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.

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

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

Geri Perkal

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 SyracuseUniversity. She holds  certificates in College Counseling, and Special Education. She serves on the University of Arizona Counselor Advisory Board.

Email: gperkal@gemsightccp.com

Julia Hays

Jules has been a member of Gemsight’s team since 2019. As Gemsight’s essay editor she encourages students to let their voices and experiences sing out clearly from the written words. Jules has been in education for decades, first as an English teacher and then upper school administrator. She completed Harvard with honors in English and produced a summa thesis on the obscure opera Gertrude Stein wrote with Virgil Thomson, Four Saints in Three Acts. Creativity continues to be an important factor of Jules life as she works on her own creative writing,  paintings and gardening during her free time.


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