Tina Weber, CEO


Tina teaches Entrepreneurship at Tufts University’s School of Engineering and the Entrepreneurship Pre-College program at Tufts. She also started and runs the Derby Entrepreneurship Center’s Tufts Venture Accelerator.

She has also done college admissions interviews for Tufts University and collaborated with the Admissions Office.


Tina does not really know how to slow down. In her non-existent spare time, Tina enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music. She is passionate about chocolate, art, cars, and learning new skills.

Amy Garbis, COO


Amy has helped many students craft successful, creative college application essays and personal statements that work. With her help, her students have gained admissions at colleges such as The University of Chicago, Harvard University, Harvard Divinity School, Brown, NYU, UC San Diego, Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Northeastern, Babson and Emory University among others.

Amy has over 20 years experience in teaching. She received an undergraduate degree in English literature, post undergraduate degree and certification for Secondary Education, and a MS in Human Resource Development (i.e. pedagogy, instructional design, training, and motivation theory), the latter taking her into corporate training design, development and implementation. She has worked for Fortune 500 companies including pharmaceuticals, human resource, and technology companies.

In her spare time, Amy enjoys fine wine, days at the beach with her family, and spends her spare time baking, biking and outdoors. She also believes in life-long learning.

Christian Sevigny


Christian has special a superpower when it comes to numbers and organizational skill. He keeps A Starting Line’s finances in order and makes sure everyone on staff gets paid on time.


When he’s not working with A Starting Line, Christian is a high-achieving Math major at University of Massachusetts.

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Featured Admissions Strategy Team Members

Karen Droisen


Admissions Strategist

Karen has helped many students navigate the college search and write unique, successful applications. She provides comprehensive services from finding schools that are the best matches to choosing what school to attend after acceptances roll in. With this support, her students are free to enjoy an organized, exciting search.

Born and raised in and around New York City, Karen earned her BA in English from Barnard College, Columbia University. She went on to earn an MA and PhD in English literature at the University of Virginia. After completing her doctorate, she joined the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as a tenure-track assistant professor of English. In subsequent years, she worked as a fundraiser for local and international non-profit organizations. In 2015, Karen returned to her first love – education – and became a full-time tutor and college counselor.

With her help, Karen’s students have been admitted to top colleges including Penn State, Rhodes College, Elon University, St. Edwards University, College of Charleston, University of North Carolina, Loyola University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Binghamton University, Temple University, Fairfield University, and University of Connecticut.

In her spare time, Karen enjoys gardening, visiting museums, cooking, podcasts, and time outside with her family.


college aPPlication Strategist

(Students with Learning Differences Specialist)

Nicole is passionate about empowering students to find their strengths as well as passions and channeling them into their college search to find schools that fit their unique learning profiles and needs. She values the unique gifts of neurodiverse learners and sees their creative problem solving and out-of-the-box thinking as vital in the classroom, the workplace and in our society. 

Nicole has helped many neurodivergent students and their families navigate the complexities and challenges of identifying learning needs and helping students realize their true learning potential.

She has two neurodiverse students of her own and is the Co-Founder and Chair of the Dyslexia Parents Group of Lexington, MA, supporting parents with children with language based learning differences. 

Nicole has over 15 years of experience as a strategic marketing professional and is currently the Director of Marketing and Communications for Versatope Therapeutics.

She is a graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in English Literature. Nicole has also taught English on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Program to Japanese high school and middle school students and accomplished the challenging feat of hiking to the top of Mt. Fuji for sunrise.

In her spare time, Nicole enjoys reading, writing, beach walks, snorkeling, swimming, hiking, yoga, dance, world travel and backyard wildlife viewing.


Essay Strategist

Rachel brings more than a decade of passion, skill, and experience as a writing coach. Since 2009, she has guided high school students in mining their life experiences and expressing their strongest authentic selves on the written pages of their college admission essays.

Rachel is the Undergraduate Academic Coordinator for the MIT Energy Initiative where she focuses on developing and preparing students for meaningful careers beyond college. 

A graduate of Bryn Mawr, Rachel also holds an MA in History and an MS in Library and Information Science, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where she also passed her Ph.D. preliminary exams.


essay coach and SAT Tutor

Simon is committed to helping students improve their academic performance and confidence in themselves. He has tutored SAT Math and English for over 10 years, and has worked with student-athletes at Arlington High School, Tufts University and Lesley University.

Simon also has extensive experience working with youth as a camp counselor, after-school teacher and Youth Therapist/Coach. 

He uses the skills from his extensive experience in athletics, the arts, yoga and psychology to encourage students to find ways to engage their unique passions and talents when writing or learning, and also to cultivate habits of healthy living that make growth and success possible.

Simon has a Master’s in Education with a Counseling/Sport Psychology concentration from Boston University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Carleton College in Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology / Anthropology. While at Carleton, he co-captained the Division III Men’s team and won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s Elite 22 Award as the highest academic performer in the conference championship match. He was also an All-Conference selection and a 1st-Team Academic All-American.

Featured Tutors


(Tutor: AP Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry)

Rachel is a Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Education student at Tufts University. Hailing originally from Shanghai, she first started tutoring middle and high school students in math and physics. She also received 5s in AP Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Personally, she is passionate about designing and teaching elementary school engineering curriculums. She spent her gap year last year working with the Tufts Center of Engineering Education and Outreach and LEGO Education to create innovative curriculums and research solution diversity in classrooms


(Tutor: Writing/English, Spanish, Math)

Fiona is a junior at McGill University in Montreal studying Anatomy and Cell Biology. She hails from Boulder, Colorado where she received the International Baccalaureate Diploma in addition to eight AP certificates. She has experience tutoring elementary school through high school aged students in English, Spanish and Math. Fiona has also worked in Boulder Valley School District middle schools and with high school students in a leadership program. She spends her summers outdoors climbing, backpacking, and leading a Junior Ranger crew. She has been exploring her passion for medicine as an EMT and looks forward to sharing her enthusiasm and knowledge with more students!


(Tutor: AP Chemistry, AP AP Biology, French)

Lizzie is a Biochemistry major at Tufts University, and has been on the honor roll every semester. She has been in love with science her whole life, but she also has a passion for French, which she has studied for 9 years. She has lived in Northern Ireland and Australia, has been taught a wide variety of learning techniques that have helped her excel in college and beyond. She is always excited to meet new people and to share my passions with curious adolescents.


(Tutor: Writing/English, Acting/Theater)

Max is a student at McGill University. In fall 2021, he will enter his third year of his degree, majoring in psychology and minoring in English. Max thrives in academic settings, having made it onto the Dean’s Honour List for the 2019-2020 school year. Aside from academics, Max is a passionate actor. He attended a performing arts high school and has been involved in many theatrical pursuits, including teaching a virtual acting class for children grades 5-7 through A Starting Line! In his free time, Max loves reading, baking, and watching as many movies as possible (for acting research, of course…). Max hopes to use the skills he has learned from his educational and extracurricular experiences to help students thrive!


Let our team help your student excel academically and strategically boost their potential to get into the perfect school.