Every September, students start their journeys at brand new schools, representing the culmination of oftentimes overwhelming and time-consuming choices made by them and their parents. As a veteran classroom teacher and mother herself, Whitney Shashou founded Admit NY to help families approach the education system strategically and thoughtfully, minimizing stress and connecting students with a well-matched school. Whitney's Admit NY is built on her experience as a Teach for America corps member and time with Breakthrough New York, where she worked on the placement and admissions of 65+ students– it's safe to say she's an expert.
When she's not building a better future for our children and running around the city with her own child, how does this Aspen native unwind? Well, as any parent knows, Whitney's "free time" is often spent alongside the soundtrack of early motherhood (i.e., Old McDonald Had a Farm). But read on to hear more about the untouched ski slopes of Aspen (locals-only), the relaxation found on hiking trails, and how Whitney's personal turndown routine is often paired with wine and a cozy sweatshirt.
What are your favorite (hidden) oases? Favorite places to be - parks, cities, bars, any place you absolutely adore!
Aspen, Colorado (where I grew up) is my oasis. Although it’s by no means a “secret” gem, my childhood bedroom, the untouched ski runs (known only by the locals) and the less-trafficked hiking trails are where I like to spend most of my time.
What oasis is on your bucket list? Travel wishlist!!
-Blackberry Farm and Blackberry Mountain in Tennessee
-Big Sur and Santa Barbara - crossing it off the bucket list this summer!
-Bhutan - had a trip planned here in March 2020, but it was canceled due to the pandemic
-Hiking in Patagonia
What book are you currently unwinding with?
Oh, if only I had time to read for pleasure … currently, “Goodnight Moon” and “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See” are in my nightly rotation. A couple months ago I finished “Group” by Christie Tate and absolutely loved it. Mostly, I am reading over parent statements and student application essays.
What four songs make up the sound track of your life?
- Old McDonald Had a Farm & Down by the Bay by Raffi are fan favorites in our home
- Look Up by Joy Oladokun & Blackbird by Sarah McLachlan serve as the backdrop to bathtime and our nightly family dinners
What do you wear at home?
This feels weird to answer because my daily fashion choices are nothing to write home about … but usually high-waisted jeans and a t-shirt/sweater or workout shorts and a cozy sweatshirt.
Where is your favorite hidden space in your home?
Not quite hidden, but the kitchen - cooking for others brings me joy
What is your personal “turndown routine” that helps you transition from day to night?
Wine and recently, Insight Timer sleep meditations
What is something you do just for you?
Exercise and podcasts
As the founder of Admit NY, what’s one thing you wished you knew before you launched?
As a founder and business owner, there is no such thing as “time off.”
For parents with small kids who are short on time, what’s one thing they can do with their kids that will have the most impact on their becoming lifelong learners?
Ask them questions and encourage them to do the same. Questions help cultivate curiosity.