Journey to College #LINKS2College

The fall season is definitely among us. Many youth have already received their quarterly grades or been on fall break from school. The weather is changing and leaves are turning colors all around. Some mothers and grandmothers are planning for the holiday season with more frequent visits to their favorite home goods stores, exploring Pinterest, magazines, and books for new family traditions to implement or new recipes to try this holiday season. In the excitement and hustle of the approaching holiday season, it is easy for all of us to lose sight of future investments and long-term plans.

LINKS to College 2015 for Social Media

I don’t invest much time in holiday preparations, but I am making future investments this season. Two if those investments include the establishing of Leadership LINKS as a 501(c)3 organization, and the other is preparing for our fall “LINKS to College” event at the University of Maryland College Park on Saturday, November 14, 2015 from 2:00-4:00 pm. This event is open to the general public and would be beneficial for middle and high school students, and all those who have the privilege of loving and influencing them. This education event will also provide personal, practical, and informative information for parents/guardians, mentors, tutors, coaches, guidance counselors, teachers, youth ministries, and any community leader who life interacts with youth on a regular basis.

At this event, we will not only talk about preparing for college, paying for college, understanding college rankings, and navigating the college application process, we will also discuss those important “unknown” and often “unspoken” dynamics that makes a college student successful to graduate and marketable for a future career beyond college. Hint: These key skills can be taught and reinforced to a young person during their formative years.

I remember when I first started thinking about attending college. I was in the 6th grade. My parents brought the idea to my attention, told me it was something they thought I could do, and that they could not afford it. That conversation changed the trajectory of my life and focus. Not only did I have two loving and supportive parents that believed I could do something important and that I was special, they also had confidence to believe that I could follow through on their dream if I desired. From that very moment, not only did I have a goal to attend a great college, I also had a personal goal to attend college for free (which I did).

Since that day, I have had three (maybe four ongoing) careers, obtained two degrees (both debt-free), and had the privilege of working as an admissions representative or college recruiter at the prestigious United States Naval Academy. My Leadership LINKS colleagues and I know what great colleges and universities are looking for, and we know the pitfalls that keep students from achieving this reasonable goal or being successful once they get to college. We are excited to share our wealth of wisdom with you!

Last spring, the PewResearch Center revealed facts about college graduates:

  • Only 56% of students earn degrees within six years. (Wouldn’t you like to know some of the reasons why this is?)
  • It’s harder for new graduates to find good jobs. (Wouldn’t you like to prepare in advance and avoid this pitfall?)
  • Graduates still out-earn people without degrees. (Financial income and stability is a realistic motivation for people who choose to attend college. The findings reveal that among millennials (those born after 1980), “workers with at least a bachelor’s degree had median annual earnings of $45,500, well over the medians for people with only some college ($30,000) or a high-school diploma ($28,000).” That is almost a $20,000 difference in salary earnings between a college and high school graduate.)
  • Most grads think college was worth it. (This is the true treasure because the college experience is not simply about getting a degree and earning more money.)

Come out and join us. Look forward to chatting with you at the “LINKS to College.”

What was the value of your college education/experience?

Share on social media: #LINKS2College #ReachHigher

Blessings, Natasha

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