Valerie Raines

Valerie served as Director of College Guidance at Laurel School in Shaker Heights, Ohio for 8 years, advising high school students and their families on college admission and financial aid. Today, she provides college counseling at Hershey Montessori School in Huntsburg, Ohio in addition to her private practice.

At Oberlin College & Conservatory, she was promoted from assistant to associate director of admissions often training new employees during her 8 years there. At Connecticut College, she focused on the recruitment of students of color for 2 years. In these roles, she visited schools nationwide to recruit students, evaluated admission applications, and advised undergraduate students on course/major selection and degree completion.

For over 5 years, Valerie was vice president of corporate philanthropy at KeyBank Foundation. She was responsible for evaluating hundreds of grant requests, primarily for programs at schools and colleges. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a Master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Valerie knows that many families face higher education choices for the first time or after decades of change. Many face those choices with children whose needs exceed available services or in families where available time is severely limited. She has read thousands of applications as a professional in college admission, counseled hundreds of students, and visited high schools and colleges across the United States and abroad.

She enjoys the courage, candor, and curiosity of adolescents. She understands their stages of development and many of the challenges they face in advancing toward adulthood. Valerie cares deeply about the success of other people many of who are working to improve the trajectory of their lives. She is inspired by those who formed a village to helped her achieve higher heights of success. She is proud parent, minority business owner, and an athlete who has competed in triathlons and regularly enjoys walking, kayaking, and biking.

Professional Affiliations

  • Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA)
  • National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
  • Ohio Afterschool Child Enrichment (Ohio ACE)

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