success story erronn bridgewater

Overview: Client Success Stories

Welcome to another edition of our Client Success Stories. In this series, we shine a spotlight on CollegeAdvisor students who gained acceptance to their dream schools. For each story, we interview students to learn how the personalized guidance of CollegeAdvisor Admissions Experts helped them achieve their college dreams.

Here at CollegeAdvisor, we are honored to work with students from a wide range of backgrounds and highlight their achievements. Our track record of positive feedback and proven results proves our dedication to our mission of helping students reach their potential. We hope this series encourages you in your own admissions journey, whether you are revising essays or just starting your college list.

Getting to Know Erronn

For this story, we sat down for an interview with Erronn Bridgewater (he/him), a New Yorker with an affinity for physics. On paper, he was a model student: strong academic performance and extracurricular achievement in community service and sports. However, Erronn needed help staying organized and on track throughout the college application process.

We’ll look more deeply at Erronn’s needs in the college application process and how CollegeAdvisor helped him. Let’s learn about how he leveraged the skills of his expert advisor to navigate college applications smoothly.

What challenges did Erronn face as a college applicant?

success story erronn bridgewater

Erronn was going into college application season as a strong applicant, with leadership experience and consistent participation in endeavors in and out of school. However, he was entering the process as a first-generation college student

“I was born in the United States. My parents are immigrants. My dad is from Aruba, which is close to South America. And my mom came from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. They came here with my siblings back in 2003, but they weren’t able [to get] a bachelor’s degree—they went straight into working.”

Erronn went on to explain how important his background is to navigating admissions, saying, “This college admissions journey … up to now is basically, you know, being [a] first-generation low-income student, trying to make [my parents] proud.”

While Erronn was a strong writer and candidate, he worried he would struggle to stay on track with his applications. Specifically, Erronn explained, “I believe that I needed just a bit more of a push.…I’m very laid back on deadlines, and I feel like I need someone to keep me more on track—not just my parents, because to be honest, that’s a little bit embarrassing.”

How Erronn found CollegeAdvisor

Even though there were teachers and other adults at school who could give Erronn advice on his college application process, it wasn’t enough. Erronn recognized that he needed personal guidance to translate his stellar track record into a knockout college application.

While researching various college counseling services, Erronn found CollegeAdvisor and asked his mother about signing up. “I talked to my mom about it. We had a conversation, and then we planned a free [Consultation].”

Once Erronn signed up for CollegeAdvisor, he was matched with Princeton graduate Chino Eke. As a fellow first-generation applicant and STEM major, Chino worked closely with Erronn to fine-tune his application to stand out. “…[Chino] was in my situation, I believe, also as a first-generation student and as someone who was applying to Ivy League [schools]. So he knows the challenges, but he also knows the strategies that…you most likely wouldn’t know from some website. That is so personal,” Erronn said.

Working with an advisor

success story erronn bridgewater

“The first thing that we did was build a candidate profile, because my dream school was Cornell University and then Harvard, and then New York University,” Erronn recounted. “I believe the first thing that we were sitting on was extracurriculars—that was like strengthening them, but also going out of my way to do stuff like research and the sciences, and stuff like that. Because I hadn’t [had] that experience before.”

As senior year approached, Erronn and Chino’s focus shifted to essays. “He saw that my essay writing was strong, but he knew there were errors I was making, especially with show and don’t tell.” They met regularly to fine-tune Erronn’s essays to meet the standards of Ivy League admissions, and later to refine his interview strategy.

Through it all, Chino listened to Erronn’s concerns and encouraged him while he was completing his applications. “He also pushed me a lot to do things…I sent him emails like, ‘Oh, I don’t know. I’m really scared. I’m not sure.’ [He’d say], ‘Erronn, you got this. I know you got this. You’ve been pushing yourself so far. You’ve been applying to so many schools, especially top schools. Don’t back from down for this, put just the best foot forward,’” Erronn recalled. Chino encouraged Erronn to revise his resume and other application materials to stand out from the crowd.

How Erronn’s advisor helped him find success

Regular meetings were a crucial part of his success in applying to college. Each time, Chino set a goal for Erronn to complete by their next meeting. “…Our meetings weren’t just [us] writing it through; I would have [my essays] done. He would be able to talk it over with me, so it was like a deadline in itself,” Erronn said.

As a QuestBridge applicant, Erronn had additional deadlines and essays on his mind. “I was a QuestBridge finalist. Didn’t get matched, unfortunately, but we move on. Most of it was staying on track with schools I ranked…and writing all the essays,” Erronn told us.

Chino also introduced Erronn to a fellow advisor to give him more information about a school of interest. “Chino set me up with this one person…a Northwestern advisor, and I basically asked him a bunch of questions I had since I was applying to Northwestern during the QuestBridge regular decision process.”

Erronn’s sights were set high, and Chino’s experiences and resources enabled him to guide Erronn through the application process.

Building a candidate profile through extracurriculars

success story erronn bridgewater

As mentioned before, Erronn already had an impressive candidate profile, from music to sports to leadership. He’s been a violinist for eight years, a passion which translates to his many interests. “In school mainly, I’m a part of our National Honor Society, but I also am involved in the student body government…I’m also part of black student union,” he said. “Sports-wise, I was the co-captain of our small [cross country] varsity team.”

Beyond organizations, Erronn enjoys tutoring. “Eleventh grade, I was helping out one student; it was per the principal’s request,” Erronn explained. “So, I helped him with Algebra II, Geometry, and Chemistry, and every day in the afternoon…we would work on any study guides he was given by the teacher, because Regents Exams were coming up.”

This experience opened the doors to further opportunities. “I was contacted by Khan Academy actually, because I had done so well on my SAT score. I got a 1230.” Erronn was invited to teach an SAT boot camp, which further bolstered his tutoring skills and was a great extracurricular experience.

Outside of school, Erronn has long been part of his church community, attending summer camps and eventually volunteering. “I’ve been doing [summer camp] volunteering consistently for the past four summers, I believe since eighth to eleventh grade. And for one summer during eleventh grade, I had a job as an audio technician…It was kind of also like an internship in a way.”

Extracurricular Advising

Approaching senior year, Erronn had to make some tough calls. “I was a very busy student, and eventually during senior year, unfortunately, I had to let go of some extracurriculars. But the main ones with music and volunteering, I’ve mostly stayed on those kinds a bit more.”

However, there was still room for new growth. On Chino’s suggestion, Erronn sought out research opportunities after junior year. “I [did] a summer internship at Brookhaven National Laboratory, in their high school research program in the summer before my senior year. I interned at the physics department under Dr. Ketevi Assamagan…it was one of the best experiences, despite having no knowledge of physics whatsoever,” he said. “It’s probably one of the main reasons why I’m interested in majoring in physics.”

Strengthening essays

success story erronn bridgewater

While Erronn knew he was a good writer, he was also aware that he needed to meet certain criteria when applying to college. “Though I felt like my essays were strong—I’m a very good writer—everybody, most of my English teachers tell me that [they] feel like [my essays] could be much improved. And the college admissions journey was a whole new ball game. So I needed someone who had experience and was a professional in that,” he said.

“I was putting my story out there, but it was more broad…or I was making stuff too narrow, and just expanding to fit the word count,” Erronn said about his first drafts. Chino gave him advice to improve his imagery and realism to better reach admissions officers. “He was telling me, ‘Erronn, the best thing that you have to do is not just describe how it was—I want you to put me in your shoes.’”

Chino not only helped Erronn improve his essays, but also his interview skills. “Later on, we did interview prep. Especially for colleges, [I needed to know] how to not only just memorize what I’m going to say, but make it seem fluid. It’s also helped with my essay writing as well, because the thing with interviews is, you don’t want to seem like a robot, but you do want to put out your character, and the most that you have and the most that you want, to pertain to the questions that you’re answering,” Erronn continued.

Navigating financial aid

CollegeAdvisor has a wealth of other resources, which Chino leveraged to help Erronn throughout his college admissions journey. Financial aid was so difficult, but Chino was able to help me out. He helped me schedule a call with the financial team at CollegeAdvisor, who helped me with any questions I had,” Erronn said.

Chino also provided more personalized support when Erronn needed to reach out to school financial aid offices. “Chino helped me [with] what type of emails I would have to send, and what questions I would have to ask, especially if I had to call.”

Even when documents or processing encountered delays, Erronn could rely on Chino’s guidance at every step.

Lessons Erronn learned from the application process

Even on the road leading to senior year, Erronn was learning a lot from preparing to put applications together. His tutoring experience with Khan Academy even sparked an unexpected interest. He explained, “I’m not really interested in being an educational major, but maybe along the way I might consider being a professor because it was so fun helping out those students…It felt like I was really helping out and reaching them. And I was working not just on general skills, but personal skills that they were focusing on.”

Throughout the fall of his senior year, Erronn was glad for the weekly meetings with Chino to keep him on track. But those meetings went beyond helping him complete his applications. “I was pacing myself, and through that I was becoming more and more disciplined,” Erronn said. “I think this also went on to help in my academics and how I pace myself more with not only studying for tests, but also working on projects and stuff like that.”

Erronn’s admissions results and the road ahead

success story erronn bridgewater

Erronn had a successful college admissions experience. “My top schools were Cornell, Harvard, and NYU. Out of those top three schools, I got into NYU,” he told us. “And going down the line, I got into NYU, Colgate University, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, Adelphi University, Pace University, New York Institute of Technology, Stony Brook, and so on.

With all of these excellent options to choose from, Erronn decided to commit to NYU. He’s excited to start his studies this coming fall and is looking forward to what the future will bring. 

Deciding between acceptances

success story erronn bridgewater

Erronn received a load of acceptance letters and scholarship packages and had to carefully weigh his options to make his final choice. He first narrowed his choices down to NYU and Colgate University. When considering both, Erronn said, “I believe if I go to NYU, the best bet would probably be going for the applied physics [major] and minoring possibly in the—I think it’s the quantum information minor. They were talking about that at an academic showcase,” he said.

As for Colgate, it had particular academic tracks that Erronn found appealing. Before making his final decision, he said, “For Colgate University, I really want to do the same thing [majoring in] physics and minoring in computer science, but there’s also their 3-2 engineering program…So you could do three years at the college and get a bachelor’s degree from Colgate, but you could also go to other schools like Columbia University, do two years from there and [also get] an engineering degree. So that’s a big plus.”

However, in the end, NYU won out over Colgate. 

Erronn’s advice to future applicants

success story erronn bridgewater

To future college applicants, Erronn’s first piece of advice is to practice writing. “Even if you feel like your writing is poor or you don’t really write a lot, it always helps to do something little,” he said. Even something as simple as journaling or writing short paragraphs about a made-up character can be writing practice.

He also emphasized the importance of organization, from documents to deadlines. He said, “There will be a lot of opportunities and extracurriculars and scholarships you’ll want to apply for. Definitely pick the top ones and maybe a local scholarship and opportunity, because those are always good too. Because most of the top ones are going to have a bigger competitive pool.”

Additionally, having people around you to keep you accountable and on track can help you stay motivated through application season. Erronn and some of his classmates applied for the same scholarships together. “Even if you feel like they’re going to compete with you, it’s always good to do that…And we’ve always been keeping each other on track. Like, have you finished this essay? Have you finished this part of the round?” Having people you can trust and rely on makes college admissions that much easier.

Lastly, Erronn insisted on being brave in the face of delays or complications and shooting for the stars. “Just trust in the process, trust in whoever is helping you and trust in yourself and know you’ll get through it no matter where you go. You’ll just do great.

Why CollegeAdvisor?

From guidance on extracurricular activities to thorough essay revisions, CollegeAdvisor was with Erronn at every step of the admissions process.

“I feel like the best advice I was given, other than just teachers and like people who I asked letters of recommendation from, I got the best advice from [Chino],” Erronn said.

College admissions doesn’t have to be overwhelming. offers a wealth of free articles and webinars to inform prospective applicants on admissions. These resources empower you with the knowledge you need to craft a strong application, navigate financial aid, and think beyond college.

Need more than just these online resources? With expert support from, you can receive personalized guidance on every aspect of college admissions. Our Admissions Experts include former Admissions Officers from top universities including the Ivy League. We work on what you need to stand out in admissions, from recommendation letters to your activities list.

If you’re still undecided, the reviews speak for themselves. Several reviews can be found on our website alongside our free resources. Check out some more Success Stories or look at the schools that have accepted our students.

success story erronn bridgewater

This Client Success Story was based on an interview with Erronn Bridgewater, and written by Gina Goosby. Erronn connected with us for help with his college applications. If you are also looking for assistance with your college applications and are interested in working with a Admissions Expert, register with today.