Commit! Partnership Makes Waves at StriveTogether National Convening

Several members of the Commit! Partnership team had the pleasure of attending StriveTogether’s annual National Convening, this year held in sunny San Diego October 15-17. Coming off last year’s convening right here in the Big D, the theme for this year was “Making Waves” to move outcomes. With more than 50 communities in attendance representing more than 5.5 million children, the convening provided an ideal opportunity to learn what’s working elsewhere and surface ways we can continue to improve our work to help drive student achievement in Dallas County.

A few key areas of action came out of the convening:

Modeling the Courage Needed to Focus AND Act on Equity: A big theme emerged around equity, with a diverse panel and several workshops centered on “the head, heart, and hand” of addressing race and equity in education collaboration. We learned about communities disaggregating data further to identify key local challenges (e.g., White students with non-college-educated parents achieving higher than Hispanic students with college-educated parents) and reviewing school suspension data disparities by race with district superintendents and key community leaders together. We return committed to continue making equity even more of a focal point back home—and will seek to learn from the application of concrete tools that have helped partnerships address equity in a way that respects community readiness. We look forward to continuing this learning as Dallas hosts the national Facing Race conference November 13-15.
Using Data to Improve Action Every Day: The description of continuous improvement – adopting processes that ensure we meet and exceed the expectations of those we serve – really hit home for us, particularly given the partnerships we’ve established focused on early grades literacy and math. In particular, Superintendent Pat Greco of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, led a riveting workshop speaking to the rigorous change management she’s helped lead in her district to reinforce excellence in instructional process at her schools. We hope to use this learning not just to identify what works, but to improve those best practices over time – in other words, to become “the best at getting better.”
Building Ownership among Partners for Change: Another theme focused on keeping partners fully engaged, especially as the work matures and roles and responsibilities change. Several communities shared themes around ensuring voice is valued with follow-up, getting neighborhood-level input to expand opportunities for new partners to engage, and innovating to reach new constituents (e.g., creating performances by parents and for parents to act out the difficulty of getting student to read at home). Given the common challenges heard across communities, the StriveTogether network is committed to providing actionable tools and identifying and lifting up ways to build broader ownership with partners to create lasting change.

In addition to engaging in convening workshops, Commit! staff facilitated three well-attended workshops respectively around the IQ and EQ of continuous improvement at the action network level, creating and using a Giving Profile to engage funders in collective impact, and collaborative action towards Kindergarten Readiness. Dallas was also represented by Ed Meier of Big Thought, who co-led a workshop on launching Cities of Learning.

We were inspired by our experience at the National Convening and gained several ideas to improve our work in Dallas County, with intentions to integrate several before next year’s convening in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Thanks goes to the StriveTogether team for putting together yet another highly engaging convening.

By |November 6th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Talent Thursday: 3 Lessons Students Can Learn from Election Day

Zareen Wajid, Talent Acquisition Specialist
Connect with me via. LinkedIn

Election day occurs the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. Yeah…Thank goodness, it’s just words we have to decipher and not a complicated calculus equation. Regardless, on that day, voters report to pre-determined polling locations and cast their ballot for various public officials. Now remember, United States is a constitutional federal republic, meaning that U.S. citizens elect public officials and these officials represent U.S. citizens’ needs and concerns. That’s kind of a big deal if you can’t tell. So naturally, people aren’t waking up on Election Day thinking “yeah I’ll bubble in C all the way down” or “I’ll just copy the ballot choices from the guy next to me” or “I will choose the longest name because it’s more likely the correct answer”. Don’t send villagers with pitchforks after me, but this may be something that high school and college students may be doing on exams, while choosing majors, etc.

Ahem…so without further ado, here are some lessons students can learn from Election Day:

The importance of Deadlines. Not sure if you know, but you have to register to vote. If you are registered to vote in Dallas, Texas, then that is the only place where you can vote as that’s how your precinct and polling location is determined. Obviously, there is a deadline to register. If you don’t register by that deadline, then you will have to wait until the next Election Day. Similarly, high school students have college application deadlines, scholarship deadlines, assignment and exam deadlines. College students have internship application deadlines, FAFSA deadlines, classes registration deadlines, and of course, assignment and exam deadlines. You must plan accordingly to meet and/or beat these deadlines. Otherwise, you missed your chance and will have to wait until next time. And, that’s a bummer!

The importance of Researching and Making Informed Decisions. Voters must do their research on the candidates that are running for office. They must consider the issues that the candidates are challenging, as well as the candidate’s party platform. Then, in accordance to their research, voters cast their ballots. Similarly, high school and college students must do their research prior to “casting a vote” for which college to attend or for what loans and financial aid to accept. They must also do their research on what major to study- finding the job outlook for that major, industry trends, soft and hard skills needed, the length of time in school for a certain profession, etc. There’s a quote I recently read that sums up the which-major-to-choose-pandemonium: “choose a major you love and you’ll never work a day in your life because that field probably isn’t hiring”. As explicated, you must do your research when choosing a major if you want to get a job upon graduation. Students must also do their research when applying for internships and jobs- research about the company and the position. Only then can students write well-crafted resumes and do well on interviews. Only then can students make informed decisions, and be ready to face actual challenges (that life gladly likes to volunteer you for).

The importance of Utilizing Your Resources. Voting for a candidate is far more than just bubbling the box next to a person’s name. That candidate you are voting for is representing you. This means that potentially you are welcome to contact this person once he/she is elected and voice your concerns. Furthermore, even prior to the election, you can be a part of the campaign and the candidate’s platform. Is there a social, economic, religious, etc issue that needs to be addressed? Well, who better to address it to then the person that represents you? Yep, being a well-informed citizen allows you to utilize your resources appropriately. Similarly, high school and college students must also utilize their resources. Students select to attend a university for its theatre programs, its advanced biology labs, its fees, its connections with alums and large companies etc, and so, they should utilize those resources. They must make connections, expand their network, and continuously learn. Being able to utilize your resources is the single most important concept for high school and college students (and everyone else, by the way). That’s how you land a job (aside from graduating of course).

Well, there you have it. If you are 18, I hope you are voting on Election Day for you and your community’s future. Similarly, if you are in college, I hope you are “voting” for your future success and your community’s betterment.

By |November 6th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Changing the Odds Conference Recap

On October 9, the Commit! Partnership had the opportunity to attend the Changing the Odds Conference put on by Momentous Institute, powered by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. The conference brought together hundreds of educators, mental health professionals and others who work with children to collaborate and share innovative ideas to help reach thousands of children across the state.

Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times best-selling author, focused his opening talk on the concept of “capitalization rate,” the percentage of people who actually end up achieving their full potential. Gladwell argued the capitalization rate is the best measure of a nation’s health, yet compared to other developed nations, America rates consistently low by this measure. Gladwell gave three main reasons for this: 1) we make the mistake of thinking that talent is scarce; 2) we mistakenly believe that talent is innate; and 3) our view of how talent is developed is far too narrow. Gladwell ended with a call to action to change how we approach the development of talent because that is how future generations will judge our impact on the nation and the world.

Tony Wagner, Expert in Residence at Harvard University’s Innovation Lab, built off of Gladwell’s call to action by discussing the importance of teaching students to be innovators. Wagner pointed out three challenges for education in today’s world: 1) knowledge is no longer a commodity because of the internet; 2) we are preparing students for a changing workplace and workforce; and 3) we must encourage students to be more motivated to learn. Wagner argued that teaching students to use the available knowledge to innovatively solve problems can address all of these challenges. Wagner also gave actionable implications for teachers and schools. He called for educators to teach and assess the skills that matter most, like problem solving, by allowing students to keep digital portfolios that show the progress of their work. Classes could be taken as credit/no credit to encourage students to build skills instead of focusing on grades. Additionally, Wagner stated that we should fund educational R&D that allows teachers to innovate together in a collaborative setting. Finally, he encouraged teachers to bring structured “Google Time” into classrooms that would allow students to explore projects of their own choosing.

Ron Berger, Chief Academic Officer for Expeditionary Learning, then gave examples of schools that are implementing some of the suggestions Wagner offered. Berger stated that students need to have a mission, which allows them to contribute value to their community and school. This builds the idea that you become smarter so that you can do good, which gives students a life-long motivation to continue their education. Berger gave multiple examples of schools that allowed students to explore content in ways that impacted the community around them. He charged us to stop just thinking about the capacity kids have to do great things when they grow up and start realizing kids have the capacity to do great things right now with our support. Expeditionary Learning publishes all student work online at http://elschools.org/student-work to encourage students that the work they’re doing right now matters.

Consuelo Castillo-Kickbusch, founder of Educational Achievement Services, Inc., closed out Thursday with an emotional personal story of how a teacher helped her overcome social, emotional and educational roadblocks. Mrs. Castillo-Kickbusch gave details from personal experience of the dark and traumatic world of mental illness in which children living in poverty often feel trapped. She challenged us all to better equip our schools and communities to deal with mental illness that parents and kids often struggle with. She encouraged us all to teach forgiveness and to help heal kids’ and families’ hearts in order to unleash the ingenuity that exists in their minds.

We at the Commit! Partnership were encouraged and challenged by all of the incredible speakers at this year’s Changing the Odds conference and thank Momentous Institute for bringing such valuable knowledge to our community!

By |October 24th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Talent Thursday: The Time is Now – Apply for an Internship

Zareen Wajid, Talent Acquisition Specialist
Connect with me via. LinkedIn

I know it’s only mid-semester. Academically speaking, right now you are wondering about your second exams, what grade you need on your final to pass your classes, and what classes you need to register in for the Spring semester.

I hate to break to you, but there’s one more thing that should be on your plate: Summer 2015 Internships. Typically, companies will make an intern selection at least six months prior to the start date. This means that the time is now to search for and apply to internship opportunities.

Summer 2015 Internship Opportunities in Dallas, Texas

The Coca-Cola Company’s Sales Intern Program: In this ten-week internship program, you will have the opportunity to work with Coca-Cola’s National Food Service and On-Premise team in a variety of projects. You never know- you may even have the chance to join their two-year Region Sales Leadership Program after graduation.

World Affairs Council’s Programs Department Intern: Reporting directly to the Programs Manager, you will be responsible for program planning, creating growth strategies, and keeping track of metrics. You will also be exposed to different aspects of managing a non-profit organization, including program fundraising, board relations, and membership development.

Sabre’s Technical Business Analyst Internship: Working in the Revenue Integrity Department, you will work on process improvement initiatives critical to company success. Some responsibilities include delineating requirements to solve business problems, assisting in the development of service models and prototypes, addressing business or system issues, and implementing customer feedback mechanisms.

IBM’s Client Representative LEADing to Africa Summit Internship: This ten-week internship is designed for students with a passion for sales, technology, and client interaction, and an interest in working in Africa upon graduation. Working directly with Client Representatives and other IBM Sales Professionals, you will have the opportunity to contribute to marketing efforts and to the day-to-day sales operations.

There you have it. The internet is filled with opportunities such as these. All you have to do is search and apply. Start now, as this is the time to prepare. What are your plans for Summer 2015?

By |October 23rd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tuition Tuesday: Embrace the Struggle

R. Gabrielle McCormick

It’s been midterm and testing time for me. I literally have not had much sleep the past couple of weeks. Plus, my stress levels have been a bit crazy at times given the need to prepare for a four-hour, doctoral, statistics exam accounting for twenty percent of my grade. But you know what…

I wouldn’t trade any of this for the world.

I understand that in order to become and grow into the person I want to be, my journey will be tough at times.
Maybe there’s a goal you haven’t achieved yet; maybe self-doubt is starting to creep in; or maybe you just don’t know how you’re going to get yourself out of a bind. My advice: EMBRACE THE STRUGGLE. The road ahead will never be completely easy, but it will most certainly be worth it. Your late nights, sacrifices, and tears will pay off.

I normally don’t write these types of blog posts, but so many people I’ve talked to lately are going through something. Just because you embrace your situation is not an open invitation for you to wallow or for you to forget your mission. It is a time for you to receive your “gladiator training” to be prepared for the next thing life throws your way. Embrace this time as you grow into this new person.

Use this week’s scholarship picks to help you:

What Is Your Dream Job? Scholarship: Want to land a dream job in any of the following categories: advertising, marketing, radio, technology, or social media? Tell the committee why in this scholarship.
Awards: $500
Deadline: October 28th
William Gary Allen “Home of the Future” Scholarship: Get creative with this scholarship describing your vision of the “home of the future”.
Award: $1,500
Deadline: October 31st
Live Your Dream Awards These scholarships assist women who provide the primary source of financial support for their families by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects.
Award: $3,000-$10,000
Deadline: November 15th
CenturyLink Deals Scholarship: Write and submit an original blog post answering the following question: How is technology changing schools and higher education?
Award: $1,500
Deadline: November 21st

Don’t stop. You can. You will. You must. Happy Tuition Tuesday ☺

By |October 21st, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

First Generation Go College!

You’re invited to the Go College! National Tour with a free red-carpet screening of the 1-hour version of the award-winning documentary First Generation on October 30 at the Angelika Film Center at 6:00pm!

Narrated by Golden Globe nominee Blair Underwood, First Generation tells the story of four high school students – an inner city athlete, a small town waitress, a Samoan warrior dancer, and the daughter of migrant field workers – who set out to break the cycle of poverty and bring hope to their families and communities by pursuing a college education.

Stick around after the movie for an open dialogue with the filmmakers, cast, Kyle Gardner from the Commit! Partnership, Michele Bobadilla from the UTA Office of the Vice Provost and Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and a Wells Fargo Education Financial Services representative to learn about steps that can be taken today to make college a reality for all low-income and first generation students. KERA News Reporter/Blogger Stella Chavez will serve as moderator for the panel.

This screening is a chance for university officials, college access organizations and higher education advocates to network with one another and mingle with local students, families, and educators. Arrive early to chat with local non-profit leaders, scholarship representatives, and college admission officers. Plus, take home information on finding a mentor, choosing a college, scholarships, and more! Please spread the word about this valuable opportunity.

For more information and to RSVP go to: http://firstgenerationfilm.com/gocollegedates
Also, join the conversation online using #GoCollege and #WFCollegeTour

By |October 20th, 2014|College Access, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tuition Tuesday: How to Use Your Birthday to Earn Scholarships

R. Gabrielle McCormick

I want to make sure we build upon a key strategy I shared with you last week. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, check it out here.

As my birthday approaches, I’ve enjoyed hearing stories surrounding my birth and past birthdays. Not only that, I generally tend to spend time reflecting on what has occurred or happened over the previous year. Combining this information gives me the ability to not only make my scholarship essays more personal, but also to give them more depth.

I want you to think about some things that have happened around your birth or past birthdays. These things could help take your scholarship essays to the next level or provide you with some inspiration to get started. To do so, answer these questions:
Were there complications during the pregnancy?
Did something happen in the delivery room?
What happened immediately after you were born?
How were your first few days and weeks of life?
Has anything monumental happened on your birthday? What? How did it impact you?
Have you had any birthday parties that were memorable? Why?

These are just a few questions you can ask. Dig deep. These answers are helping you to create your “High-Low-High” and “Low-High-Low-High” transitions.

Now I want to challenge you. When your birthday comes around, think about how you’ve grown and changed as a person. Reflect on your accomplishments, goals, and setbacks. What does the next age look like for you? Use your answers from the questions and your reflection to tackle this week’s scholarship selections:

Say NO To Bullying Student Contest: You may have lived it, you may have feared it, you may have witnessed it, we’ve all been a part of bullying at one time or another and we want to know what lengths you would go to help protect others from the devastating effects of bullying.
Awards: $800, $500, and $300
Deadline: October 21st
Horatio Alger National Scholarships: These scholarships are for high school seniors who have plans to enter college no later than the Fall following graduation. To qualify for these scholarships, applicants must have faced and overcome great obstacles in their lives and demonstrate the following: a strong commitment to pursuing and completing a bachelor’s degree at an accredited US college/institution; critical financial need; involvement in co-curricular and community activities; and integrity and perseverance in overcoming adversity.
Award: Varies (Numerous Awards Given)
Deadline: October 25th
Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship: Apply for this scholarship by creating a survival plan for a Zombie Apocalypse!
Award: $2,000 (Multiple Awards)
Deadline: October 31st
Veterans United Foundation Scholarship: The program’s primary goal is to assist military service members and their families by awarding up to twenty $2,000 scholarships to help pay for tuition and books each semester.
Award: $2,000 (20 Awards Given)
Deadline: October 31st

Happy Birthday fellow Libras!!! Happy Tuition Tuesday ☺

By |October 7th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Talent Thursday: Eight Common Job Search Mistakes

Zareen Wajid, Talent Acquisition Specialist
Connect with me via. LinkedIn

Searching for a new job is downright nerve-wracking, especially if you are a new college graduate. You always hear those horror stories of how it took so-and-so 14 months to land a job or how most-likely-to-succeed forfeited a job offer because he wanted something “better” only to eventually accept a minimum wage job to pay the piling bills. Well oftentimes, it’s not what you are not doing that’s hurting your job prospective, but rather, what you are doing. Take a look at the most common job search mistakes:

Not having a results-focused resume. More often than not, resumes tend to list duties and responsibilities. That’s great, but a little pointless. Through this type of a resume, Recruiters and Hiring Managers know what you are supposed to be doing, but perhaps, not what you actually do or know or have accomplished. Remember, your resume should portray your achievements and process improvements, not serve as a job description.
Relying on the internet. The internet, despite being the omniscient being we all turn to in times of need, has not made it easier to search for jobs. Don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise. For entry-level positions, companies typically receive 100s of applications for a single job posting. What are your chances of moving to the interview stage? Unless you are willing to network and make connections, your chances are slim to none.
Not networking. Networking is the most repeated word in the art of job searching, and also the most important. Meet with people, learn about them, tell them about you and your goals, and continuously build the relationship. Start off networking with your family, friends, career services advisors, church members, professors etc. You never know who knows who, so reach out to everyone. You are more likely to stand out and land a job by networking effectively than by clicking the Submit button on every online application you fill out.
Not creating a personal brand. What exactly are you looking for? If you answer this question with “a job”… smh. No Duh! Really do your research and think about what type of job you are looking for. What industry? What specialty? What location? What company? If you don’t know what you want, how do you expect your network to know? Also, note that job seekers who don’t have a personal brand typically don’t have a distinguishable resume. And without a resume that stands out, you aren’t going to get that far ahead in the recruitment process. And let’s not forget the power of a well-kept LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media sites to assist in your personal branding. Put yourself out there through a well thought-out marketing strategy.
Lack of interview preparation. Prior to an interview, you should go over the company’s website and define its mission, vision, and values. You should read and re-read the job description. You should know who you are interviewing with. As Benjamin Franklin says, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Do your research so that you are confident during the interview and can display your best to the hiring committee.
Waiting for a “dream” job. You can’t know what your dream job is until you are there. It’s quite unfortunate I know. As this is the case, don’t be so closed-minded in your job search. If you get an offer for a job that’s #8 on your list, don’t be afraid to accept it. I say this because a) you never know where this job may take you, b) experience is more beneficial than no experience c) the job is #8- it’s on your list!
Indifference. In today’s day and age, we are taught to do what we do best, regardless of the haters (and I paraphrase). What we aren’t taught is the fine line that exists in that philosophy. Yes, do what you do, but only as long as it shows integrity. Don’t post drunken and/or inappropriate pictures of yourself on your personal Facebook. Don’t post negative comments (with curse words) on public accounts, other people’s statuses, articles, chocolate chip cookies recipes etc. Don’t talk bad about people. Don’t show up to interviews reeking of cigarette smoke. There is nothing wrong with caring. It’s actually preferable to the indifference attitude you think companies are looking for. FYI: In actuality, companies are looking for passionate and compassionate individuals who will make their company look good.
Disrespecting someone’s time. Okay, so you are in panic because you don’t have a job. You are doing everything is your power to make something happen…to make anything happen, but nothing is happening. What do you do? You send the same awkward, frustrated email to five different people within each and every company you applied to. You try to network over coffee, but only end up complaining about the difficulty of landing a job. You fill up a professional’s voicemail inbox with your calls about your application status. Just stop. Respect other people’s time. Whether they are helping you or not, it is not exactly their problem that you are frustrated with your job search. Especially try to avoid reaching out to your prospective company for constant updates- if they want to interview you, they will contact you. Give them some space to do their job. Also, this should be a no-brainer, but don’t be late to interviews and don’t answer your phone during interviews/meets & greets/networking events.

If you have committed any of the above-mentioned mistakes, it’s okay. It happens. As you move forward, refrain from making these all-too-common mistakes. Create a strategically results-focused resume, personal marketing brand, and job search plan. Indulge yourself in networking and develop your listening skills. Prepare for your network meet-ups and interviews in advance. Don’t be afraid to take risk and try new job avenues. Be respectful and have integrity. And of course, just do what you do best.

By |October 2nd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Talent Thursday: When “Networking” is “Not Working”

Zareen Wajid, Talent Acquisition Specialist
Connect with me via. LinkedIn

Yes, yes… we have all heard that it’s not what you know, but who you know that matters. I mean you have 500+ connections on LinkedIn, a very active and clean Facebook page, you served as president of your student council, and have attended networking events galore. Why, why, why then aren’t there job opportunities lined up for you?

Because… it’s not who you know, but also, who knows you.

Think about it. With your 500+ connections on LinkedIn, how many professionals know your career goals? From networking events, how many know your professional interests? From your college career, how many advisors and mentors know what industry you are interested in?

Redefining Networking

Networking is not a number. It is not a check mark. It is not a thing for the social butterflies. It is definitely not a hipster phase.

Networking, first and foremost, is your ability to cultivate a relationship with another person. Secondly, it’s your ability to get your goals and objective across to your network. Third, it’s your ability to move forward with your goals and objectives, while also strengthening your network and relationships.

Nowhere in that definition does it say that it’s your ability to click the “Add” button and expect magical requests of job offers. Unfortunately for you, random people who you think serve as undercover Matchmaking Career Dons do not exist.

The Beginnings of Networking

First, figure out exactly what your needs are. I know this is tough, but you really need to narrow your career search scope. Try to fit your needs in 1-3 sentences. For example, I am looking for an Analyst role in the marketing industry because of these industry trends. I would love to help a company progress through this and this change.

Next, take a look at your connections. Don’t just focus on professionals in marketing, but also, take a look at your church group, mom’s friends, and your neighbors.

Once you have identified 5-10 people, approach them and simply state your needs. You may have to tailor the conversation depending on who this person is:
Marketing professional: I am looking for an analyst role in the marketing industry. Does your company offer any entry-level or internship opportunities? The industry is evolving to this and I have ___ skills to help your organization meet its goals.
Mom’s bestie: I am graduating soon, and am looking to start my career at a marketing firm. Do you know anyone in the industry or any companies looking to hire entry-level business/marketing/communication majors?

During this phase, you are aiming to connect with your network and build trust. Politely and plainly, help your network understand your career goals so that they can figure out how to help you. Make sure you come across confident (but humble) and knowledgeable (but willing to learn). Once you are done speaking, listen. Just be quiet and listen. Don’t interrupt. Just listen. You will be surprised by what you learn about yourself and your career search techniques just by listening to your network.

The Beginnings of Not-Working
Here are some more common reasons why your networking ends up not working:
Your request to network is too complicated. For example, “Hi. I am looking to get a degree in Marketing, but wanted to connect with Managers to learn about the industry and job outlook once I finish.” Really? First of all, there’s Google Search for that. Secondly, why do you feel someone will take the time to talk to you when you haven’t even started your Marketing degree, and more importantly, don’t you think the Marketing professional will only have good things to say about Marketing?
Your request to network is too time-consuming. Networking doesn’t have to be done over coffee or lunch. If your network doesn’t know your motive behind these so-called time-consuming networking dates, it is difficult to agree to it. Utilize yours and your networks’ time thoughtfully and wisely. Make sure they know why you want to meet up, instead of asking to meet up surprisingly, out of the blue.
You make too many assumptions. Yes, your whole neighborhood may know you are at university. They may even know you are graduating. They do not, however, know you are job searching. They do not know your industry interest, career interest, or even you knowledge, skills, and abilities. Do NOT assume they do.
Reputation. You sit next to Mr. Franklin at church every Sunday. Aside from church, however, Mr. Franklin does not know you. If you ask him for a networking request, please realize that you are putting his professional and social reputation on the line. Please note that oftentimes, individuals may be iffy about connecting you. That’s because their reputation is on the line. If they don’t connect you with someone, don’t take it personally. Assess your network prior to a request.

Good luck. Remember, networking is all about building trust. If it’s not there, your networking is not working.

By |September 25th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tuition Tuesday: How To Get A Recommendation Letter

R. Gabrielle McCormick

Although each week we talk about scholarships, we rarely talk about math. A mathematical formula I want you to focus on is this:
Giver – Taker = Is your result Positive or Negative?

This formula has literally resulted in thousands of scholarship dollars for me. When you are a giver of yourself, people remember your kind actions, demeanor, personality, helpfulness, and any other positive quality you can think of.

Right now, you’re in the process of building up your G.A. or Givers Account. Just as you cannot withdraw money from a normal bank without first having made some type of deposit, the same is true here.

Recommendation letters require you to make some kind of investment and deposit into your account. For those that aren’t sure how to get started, here is something that you can focus on today to help:
Be a great student!

This means participating in class, turning in assignments on time, asking questions, getting advice from your instructor, helping your teacher carry something, i.e. being polite, and many other small tasks that others overlook. It is not hard to be a student, but it takes effort to be a great student. Being a great student is a reflection of your character. If you continue to be a great, your recommendation letters will earn you thousands as well.
Your five scholarship picks of the week:

The Unigo 5 Simple Words $10,000 Scholarship: There is an application that must be submitted plus five (5) words that illustrate what life will be like after college and a 200 word essay on why those words were chosen.
Award: $10,000 (4 Awards Given)
Deadline: September 30th
American Business Scholarship: This scholarship is for high school seniors, undergraduate, and graduate students. Write an essay stating how a small business in your community has influenced your life, career, or educational aspirations.
Award: $1,000
Deadline: September 30th
CoffeeForLess.com “Hit the Books” Scholarship: Students between the ages 18-25 can apply for this scholarship. All you have to do is write an essay about the importance of your education.
Award: $500
Deadline: September 30th
AfterCollege Succurro Scholarship: Open to all undergraduate and graduate students, complete a short profile for your chance at this $1,000 scholarship.
Award: $1,000
Deadline: September 30th
Financial Success for Single Mothers Scholarship: Write 450-700 words for the prompt, “How Can Single Mothers Use Roth IRAs to Enhance Their Financial Position?”
Award: $750
Deadline: October 1st

Let’s keep our accounts positive this week! Happy Tuition Tuesday ☺

By |September 23rd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments