Few things changed the course of Julia’s year more than the experience she had managing her gap year. Not only did Taking Off help her with selection of appropriate opportunities, it was the first experience she had in learning to manage an extended time period on her own, maximize its potential and take ownership of her choices. Your approach from the very first conversation with us as parents and Julia as the student framed the growth opportunity effectively. Parent
When I started to plan my gap year, I thought I could easily do it myself using the internet and a couple of books. But I found there was so much out there that there was no way to figure out which programs were interesting and credible and which were poorly run and bad! Especially programs my parents felt comfortable sending me off to! So we got into contact with Taking Off, who after a meeting and survey of my interests, put together a fabulous packet of programs all over the globe! They had contacts at all the places, references, checked it out, to make sure it was a great, credible program and that I would enjoy it. Taking Off helped me find exactly what I wanted to do on my gap year and get me into the programs with ease while my parents loved that it made sure the programs were all safe and legitimate. Student
“Many students learn valuable life skills by earning and handling money during gap years”, said Gail Reardon, founding director of Taking Off, a Boston consulting firm that also helps students plan gap years. “We spoon feed our kids and they don’t develop any sense that they can do things. And once they do it, it changes everything.” New York Times (2006, September 3) How to Become a World Citizen, Before Going to College. Mohn, T.
“We have worked closely with Taking Off and have had consistently positive experiences. We only accept students whose maturity and desire to step out of familiar comfort zones are high. Gail Reardon and the staff at Taking Off have done a brilliant job of identifying and placing students. The care and professionalism evident at Taking Off should be a standard for all educational consultants guiding young adults in their decision making.” Director of Gap Year Opportunity
After graduating from Princeton in 2004, I took the lead from my experience with Taking Off and took two years off before applying to medical school. I worked for a non-profit organization providing peer-based psychosocial support services to HIV+ mothers in Cape Town, South Africa. As we watched the programs expand from a small community project to an international model for HIV/AIDS support. Your support, professionalism, and depth of experience in working with students like me were invaluable in shaping a year that was instrumental to my personal growth. Student
The gap year prior to university is a well-established tradition within the UK education system. But as the practice has grown over the years – approaching one hundred thousand a year – it has been difficult to identify a corresponding advance in the value to which this time is put. Part of the problem is the paucity of experienced, independent and knowledgeable advice available. I have been advising British families on the gap year for 30 years, but not until the Millennium did I come across Gail Reardon and Taking Off – based in Boston MA. It is good to know that the care and quality of advice offered by Taking Off stands out as a jewel in what is otherwise pretty commercial porridge. UK Gap year Consultant
Both my daughters used your help to construct their ‘year off’ and in both cases that year helped define who they are and made a big difference to the maturity with which they dealt with college life. I cannot say enough about how useful and important your help was to planning those years. Parent
“Gail trusts us, understands and represents our program extremely well, and gets to know her clients even better in order to help make the right match between student and organization. Anyone can do a search on-line …. Working with a consultant like Taking Off not only assures a family that an organization is actually worthy of pursuit, but it provides an organization like ours with the very families that we want to work with. It is a great collaboration for us all!” Director of Gap Year Opportunity
“It’s not that people find themselves in a year and then walk off happily into the sunset,” said Gail Reardon, the owner of “Taking off,” a private Boston-area counseling service that helps students plan sabbaticals. “But it does start a process of learning skills and looking at yourself. It gives you the maturity, self-esteem and independence to think outside the box. It’s an evolution.” Associated Press, CNN (2003) More Grads taking a ‘Gap Year’.