BS in Business Administration. Originally from Connecticut, she has found joy in branching away from home, exploring new settings, and meeting new people. Taryn has had experience in non-profit work, education, retail, and larger corporations. Outside of work and school, she enjoys exercising and exploring all that Philadelphia has to offer.


Ciana Montero

Team Leader, Near Peer Advisors

In 2016, Ciana graduated from The Lawrenceville School, a private boarding school in New Jersey. When she began the college process, she was overwhelmed by standardized test prep, crafting her college essay, and narrowing down a list of universities where she could thrive until she began working with Keith Wilkerson, founder of College Thoughts!  Now, Ciana is a junior at Barnard College in New York City where she studies Economic and Social History. Since finding her perfect fit, Ciana has been passionate about helping other students crack the application process for schools, scholarships, and internships so that they too can feel empowered as they reach for their academic and professional goals. Ciana is eager to help you turn your unique thoughts into a competitive student profile and application strategy, while breaking down the application process so that it can be a rewarding experience for you and your family.

Taylor Crutison

Near Peer Advisor

Taylor Crutison is a third year undergraduate student at Stanford University. She is majoring in Human Biology with a concentration in Health and Health policy and is interested in pursuing a degree in both medicine and public health. On campus, she works at the Stanford Women’s Community Center, is a Residential Assistant, volunteers at Stanford Hospital, and sings in an a cappella group. Prior to attending Stanford, Taylor attended Phillips Academy in Andover, MA and graduated in June 2016. She strongly believes in education as a tool to change the world. Education has played such an important role in her life, and she enjoys mentoring and working with talented and driven students to help them achieve success in all of their endeavors.

Alexis Lowber

Near Peer Advisor

Alexis is a sophomore at Stanford University who is passionate about Biology and Spanish. An alumna of Episcopal Academy and the A Better Chance program, Alexis has had many experiences with leadership and education. At EA, Alexis was the co-founder and co-president of the Sound of Science Club and the co-secretary of Classics club, in addition to being an active member in many other groups such as the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS), Mock Trial, Spanish Club, and varsity track. During her years with A Better Chance, she volunteered at multiple service events, represented the program at educational programs both within the country and abroad, and worked as the student leader of the event-planning team. Alexis began working with CollegeThoughts as a tour leader on the first College Boot Camp where she mentored students on essay-writing and test-taking strategies.

Ashley Lowber

Near Peer Advisor

Ashley is a current undergraduate student at Stanford University. She is a potential biology major yet continues to pursue her passion for writing and poetry through clubs and humanities classes. Ashley is a firm believer in the importance of education and educational opportunities. In high school, Ashley was inducted into the Cum Laude Society and was a member of numerous clubs. From working with Keith throughout high school, she was given the chance to experience first-hand the power of having a strong mentor and guiding hand, and she continues to give back to the community through volunteer tutoring/mentoring. Since attending Stanford, Ashley has received the Black Community Services Center Academic Award of Excellence and served as a freshman intern at Barrio Assistance Tutoring. She also assisted students with essay writing and planning on the first CollegeThoughts College Boot Camp over the summer.

Ahmadu Simpson

Near Peer Advisor

Ahmadu Simpson attended The Galloway School, a K-8 independent school in Atlanta. Galloway exposed Ahmadu to a style of academics and education that allowed him to truly value and enjoy learning. During his sophomore year at Galloway, Ahmadu took the first steps in the college search process, beginning with a week-long college tour. That college tour inspired Ahmadu’s fascination with the college search process, and thereafter he spent the next two years researching and visiting over a dozen colleges and meeting with just as many college admissions representatives.  In the spring of his junior year, Ahmadu began to narrow his college search and formulate an idea of what he wanted his college experience to be.  Subsequently, Ahmadu attended another college tour and met personally with Keith, who gave him indispensable advice about preparing his application essays, choosing the right school, and maximizing his chances of gaining admission. A few months later, Ahmadu settled on Northwestern University as a member of the class of 2021.

Eni Owoeye

Near Peer Advisor

Eni is a recent cum laude graduate from The Governor’s Academy as an A Better Chance Scholar.  A national award winner for her work in promoting diversity and equity, Eni has a passion for social justice and environmental protection and sustainability.  Currently a student at New York University, she plans to double major in International Relations and Environment Studies.  Eni is a recipient of many scholarships and has a lot of experience navigating through both the college admissions scene and the financial aid component.  She looks forward to sharing her perspective with students and helping to ease their stress during this incredibly important time in life.