The Career Gateway
Our lives are filled with gateways to growth. Gateways filled with pain, joy and memories litter our minds in the form of childhood, school years, and adulthood. College and career pathways are gateways to adulthood. Gateways to success and prosperity start the moment children leave their nest. College and career decisions are first steps, toward success. The destination for students is not just college or a career choice but the roads lead to success, in relationships, financially, socially and throughout their lives. Education is the first step but it must be followed by choosing the right college to attend or career to prepare for. The college and career gateway leads to finding a spouse, making lifelong friends, and the creation of impenetrable business connections.
Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Financial Student Aid) by visiting www.fafsa.edu.gov. Completing this form is the first step in analyzing a student’s financial aid profile. The answers to financial health begin with how students will carry the burden of the cost of their education. Families living at, below or above the federal poverty line should complete the form as it is the thermometer that schools and the government uses to measure the temperature of a student’s current financial position.
Grade 6 – 11
Students should prepare a college portfolio to capture the specifics and the spirit of their educational experiences. Visit www.gacollege411.org with your child to enable them to visualize the steps that he or she must take in order to map out their personal road to success. Each road is individualized based on needs, learning styles, goals, ability, and desire. Visit the site and walk down the road to help your child understand the there are steps to take to succeed with in our state which must be followed closely.
Visit colleges through virtual field trips, sporting events, concerts and the arts. Children should be given the opportunity to understand that where they spend their formative adult years will influence the kinds of people they are attracted to and the quality of their lives. Encourage students to read daily and keep a journal or diary to support writing and personal reflection. Visit www.studentaid.ed.gov/prepare-for-college/checklists/elementary-school.
As a community, we must read the word child or student and respond in action and deed by helping not only the children within our circles but the members of our circle that have invisible ties to our world. Invisible ties are created by being neighbors, church members, extended family, troop mates or an adult reaching out to help a young person to go forward and grow. Warm Regards,
Our Children Are Experts
There is a quiet confidence in each of us that when we enter into a doctor’s office or see a police officer take notes that they know what they are doing and are in essence experts in their fields. We expect them to ask and use questions to help make connections based on what they know or have seen. Children too must be taught to experience life as experts. They are experts of learning whether it is the alphabet, subtraction facts, algebraic expressions or a literature project. Parents should ask their children (the experts) about what they are learning. Simply inquiring how they will use their new skill or what kinds of new students they are meeting in class might lead to discussion about what kinds of changes the students would like to see to help their world not just their minds grow. Questions are the red carpet that carries dreams from the mind, thru the air and into action. It is easy to wish for the success of children who can throw, kick or bounce balls into space. Parents can motivate children by showing a genuine energetic implosion to academic achievements (no matter how small). Education is inch by inch growth, at different speeds. The adults that care for children are keeping pace alongside their children as they juggle the weight of life. We hear that reading daily, science and math driven activity is a recipe for successful parent engagement. The recipe should be artfully crafted to include motivation, tenacity and drive. Parent engagement is at the heart of learning. Educated adults were once children who stood at the cusp of choice. Student growth within a community benefits us all. Would one wish to be on a farm surrounded by a desert? Would one wish to be the only pool of water in that desert? Parent engagement encourages people to bloom where they are and to share the dream of a balanced, fluid mirage. When you make your list of things to do remember to add encourage a child, thank a teacher and uplift a parent or guardian who is balancing learning on the same scale with the heaviness of life.
Maria Brown’s professional history is one of Exceeding Expectations through Excellence. She is an accomplished senior manager with a solid track record in operational leadership, project management, and strategic planning for school improvement and academic growth. Ms. Brown has a keen ability to navigate through broad executive direction to structure financially justified programs and to build organizations and teams that deliver. She is certified to teach grades K-12 and has served as a facilitator of learning for both students and adults for almost twenty years. Her belief that using data-driven decision making will supplement internal resources including; parents, community members and, professional development, needs assessment, data analysis, and collaborative planning drives her commitment to bring out the best in everyone around her.