At work/At play

Spring 2016
Schneider at his desk with college banners in the background

Jeffrey Schneider ’92

At work: admissions counselor, Princeton College Consulting

From coaching students on essay writing to preparing for college interviews to finding financial resources, Jeffrey Schneider ’92 guides them through college admissions challenges. He also helps them develop lists of the best colleges for their interests.

“I really enjoy helping students find the right school for them,” said Schneider, who has a master of education degree in sport and recreation administration. During winter break this year, one former client told Schneider that he was glad to have applied early decision because he was at “the perfect school for me.” Then, while meeting with another client at a restaurant, a former client’s parents stopped by to thank him. Said Schneider, “That’s really validating.”

At play: helping Pinnacle Parkour Academy grow

When his youngest son, Jacob, expressed interest in parkour, Schneider said, “I’ve never heard of that.” So, Jacob pulled up a few of the more than 10 million YouTube videos showing people (mostly young men) bounding across rooftops, scaling walls, and swinging their way through scaffolding — propelling themselves on, into, and around environmental obstacles.

Schneider found Pinnacle Parkour Academy (PPK) in Cherry Hill, N.J., and took Jacob to try it out. The teacher and co-owner of the gym turned out to be Jamie Rahn — a.k.a. Captain NBC, the neon-green–haired, cape-wearing finalist on NBC’s hit show American Ninja Warrior, a hardcore obstacle-course competition.

“Jacob loved the class, and I loved that the focus is on doing the best you can,” Schneider said. “But I didn’t love the commute,” he said, referring to the hour’s drive. He asked co-owner Phil Pirollo — also a Ninja Warrior finalist — if he’d consider opening more locations. That was three years ago. Schneider arranged for Princeton College Consulting to be a corporate sponsor of what is now the PPK chain, and he helps with strategic planning and marketing. They’ve opened two new locations — one in West Windsor, N.J., and one in Philadelphia, which Schneider believes will be the premier parkour training facility in the Northeast, if not the country.

The gyms have bars, ramps, mats, and varied heights of Ninja Warrior’s warped wall — a steeply curved 14-foot-high wall that competitors have to run up and pull themselves onto the top.
Schneider leaps over an obstacle in the parkour gym

Unlike many of the YouTube videos, PPK is “not teaching students to jump off buildings or run on beams forty feet in the air,” Schneider said. “Safety is paramount. [It’s about] controlled movement through your environment — as efficiently as possible.”

Schneider doesn’t stand on the sidelines. He takes adult parkour classes, and sometimes his oldest son will join him. “We push each other a little bit,” Schneider said. “He’s a teenage athlete, but I’m wise, so I have other techniques,” he joked.

— Aleta Mayne