What We Do

We offer college counseling to guide your student on their path to their best fit college by:

What We Do - Journey Ahead
  • Making individualized college recommendations based on your student's qualifications, dreams, desires and goals

  • Assisting students with college search

  • Standardized test selection/prep guidance

  • Application navigation

  • High school course and extracurricular guidance

  • Deadline management

  • Essay topic brainstorming and editing

  • Financial Aid support

  • Interview preparation/support

  • Career assessment/counseling


Our Mission and Philosophy

We have a single abiding philosophy in our college counseling practice: helping students find and apply to their best-fit dream colleges, while organizing and simplifying the process.

Our Mission and Philosophy - Journey Ahead

We know and understand high school students. Journey Ahead obtains a thorough understanding of each student’s unique talents, desires and future dreams. Our step-by-step approach brings organization to a confusing process, reduces student and parent stress, and brings joy to a process that produces far too much anxiety. We help build a customized college list based on each student’s unique needs and capabilities, provide organization and support with essays and applications, advise on testing strategies, address financial aid matters, and help navigate confusing acceptance offers. We are a full service college counseling service that puts your student and their needs at the center of the process, and pride ourselves on providing a unique solution to every student’s needs.

We offer a comprehensive package that includes complete support and begins in January of a student's junior year until the end of senior year, or hourly support that can be used any time.

College Fit

College Fit - Journey Ahead

We provide college counseling guidance so that students apply to colleges that are the best fit for their academic and intellectual capacity, social and emotional needs, and realities of the family's finances. With our help, your student will attend a college that is a great fit for their needs. 

Is your student an A, B or C student? Does he love the arts, athletics or the outdoors? Does she want to cheer for the home team? Is he looking to change the world? Is weather a factor? Big city, small town, or rural campus? We help your student find schools that meet their individual needs.

Why Journey Ahead?

Why Journey Ahead



  • Students meet deadlines on time and are positioned best for admission and financial aid

  • Personalized, individualized application and essay support

  • Reduction in family and student stress

  • No more parent nagging

  • All applications get a second read and evaluation by a qualified former admissions officer

  • Experience with California schools and those across the U.S.

About Us


Lisa Margolin  Director of Academic and College Counseling

Lisa Margolin

Director of Academic and College Counseling

Lisa Margolin started Journey Ahead to make a difference in the lives of students and families after her daughter became a student at the University of California, Berkeley. She noticed that the college application process has become more complicated than ever, and that the price of admission, both figuratively and literally, has skyrocketed.

Lisa graduated from Syracuse University, and has had experience as a journalist, non-profit board member, vice president of corporate communications at a Fortune 500 company, and most recently, a public relations and marketing consultant. Lisa’s marketing skills and know-how will help present your student for successful admission.

Lisa is an astute listener, distilling information from your student quickly to advise and counsel on their academic motivations, career and graduate school aspirations, and personal dreams, to direct them to colleges where they would thrive and should consider applying. We provide an organizational structure so students can stay on top of the demands of testing, essay writing and applying.

We serve all students without regard to sexuality or gender identity, and we value inclusiveness, integrity, honesty and professional ethical practices in the admissions process.

Lisa provides free college counseling services to low income and first generation students through Casa de Amistad in Solana Beach, Calif. and ScholarMatch in San Francisco. 

Education: UCLA College Counseling Certificate, BS Syracuse University, Broadcast Journalism

Professional Associations: IECA, WACAC, HECA, Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce

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