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Have a College Bound Teen?

Get individualized, expert college and career guidance at Class 101

Article by Laura SanchezQuan

Photography by Shannon Raske

Originally published in Cypress Lifestyle

When Kathy Jones realized her calling in life was to work with teenagers, she knew the best way she could do that, would be through education.

Kathy, and her husband James, both have backgrounds in corporate America. Kathy comes from sales and business development and James was in finance and treasury. They use their extensive experience and knowledge from business, combined with a heart for youth, to drive their passion; offering unique expertise to guide teens through effectively planning their future.

Kathy and James have been serving Cypress students and families as Education Consultants, since opening Class 101 in 2019. Both owners from the start, Kathy took the role of successfully running and growing the business. By September 2021 they had experienced such extensive growth that James decided to leave his job in corporate America and join Kathy full-time.

At Class 101 Kathy and James are inspiring teens every step of the way through accountability and an individualized approach. In the first appointment with a student, one hour is taken to allow time to get to know the teen, find out what kind of colleges they’re seeking, what their interests are, as well as review transcripts and course selections. Each student takes a DISC behavioral analysis and is encouraged to choose a field that truly interests them. They are also encouraged to take that passion and find a company within their industry of choice to learn from and connect with.

The students are shown how to form detailed and achievable college plans and navigate through majors and possible careers. This includes guiding them through essay-writing and how to build a resume that strongly represents their accolades. Advice and expertise also extend to maneuvering through financial or merit-based scholarship applications as well as SAT/ACT/PSAT preparation.

Dedicated to the core, the Joneses love touring colleges in their free time—even while on vacation. Over one particular weekend this summer, while taking their son to camp in the DFW area, they took six college tours with absolute delight and enjoyment.

Kathy and James are helping teens identify, set, and ultimately meet their goals. Students, typically starting in 9th or 10th grade, meet regularly with Kathy or James. As Education Consultants, they make what can be a daunting and overwhelming process become enjoyable and attainable through consistency, accountability, and encouragement. They are intentional about how they approach goal-setting with their students. They know how important it is to convey realistic expectations. By ensuring the goals are in line with a school-life balance to match the teen's aspirations for the future, while also meeting their needs throughout the high school years. They discuss with each student what sacrifices would need to be made to achieve their goals—making their goals more attainable!

Class 101 works with students of all levels from 9th to 12th grade, but when it comes to defining and setting goals, Kathy and James recommend early engagement to maximize opportunities.

At Class 101 Cypress it's not a cookie-cutter approach, instead, the strategies meet the goals of each student they mentor. Kathy and James have a clear vision and goal: to provide data-driven consulting and help students present the best versions of themselves. Hopefully, some life lessons get taught along the way, like setting and keeping an appointment, speaking to an adult, prioritizing time, and working toward a long-term goal.

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