The proof is in the progress.

Nurturing the next generation of great dreamers, thinkers, and doers is what we do. See how Curious Cardinals alumni have grown with us from start to finish.

Meet Elise Larsson

8th Grade

Curious Beginnings

Elise was the very first CC mentee! Audrey began tutoring her in March 2020 to get ahead in Spanish. While Elise was already an eager student, Audrey wanted to make the subject matter really come alive for her, so, she began reading fashion magazines with Elise in Spanish, marrying an interest of hers with the material. You could say it was the start of stylish mentorship!

When they were both sent home from school due to the pandemic, Elise found herself with more free time to dive into the topics she was most interested in. Elise and Audrey’s deepening bond created pathways for Elise to ask questions about subjects she was too intimidated to bring up at school.

Audrey W.


Julia L.


Taking Shape

When Elise expressed a desire to get into honors math, Audrey encouraged her by sharing she wished she’d had a female STEM mentor at her age. Elise then began dutifully working toward her goal with a math mentor, Julia, who came from a similar all-girl’s-school background. This shared experience allowed for a unique bond that created a true academic mentorship, rather than just tutoring. Elise was greatly influenced by both of these positive female role models at a crucial time in her identity formation.

Tracing the Pattern

When Black Lives Matter protests made national headlines that summer, Elise started asking Audrey questions about it. This led to Elise signing up for Audrey’s course on Mass Incarceration.

By the time autumn rolled around, Elise was itching to learn more -- she enrolled in Audrey’s Women’s Revisionist History course, sparking a newfound passion for feminism.

Audrey and Elise dress up as their favorite feminists for Halloween. Audrey chooses feminist Emma Goldman. Elise chooses Coco Chanel, the iconic fashion trailblazer she’d go on to use as inspiration for her final project in the course.

Timi A.

symbolic systems
civil engineering

Threading the Needle

Elise decides she wants to combine her passion for fashion and feminism into a project, working with mentor Timi, president of Stanford’s only fashion club, FashionX, to create a blog.

She continues working with Audrey, focusing on English and History in an effort to improve her writing skills. Audrey and Elise’s undeniable bond extends beyond academics -- Audrey even helps Elise prepare for her first job interview!

10th Grade

Having nailed the 5-paragraph-essay, Elise was ready to hone her creative, non-academic writing. In addition to writing and publishing blog posts for her passion project, Audrey also helped her perfect her submission to the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition.

Audrey guided Elise in consistently and actively setting SMART goals for her writing projects.

11th Grade

Jade F.

cognitive science


Given Elise’s passion for aesthetics, she decides to redesign her blog’s website to make it look more professional and reflective of her style.

The CC team matched Elise with a design mentor, Jade, who teaches her graphic and product design. Elise gets to work completely redesigning her website and creating social media content for her blog’s Instagram. She learns how to build her brand and create cohesion across public channels with her unique brand voice.


Elise relaunched her passion project, Maud the Blog, while continuing to work with Audrey on her academic/writing mentorship. Through their nearly 4-year-long relationship, Audrey has guided Elise in launching Maud, nailing academic writing, completing her Common App Essay and college applications, and so much more.

Milestones of Elise’s muli-path mentorship:

  • Progressed into advanced mathematics classes
  • Learned graphic design
  • Interviewed women in fashion
  • Created & managed multiple content streams including website/blog and Instagram
  • Submitted to the Scholastic writing competition
  • Completed Common App college essay
Session per week
Weeks per year
Total mentorship hours
Screenshot of precious moment: Elise FaceTime to Audrey to share the college acceptance news

We helped Elise translate her passions into real-life skills, and we’ll do the same for your student.

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