Annual Summer Reading List

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For years, Valerie Strauss has published an annual summer reading list assembled by Brennan Barnard, the director of college counseling at the private Derryfield School in New Hampshire and college admission program manager of the Making Caring Common project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Barnard asks fellow high school college admissions counselors as well as college admissions deans for recommendations of books for students and parents to read. Some of the several dozen suggestions are related to the education world, and some are not.

You can find the full 2019 list here.

I have my own reading list for this year, and I am excited to add a few from his list. I am currently reading The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates. It was a slow start for me, but I am glad I kept reading; there are some wonderful messages around unity, inclusion, and connection, and I have enjoyed learning about her early years at Microsoft, how she ramped up her work in their foundation, and even her relationship with Bill. I was not expecting to learn about their relationship at all! How she weaves together data and storytelling appeals to me, and I more now than before (which I did not think was possible) believe that when you lift up women, you lift up humanity. This book is a call to action if you did not feel compelled already.

I have also read the following books this year:

  • Boy Erased
  • Difficult Women  
  • Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder
  • Fraternity
  • Becoming
  • To The Next Step
  • The Path Made Clear

And I will be adding the following from Barnard’s list to my list:

It seems that on almost every book list related to college, Julie Lythcott-Haims’ book is included, and I could not be more happy about that!!! I absolutely loved this book when I read it and its messages are as powerful and relevant today as they were in 2015. I suggest all parents read this book:

“How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success” by Julie Lythcott-Haims

Happy reading!!!

 

 

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Young Women in Business: GenHERation Events

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GenHERation Invitationals 

You are invited to find your dream job! GenHERation Invitationals are half-day career immersion programs that allow high school and college women to work alongside female executives at the most innovative companies in America. These events are your direct line to recruiters looking to hire talented young women for internships and full-time positions. Companies outline the applicant profile for available positions and we invite GenHERation members to apply in order to demonstrate their qualifications in person. Before each event, we share the candidates’ resumes with the companies and after the event we provide actionable next steps to continue the application process.

We will be announcing new invitationals every month and you can currently sign up for the following events:

  • GSK: Wednesday, August 7, 2019 (Philadelphia, PA)
  • AT&T: Friday, September 6, 2019 (Dallas, TX)
  • Capital One: Friday, November 1, 2019 (Richmond, VA)

If you are selected to attend an Invitational, your ticket cost is covered by the host company.

Apply today HERE!

GenHERation Discovery Days 2019

Join us for our largest summer tour yet! GenHERation Discovery Days 2019 are immersive day trips that provide high school and college women with the opportunity to visit the most innovative companies in America. Participants will travel throughout a selected city by bus, which serves as an educational incubator complete with guided discussions by industry mentors. More than 50 companies are participating, including Ernst & Young, Capital One, Facebook, Netflix, Google, National Geographic, GSK, NFP, DLL, Expedia, Hartford Funds, Adobe, Nordstrom, Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, Lucasfilm, NASA, IBM, Pizza Hut, Fossil, Pixar, CBS, Viacom, AllSaints, Bloomingdale’s, Urban Outfitters, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Schedule

  • 6/24: Dallas (SOLD OUT!)
  • 6/26: Austin
  • 7/8-7/9: Seattle (1 SEAT LEFT!)
  • 7/10-7/11: Los Angeles
  • 7/15-7/16: San Francisco
  • 7/22-7/23: Charlotte
  • 7/24-7/25: Washington, D.C.
  • 7/31: New York City
  • 8/1: Chicago
  • 8/6: Philadelphia

Tickets are selling out fast! Reserve your seat HERE!

Watch us on ABC San FranciscoNBC Los Angeles, and NBC Seattle to learn more about GenHERation Discovery Days!

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Congrats Class of 2019! And Some Advice

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As graduation nears and high school comes to a close, first and foremost, take time to soak it all in and enjoy yourself! Graduation signifies exciting new beginnings, but also change. Many of the people you are used to seeing every day at your high school are people you might not see often (or again in some cases), so make the most of spending time with them, and your family, this summer.

While you are relaxing with the people you care about most, don’t forget to say thanks where thanks is due. It can be easy to forget the many individuals who were there every step of the way during your application journey, supporting and guiding you towards college. Take some time to thank the people who helped you along the way by writing them a thank you note or giving a heartfelt thanks in person.

People to thank: parents, guidance counselor, teachers, letter of recommendation writers, anyone else who read your essays/app, college admissions officers you met with, and tutors just to name a few!

Also, make the most of this summer!!! Consider an internship or job. You’ll need money in college; a job is where the money comes from. Beyond having some much-needed cash, one Stanford researcher even found that having a summer job can boost academic performance, and more: “adolescent employment can foster noncognitive skills like time management, perseverance, and self-confidence.” Moreover, once you are in college you’ll need to be 100% independent, just as you will need to be at work. Prep now and be ready for those more significant pre-professional experiences as an undergrad.

But what type of job should I get? I suggest something fun like scooping ice cream, or better yet, waiting tables. As Rob Asghar notes, waiting tables “can be the high-pressure arena in which many talented people learn how to take control of their lives and prosper over the long haul.”

“I think everyone should spend some time waiting tables or working in retail,” Elisa Schreiber, a marketing executive in Silicon Valley, tells me.

“I learned so much by waiting tables,” says Schreiber, a longtime colleague who happens to be one of the savviest strategists and leaders I’ve ever worked alongside. “I learned empathy and understanding and compassion. I learned how to get people in and out while still feeling good about their experience. It made me exponentially better when I started my salaried, professional career—from leading people to handling pressure to effectively managing my time.”

It is not glamorous (I know, I did it for the better part of a decade in high school, college, and grad school), but it is a learning experience, to say the least. I also suggest getting on LinkedIn. See this post for tips on getting started.

 

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Academic/Career Exploration for Pre-Business Majors: Free Online Courses

There are so many awesome (and free) beginner level courses online, it is a missed opportunity to not take advantage of at least one or two if you plan to study business in college. Here are a few of my favorites—many are self-paced—that you can sign up to take now.

Yale: Financial Markets

Michigan: Risk, Return & Valuation

Michigan: Bonds and Stocks

UVA: Introduction to Personal Branding

Penn:  Social Impact Strategy: Tools for Entrepreneurs and Innovators

Illinois: Financial Planning for Young Adults

To take the course for free, select enroll now and the option that reads “Full Course, No Certificate.” You will still have access to all course materials for this course without paying. Contact us if you have questions about Coursera classes and how they translate, and are useful, on college applications.

 

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A Leadership Program for High School Girls Who Want to Make a Difference

Through mentorship, grants, and leadership training, HERlead inspires young women to begin their journey as the next generation of leaders.

The 2019 HERlead Application is NOW OPEN!

The HERlead Fellowship is a groundbreaking partnership between Vital Voices Global Partnership (“Vital Voices”), the preeminent non-governmental organization whose mission is to search the world for women leaders with a daring vision, then partner with them to make that vision a reality through grants, skill-building training, network expansion, mentorship and guidance – accelerating change on a global scale, and the Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Lou & Grey retail brands, which are operated by AnnTaylor Retail, Inc. (“ANN”), and indirect subsidiary of ascena retail group, inc (“ascena”).

The HERlead Fellowship is designed to equip young women with the leadership skills they need to effect global progress, invest in their communities – to date, more than 246 social impact projects received funding through HERlead Fellowship Grants – and continue their journeys as the next generation of leaders.  Here’s how it works:

WHAT IT IS:
A fellowship to provide leadership training to young women, empowering them to become the next generation of global trailblazers.

WHY PARTICIPATE:
Learn from inspiring women leaders from around the world and participate in Vital Voices’ signature leadership model training program. Attend the HERlead Leadership Forum and become eligible to win a HERlead Grant to put your ideas into action.

WHO SHOULD APPLY:
Girls in the 10th or 11th grade at a high school in the United States, Puerto Rico or Canada.

DATES & DEADLINES:
The HERlead Fellowship Application will open in January, and close Friday, March 8th. The 2019 Leadership Forum will take place June 24-27, 2019 in New York City.

DETAILS:
We are searching the country for young women leaders who are committed to reshaping the world and making positive and sustainable change. We will select 30 applicants to be the 2019 Fellows. If you are selected, you will join an elite group of rising stars, where you will be given the skills, tools, and training needed to realize your full leadership potential.

AS A HERLEAD FELLOW, YOU WILL:
• Participate in the HERlead Leadership Forum, a four-day leadership training program in New York City, from June 24-27, 2019.
• Obtain skills and networks to take on leadership roles in your schools and companies.
• Be mentored by global women leaders who are part of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network, as well as AnnTaylor Retail Inc. Representatives.

For more information, an Overview of the Program, a Sample Application, Grant Information and HERlead Social Media Tips, see the HERlead TOOL KIT.

After completing the leadership training program, you will return to your community and have the opportunity to use what you learned at the Forum to create a project that will effect change. You are also eligible to receive a HERlead Grant that will further help you turn your ideas into action.

To be considered, you must demonstrate a strong commitment to leadership and potential for creating innovative solutions to problems in your community. You must have a proven track record in your academic work and interest in extracurricular activities. Are you up for the challenge? For questions about the application, please see APPLICATION FAQS.

Want information on amazing extracurricular, leadership and other opportunities for high school students—or suggestions for your student specifically? Contact us!

 

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January Action Plan – By Grade

Seniors:

  • If you have RD applications due in mid-January that you did not submit, finish those up ASAP. Same goes for 2/1 deadline apps; there is no reason to wait!
  • For RD schools, consider writing interest letters, and make sure your school sends midterm grade reports where required.
  • If you were deferred, work on your deferral letter this month and aim to send it mid-month.
  • Thank everyone who helped you with your college process, and take some time to enjoy what is left of high school.

Juniors:

  • Testing: Once you are in prep-mode it is best to just keep going. The sooner you are finished testing, the sooner you can begin to finalize your college list. If you have a preliminary list, February break is a great time to visits colleges. Plan some visits.
  • Confirm your summer plans. Next summer is a wonderful opportunity to do something really meaningful (and perhaps even fun!) that will help you tell your story to colleges.
  • Open a Common App account. Accounts rollover year-to-year, so there’s no better time than now to open an account and familiarize yourself with the system.
  • Start to think about your senior year schedule. Do you know what you will be taking? Your senior classes should be the most challenging of your four years.
  • Resolve to check your email daily. Why? Colleges communicate with students via email. Most schools track whether you open emails and if you click through them; more engagement is seen as more interest (schools use interest in the admissions process). Make checking and engaging with any college-related email a habit in 2019.
Sophomores & Freshmen:
  • Are you planning to take SAT subject tests in May or June? If so, come up with a prep plan now.
  • An impressive academic record is the most important admissions factor at most colleges. Study hard.
  • Speaking of courses, when do you pick your courses for 11th grade? Keep in mind you want to take a more rigorous course schedule each year.
  • Now is the time to build your story for college! Have you gotten more involved with any of your extracurricular activities? Have you thought about what you might want to major in? A great place to start exploring your academic interests is Khan Academy.
  • One way that your “story” is conveyed in your app is through your resume. Work on your resume now.
  • Many 2019 summer program applications will open soon. Begin thinking about your plans for summer 2019 now so you can get ahead of deadlines and work on applications if needed.
  • Replace one hour of social media, Netflix, or TV per week with time on Ted ED. Explore what intrigues you! Maybe it’s the history of cheese, particle physics, or what makes a poem a poem. Whatever you find interesting, take some time to be intentional about learning more in the new year!

 

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Win Free Tuition: Middlebury Interactive Languages™ Summer Academies

Middlebury Interactive Languages™ Summer Academies provides enriching summer language immersion programs for teens. They offer language and cultural immersion in Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic, and German in the U.S. and abroad. Programs are available for rising 8th grade to just graduated 12th-grade students.

The curricula is modeled on the world-famous immersion pedagogy first created by the Middlebury Language Schools. Our students, faculty, and staff all take the Language Pledge® together—a pledge to speak in the target language for the duration of the four-week program.

Want to win a free spot? All you have to do is submit your email on this page. The winning student will get free tuition to study Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic, or German at one of their domestic Academies [$6,000 Value]. The winner will be announced on November 30th, 2018. Enter to win now!

*The contest is for tuition only and does not include books, materials or transportation costs.
To be eligible to attend, students must be rising 8th graders to just graduated 12th graders as of summer 2019. Entries must be received by 5 pm EST, November 30, 2018.

 

Duke Announces Gap Year Program

This week, the Duke Admissions Office announced the launch of the Duke Gap Year Program, allowing students to apply for up to $15,000 in funding for a gap year program of their choice.
Students will have the flexibility to apply to any gap year program that appeals to them; students approved for funding by the Duke Gap Year Program will receive between $5000 and $15,000 to help them participate in programs and opportunities that may not have otherwise been affordable. A brief application will be available in early 2019, where students can describe their gap year program, their personal goals for the year, and the benefit they will receive from the funding.Students admitted through the Early and Regular Decision processes will be eligible to apply.More information can be found at dukegapyear.duke.edu.

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Social Media Vacation

We’re stepping away from the blog and Instagram for a while to focus on what matters to us the most: our students!

We take summer seriously. Although we always leave a little room for fun, we spend most of it focused on helping students prepare their apps so when school starts back up at the end of summer/early fall, the bulk of their app work is complete.

Time to get to work!

 

 

High School Students: Use Your Summers Wisely

Rising Seniors

Hopefully, you’ve got something interesting planned that is helping you explore your academic and or extracurricular interests, and that will help you put the finishing touches on your college apps. If not, there is still time to put something in place. It might be too late for a formal summer program, college course, linking up with a local faculty member to engage in research or work in their lab, but it is not too late to get a job and design an independent mini-project or community engagement activity. If you’ve planned ahead and do have a formal program in place, hopefully, it is one that is considered selective and not a pay-to-play program. Those should be saved for earlier in high school where it is okay to be in the exploratory phase; these programs are appropriate for students in that phase/age group, not upperclassmen who are looking at selective schools.

You will also want to plan to spend time on your application materials, so don’t feel like you need to fill your summer with a laundry list of activities for college app (that approach is not always best anyway). It is best to do one or two things that are well-thought out and meaningful, and leave time for app work and some fun. But really, don’t procrastinate on the app work. Start now on your personal statement and Common App and or Coalition data; you can, and there is really no reason not to if you want to make this process as efficient and low stress as possible.

Rising Juniors

Hopefully, you’ve also got something interesting planned that is helping you explore your academic and or extracurricular interests. If you spent time reflecting on your interests in grades 9 and 10, and have a clear idea what your apps will emphasize, you should have something planned for this summer that is in line with those interests and that focus. If you’ve attended pre-college programs in the past (those that are a mix of light academics + fun stuff like Summer Discovery or a “teen tour”), try something else this summer like an internship or a college level class. There’s nothing wrong with these programs after 9th and 10th grade, but they are typically more fun than anything else. Same goes for international “service” trips via programs like Rustic Pathways. If you must go on one of those trips, make sure to add something else to the mix that summer that is more academic. Paying jobs are also nice to see on applications, and more importantly, a learning experience to have before college.

Another big ticket item is starting to prepare for standardized tests (SAT, ACT, Subject Tests). Take an ACT and SAT diagnostic and meet with a tutor to determine which test might be best for you, and then put a formal plan and timeline in place for preparing for that test. You’ll likely take it more than one time.

Rising Sophomores and Freshmen

Summers are for exploring. You could attend a pre-college program on a college campus, get a job, and of course, volunteer. The key is to do something, or preferably, a few things! Get out there and get some experience; make sure to write it all down and start your resume at this time.

Want customized guidance on summer planning? Contact us!

 

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