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The Better Angels Team

Founders’ Story

We graduated from public high schools and are grateful for the support we received from teachers, staff, and other mentors throughout our educations. Their encouragement and care made a strong impact on our lives – the English teachers who encouraged us to keep feeding our love of literature, the secretary who helped type our college applications, the swim coach who taught us that hard work trumps all…

After college, we discovered that helping students identify and pursue their passions is a gift. As our teachers guided us, we are honored to continue the cycle – now for over 20 years – and help students on their college journeys and beyond.

The name Better Angels is inspired by President Lincoln’s first inaugural address in which he appealed to the “better angels of our nature” to unify our country. Our country remains divided in so many ways, especially in differing levels of opportunity. For many people, college provides an essential springboard to explore, learn, and empower themselves and their communities. We hope you will join us in becoming a Better Angel.

– Momo and Wes



Momo’s family moved to the U.S. from Japan with faith that an American education would open new doors for a better life. She was grateful to study at Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles. She graduated with a B.A. in English from Yale College in 2004, where she was a Robert C. Byrd Scholar. Momo earned her J.D. from UCLA School of Law.

Momo is a founder of Wise World Prep, a college admissions counseling company, and brings her experiences to help students think about short and long-term goals and how best to position themselves for meaningful and impactful lives.

Besides working with students and helping them share their stories, Momo enjoys exploring the natural world, reading about cooking and fermentation, and honing her skills in brewing the perfect cup of tea.



Born and raised in Oklahoma, Wes was blessed to attend Norman High School. He graduated cum laude from Harvard College with a B.A. in Psychology, where he was elected First Marshal (President) of the Class of 1994 and awarded the Francis Burr Prize for excellence in academics, leadership, and athletics. He also rowed for the championship-winning Harvard Lightweight Crew team.

After graduating from Harvard, Wes volunteered for a year in Ghana as a Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Fellow. He later taught literature at Harvard for six years, winning the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching numerous times. In 2004, Wes earned an M.Phil. in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University (UK).

Wes loves a good New Yorker article, beach walks during low tide, and quoting comic films from the 80s.


Program Director

Tiyhannah is originally from Florida, but she decided to venture out to the West coast to join our team after she got her degree in Economics from Yale University.  During college she helped run the newly founded Book Exchange for the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project and worked at the front and back end of business administration, from front desk customer service to helping CEOs best plan future ventures. Tiyhannah loves to perfect new recipes, find a good anime, chat for hours about life philosophies, and simply enjoy the outdoors. 



With over 15 years of experience in college admissions, Julian has served as an admissions officer at Amherst College, a college counselor at several U.S. high schools, and an independent consultant to numerous students and families. He enjoys helping students tell their stories in the most captivating way and uses his positive attitude, efficient workflow, and diverse experience to help families embrace the admissions journey with a greater sense of calm and understanding. Originally from Los Angeles, Julian earned a B.A in Religion from Amherst College and his passions outside of education include writing and entertainment, especially stand-up comedy.



Alexandra graduated magna cum laude from George Mason University with a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) and a minor in Film and Media Studies. She finds joy in helping students craft their most compelling stories with care and eloquence, resulting in her students gaining admission to highly selective schools. With years of experience in the education industry, Alexandra uses her gifts for writing, thorough organization, and zeal to ensure families feel fully supported throughout the admissions journey. Outside of her passion for education and storytelling, Alexandra co-hosts two podcasts and enjoys hiking with her partner, Jake, and their dog, Campfire.


Administrative Associate

Tricia grew up in New Orleans and attended Tulane University, where she studied French with a minor in Film Studies. After college, she spent a year in Rennes, France, teaching English while exploring the rest of France and Europe in her free time. Tricia has a strong administrative background as well as experience working in education, film, and photography. She moved to Los Angeles in 2016 and has since enjoyed taking advantage of living by the coast and the mountains. In her spare time, she loves to travel, take part in beach activities with her husband Douglas, and play soccer.

Better Angels is a 501(c)(3)

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© 2015 Better Angels

Made with ♥ in Los Angeles, CA