Since 1999, ESM has worked with students from all walks of life. We’ve found that when you give a student confidence, support and the tools to be successful, anything is possible. And that’s our overarching goal: we seek to create an environment that allows our students to achieve, thrive and feel empowered.

We understand personal relationships are at the heart of learning. The success of our students, and our company, is built upon two principals: hiring elite mentors who customize their approach to teaching for each student, and approaching learning holistically. We aren’t there only to teach students to solve for “x” or what a dangling modifier is, but we’re also there to be a part of the student’s academic journey.

ESM mentors start by asking the tough questions, digging deep to understand our clients, finding out what makes them tick and where their interests and passions lie.

As each year passes, and as another group of our seniors enroll in college, ESM renews its commitment to our core values. Our passion is helping our students boost academic achievement and effectively navigate the college application process. That's why we exist and that's our pledge to every one of our students.

Billy Downing, Founder & CEO


Billy Downing is widely regarded as an expert in international college admissions counseling having coached and guided families around the globe for over a decade. His reputation as a straight-talking, caring and insightful mentor has helped to make ESM Group a leading educational services firm in Europe, Asia and the United States.

His passion and commitment for building a sustainable future has made him a catalyst for social change and transformation, particularly in the educational field. Downing's ability to inspire others and build consensus makes him a natural leader and has contributed to his success in building organizations and networks with a global presence.

As a speaker, there is no more powerful of a message than that of how "Every Student Matters" and how parents, teachers and school counselors can help navigate the college admissions process.

Downing is also featured on various news networks, radio shows and print media as the go to person for commentary on education reform, college counseling and strategies for how students can maximize their college choices.

Along with his responsibilities at ESM, Downing also sits on the boards of The YMCA of Superior California, WIND Youth Services, and Positive Coaching Alliance.

Downing, who has a bachelors degree from UC Berkeley and a masters degree from the University of San Francisco, lives in Sacramento with wife and son.


Adam had always dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player, but when the debilitating curse of genetics left him bereft of skill or speed, he decided to focus instead on his education. Adam took nearly every AP he could in high school and matriculated to Yale. Undecided on a major, Adam took an exceptionally varied course load before settling on American History. Even though his indecisiveness greatly stressed his parents, it has helped him become an extremely well­rounded tutor.

He currently tutors students in the San Francisco Bay Area in a wide range of subjects, including the SAT, ACT, SSAT, GMAT, LSAT, US history, world history, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, chemistry, physics, biology, and statistics.

As a Philadelphia native and Arsenal fan, Adam balances his favorite teams' perpetual disappointments by focusing on his students' successes. Adam also trains incoming ESM academic mentors and works to develop SAT math curriculum for Versal, a technology based education start­up.

In his spare time, Adam enjoys reading good books, playing (and losing) basketball games, and listening to good music.


John has been working with students as a tutor, coach, and college counselor informally for over a decade and professionally since 2011. He has always enjoyed connecting with young adults and assisting their continuing development.

John graduated from Yale University in 2010 with a BA in political science, and played tight end on the Yale football team. He was nationally recognized for his achievements both on the field and in the classroom.

After brief stints interning in the US Senate and playing professional football in Europe, John brought his passion for educating students to ESM in 2011. John began working with students preparing them for standardized tests and supporting them in nearly every subject. In addition to academic assistance, John counsels students to find the right-fit college and helps them through every step of the admissions process.

Now, as ESM’s Chief Operating Officer, John oversees academic mentoring and college counseling and ensures quality service to all ESM clients. Passionate about education and college admissions, he stays apprised of trends and changes. He is one of those odd individuals who actually enjoys standardized tests and presents to students and families about the challenges and opportunities of the upcoming SAT redesign.


Joe Jaszewski has been involved in ESM since day one, and joined full-time in 2014. As Creative Director at ESM he oversees all internal and external communications on all platforms and media and assists in the strategic development of the company.

Prior to joining ESM Joe worked for the Idaho Statesman, the state's largest newspaper and top news website, for over 11 years most recently as Visuals / Multimedia Editor where he managed the organization's visual journalism. Previously Joe worked as Photography Editor and Tablet Editor, helping to develop and curate content for the newspaper's iPad app. He was hired in 2003 as a photojournalist, and was a part of the newsroom team to be named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news in 2007.

Joe was born and raised in Sacramento, CA and is a graduate of Jesuit High School and UC Davis where he earned a degree in American Studies. After all these years he still considers himself an athlete and plays in numerous recreational sports leagues in addition to enjoying all the outdoor opportunities Idaho has to offer.

He lives in the Boise foothills with his fiancé Jessica and their cat Lulu.


Justin Scott earned his Masters in African studies from Yale University in 2013, focusing on energy and environmental issues in West Africa. He earned a Bachelors in English Literature from Georgetown University in 2010, where he also ran a unit of the largest student-run business in the world “Students of Georgetown, Inc.”

Justin comes to ESM with a long history of teaching, tutoring, and college counseling, from classrooms in Sub-Saharan Africa to one-on-one settings in Washington, DC. He has a track record of success in each of these locations. In 2011 one of his low-income mentees in DC earned a prestigious Gates scholarship to Northwestern University.

Most recently, Justin has worked as a teaching assistant and grader at UCLA and Yale. He knows what top colleges are looking for, and he knows how to maximize applicants’ potential. He has a passion for helping students edit their essays and develop their creative voices, and his broad skillset allows him to tutor students in subjects ranging from SAT and ACT prep to English, European history, and American history.

Outside of the classroom, Justin enjoys running, playing basketball, producing electronic music, analyzing baseball statistics, surfing, and backpacking.


Lawrence has been mentoring students of all ages and backgrounds for more than 10 years. He currently tutors students in various subjects, including the SAT, ACT, Algebra I &II, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus AB and BC, AP Statistics, differential equations, chemistry, physics, and US History. Lawrence helps students use their own strengths and individual learning styles to be maximize their success both in and out of the classroom.

Upon graduating with high marks from Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory in San Francisco, Lawrence moved across the country to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute on an academic scholarship. He eventually decided that New England winters were far too cold and finished his undergraduate studies at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. He is currently making use of his BS in Mechanical Engineering working for Valspar as a plant engineer. Lawrence is also concurrently working towards his MBA at UC Davis.

When he’s not working, you can find Lawrence playing basketball, tennis, climbing, or biking. He also likes to spend time outdoors with his two rescue dogs, Marv and Echo.


After graduating in the top 5% of his class from Northport High School and excelling in ice hockey, Ted attended Tulane University where he majored in Political Science and minored in English.

In New Orleans Ted worked as a teaching assistant in public high schools for AP English and AP statistics courses. He served as a tour guide for the office of admissions at Tulane and has led student panels for prospective students and their families. Ted also enjoys playing basketball and has led camps, clinics, and training programs for aspiring players.

Ted tutors in SAT, ACT, US history, US government and politics, world history, comparative politics, algebra, trigonometry, geometry, statistics, Spanish and chemistry.


Lucas tutors students in the Bay Area in many academic subjects, including English, history, algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, physics, and chemistry, in addition to the SAT and ACT tests.

Previously, he worked at a middle school in the Portland (OR) area, counseling at-risk students facing a wide variety of challenges. His passion for education is surpassed only by his desire to build that passion in his students, helping them identify goals that will carry them into college and beyond.

A successful student athlete at Portland’s Grant High School, Lucas excelled in basketball, baseball, and golf. His academic pursuits won out, however, and he attended the University of Oregon. Lucas studied political science, computer science, journalism, and business administration before graduating in 2011.


Katie runs the MBA counseling division and is a Senior College Coach at ESM. She enjoys helping applicants strategize about their overall application, prioritize which schools are the best fit for them, and ultimately succeed in their applications for admission.

Katie’s background is in the financial world. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University in 2008 and started at Lehman Brothers shortly thereafter. She moved to Barclays Capital, where she was a top-performing fixed income salesperson who advised central banks and asset managers for four years. In 2012, Katie left Wall Street to work for a nonprofit called Bike and Build. That summer, she led a group of 18 young adults on a challenging and rewarding cycling trip across the country from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to San Diego, CA to raise money for Habitat for Humanity.

Katie attended the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth from 2012-2014, where she was awarded the Julia Stell Award for outstanding leadership in the community. She worked in Tuck’s Admissions Office and interviewed applicants, and she greatly enjoyed being Captain of her ice hockey and triathlon teams. After Tuck, she joined JPMorgan’s San Francisco Private Bank in 2014 before joining ESM full-time in 2015.

Katie enjoys applying her coaching, writing, interviewing, and strategy skills - as well as her experience from working in admissions - to help students excel academically, athletically, and personally.


After graduating from Carondelet High School in 2004, Catherine attended UC Santa Barbara where she majored in Biological Sciences. Catherine held a leadership position on UCSB’s Associated Students Legislative Council, was elected Vice President of her sorority, became a UCLEADs Research Scholar, and even served as a flag football referee for intramural sports.

Catherine has over ten years of tutoring experience in addition to several years of experience as a geometry and physics teacher and a substitute teacher. In addition to her work at ESM, Catherine runs a non-profit tutoring program at the Community Youth Center in Concord, CA. She lives for the “light bulb moment” when mentoring students and strives to help her students hate math a little bit less.

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