Meet CGA’s Director of University Admissions Counseling

14/03/20246 minute read
Meet CGA’s Director of University Admissions Counseling

Laila Parada-Worby is the Associate Director of University Admissions Counseling at CGA and has nearly 12 years of experience supporting students with the university admissions process. She is originally from Washington D.C., but has lived in São Paulo since 2012, moving there after completing her undergraduate studies in History and Literature with a focus on Latin America at Harvard College.

Expert in International Education

Laila has worked with international education ever since, initially through Fundação Estudar, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting future Brazilian leaders, where she coordinated a program that selected and supported high-potential students to apply to top US universities. Through this role, Laila first came to understand the transformative power that pursuing international education can have on a student’s life.

She subsequently served as Head of the International Department at Colegio Etapa, a college prep high school in São Paulo known for sending students to institutions of excellence abroad. During her time at Etapa, she led a project to internationalize the curriculum and bring Advanced Placement (AP) classes to the school, taught AP World History, counseled students and families, and hosted hundreds of visits from international university representatives.

Making an Impact at Crimson Education

Six years ago, in 2017, Laila joined the Crimson Education family when she established the company’s office in São Paulo, serving as the Country Manager of Crimson Education Brazil and Latin America and leading a close-knit team to help Crimson expand its presence in the region. During that time, the office helped students achieve acceptances to universities including Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Yale, Princeton, Cambridge, London School of Economics, University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, Science Po University, Bocconi University, among many other top-ranking international institutions, as well as millions of dollars in scholarships.

Throughout these diverse roles, Laila has worked individually with students and families to plan their high school journeys, developing their academic and extracurricular profiles, while seeking out best-fit universities for their unique profiles and ambitions.

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Admissions Advice From The Professional

With a wealth of experience and a profound belief in the transformative impact of education, Laila shares her invaluable advice for students navigating the admissions process. Whether you’re a prospective student aiming for CGA or preparing to work through the complex university application process she has you covered.

Admissions Advice for prospective CGA students?

“In my opinion, one of the most neglected areas of the university admissions process is college research. Students and families first need to reflect on what exactly they are looking for in their university experience and environment. Then, they need to take the time to deeply explore the academic and career opportunities available at each university on their list, but also, social and extracurricular life, the pros and cons of the location (including the weather!), the particular school culture and more.

The fact that a university has a fantastic academic reputation doesn’t necessarily mean that it will provide the right environment for an individual student. And, given that they will be spending around 3-4 years at there, it’s essential that students research fully and even visit campus if possible. The counseling department is here to support students and families in this process to make sure that they put together a list of outstanding, best-fit universities to which to apply!”

Any tips for preparing university applications?

“It’s never too early to start thinking about your university goals! Even if you are still in middle school or at the very beginning of high school, you can start to reflect on your future career goals, explore entry requirements and application processes for different courses at universities you might be interested in and begin to think about how to develop the profile that you might need to be accepted, whether that’s specific subjects and grades, language skills, relevant engagement in extracurricular activities, etc.”

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Helping CGA Students Reach New Heights

Laila has helped dozens of students to win admission to Ivy League and Top 20 international universities, in addition to many other institutions of excellence around the world. As a member of the CGA University Admissions Counseling Department, Laila is excited to support ambitious students from diverse international backgrounds in achieving their higher education goals, helping them to take this first step in creating a lasting impact on the world.

For more information on how CGA supports students with their university admission aspirations speak to an Academic Advisor today.