Happy New Year!

Welcome to a new year, new month, and day 1 of 365 opportunities. As we prepare to return to work and school, I hope you had a wonderful holiday break. I hope you feel renewed and ready to conquer you dreams! I wanted to take a moment to encourage you. I wanted to leave four quick tips to help you embrace the possibilities and magic for the second half of the 2018-2019 school year.

Yes, You Can

Your mindset about school and education is crucial for your success. I want you to stay positive and believe in yourself. Yes, you can take an honors class. Yes, you can take an AP class. Yes, you can create a great science fair project. Yes, you can find money to go to college. Yes, you can read, write, think, and grow! This is the year where you go for it!

Who’s in Your Circle?

Who are the people in your life that will support, encourage, and celebrate your success? Who are the people that can give you sound advice and help you when you feel unsure or stuck? These are the people that I want you to keep in your circle. You may have a circle of friends at school and a circle of support at home. Continue to support and nourish these relationships. If there are any negative people in your life, cut them off. 2019 is the year for you to shine!

Make Mini-Goals

If you’re like me, you tend to set goals that you want to accomplish. Instead of focusing on one big goal, break down your goal into several mini-goals. Imagine how great you’ll feel when you take steps to accomplish your goals. I’ll give you a few examples based on grade level.

  • Elementary school: If you want to learn your multiplication tables, take 30 minutes and practice every day.
  • Middle school: If you want to pull up your math and English grades, commit to staying after school to get extra help twice a week.
  • High School: If you want to find scholarship money to go to college, complete one essay and application a week.

There’s an old proverb that says the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. It’s the same thing with goals. Once you complete small steps towards your goal, you’ll accomplish that goal in no time!

Manage Your Time

Time is one precious resource. You spend 7.5 hours a day at school learning, reading, writing, and taking tests. You may stay after school a couple of hours for after school activities, like a club or sports team. Instead of staying after school, you may have extracurricular activities outside of school, like dance practice, church activities, or practice with a traveling sports team. Once you get home, you’ve got homework and studying to do. You may have chores to complete and dinner time with family. If you’re an older student, you may have a part time job after school.

You have a LOT going in your life. Make sure you manage your time. Here are other things that I did not include in this list.

  • Playing video games
  • Scrolling through social media
  • Talking/texting/tweeting for hours with friends
  • Taking 2-3 hour naps
  • Hanging out before you get homework done

When it comes to school, take care of the things you have to take care of first. Get your homework and studying done. Make sure you carve out family time. If you have too much on your plate, talk to a parent or your school counselor. We can help you figure out if you need to take some things off your plate. You have the weekend to have fun. You can socialize with your friends in school. Scholars have a knack for balancing school, home, and fun.




Stay Focused

Happy December, scholars and families! We are halfway through the second quarter of the school year. For seniors, your counselors will send your first semester transcripts to your colleges and universities. For my remaining scholars in grades 6-11, you have a chance to reflect on successes and challenges. Before we move into 2019, I want to share four tips to help you finish 2018 strong.

Every Assignment Counts

Teachers assess what you learned in class by what you submit every day. This includes warm-ups/do now activities, classwork, and homework. Some teachers give grades for class participation! This is not the time to take a break, skip an assignment, or forget to change out for gym. Zeros can destroy your grades.

Let’s say you have a 100 average in class. If you forget to turn in one assignment, it brings your 100 A to a 50 F.

100+ 0=100; 100÷2=50 F (average)

Turning in something for a grade is better than turning in nothing. Earning a B on an assignment is okay. An occasional C will not hurt your final grade.

100+80=180; 180÷2=90 A (average)

Turn in every assignment. Scholars, talk with your teacher if you have missing work. Parents, schedule a conference if you notice major grade issues.

Utilize Your Resources

Your teachers are here to help you. Talk with your teachers about extra opportunities for help. Here are some possible times teachers can provide extra help:

  • Before school
  • During lunch
  • After school
  • During advisory period

Your teacher will help you as long as you take the initiative to ask for help. Another helpful resource in your building is the school counselor. Your counselor can help you with the following skills:

  • Studying effectively
  • Goal setting
  • Taking better notes in class
  • Building relationships

Your counselor is here to help you! They want to work with you, your families, and teachers to help you succeed.

Develop Your Plan

Scholars, you are responsible for your learning. You have the opportunity to go to college, learn a vocational trade, join the military, or own a business. You are accountable for every action and choice you make in school. Here are some great questions to consider while you set goals for this semester:

  • What do I want to learn in class?
  • How can I take advantage of my talents and skills to grow?
  • How can I manage my free time effectively?
  • How can I balance my school/ home/extracurricular activities and still have fun?
  • What am I willing to change to achieve my goals?

Remember, plans are flexible. You can always make adjustments and revisions to thrive in school. I believe in your success. Let’s finish 2018 strong!

Welcome to the Scholar Connection!

I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my mom and sister. My mom was honest with me about life after high school. As a single parent, she had limited options to pay for me to go to school. She said that in order for me to go to college, I had to earn a scholarship due to my brains, my musical abilities, or enter the military. I decided to focus on my academics!

I remember spending hours applying for college and filling out scholarship applications. There were no such things as online applications, so I filled out paper applications for college and typed my scholarship essays. I remember the joy I felt getting accepted to the college of my dreams. I cried when I received enough scholarship money so my mom would not have to worry about paying for my education. I loved school, and I come from a long line of educators. I knew I wanted to do something to help students succeed and reach their educational dreams. I was destined to become a school counselor.

I have helped hundreds of students accomplish their goals and dreams. I want to help even more students and families succeed and thrive. My goal is to create the next generation of scholars, change agents, and leaders whether they choose to attend college, career/technical programs, or the military. I am so excited to work with you on your pursuit of education!

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Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom. — Oprah Winfrey