About Us

Hey, You Need A Plan strives to be the most complete open source place on the web for advice in making a plan to go to college or other education after high school for students in Washington State and beyond.

Hey, You Need A Plan is based in Seattle, on the land of the Duwamish people. The path to college has a legacy of white supremacy and classism and we are demolishing this legacy with accurate, no-nonsense, independent information and free services for Black, Indigenous, Latinx and low income students.


Jennie Flaming


Jennie is the founder of Hey, You Need A Plan. She is a fourth generation Seattleite and a certified school counselor. After 15 years of supporting students on the path to college, she founded Hey, You Need A Plan to have the kind of resource on the web she always wished was available in supporting students and educators throughout her career. Jennie also coaches school counselors and teachers in building stronger systems to advise students as they navigate the path to college.

Jennie graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Political Science. A couple years after college she moved to Alaska and lived there for seven years before moving back to Seattle. She completed her Master’s Degree in School Counseling at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Between college and graduate school, Jennie spent a few years doing planetarium shows and other whiz bang science shows, including traveling science shows at schools all across Washington State. During this time she also worked in tourism, which she continued through grad school and beyond.

Jennie has many years of experience as a tour guide in both Alaska and Washington. She founded the website Ordinary Adventures, all about low key outdoor adventure and travel in Alaska, Washington and Western Canada.


Alejandra Pérez


Alejandra’s passion for educational equity comes from her advocacy with and for undocumented students and their families in Washington State. Alejandra has an extensive background in organizing for social justice, running large-scale events and conferences, and providing professional development to educators.

She served as Co-Director for the Beyond HB 1079 Conference, was a member of the Dream Educational Empowerment Program National Advisory Council, and is a community organizer with the Washington Dream Coalition. Born and raised in Guatemala, Alejandra moved to the United States when she was twelve years old. She graduated from Cleveland High School in Seattle and went on to earn her Bachelors of Arts and Master of Education from the University of Washington Bothell.

Today, Alejandra works at a College and Career Manager at the Community Center for Education Results and is one of the leaders for the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Undocumented Individuals in Washington State, ensuring that the undocumented community has the financial relief they need during the pandemic.

Larissa Reza Garcia

Larissa Reza Garcia supports various college and career initiatives with educators and partners across South King County, such as DiscoverU and worksite tours at the Community Center for Education Results.  Previously, she worked with young people—particularly students of color—to connect them to opportunities within the education and reengagement system. After graduating from Chief Sealth High School, she went to earn her Bachelors of Arts from the University of Washington, where she majored in Social Welfare. 

Lester Pearson

In high school at Franklin High School in South Seattle, Lester dreamed of owning his own custom car shop after college. He was determined to go somewhere warm and sunny and ended up going to Bowdoin College in Maine (not warm or sunny!). Lester graduated from Bowdoin with a Visual Arts degree.

Returning to Seattle after college, Lester cofounded an art collective called Fun(D)-A-MenTal which is a group of Black and Brown men and women who create art, talk art and curate art shows. We have done several shows in the Central District and South Seattle to inspire the community and gain support from the community that some of the members grew up in.

Lester spent several years after college teaching art to middle school students in South Seattle and recently transitioned to creating custom paintings for clients full time! He still dreams of opening that custom car shop and is currently restoring his ’72 Dodge Dart. Read more of Lester’s story from Franklin High School to Bowdoin to professional artist here, and follow him on Instagram!

Rhoan Garnett


Born into a family of 11 kids in the US Virgin Islands, Rhoan graduated from a high school in an environment he and his schoolmates were more likely targets of violent crimes than were prepared to pursue higher education.

Determined to forge a new path and be the first in his family to go to college, Rhoan headed to tiny St Joseph’s College in rural Maine, a world away from his home in the islands. After realizing his scholarship was not enough to finance his education and unable to complete a financial aid application without his parents information, he worked multiple jobs and enrolled in college when he could until he graduated from the University of Southern Maine eight years after initially enrolling in college.

As a college student at USM, Rhoan discovered his passion for helping students find their way and found his way to the admissions office at Bowdoin College, also in Maine. For the next five years he helped enrich the Bowdoin experience for all students while also working to change the scale of ambitions for hundreds of intergenerationally underrepresented students from around the country. In directing them to and through Bowdoin, he enabled their opportunity to challenge the campus community as well as to reach bigger and higher for themselves.

In 2011, seeking more education and opportunity for himself, and to expand his reach even further, Rhoan enrolled in the College of Education PhD program at the University of Washington. He completed his PhD and became Dr Rhoan Garnett in 2018.

Today, Rhoan is an entrepreneur passionate about data mining and driven to transform the institutional influences that leave some students behind—and jeopardize the U.S. competitiveness in this global tech-knowledge-based economy. His goal is to use artificial intelligence in higher education policy to scale college admissions and retention to improve college choice and persistence to graduation for Black, Latinx, Native, low-income, and first-generation college-aspirants coming up behind him.