Testimonials

Suzanne B. Casey
Elena, Asking you for editorial assistance with my doctoral dissertation was an incredibly smart move — both academically and professionally! Throughout the process I felt that you cared about me, about my progress on this project, and about my future goals. I could sense that you wanted me to succeed, and your encouragement helped me get through some really rough times when my creative juices ran dry. Thank you for your expert guidance. You are truly gifted at your craft! Gratefully, Suzanne B. Casey
Larry Bellunich Director of Child Welfare and Attendance, Desert Sands Unified School District
It is with great pleasure that I write this letter of recommendation for Dr. Elena DeVos. I have worked with Elena for three years as a result of 2 grants that Elena successfully wrote and evaluated for our Student Assistance Program (SAP). Our SAP consists of 2 district funded counselor positions and 6 counselors currently funded through grants. Three of the counselors are funded all or partially through a State funded grant and the other three are entirely funded through a federal grant, both of which were written by Elena. Both grants were extremely competitive and we are considered fortunate to have received awards for them. Obviously this sheds light on the ability and effort Elena demonstrates in grant writing. The 6 counselor positions are a huge addition in the district’s ability to provide much needed mental health support for the students attending school in DSUSD. Our SAP counselors will meet with over 3,000 students and their families over the course of any given year.

I’d like to also speak of the other half of Elena’s duties, which is the evaluation part of grant reporting. Elena evaluated the TUPE grant for us over the course of any given year. I’d like to also speak of the other half of Elena’s duties, which is the evaluation part of grant reporting. Elena evaluated the TUPE grant for us over the last three years and we are spot on in our reporting requirements with the State as well as respected for those efforts. Elena has been instrumental in keeping the SAP staff (including me) in making sure we are following protocol concerning annual grant reporting requirements, which help ensure the district is funded each year the grant is in effect. We very much appreciate her constant reminders to stay on task. She takes great pride in producing a quality product, adhering to the objectives and goals of the grant, when submitting annual reports to the State.

Elena’s educational and work experience play a major role in creating the quality products she produces. She has taught writing at both the secondary and university levels and has a Masters and Doctorate degree from one of the finest educational facilities in the world. It is without a doubt hard to find someone with the caliber of training, education, and experience of Dr. Elena DeVos. I highly recommend Elena for the position of grant writer, grand evaluator, or to serve as both, if the opportunity arises.
Cari and Murray Bryant
Hi Elena, Jensen was home for semester break 4 weeks. Next week begins second semester of junior year… first 2 1/2 years went by fast. Jensen has really flourished on all levels at USD- academic, social, friends, community service and his passion Olympic weight lifting. Jensen has an upper 3’s GPA with a 4.0 last semester. He continues to be a serious/dedicated student. We often think you, as Jensen’s academic coach for many years, had a major, positive impact on his academic path. We remember you constantly challenged and encouraged Jensen on critical thinking. Such is clearly evident now in and out of the classroom. Jensen and we have many conversations on various topics and are continually amazed by Jensen’s thinking processes. Cari and I will always remember, as Jensen does, how you affected his future. We hope Jensen will in turn be a mentor to others as he moves along in his adult life.
David Ross, NYC
Our son has a moderate learning disability.  Therefore, we wanted to tell his personal statement story while addressing both his learning limitations and how he compensates for them.  As a result of this combination of goals, it was very difficult to compose a personal statement that told his story and yet remained a clear, easy to read essay.  Dr. DeVos provided critical instruction that allowed our son to combine his different essay goals into an engaging story that still addressed how he works around his learning disabilities to succeed in school.  Thank you again, Elena, for your help.
Cliff Hahn Ecstatic father, NYC
Brett just received an email containing his revised financial aid package and it includes an additional Perkins grant of $3800 and a $3000 Perkins loan each year.  I think it’s fantastic (and so are you)!!!  Thank you soooo much. You are the BEST!!!
Juliet Bassanelli, The University of Arizona
I can’t believe writing was what used to make me cry with frustration, and YOU were able to make me take it straight on!! Thank you so much for putting up with my stubborn personality, and pushing me to become the writer I am today!
Michael Nash
Thank you! Thank you! You are so good at what you do. I am blessed to have you as an editor and on Team Mike.
Ana Ming Bostwick-Singer, Besant Hill School - 2012 University of San Francisco, Lewis and Clark, Reed, Bennington, Hampshire, Mills
Elena helped me collect, organize, process and communicate my ideas for my Common Application Essays and  eight Supplemental College Essays. What seemed like an impossible task became not only possible but enjoyable. I far exceeded what I thought I had the capacity to do! And the best result was that I was accepted to eight colleges including my two top choices – Smith College and Mount Holyoke College. I couldn’t have done it without her. Thank you, Elena, I will be forever grateful.
Tom Bell
Hi Elena,

I just wanted to say thanks again for your words of advice last October. I was accepted to most of the schools I applied to. I have offers from UCSB and UC Davis for Ph.D. and UC Hastings and UC Davis for law school. Both Ph.D. offers are fully funded.

Thanks again for the writing help and the confidence boost!

Zack Estrin, USC graduate Screenwriter: Prison Break
In the competitive landscape of universities these days, it is imperative that you hit your personal statement out of the park. It’s the only thing that can show the “you” behind the numbers. Dr. DeVos was able to guide my focus to what was important, unique, and meaningful about my thoughts. No longer will you stare blankly at the college applications. No longer will you think that you have so many things you want to say but no idea on how to say them.
Russell L. Christopher, M.D. Adult and Adolescent Psychiatry
Elena’s strengths lie in her use of linguistics, her perceptiveness and her creativity. I have specifically utilized Dr. DeVos’ skills for consulting, assessing, and tutoring children and adolescents with ADHD, learning disabilities and other obstacles to academic progress and success. She is highly competent, ethical and effective.
Josh Zazulia 2006 graduate of Claremont McKenna
Words at Work was quick and easy. The people were friendly and professional. Their work was undoubtedly helpful.
Al Edwards, III
I want to thank you for all the support you’ve provided Albert relative to the development of his writing skills. I’ve seen marked improvement in his thought process, organization ability and vocabulary level, and know it’s largely attributed to your work with him. I was also enormously touched by the Morehouse essay Albert wrote, regarding the person who’s influenced his life. We don’t often hear from our children about the positive things we do to impact their lives, especially in the teen years; to read it in his essay was, in a word, overwhelming.
Lauryn Bryant, Chapman University
When filling out my application for Chapman University, I had to answer questions on my favorite bands, favorite movies, and fun things for the Board to ‘get to know’ me. When the application asked who my idol or mentor was, I wrote ‘Elena DeVos’ because you truly mean the world in my education to me.
Sam Harmon Hermosa Beach, CA
Thank you so much for all of the help. My college experience would not be complete without you.
Susan Taha Palm Springs, CA
Chris absolutely loves his freshman year at UC Irvine. He’s majoring in biology and plans to go to med school. Thank you again for your tutoring help in writing. It got Chris through his writing class the first quarter.
Rose Rockford Los Alamitos, CA
Thank you so much for your helping David. You are truly gifted. I’m sure you will be hearing from our daughter when she’s applying for a residency.
Dr. David Silverberg, Ashland University
Elena DeVos is a visionary editor of both words and ideas. She lives, and loves, the writing process!
Vincent E. Downey Head of School, Marywood-Palm Valley School
Dr. Elena, Thank you for your phone call this morning [about the SAT] and for everything you have done for Shay over the last 4-5 months. You have really made an impact on her and Stacie and I will forever be grateful.
Adam R. Ochoa, CPA, CFE Peterson, Slater & Osborne
Words at Work did not drill him as much as they instilled him with a confidence about learning. This is priceless to me as Miles’ father. Finally, although it is beyond the scope of the contract to help Miles improve his skills, Miles has a basketball lesson at the local community center. Part of the philosophy that Dr. DeVos holds is that good performance needs rewards. Furthermore, the similarities between the fundamentals of sports and the fundamentals of academics are easier to show children when they do both under adult supervision.
Ana Balboa-Guenther, Pepperdine University Doctoral Student
You’re the best thing that’s happened to me in this whole academic journey.
Lynn Busia, Pepperdine University Doctoral Student
Come to Elena at the beginning of your dissertation – it will save you heartache, grief, frustration and a lot of money.
Debbie Picasso Cathedral City, CA
I am so thankful Michael had an opportunity to work with Elena over the last year! She is extremely inspiring and motivating! Michael’s reading and writing both improved tremendously with Elena’s help. The one-on-one attention and her unique ways of teaching really produces amazing results. Writing the personal statement required for college applications is such an important part of the application process. Elena is able to draw out thoughts and ideas and show the kids how to turn them into incredible essays. Thanks, Elena!
Julie List New York, NY
Hi Elena, we’re in the home stretch. He finished the essay and has sent in 7 out of 9 applications, and tonight will finish it all. I can’t even thank you enough for your help on this. I think I can officially say that in this situation , you have been our savior with a small ‘s’.

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