9th and 10th Grades – Savvy High School Students Path to College – Mindful Volunteering.

There is a tremendous focus right now on seniors applying to college. It’s a stressful and exciting time as seniors make their decisions on where to apply and how they are going to present themselves. However, what about 9th and 10th graders? This blog post is going to give you a useful step on the Savvy High School Students Path to College – Mindful Volunteering.

I know you are thinking – it is way too early to think about this for 9th and 10th graders. WRONG! However, it doesn’t need to be stressful. In many ways, 9th and 10th grades are the most fun time on the Savvy High School Students Steps on the Path to College because as it is about self-exploration. It is a time to try new things and start to focus on what your student really enjoys doing.

First, consider your student’s interests. Do they like sports? Do they like Art? Music? Writing? Whatever their interest is this is a great time to explore it and find ways to apply those interests. Next, take the time to think about how to use those interests and develop them.

Savvy High School Students Path to College – Mindful Volunteering. I know you know about volunteering, but the Savvy High School Students Path to College – Mindful Volunteering is about quality, not quantity. It is about finding your student’s interest and finding a way to coincide that interest with a volunteer activity.

I have a cousin who loves animals, particularly dogs. She spent some of her summertime working at a local doggy daycare. Other ways students can volunteer is at the animal shelter, rescue organizations, or help training therapy animals.

Love of animals = spend time with animals

When I was in high school, I loved music. I could play guitar and sing, but I wasn’t very good at reading music. I had spent many summers at camp and I knew many camp songs on the guitar. I talked to my church and asked if I could go to the Sunday school classes and play.  They said yes! I met with the teachers and arranged the time I would come to each class and teach the kids a song each week.  I went to three different classes each week. By the end of the school year, they knew lots of songs and we could spend time singing a few of them each class. I got a chance to do something I loved doing – singing and playing guitar as well as learned how to work with kids and manage a classroom (a skill I use both with adults when presenting and with kids when I volunteer at my kids’ school). These are just two examples of Savvy High School Students Path to College – Mindful Volunteering. Taking an interest and, hopefully, you can see where I am going – identify the interest and find opportunities to use and develop skills around that interest.

Love of music = teach music to Sunday school class

There are so many ways for your student to use their interests with Savvy High School Students Path to College – Mindful Volunteering. There are organizations that will help you find ways to put your passions to work such as http://www.volunteermatch.org/. You can also talk to your church or community center.  You might try the local chamber of commerce too.  If readily available activities don’t suit your needs create some of your own. While it is great to volunteer for non-profit organizations, your interests may be toward something that is not a non-profit (which is also ok). The essential part of this is to find ways to explore your student’s interest during 9th and 10th grade. Then in 11th grade, they are ready to hone their focus and use their skills learned by volunteering to crystalize their interests and find ways to add leadership to their interests.


Raleigh National College Fair hosted by NACAC (National Association for College Admissions Counseling) will be at Raleigh Convention Center
Exhibit Hall C
500 S Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC 27601

Tuesday, March 20, 2018  –4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.



Oh No – Do You Have IT?? Do You Have Senioritis?


On no – do you have it?  Do you have Senioritis? What – you haven’t heard about this syndrome? Senioritis can be on a spectrum from mild to serious.  It is a syndrome that doesn’t affect the elderly, but impacts high school seniors.  It can happen at any time during your senior year, and the symptoms are a general slacking off in responsibilities related to high school academics.  It can begin with just forgetting to read last night’s assignment to not turning in assignments. In most cases, senioritis can be quite mild, and likely will only result in getting no more than an eye roll from your parents or teachers or perhaps a stern talking to about your priorities.  However, more serious cases can result in much more disastrous repercussions.

Let me tell you about two cases of Senioritis of Charlie and Terry.  Both students are good students – making mostly As and Bs throughout their high school career. Charlie has a job and also participates in the school band. He loves football games on Friday nights and loves to play video games. Terry is on the yearbook staff, and she loves to draw. Both have many friends and have enjoyed their time in high school.

Charlie started to let a few things slip in his fall semester. He was busy playing at the games and traveling with the team. At first, it was just a forgetting to do a write up on a book report.  He apologized to his teacher and asked if he could make up the assignment.  She said yes because he had always been a good student, and he made up the work quickly.  Then in his math class, he forgot to study for the test and didn’t do so well.  Maybe he could do some extra credit, but that didn’t happen.  He would have to work harder next time.

Terry had done everything she was supposed to and got accepted early decision at her first choice college.  She was pretty excited.  She too started to let some assignments slip.  She thought it was ok because she already accepted to college.  It was time to let go and have some fun.

Does either of these students sound familiar? Have you had these thoughts or said to your friends – “hey, it’s our senior year, it won’t matter!” or “I’ve already been accepted, I am all set!” (ok – maybe not those exact words, but something like them). If you answered yes, then, I am sorry to say you have senioritis. The good news is it still fall, and there is still time for it not to have a serious impact.

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, it is time to realize what the consequence might be and get back on track.  You might think your senior grades don’t make a difference, but they can.  There is most likely a paragraph in your acceptance letter and/or your financial aid package that says something like: “your acceptance is contingent on your successful completion of high school in good standing” or “you must maintaining the Grade Point Average (GPA) you have up-to- this point.” What that means is after you complete high school, your school is going to send a copy of your final transcript to the college or university you are planning to attend.  The college or university is going to review it and make sure you have graduate high school and maintain your GPA.  If you have not maintained that GPA and you have had a significant drop in your GPA (or for some reason failed to graduate high school), the college can do the following:

Tours and Shoes – An Independent Educational Consultant/College Admissions Coach Adventures

I went to NC State University’s campus. As an Independent Educational Consultant/College Admissions Coach, one of the things I do is go visit college campuses to learn more up front about what is going on at the campus.  I go to information sessions for freshmen and transfers and love to listen to the questions students and parents ask.  It helps me understand better where those who are looking at colleges are at in their process and what is important to them.

I have been to NC State University’s campus many times, but not in the role of taking an official tour. When I went last week, it was pouring down rain.  Not the light misty rain we sometimes get in North Carolina, but the type where you wonder if you should start building an ark.

I thought ok – I will wear boots and bring a large umbrella. All good and smart things to do when the rain is like monsoon season and even ducks are taking cover. I make my way to The E. Carroll Joyner Visitor Center for the information session.  I go to the entrance of the building, and the heel of my left boot falls off in a big chunk.  Being the able College Admissions Coach I am, I took it in stride; I picked up the chunk and threw it into the garbage can and went into the building.

I checked in and went to wait at a small table before the session started – the right heel of my boot came right off. Well, I think, now at least I am even on both feet.  I go into the information session with bits of my boots are littering the ground as I walk.  I take a seat and listen to the presentation.

After the presentation, we are welcome to join the tour across campus.  One needs to drive to another parking structure and walk over to meet the tour guides.  I admit I hesitated as I walked to my car and I could feel the water seeping into my boots, no one but me would know I had not joined the tour. And gosh darn it – it was raining even harder. Being the good Independent Educational Coach/College Admissions Coach I am; I soldiered on and went on the tour.

The tour was wonderful and perhaps even more beautiful in the rain.  I saw the campus from our tour guide’s perspective.  Their excitement of the events that involved student participation was resounding and clear despite the large campus size where it might be easy to get lost. They spoke of farmer’s markets, student clubs, and other fun activities that many students might enjoy.  I overheard a student in the library talk about how long they had been in the library, only the wet presence of the twenty-so people on the tour brought to their attention it was raining outside.  It was a badge of honor – I’ve been studying, but I am still enjoying myself. The rain means nothing to me!

As we rounded the last stop, the new Talley Student Union, I noticed a blue piece of my shoe sticking out (my boots were black). The bottom of my shoe had completely disintegrated, leaving its self all over the NC State University campus.  My left sock was now the only thing between me and the beautiful white linoleum of the Talley Student Union.  Again being the dutiful College Admissions Coach, I listen to my tour guide wrap up her presentation and tell us the exciting new parts yet to be finished in the Student Union. Overall, it was a wonderful and fulfilling tour.

With an umbrella protecting my head and both my socks soaked, I made my uneven walk to the parking structure feeling every rock on my exposed sock.  The amazing part is I believe no one knew I was walking around the campus in a partial shoe as boot covered the top and only left the bottom part of my boot was exposed.  I also know everyone on the tour was soaking in the information about the campus they had probably grown up around, but they had never set foot on as someone who might belong. As someone who might belong, that is part I love best about visiting campuses as a College Admissions Coach. It is a chance to try on a campus like an outfit in the mall. Does it fit well? Does it make me look good?  Is it wearing me or am I wearing it – with style? The campus tour is that chance to find out as are many events prospective student events on a college campus you might are consider attending. Do I fit? Is it comfortable here? Is it me?

It is the great ah ha moment to discovering your fit.

Oh The Pain

Oh the pain of changing hosting services! Yes, I am learning from my mistakes and having to re-do my website. Please bear with me as I re-create the website.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.