Bertrand Cooper

Essay Coach

Bertrand has a B.A. in U.S. History from Fairleigh Dickinson and an Ed.M. in Education Theory & Policy from Rutgers GSE. His essays on poverty, policy, and culture have been featured in the NYT and The Atlantic. He loves writing and teaching and shall never retire from either.


Bertrand spent most of his childhood in New Jersey but moved around a lot once he became a foster youth at the onset of high school. It was not until college that he discovered how much he enjoyed academic life: reading, writing, discussing, and repeating each until you find a niche for your own creativity within a field that interests you. The first year ultimately went down in flames since Bertrand did not understand financial aid and could not afford textbooks or tuition without it. Still, it was enjoyable enough to try again. 

After two years of working all manner of odd and menial jobs, Bertrand returned to school. He went from community college to a four-year and then from a four year to a Master’s program. Being a first generation student, he had to learn to navigate the financial aid process on his own, which led to becoming an informal FAFSA mentor for partners, relatives, and friends. There were many experiences like this that made it clear that teaching was something he wanted to do. Adopting an education major felt like the clear way forward. At the same time, graduate school put a greater emphasis on writing, and though he chose Education Theory, his closest friends chose film and screenplays, which fostered a group dynamic wherein writing appeared like a tool for every form of expression. 

Today, Bertrand lives in a sleepy part of Los Angeles county. He splits his time between formal education work and writing creative non-fiction. For eight years, he worked at an online education company, eventually heading academic content and development there before returning to tutoring. He continues to work as a freelance writer for outlets ranging from the New York Times to Current Affairs, and he plans to complete a book proposal soon. In addition to obsessively reading nonfiction on every subject, Bertrand is an avid powerlifter, martial artist, and beach bum.

More about Bertrand


Van Nuys, CA

Area of Expertise

  • First-Gen
  • Neurodiverse Learners
  • Graduate Admissions
  • Northeast Admissions

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