Athena Lao


Harvard University

Athena Lao cares deeply about helping motivated students – regardless of background or life circumstances – reach their Big Hairy Audacious (Education) Goals.

She has mentored and worked closely with hundreds of high school, college, and graduate students in the U.S. and abroad over the past decade, including as Admissionado’s Head College Counselor from 2020-2022.

Athena received her A.B. in Classics with a secondary in Ethnic Studies from Harvard College. A Fulbright Fellow, she taught 8th-12th grade English in Bulgaria, co-founded an education NGO that promotes civic education through speech and debate, and coached award-winning speech and debate and World Scholar’s Cup teams.

She later received an M.S.Ed. in International Educational Development from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Athena has taught students of all ages and worked for schools and education organizations in the U.S., China, Botswana, Ecuador, France, and Australia. She currently helps manage exchange programs for the world’s leading international education non-profit.

When she’s not helping you dominate your personal statement, crush your extracurricular activities, and conquer standardized tests, Athena can be found in a motley of unlikely places: classical music concerts, public libraries, North Dakota, dive bars, Antarctica, salsa dance classes, Filipino restaurants, archaeological ruins, and cheetah farms (OK, only that one time).

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