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Who We Are

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Who We Are

At Cultivate Academics, we believe knowledge is power.

Working with our team at Cultivate Academics provides students and families with the depth of information they need to make informed decisions in their own College Admissions process.

College Admissions Is Our Passion.

We pride ourselves on keeping up with the ever shifting trends in College Admissions. While seeking out institutional data to provide accurate advice to students and families, we build collaborative relationships with other professionals in the field.

How We Spend Our Time Is Who We Are.

Cultivate empowers students and families to view the high school experience as a moment to explore interests, be confidently curious, and take advantage of every opportunity that aligns with a student’s deepest held values.


U.S. States, Districts, & Countries Cultivate Students Have Been Admitted To


Cultivate Students Admitted To One Of Their Top 3 Colleges


Cultivate Students Who've Transferred Colleges (national average is 33%)

Know Your Why, Know Yourself.

Students spend up to 7 hours a day in academic classrooms preparing for the intellectual rigor of collegiate level coursework. However, they are rarely asked about themselves, their values, who they are, who they want to be, or most importantly, HOW they wish to impact the world with their lives and WHY they feel these are meaningful endeavors.

Using the concepts of Teen Life Coaching, a focus on Finite and Infinite Goal setting, and an emphasis on Self Awareness as the foundation to sound decision making, Rebecca has become a Thought Leader in her approach to College Admissions Consulting. Students truly can and do GROW through this process, becoming their best selves and the best possible applicant along the way.

College Admissions Students

Meet Our Team

Rebecca Davis

Rebecca Sherer Cultivate Academics


Certified College Admissions Counselor, UCLA (2015)

Bachelor of Science in English Education, University of Central Florida (2002)

Cultivate Academics was founded by Rebecca Davis, a 20 year veteran educator with 10 years of experience in the college prep and college admissions arena. With a keen eye on trends toward holistic admissions in our nation’s most selective colleges and universities, Rebecca identified that the core values of Open-Mindedness, Resilience, Intentionality, Balance, Expression, Engagement, Reflection, and Confidence were becoming crucial factors in the College Admissions decisions and they keys to collegiate and lifelong success in an ever evolving 21st Century. Thus began Cultivate Academics and her commitment to helping students to Grow Through The College Admissions Process.

Rebecca began her educational career as an AP high school English teacher. A love for literature and helping students express themselves led her to serve as a teacher leader on her campuses, collaborating on high quality instruction for all students. Wanting to support increased college-awareness, Rebecca became involved with a College Board grant focused on training teachers to prepare students for the SAT. She began to embed tools and tips into her classroom and tutored students outside of the school day for their suite of standardized college entrance exams. Her excellent track record meant more and more students sought her mentorship; she eventually became a full-time, private tutor primarily focused on preparation for the SAT, ACT, and in AP Language & Literature.

A natural progression from tutoring for standardized tests was helping students write their best college entrance essays. As questions about applications emerged from the families she worked with, Rebecca wanted to better meet her clients’ needs. She earned her certification as a College Admissions Counselor from UCLA in 2015 and began strategically consulting on the college admissions process. She has always taken a mentorship approach, focusing on the goodness of fit for students and families, not simply the college name. Student success is her priority.

Through years of working in the field, Rebecca saw the increasing need to help students and families navigate this process with intention and ease. This meant laying the appropriate foundation for learning and goal setting the first day of high school. Cultivate Academics is the manifestation of that objective. Rebecca is proud to offer her clients an approach to the college admissions experience that not only ensures the highest quality applications but the best student.

Steffanie Shapiro

Steffanie Shapiro

Content Tutor, Academic Coach & College Admissions Consultant

Steffanie Shapiro is a highly effective classroom teacher, private tutor, and academic coach with a Cultivate Certification for College Admissions Consulting. With over 6 years of experience in the classroom and 4 cycles of experience in college admissions consulting, Steffanie has helped over 100 Cultivate Academics students navigate the complex college admissions process.
“Steff” truly lies at the heart of what Cultivate Academics means to students and families. She serves students at every step of their high school, college admissions, and university journeys. She excels in tutoring ACT content, with particular expertise in Geometry, Algebra 1, all levels of high school and college English, history, and social science(s). As a Cultivate Certified Academic Coach, Steffanie also guides students through Cultivate Academics’ comprehensive four-year high school curriculum, preparing them for successful college admissions.
Steffanie’s diverse experience includes working in charter and public schools, where she honed her craft educating a diverse community of young people in Southern Nevada. Her specialized experience as a former lead inclusion teacher and grade level director, makes her uniquely qualified to support students with various learning styles and abilities, having taken an active role in curating and following student individualized learning plans (IEP) and 504 documentation.
At Cultivate, Steffanie tutors K-12 content, supports multiple students in online and homeschool learning, instructs high schoolers in ACT preparation, teaches study skills and testing confidence, and serves as a meticulously detailed yet empathetic College Admissions Consultant. Her most deeply held belief guides all her interactions with our Cultivate students: “All students are capable of success, and it’s my job to ensure they are confident of that ability in themselves.”

• Bachelor of Science in Educational Foundations, University of Oregon
• Cultivate Certification for College Admissions Consulting
• Cultivate Certified Academic Coach

David Girard Cultivate Academics

David R. Girard

College Admissions Consultant & Financial Aid Support

David Girard is a veteran College Admissions Counselor and Consultant. With over thirty years of experience at some of our nation’s most rigorous private college prep schools as a College Counselor and English instructor, Mr. Girard has guided hundreds of students through the college admissions process and into Ivy League institutions as well as myriad selective colleges and universities across the nation and globe. David’s extensive depth of knowledge and ability to engage with students meaningfully results in students producing their best admissions essays while strategically understanding their strengths in putting “best fit” first. Mr. Girard supports Cultivate students through the admissions process as well as finding suitable scholarships and financial aid opportunities through private coaching and group workshops.


• Bachelor of Science, The University of Buffalo
Master of Science, Miami University, Ohio 
• Member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors

Steffanie Shapiro

Lexie Mancini

Content Tutor

Lexie Mancini is a natural educator, whose innate demeanor leads her to create calm, supportive, encouraging, and open spaces for student personalized learning and ultimate success.
Specializing in Chemistry, Biology, and Environmental Science, Lexie’s expertise extends across a wide range of scientific disciplines. She has had great success in coaching students for high-stakes tests such as AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Environmental Science, as well as teaching hard-to-grasp concepts for students who struggle with foundational scientific curriculum.
In addition to her science focus, Lexie also excels in tutoring AP Psychology and all levels of high school and college social sciences. Her versatility allows her to support students across multiple subject areas, providing comprehensive academic assistance.
Like everyone on the Cultivate team, Lexie aims to teach through mentorship and modeling the principles of personal empowerment. Her approach goes beyond mere content delivery, focusing on building students’ confidence and critical thinking skills alongside their subject knowledge.
Lexie’s transition from classroom teaching at a local college prep high school, where she set record high AP scores, to full-time tutoring at Cultivate Academics has allowed her to dedicate herself fully to providing personalized, high-quality academic support to students. Her passion for education and her ability to connect with students make her an invaluable asset to the Cultivate team and to the students she serves.

• Bachelor of Science in Public Health and Psychology, Chapman University

Sneha Intern Cultivate Academics

Alexandra Zalewski

College Admissions Consultant

Alexandra Zalewski is a seasoned college admissions consultant entering her 6th application cycle. She has spent the majority of her college admissions experience working with students applying to highly selective institutions and tailoring their applications to the unique offerings and demands of each university. She has coached a diverse set of students from all around the country through every step of the admissions process, with a specialization in crafting personal narratives and supplemental essays.

Alexandra loves getting to know her students better and helping them identify their unique insights to showcase to college admissions officers. Alexandra firmly believes that every student has a wealth of diverse experiences and ideas that will enrich any college community, which is what she strives to help students present through their personal narratives. She is very excited to be joining the Cultivate Academics team to help students grow through the college admissions process and discover a little more about themselves through these reflective exercises.

• Bachelor of Arts, Princeton University, School of Public and International Affairs
• Master in Public Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
• UC Berkeley School of Law, J.D. expected 2027

Sneha Intern Cultivate Academics

Sneha Sridhar

Writing Intern

Sneha Sridhar is an undergraduate student at New York University (NYU), studying Pre-Law. Sneha has always had a gift for language and story-telling, making her a valuable asset when assisting Cultivate students in the college essay writing process. Having worked with Cultivate during high school, Sneha understands the intricacies of the college admissions process and provides true empathetic support to students in our program.


Whether it is through individualized College Admissions Consulting, ACT Prep Courses, Content Tutoring, Academic Coaching, Personal Scholarship Searches, or assistance in our series of workshops regarding the most crucial aspects of the College Admissions Process, Cultivate Academics guides students and supports their growth throughout high school and the college admissions process.


Our Student Offerings

college admissions strategy
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College Admissions

Data driven college admissions strategies specific based on each student's deepest held values and collegiate goals. We believe it's key to develop the infinite habits, skills, and mindsets that make great applicants.

test preparation for students
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Test Preparation

We offer multiple opportunities for students to prepare for the ACT and SAT via test prep camps, proctored practice tests, and more. We combine the community of collaborative learning with the rigor of one-on-one instruction.

educational consulting and tutoring
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Educational Consulting

Our consulting offerings include academic coaching, personal impact project coaching, and tutoring. Sessions include personal action steps for developing the student’s strategic edge throughout their college admissions process.

Our Acceptances

Our team has a record of students receiving admission into the college of their choice. Click any state below to see which colleges.


Cultivate Academics

Client Reviews

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Thanks to Cultivate, I am fortunate to be attending my first-choice university this upcoming Fall, but I am even more grateful for how the program has shaped me as a young scholar and citizen - these values will transcend my matriculation into college and build my character for many years to come.

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Princeton University Student

Class of 2024

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With Rebecca’s sincere support and mentorship, Cultivate became a place where my worries and concerns about college vanished. Not only was the process enjoyable, but Rebecca also helped me produce my best work-- my essays reflected my true character and that translated to admissions officers. Thank you, Cultivate.

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SMU Hunt Leadership Scholar

Class of 2025

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Rebecca’s knowledge of the College Admissions Process is unparalleled. She was data driven and strategic, all the while being sincerely supportive and interested in what made me a viable and unique applicant. She took the time to know me, identified my perfect fit school, and I got in!

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New York University Student

Class of 2025