Molly Hughes — Managing Partner & Senior Consultant
As a high school student, Molly went off-grid as an exchange student in a remote Panamanian town, where she lived with a local family and experienced life under a military dictatorship. This sealed her love for world travel.
Molly believes that the college search and application process does not need to be mystifying or frustrating. In fact, approached smartly, she knows it can be an exceptional opportunity for students to grow in self-awareness and self-confidence.
Molly joined College Bound Consulting (CBC) in 2009 to start a second career as an independent college counselor. She now co-owns CBC, allowing her to merge her love for coaching students with her background in business. Her marketing experience, editing skills, love of writing, and ability to effectively connect with high school teens all come together in her role at CBC.
After attending Hinsdale public schools, including Hinsdale Central, Molly graduated from Boston College with a BA in Spanish and a Concentration in English. She then earned an M.B.A. from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, worked in marketing as a brand manager for Unilever and as CEO of a “dot com” startup. Molly is a Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).
Outside of work, she enjoys family life as a mother of four. In her spare time, Molly can be found cooking for family and friends, playing paddle tennis, pickleball, and golf, or sailing on
Loretta Summers — Managing Partner & Senior Consultant
As a child, Loretta's family straddled the Atlantic, living in both Italy and the US. In fact her first words were in Italian! Early on, she recognized the value of communicating with people in their native languages, treasuring to this day, her bilingual heritage.
Loretta believes that knowledge is power, serving as the foundation for motivating and enlightening her clients during their college selection journey. Although the admissions process can be challenging and at times frustrating, Loretta is passionate about guiding students through this period of evolving self-awareness and growth as they position themselves to make the first major decision in their young lives.
As a co-owner of College Bound Consulting, Loretta combines the business skills developed in her previous career with her commitment to helping young people achieve their dreams. Prior to joining College Bound Consulting in 2013, Loretta spent thirty years in financial services, most recently as a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank, where she enjoyed mentoring junior colleagues, now the focal point of her college counseling practice. She brings her experience in markets and industries to college admissions, researching and interpreting trends to incorporate in the customized solutions developed for her clients.
After over twenty years in Hinsdale, Loretta recently moved to Chicago to enjoy all city life has to offer. A graduate of Boston College and a Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), Loretta also serves as treasurer of her condominium association. When she’s not busy guiding her clients, Loretta enjoys skiing, golf, cuisine, and travel — especially to college campuses.
Laila Alamuddin — Senior Consultant
Laila and her children were evacuated from Beirut three times: by car through the Syrian desert, on a James Bond yacht, and under shell-fire, in a Marine Chinook helicopter. She finds living in Hinsdale a calming contrast.
As a former high school counselor Laila has a deep understanding of the demands teens face. She believes that the college application process is one of student maturation and “letting go.” Known to her students as "Mrs. A," she has a keen interest in helping them find their university match and fulfill their potential. Embarking on a new chapter in a lifelong career of college counseling, Laila joined College Bound Consulting (CBC) in 2013.
She is a Certified Educational Planner, a Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and a member of the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC), as well as its Illinois and international regionals. Prior to joining CBC, Laila spent seventeen years at the American Community School at Beirut, Lebanon, as Director of College Counseling and Dean of Students. Upon her return to the United States, Laila read applications for Princeton University during the admission season of 2010-2011. She has recently resumed work with international students, which was her focus prior to joining CBC.
Laila resides in Hinsdale. She has a BA in English from the University of Connecticut and a Masters in Education from The College of New Jersey. In her free time, she enjoys visiting colleges, traveling, movies, reading whodunits, and volunteering at the Assistance League Chicagoland West. Recently she has become an activist.
Sara Clarkson — Senior Consultant
Sara and her husband lived in Asia — Thailand, India and The Philippines — for nine years during her husband's international career. It was during this time that they had both of their children, who were easy to spot in the nursery as theirs were the only blonde heads.
Sara believes that choosing where to go to college cannot be taken lightly. The escalating cost makes it one of the most significant investments parents and students may ever make, which is why careful and objective guidance is so important. Sara well understands how each child requires an individualized approach to the college selection and application process.
Sara was excited to join College Bound Consulting (CBC) in 2015. She has spent most of her professional and volunteer career working in the writing and editing fields with extensive experience working for newspapers and magazines. She also served for more than 20 years as a member of the Duke University Alumni Interviewing committee, assessing high school seniors. Today she is a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, and besides working with high school students, has also worked with college transfers and graduate and professional school applicants.
Sara lives in Hinsdale, has leadership roles in several community organizations and is a graduate of Duke University where she majored in Public Policy Studies, though she passionately points to both Art History and Literary Analysis as classes she still "uses" all the time. She solved some time conflict issues recently by committing to "only" two book clubs. Sara walks all over town for exercise and problem-solving time and loves to keep up on international and national events and news.
Maggie Hilding — Senior Consultant
Maggie studied abroad in New Zealand during college, where she was able to test out some extreme sports like bungee jumping, white water rafting, and rappelling down water falls. She met people from all over the world and still cherishes the excitement of being immersed in a
With nearly ten years of experience working with students in the high school counseling setting, Maggie understands the intricacies and excitement of the college search, application and selection process. Having worked with hundreds of students on their post-secondary plans, she recognizes the individuality and creativity that must accompany this process. No two students are the same, and therefore no two college processes are the same. She believes there is a place for everyone and takes pride in assisting students in discovering that place.
Maggie grew up in Elmhurst where she attended IC Catholic Prep. She earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame, following which she attended Wheaton College where she earned her MA in Clinical Psychology. Maggie joins the College Bound Consulting team after working at several local public high schools, most recently, and concurrently, Hinsdale Central High School, where she has furthered her extensive knowledge of the college planning process.
In her free time, Maggie enjoys spending time with her husband and family. Fellow Notre Dame alumni, they go back to campus frequently during football season to cheer on the Irish.
Christine Labrecque — Senior Consultant
Since 2003, Christine’s family has organized a 4-mile run in New York’s Central Park to raise awareness and funds for lung cancer research. It is inspiring to see thousands “run as one” to make a positive difference for our future. Join us in April!
Christine believes that “getting in” to college is not the end of the journey, and that choosing the right college is a crucial step on the path toward adulthood and a fulfilling career. She believes the process can be an exciting time of self-discovery and a chance to give voice to your dreams. But it is also a time when cool heads prevail, and guiding teens and their parents through the process with reduced stress and anxiety is what she enjoys most about working with CBC.
Christine is an Associate Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and is in her sixth year counseling students. She earned her BA at Georgetown University and spent her junior year reading English at University College London. She developed excellent client management skills during a career in the cable TV and film industry, where she worked at the forefront of the video-on-demand business.
Christine decided to put those client service skills to work with families and teens and earned her Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA, which included a practicum at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA.
Eddie Campbell — Consultant
In college, Eddie had the opportunity to study abroad in Israel and work on an active archaeological excavation. His team found a stash of gold coins from the 11th century and their findings were published by the university.
As a recent college graduate and as a CBC alumnus, Eddie truly understands the college application process. He believes in the power of positivity and that every student should take pride in their experiences and accomplishments. Eddie is here to make sure that those experiences and accomplishments shine through in every single essay.
Eddie grew up in LaGrange Park, Illinois, and attended Saint Ignatius College Prep, where he was the student body president and homecoming king. He graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University with degrees in political science and classical languages and cultures. At Vanderbilt, he discovered his love for guiding others in their academic journeys, both as a volunteer social studies teacher in local Nashville public schools and as a peer tutor for languages in the Classics Department. In the future, he plans on applying to a variety of graduate school programs in political science, intending to pursue a PhD in hopes of eventually becoming a university professor.
Eddie currently lives in Chicago. In his free time, he tries to play as much golf as possible. He is an avid reader of old novels, loves to travel, and is a fanatic of Liverpool FC and Chicago sports teams. He plans to someday write the next Great American Novel, but writer's block has him stuck at the moment.
Johanna Delaney — Consultant
Johanna occasionally escapes to a little island off the coast of Maine. With no cars or electricity, it’s a world apart. The pace is set by the rhythm of the tides, and hours are spent simply enjoying the view and connecting with family and friends over board games and good food.
Johanna understands that a thoughtful, well-organized and disciplined approach to the college application process alleviates stress and, most importantly, helps to ensure the right academic, social and financial fit. She is committed to understanding her students’ interests, learning styles, and the academic and social environments in which they feel most comfortable. She can then identify for each one an array of good college options and guide them through the application process so that they stay on track and present themselves to each of their choices in the most favorable light.
Johanna graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with an honors major in English and American Literature. She earned her J.D. from The George Washington University Law School and practiced law in Pennsylvania and North Carolina before settling in Hinsdale with her husband and two boys. In Hinsdale she served eight years as a Trustee of the Hinsdale Public Library, where she helped draft strategic plans and initiated the development of the Library’s art program.
Outside of work, Johanna loves to cook for friends and family. She also follows current events, enjoys any art museum and practices calligraphy.
Ellen Jacobson — Consultant
In the summers during college, Ellen worked for her church camp leading backpacking and canoe trips. Canoeing down the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers, responsible for the health and welfare of a group of people, taught her just how strong physically and emotionally she could be and instilled in her a lifelong love of the outdoors.
Ellen has a passion for helping students reach their academic potential and personal goals. She believes that although we are all on the same journey, we each will take a different path. It has been her privilege for twenty-six years as a High School Counselor to help her students find that path and take that step to their post-secondary education. In her experience, she holds that with accurate information and the necessary organization the process need not be intimidating. There is a right place for every student as far as admissibility, “feel fit”, and cost.
Ellen grew up in the city of Chicago on the Northwest side and attended public schools. She earned her BA in English and Psychology at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. After teaching high school English and Psychology, she earned her Master’s in Human Service and Counseling from DePaul University in Chicago. Ellen joins CBC after thirty-three years in education. School has always been her favorite place, so it makes perfect sense to continue that conversation with encouraging others.
In her free time, Ellen can be found walking, reading, gardening, attending book group, knitting group, and bible study group. She and her husband have two sons who work in the Engineering field, both graduates of the University of Illinois. Ellen’s happy place is on a pontoon boat floating on a small lake in Michigan planning her next trip.
Kathleen McArdle — Consultant
As a former student-athlete, Kathleen now directs her competitive spirit and work ethic to trying new athletic endeavors and to helping her students develop their voice as writers.
Kathleen is thrilled to be working with students on their college search process and essays one-on-one. She wants students to show who they are through their stories rather than just telling it. Helping students refine their stories to reveal their best attributes is something she loves to see students accomplish.
Kathleen joined College Bound Consulting (CBC) as a consultant in 2018. She has been an English teacher since her college graduation, and she currently teaches AP English Language & Composition to juniors. She has taught a variety of courses in her career, ranging from summer College Essay workshops to Expository Composition and British Literature. She enjoys facilitating class discussions and helping students develop their ideas and voices in their writing.
Kathleen earned her Bachelor of Arts in English & Secondary Education from Villanova University where she also played Division I water polo. From there, she spent the year after graduation volunteering with Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Houston. To stay active after her water polo career, she ran the Chicago Marathon in 2013 & 2015. More recently, she completed her Masters in Administration and Supervision at Loyola University, Chicago while teaching full time. In her spare time, you can find her reading, trying new recipes, playing with her dog, or working on her saltwater fish tank.
Allison Peters — Consultant
Allison completed Chicago's Second City Conservatory's training program in improvisational comedy. She still tries to lead a "yes, and" life, embracing different (and unexpected) ideas.
Allison believes that everyone has a unique story to tell. To her, the process of finding that story and shaping it into an essay that jumps off of the page is exciting — and essential. It is this kind of individuality that informs her “one-size-does-NOT-fit-all” approach to helping students find both the right schools and the right essay topic.
Allison joined College Bound Consulting (CBC) as a consultant in 2017 after working as a writer, editor, and proofreader in a major financial firm's in-house marketing/advertising/PR department. She uses those skills in nearly everything she does, but especially in her philanthropic work in the community. When she left marketing to be a full-time actress, she learned to appreciate the nuance and language that goes into developing a character’s story on paper.
Allison earned her Bachelor of Music degree, cum laude, from Vanderbilt University with majors in voice and English, and a minor in French. These days, Allison’s four children have taken the place of being on stage, but she still sings at Grace Episcopal Church in Hinsdale. She is a member of the Hinsdale Junior Woman’s Club (HJWC) and the Hinsdale Historical Society. She enjoys reading, writing, painting, listening to and singing music of all kinds, and international travel.
Stephanie Stapleton — Essay Consultant
While Stephanie enjoys traveling abroad, she also loves the beauty of the U.S., especially the mountains. Having lived in Connecticut, Nashville, New Orleans, D.C. and NYC, Stephanie appreciates the differences among the people and culture of America’s diverse regions.
As part of the CBC team, Stephanie works with both college and law school applicants. As the parent of two college students and one high school senior, she understands that essay writing is a process and requires digging deep. Stephanie enjoys helping students frame their unique story with structure and clarity, so that even the weary admissions reader is captivated.
Stephanie earned her BA in English from Vanderbilt University and relished a short stint studying theatre in London. She then earned her JD, attending Tulane Law School where she was on Law Review, and finishing at Northwestern Law School. In private practice at Sidley & Austin in Chicago, Stephanie valued collaboration with colleagues and clients, and the analytical process involved in legal writing.
Stephanie lives in Clarendon Hills and has held volunteer positions in various community organizations. She takes pleasure in reading, music, and spending time with friends and family, which often involves hockey games, golf, paddle tennis, and other outdoor activities.
Christine Fruehwirth — Career Consultant
Christine and her husband learned to scuba dive when they were dating and developed a love for the underwater world. She has enjoyed diving in locations including the Great Barrier Reef, Grand Cayman, Florida Keys, Costa Rica, Bermuda, and most recently the Galapagos Islands.
For the past 10 years, Christine Fruehwirth has been a career consultant and instructor of career management courses at George Washington University, and most recently Georgetown University. She has developed an expertise in helping undergraduates of all majors recruit for and successfully obtain internships and full time positions in the Financial Services industry. She spent a decade in that industry focused on consumer and later investment banking, working for major financial institutions such as Bank of America, Capital One and Wells Fargo. Her last few years in the industry were spent at LendingTree on the senior management team.
In 2004, Christine founded and continues to manage FlexCareers Consulting, a life and career coaching practice focused on helping parents return to the workplace or find flexible work options. Recently, she expanded her company focus to include undergraduate students. Christine received her BS degree in Finance from Villanova University and her MBA from the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business. She lives in the Washington D.C. area with her husband and three children. Her oldest son is an Engineering student at UVA.