Holly Bull has placed over 3,100 individuals, including her daughters, in vetted programs in the 30+ years she has been counseling students and adults through the gap-year process. She took her own two gap years before and during college. Founded in 1980, her company, the Center for Interim Programs, is the first and longest-running independent gap year counseling service in the US. Holly is a Professionally Certified Gap Year Association Counselor, has served on the Board of Directors of the Gap Year Association, presented at NACAC, NJACAC, TACAC, HECA, IECA, and NAFSA, and been an annual keynote speaker since the USA Gap Year Fairs began in 2007. While getting her Masters in Education at Harvard's Graduate School of Education in 1994, Holly and fellow students formed a campus group called SEEC (Service-learning and Experiential Education Collaborative) which organized the first ever gap year fair in the US with over a dozen local programs drawn from Interim’s database. She and fellow Interim counselors have been interviewed for over 70 gap year articles and 15 TV and radio shows; Interim is also referenced in most books on the gap year.
Holly is one of the original Interim students. When her father, Cornelius Bull, founded the Center for Interim Programs after a long career as teacher and headmaster, she was inspired to take a gap year before college to follow up on interests in marine biology and Greece. She split her year into volunteering at an aquaculture research institute in Hawaii and attending an academic cultural study program on a Greek island. She came away with the realization that she did not want to be a marine biologist and a finer appreciation for learning for its own sake without the pressure of tests and grades.
After two years of college, Holly took her second gap year to travel in India and Nepal, attend a semester program in Athens, and engage in service work in Appalachia. Following her B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Virginia, she joined her father in his work at Interim and began counseling students through their own gap-year experiences. For two years, she also directed the US office for her original program in Greece. After completing the Masters in Education, Holly continued her gap year counseling work at Interim interspersed with annual travel to visit programs in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Europe, Turkey, and around the continental US. She has also attended a number of 2-4 week programs: a wilderness survival skills school, a humpback whale research project, dude ranch work, and a yoga teacher training course.
Based on her own still vivid personal gap year experiences, and more counseling years than any other in the gap year field, Holly is absolutely committed to inspiring and assisting individuals of all ages through their own gap time.