About Us

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Near Peer Mentors is an education consulting platform that democratizes resources that guide high school students through the college application process. We do so by connecting high school students to undergraduate mentors currently studying at the universities to which the high school students are applying. Our goal is to help high school students find the right colleges and to help them submit applications that best encapsulate who they are, while simultaneously enabling college students to effect change in their community. It is these college students, our mentors, who are at the center of our near-peer mentorship model and ensure the success of our high school mentees.

In one way or another, most of us have mentors through the different phases of our lives who play a vital role in our development. Having someone to guide and motivate us through life’s challenges, makes our journey easier, and sets us up for success. This is just as true for the college application process as it is for any other critical juncture; that is why we chose to explore the near-peer mentorship model for this step in a person’s academic journey.

In a near-peer mentorship model, mentors guide their mentees through a process that they themselves recently went through, or teach them a skill that they recently learned. Although the near-peer mentorship model has been a tried and true model for students and professionals alike, the world is yet to fully realize its potential, especially in the college application process. Through our endeavors, we aim to help high school students applying to college by employing a seemingly intuitive resource - current college students.

The college students who work with us as mentors have a wide variety of majors, backgrounds, and extracurricular interests, but share a common goal of easing the anxiety of the college application process by helping their mentees submit quality applications. They have knowledge of the task at hand, an ability to empathize with their mentee, the experience to give relevant insight, and the wherewithal to not do their mentee’s work for them. They do all this while inspiring success in a way that only a near-peer mentor can, by proving to their mentee that they too can be admitted to and succeed at their dream college.


Our Story

The foundation of Near Peer Mentors was laid when our co-founders embarked on a mission to guide a small group of high school students with their college applications. Despite still being in college, our co-founders decided to recruit fellow undergraduates at USC as well as at UCLA to join them on their near-peer mentoring journey. After seeing virtually all their high school students be admitted to one of the top two choices on their college list, and receiving outstanding feedback from these students, our co-founders knew they had stumbled upon something revolutionary.

We believe in the power of education, and have seen the impact that receiving a quality college education has had on the lives of our families. As an organization, we are confident that current undergraduates will be an invaluable and standard resource used by applicants when going through the college application process. Near Peer Mentors is capable of empowering entire communities by ensuring that all students have equal access to quality guidance during the college application process. We believe that the near-peer mentorship model is at the frontier of innovation in learning, not only for college counseling but across industries. As such, our vision for the future is to not only leverage the near-peer mentorship model for guidance with the college application process, but to also introduce it to mentorship opportunities across industries. We are excited to be at the forefront of this innovation, and hope that you will join us on our journey towards a better tomorrow.

Our Founders

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Franco Mavromihalis

Originally from the Bay Area, Franco was raised to appreciate the value of higher education. The son of two first-generation Americans and first-generation college students, he saw the immense opportunities a college degree granted his parents and future generations of their family. Franco took advantage of these opportunities by earning degrees in Economics and Philosophy from the University of Southern California. He has used his education to co-create a platform that allows college undergraduates to effectively mentor high school students through the college application process. Specifically, he has relied on his study of philosophy to develop a training program and mentorship style in which the high school student or mentee is the focal point of each conversation. This mentorship style, of asking mentees the right questions, aims to stimulate critical thought, promote self-discovery, and draw out their underlying presuppositions. Franco hopes this unique approach will not only continue to help applicants get into their dream college, but also give them the opportunity to help the next generation of college students do the same. In his free time, Franco enjoys reading, the outdoors, and rooting for his hometown sports teams. He is excited about the prospect of being a part of your college application experience, and can’t wait to begin helping you along your journey!

Rohan Khanna

Rohan was born and raised in New Delhi, India. As is typical in families with a background in engineering, Rohan was nudged towards developing an analytical mindset and focused on problem-solving from a young age. Consequently, he developed a yearning for constantly learning new things. In his junior year of high school, Rohan decided to pursue a degree in Computer Science at a top-tier university in the United States of America. He tried to take full advantage of his 4 years at the University of Southern California and, as cliched as it sounds, recalls them as the best years of his life; not just because of all the tailgates, but also because of the personal growth he underwent during his time there. Rohan has used his education and entrepreneurial mindset to co-create a near-peer mentorship model that helps high school students with the college application process. Specifically, he has used his knowledge of Computer Science and a knack for UI/UX design, to design, build, and maintain the Near Peer Mentors virtual platform. Through Near Peer Mentors, Rohan is able to use his knowledge of Computer Science to spread his passion for learning, while helping students from all walks of life overcome one of their biggest hurdles. He hopes that he can make the college application process easier for students, and can help them find a college where they can create memories that will last a lifetime! Rohan strongly believes in the power of the near-peer mentorship model and is confident that it will, eventually, be the standard way to constantly learn through the different phases of life.

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Our Services

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Insight

Learn more about particular universities and mold your college list by speaking to undergraduates currently studying at those universities.

Receive guidance on how to properly fill out your college applications.

Speak with current undergraduates to gain invaluable insight into their universities when making your final college decisions.

Leverage Near Peer Mentors' platform and our mentors to correctly complete your financial aid forms and/or scholarship applications.

Essays

Take advantage of your mentors' training and experience to collectively brainstorm potential essay topics.

Using an almost Socratic method, our Mentors are trained to ask the right kinds of questions, which will allow you to produce college application essays that best encapsulate who you are and maintain your voice in the process.

By receiving guidance from mentors who are current undergraduates, you will be able to gain unparalleled insight into a particular university when crafting your “why this college” essay.

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Organization and Planning

Clearly see all deadlines and meetings with your mentors on your calendar.

Track your overall progress using our progress bar to see just how close you are to finishing the process.

By choosing to work with a long term mentor, you choose to receive hands-on guidance to further enhance your college counseling experience and achieve your goals.

Additional Guidance

Receive guidance on independent academic projects geared towards deepening your knowledge of your intended field of study and submitting more holistic applications.

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