“LINKS Leader Forum for Youth” this Sunday! #ReachHigher

The fall season is among us. Many youth have already received their quarterly grades, or have 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; or exploring Pinterest, magazines, and books for new family traditions or recipes to implement during the upcoming holiday season. With all the excitement and hustle, it is easy for all of us to lose sight of future investments and long-term plans.

I normally don’t invest much time with holiday preparations, but I am always making future investments. This fall, Leadership LINKS, a 501(c)3 organization that I have the pleasure of leading, is focusing our attention on the upcoming “LINKS Leader Forum for Youth” College-Bound and Mentoring event at the University of Maryland College Park.

october-college-event-design

The event is being held on this Sunday, October 9, 2016 from 3:00-5:00 pm at the University of Maryland – College Park. This event is open to the general public and will be beneficial for middle and high school students, and all those who have the privilege of loving and influencing them.

We only have a few more slots available and pre-registration is required. For event details and registration, go to EventBrite: https://linksleaderyouth2016.eventbrite.com.

This education event will also provide personal, practical, and informative information for parents, guardians, mentors, tutors, coaches, guidance counselors, teachers, youth ministries, and the community leaders whose lives interact with youth on a regular basis.

This event is not a standard college fair. We will discuss the practical elements of charting a high school career with college access as a goal, holistic development for college, the importance of cultivating mentoring relationships on the journey to college, and preparing for and representing yourself well on the college essay and throughout the 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, have 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 of attending college debt-free and thriving. We are excited to share our wealth of wisdom with you!

Recently, 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 LINKing Up with you at the “LINKS Leader Forum for Youth.” Register today: https://linksleaderyouth2016.eventbrite.com.

Blessings, Natasha

 

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