About Us

Amber Lights will help you find your next right step to take following high school. We recognize the unique goals and values each person has as they seek to chart a course for their futures. Whether the next step is attending a 4-year liberal arts school, a research one university, an art school, consortium, or a technical/community college, Amber Lights will help you explore and discover what makes the most sense for you.

Additionally, more and more colleges are encouraging students to use a gap year to investigate, explore, engage in work experiences, or other activities prior to attending their first year of college. If this is something you are considering, Amber Lights will show you how to best utilize this new trend in your college plan.

Image by Patrick Tomasso
 
florida pic at Jiggs Landing 2021.jpg

About Me

Hello! My name is Kimberly Koffi, Independent Educational Consultant and the Founder of Amber Lights.

Like many Minnesota natives, I love the outdoors and going on long walks or bike rides while enjoying the many lakes and trails that Minnesota offers. I, also, love to read, write, and visit with friends over a cup of coffee. Most of all, I love to hear peoples' stories! 


I have been truly blessed by God to have been able to live in Togo and Benin in West Africa for five years, as well as, Virginia, New York, and California for various lengths of time. I have traveled to Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, France, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. and many states across the USA. My husband and I decided to make Minnesota our home and together, we have raised two amazing children who currently also live in Minnesota. Wherever we have lived or traveled, we have met all kinds of wonderful people.


In addition to our faith in Jesus, our love for family, and friends, and the many travels we have taken, we love to learn and believe that education is both enriching and empowering. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Science Degree in College Counseling and Student Development at St. Cloud State University. My husband, who grew up in Cote d'Ivoire, is a college professor. He shares my love of learning and has devoted himself to instilling this in his students. 


Education is very important to me and my family. Because of that, we have also founded a nonprofit organization called CATA: Anyi Literacy, Translation, & Training something we have been a part of for the past 30 years serving the Anyi people of Cote d'Ivoire!  

Amber Lights Educational Consulting, LLC was born out of a desire for me to share this love of learning and discovery with young people searching for their next right step after high school. For fifteen years, I’ve been providing professional educational advising to both international and US students at a college preparatory school and at a university.  I have visited many colleges across the USA, collaborated with admissions advisors, and attended many workshops and conferences such as NACAC, NAFSA, Association of International Educators, Minnesota International Educators Association. and local workshops on Financial Aid, Mental Health, and Learning Differences.


Students I have worked with have been accepted to a variety of programs at colleges such as Arizona State University, Boston University, Carleton College, College of Saint Benedict, Columbia University, Drake University, Eckerd College, Emory University, Gustavus Adolphus College, Haverford College, Indiana University, Iowa State University, Johns Hopkins University, Macalester College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Minnesota State University--Mankato, Minnesota State University--Moorhead, New York University, Northwestern University, Occidental College, Ohio State University, Penn State University, Pace University, Saint John's University, Stanford University, St. Cloud State University, St. Olaf College, Syracuse University, Texas A&M University, University of California (UC), UC Berkley, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, University of Minnesota, University of Pittsburgh, University of Southern California, University of Utah, University of Wisconsin--Madison, Washington University--St. Louis, Vanderbilt University, Virginia Tech University, and many more across the USA. 


I look forward to learning more about you and finding ways to best position you for your your educational and career objectives. 

Professional Organizations

  • Independent Educational Consulting Association (IECA) Associate Member

  • Minnesota Associate for College Admissions Counseling (MACAC) Member

  • CATA: Anyi Literacy, Translation, & Training, Board Secretary 

  • Past Chair, Chair Elect, and Member At Large of Minnesota International Educators Association (MIE)

  • Past NAFSA, Association of International Educators Pre-Conference Workshop Teacher for F1 Intermediate Advising

 
Lights_edited.jpg

Amber Lights

How We Got the Name

Developing a plan for further education or training after high school can often seem like groping in the darkness. But with some well placed amber lights, pathways are illuminated and the exploring begins! The following event was an inspiration for our name, Amber Lights Educational Consulting. LLC.


Not long ago, I, Kimberly Koffi, the founder of Amber Lights, attended a NAFSA Conference for international educators. The first night was spent at a gala located on the grounds of the Glensheen Mansion in Duluth, Minnesota on the shores of Lake Superior.  The historic house was filled with life; conference attendees moved about the 39 rooms on self-guided tours while the 3-piece stringed orchestra played on the lower level. The party room was crowded and people were sampling the delicious hor d'oeuvres and getting their drinks at the bar. As I took in all of the noise and camaraderie of the occasion, I spied a side door from where a few conference attendees were coming and going. I slipped out on my own leaving the music and conversation behind.


Venturing onto the marbled veranda I saw amber lights that led to beautiful and intriguing pathways which would have otherwise been hard to find in the dark. One path led to nearby picnic tables, another to the boathouse, and still another to a hidden bonfire. I was drawn to the bonfire where I found other conference attendees enjoying this outdoor ambiance. From the bonfire, strings of amber lights hung from the trees guiding us to a worn, dirt path. That path brought us wanderers to an old swing held by strong ropes attached to branches too far up to see. A few of us that found this playful spot stopped to swing and laugh before going on where more lights allowed us to see the stone steps leading to a spot where patio-lamps stood near a door leading back into the mansion. We lingered there a little longer before returning inside.


As I considered the students and families entering the college search, I thought of how our well-placed Amber Lights illuminate the options and pathways to get to their final destinations. Each student will take the path that makes the most sense for them, and instead of tripping over the unseen obstacles, they will find an enjoyable way forward.