Sonali Perera Bridges
Founder and President
Sonali is a firm believer in equity and access for students into various levels of education and works tirelessly in trying to make this possible for all students, regardless of their academic or socioeconomic background.
Sonali has a true sense of what makes a student stand out in the competitive application process based on over 20 years of experience as a former Director of Admission, Dean of Students, College Guidance Counselor and Application Reader at highly selective Universities. She is honest in her approach of helping students, and their families, through each level of the educational admission process and sets realistic and attainable goals for every student.
Sonali has extraordinary relationships with various private elementary schools, middle schools, high schools in the Los Angeles area, as well as colleges and universities across the globe. She is deeply respected by her colleagues and her insight on educational counseling is held in high regard when making admission decisions.
Sonali is actively involved with both the National and Western Association for College Admission Counseling. She is the recipient of the WACAC Emery Walker New College Counselor Award and the NACAC Rising Star Award. She is a former member of the NACAC Admission Practices Committee and of the WACAC Executive Board, where she served as the chair of the WACAC Admission Practices Committee and as a NACAC assembly delegate.
Sonali has written numerous articles on the college admission process and does several speaking engagements on various college topics, such as “How to Prepare for College beginning in Kindergarten,” “How Private Schools Make Admission Decisions," and “Student’s Rights and Responsibilities in the College Admission Process."
Sonali is also a mother, teacher, mentor, and community activist, specifically in regards to issues that affect women. Sonali honors the trust parents place on her to change the trajectory of their child’s future and with this trust, she delivers a sense of integrity and comfort to what can be a stressful application period for students & parents alike.
Gabrielle Dorsey is a seasoned college admission professional with over a decade of work in a wide breadth of educational settings and with a variety of students of all backgrounds. She is skilled at fostering and reinforcing positive relationships with students, families and colleagues alike. Additionally, she has a strong affinity and track record for supporting underrepresented groups and building paths for access.
Gabrielle has worked on both sides of the desk, so to speak, and found her passion is truly her work in counseling students. Her professional trajectory has taken her from working in international and domestic undergraduate admission at both American University and Rice University to college counseling at Marin Academy in Northern California and most recently, The Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles. Even while focusing on counseling high school students, Gabrielle has kept her admission perspective sharp by reviewing applications seasonally for UC campuses including Berkeley, San Diego and Los Angeles.
As an active member of regional and national associations in the field, Gabrielle is well-respected by her colleagues and was elected to serve as a board member for the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS), representing 600 member schools. Her expertise has been applied to review other college counseling models and as a conference presenter on topics of access and building relationships between professionals representing various perspectives in college admission.
Gabrielle is a straight-shooter and endeavors to make what is often an opaque process as transparent as possible through integrity, experienced guidance, and clear communication. By partnering with families, and empowering and supporting students through what is often their first major life decision, she builds trust and fosters positive, long-lasting relationships that ease the stress of such a journey.
Director of Institutional Partnerships
Brittany Dávila grew up in Southern California and while she now makes New York her home, she is a proud Chicana who was educated in the California public school system as a first generation, low-income college student. Brittany has devoted her professional career to furthering access to higher education for all students. She believes access to education is the pathway to a better life and sees the college application process not just as a means to get into college, but also an opportunity for students (and families) to get to know themselves better, to grow in self-confidence and resilience, and to become stronger writers, better communicators, and more thoughtful consumers.
Brittany joined the Bridges team after over a decade of working in admissions and college counseling, most recently as the Senior Associate Director of Diversity Initiatives in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at New York University (NYU). As a member of the senior leadership team at NYU, Brittany led all diversity initiatives for admissions, recruitment, and selection, including serving as the Chair of the Scholars Selection Committee as well as the Opportunity Programs liaison. She also spearheaded all professional development and educational opportunities for NYU admissions staff around diversity initiatives. Prior to NYU, Brittany held roles as the Co-Director of College Counseling at the Head-Royce School in Oakland, CA and as the Director of College Guidance at the Chapin School in New York City. Her time in high schools made her realize the importance of supporting students and families (as well as teachers and school administrators) throughout the college application process and loves that her expertise can be applied in a meaningful way to directly benefit students.
Brittany has also been an application reader for UC Berkley and has worked in the admissions offices at Barnard College and Fordham University. Before moving to New York, Brittany began her career in higher education at the University of La Verne in Southern California. She holds several professional memberships, including the National and New York Associations of College Admissions Counseling and the Association of Black Admissions and Financial Aid Officers of the Ivy League and Sister Schools. She earned her B.A. with a combined major in English and World Literature and Gender and Feminist Studies from Pitzer College, and her MS.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Administration from Fordham University.
Jessica is a seasoned school counselor with almost 20 years of experience in college admission on both sides of the desk. First, at Mount St. Mary’s University as an Admission Counselor, then as a School Counselor at an independent, boarding and day school. She has had the opportunity to work with domestic and international high school students through the college application process.
The mental health and wellness of her students are Jessica’s top priorities and greatest interests, especially as they go on the journey of college admission. Her expertise in counseling fuels her approach in supporting students and families appropriately to create and set realistic, balanced goals throughout the college admission process.
Jessica is an active member in NACAC, WACAC, ASCA and CASC, and is a trained practitioner of Project Wayfinder’s Belonging and Purpose curriculum. Attending professional development opportunities within these organizations has informed how she works with students. Involvement has also allowed her to gain extensive knowledge about adolescence and how to support students in identifying their purpose.
Jessica is also a mother and teacher. She understands the angst that the college admission process creates in families. Thus, she strives to be honest and caring throughout the process while providing comfort and support throughout the journey.
Ayesha has ten years of experience in admissions and college counseling ranging from undergraduate to graduate levels. She believes in seeing young people thrive and is committed to providing the appropriate guidance and support for every student.
Since graduating from the University of Redlands as a first-generation college student, Ayesha takes an equity-driven and student-centered approach to provide advice on post-secondary pathways for each individual student. By building relationships, she empowers students to advocate for their needs and make the best decisions for themselves.
Ayesha is an active member of NACAC and WACAC, continuing to contribute her expertise to others in our field, and holds an MBA from California Lutheran University.
Executive Assistant to the Founder & President
With a background in marketing, hospitality, events, youth services, and non-profit work, Natalie brings a fresh perspective to our team. She has a history of supporting work that breaks the mold in the hospitality industry such as the openings of Hotel Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles, The Surfjack in Waikiki, and Yotel in San Francisco.
Natalie is a natural leader with a creative and entrepreneurial spirit; her gift is bringing people together. Ultimately, her intrinsic desire to support others and contribute a positive impact in her community led her to the Bridges team where she takes pride in providing the highest level of care and service.
Natalie honors and celebrates her Armenian heritage, and raises awareness and funding in an effort to support her culture and homeland. In her free time, she enjoys party planning, traveling, and the outdoors with her husband Alborz and daughter, Caspian.