Providing elite-level, in-school college counseling services to students in Greater Birmingham.
About the founder
After turning over that hefty, could-be-used-as-a-murder-weapon textbook to check its price tag, he found himself speechless upon being confronted by its $29.99 reality. Then, he saw the other one; he reached for it with a familiar trepidation, knowing that its bloody red cover likely foreshadowed the devastation that awaited him. Like a horror movie where a character re-checks the mirror or takes a second glance around the corner, he knew he'd be aghast.
For low-income students, access to much of anything is difficult. Back in 2008, Lance faced the aforementioned circumstances, and he had the option to (a) make excuses for himself or (b) find a way to pay for his ACT prep materials to build a better future. Fortunately, he chose the latter. Having one good, stable parental figure and a desktop computer at home probably contributed to that choice. For many other low-income students, however, they simply cannot make the same statement. Cognizant of this at the age of 17, Lance's work in college access began, as he wanted to provide his peers with something to help them get to college. That something was a combination of ACT test prep and college essay editing.
Since then, Lance's work in college access has persisted. He continued guiding low-income students on their college admissions journeys while pursuing his B.S. in Business Management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. After graduating summa cum laude from UAB in 2013, with University Honors and Business Honors as a Top 5 Management major, he immediately pursued his Master’s in Education at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. He has subsequently conducted college access programming in Alabama, Dallas, Boston, and New York.
At each school he has worked in, Lance has guided his crop of seniors toward achieving the most college acceptances and scholarship dollars that any prior senior class had ever achieved. In New York, for instance, Lance's 2017-18 seniors attained $17.7 million in gift aid, up from $4.7 million the year prior and the school's historical range of $4.5-5.5 million. On a student level, he has helped students earn acceptances to the best schools in the country, such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Columbia, Cornell, and Johns Hopkins, and earn some of the most prestigious scholarships in the country, like the Dell, Coca Cola, Gates Millennium, Posse, and QuestBridge scholarships. Programmatically, he pioneered Commonpoint Queens' College Access Program while in NYC, scaling their work from 1 to 5 high schools in a single year. In Boston, as Chyten Education's Director of College Counseling, Lance led a small, for-profit test preparation company to developing a comprehensive 9th-12th college access program, consisting of test prep and college counseling that was fully woven into the school's fabric. As a result of seeing his vision through, along with pitching that vision to school administrators, Lance solidified three school partnerships, valued at nearly $500,000, to serve over 2,000 low-income students.
Moving forward, Lance looks forward to continuing his personal and professional growth, namely by pursuing his MBA and developing VIDAL into a renowned player in the national landscape of college access.