About Us

Gemsight College and Career Planners is a collaborative and experienced group of caring professionals who strive to help each student present their best self during the admissions process. Since our team primarily works remotely with students using technology and resources we are able to successfully work with families from across the country. 

Our practice is currently accepting a limited number of high school students from the class of 2025, 2026 and 2027. 

Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

Embrace Our Philosophy

Our goal at Gemsight College and Career Planners is to ensure a rewarding educational experience by finding the right fit for you. The process can be challenging, but the objective is clear: to discover the best academic and social environment for every student.

Students, with the support of their parents, need to dedicate time and energy to having a successful high school experience to properly prepare for college admissions. We understand that high school is an era of personal growth and support the continued building of confidence, self-awareness, and learning.

When we work together, communicating openly, sharing ideas, insights, and feelings, we can make the admissions process a positive one – one that will encourage students and give parents peace of mind. We are committed to providing this service to both students and parents.



We work to empower our students to choose the college that matches their educational aspirations. From exploration and initial planning through the application process, students find the college where they will reach their full potential.

Our Team

Mary Harkins, M. Ed., CEP

Mary is a Founder and a Managing Partner of Gemsight College and Career Planners. A dedicated and credentialed educational consultant, she enjoys helping students find the college that fits them academically, socially and financially. She earned her undergraduate degree from Temple University in Risk Management and her Master’s in Education from Arcadia University. In 2021 Mary merged her private practice with Geri Perkal’s practice to create Gemsight, ensuring her families with additional resources and support in the ever-changing world of college admissions. Prior to establishing a private practice in 2007, Mary worked in the private and public school arena for nearly 20 years. Mary is a Certified Education Planner through AICEP, a professional member of IECA and an active NACAC member.  

Email: mharkins@gemsightccp.com

Based in Philadelphia Metro area and Scottsdale, AZ

Geri Perkal, M.A., CEP

A Certified Educational Planner, Geri provides guidance, support, and assistance to students throughout the college admissions process. She is a Founder and a Managing Partner of Gemsight College and Career Planners. Through her expertise and passion for education, she helps parents and students realize the academic possibilities, and gain the confidence that accompanies a well-chosen college. As an advisor, she is committed to recommending colleges and universities that align with a student’s aspirations, personality, abilities, and needs.

Geri was Director of College Guidance for an independent school in NYC. She earned a Masters in Education from New York University and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Syracuse University. She holds  certificates in College Counseling, and Special Education. She serves on the University of Arizona Counselor Advisory Board.

Email: gperkal@gemsightccp.com

Based in New York Metro Area

Cynthia Chomiak, CEP

Cynthia serves as our Client Relations and Research Specialist. As a Certified Educational Planner, Cynthia is often the first point of contact for clients wishing to engage with Gemsight. She has over 18 years experience counseling students on the college process and has visited over 450 institutions of higher education worldwide. Cynthia is a member of the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners, the International Association of College Admissions Counselors, the Southern Association of College Admissions Counselors, and is a Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association. 

Cynthia earned her bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Management from Jacksonville University and her College Counseling Certificate with Distinction from the University of California, Los Angeles. She serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Jacksonville University and as the Pro-Bono College and Career Adviser for the Malivai Washington Youth Foundation.

Email: cchomiak@gemsightccp.com

Based in Jacksonville, FL and St, Michaels, MD

Jessica Sharkey

Jessica has over 20 years of experience in the field of higher education and college admissions.  After managing a comprehensive college admissions consulting firm for 17 years, Jessica is now passionate about helping high school seniors write authentic college application essays.  Her expertise in editing essays ensures that every student writes in their unique voice.

Jessica earned her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from The University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from The University of Arizona.  Jessica served as the California Regional Director of Admissions for the University of Arizona before she founded Sharkey College Consulting.  In her spare time, she volunteers with the organization For Goodness Cakes, making and hand-delivering birthday and graduation cakes to children in foster care and youth overcoming adversity on their special day. 

Email: jsharkey@gemsightccp.com

Based in Scottsdale, AZ

Contact us to discuss the next step!


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