About Us

When Xavi, Shu Yi, Lydia, and Ed met each other at Yale, they all shared a common frustration: their journey through the college application, matriculation, and transition process had been anything but easy. In fact, for Xavi, Lydia, and Shu Yi, all of whom identified as first-generation low-income students in college, the application process had felt like an unconquerable maze—a behemoth that they knew nothing about because they were the first in their family to go to college. 

The college application process is unnecessarily confusing and can feel unconquerable without an experienced guide. Inspira set out to change that.

The Inspira founders immersed themselves in pedagogy, training, and advocacy efforts to demystify the college process and to forefront student identities. Xavi founded a multi-million dollar STEM mentorship program in California. Lydia created and distributed college advocacy resources to rural high schools across the country. Shu Yi has spent almost a decade working in the pre-college program and higher education realm, of which she created a curriculum that sent over 600 high school students to the top 40 pre-college programs across the globe. Together, the founders all created initiatives to increase educational access and make the higher education process more tangible.

The foundation for Inspira Education materialized one warm New Haven night in a conference room at the aptly named Yale Hope building when Shu Yi shared her vision:  a college advising service that celebrates students, centers their voices, and is anchored on integrity, experience, and excellence. Shu Yi envisioned a company that, from its outset, accepted students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford college advising services. 

The idea stuck, and Inspira was born. It would be college advising that forefronts the individual, anchored in a human-centered design curriculum, and dedicated to vetting and training every single advisor. Once the idea began formalizing, Ed, Xavi, Lydia, and Shu Yi got to work. They combined their shared years of expertise to a curriculum that exemplified the best of all the founders’ lived and professional experiences.

Inspira’s college application process has been constructed with the student at the focal point. Conversations are guided by theory from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a success-backed curriculum tailored to students’ individual needs. Essay topics are organically harvested and based completely around the students’ strengths. Most of all, students are encouraged to approach the college application process through the lens of curiosity and creativity in mind.

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