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Melinda Gates: The effect technology has on my children

September 18th, 2017

There is no denying it, smart phones are becoming a necessity and most high school students have one.  The technology that comes with these smart phones can be worrisome, but also a great asset to everyday life.  The article shared today from the The Washington Post is written by Melinda Gates.  Gates has been at the forefront of these amazing technologies from the beginning and with three children, she knows all too well the effects these high tech devices have on kids in today’s world.

I appreciate Gates’s openness in sharing her own life experiences.  I think it is always a good idea to continue evaluating how much time we spend consuming media on our devices.  

Article referenced below from The Washington Post

When my youngest child was born in 2002, the flip phone was still the coolest piece of tech you could get. Now I’m told that all three of my children are part of what demographers are calling iGen.

I spent my career at Microsoft trying to imagine what technology could do, and still I wasn’t prepared for smartphones and social media. Like many parents with children my kids’ age, I didn’t understand how they would transform the way my kids grew up — and the way I wanted to parent. I’m still trying to catch up.

Read more at Washington Post >>

Use Your PreACT, PSAT performance to choose a college entrance exam

September 5th, 2017

Now that most schools are in session, we hope everyone is settling into the groove of routines and schedules again.  September is the month for all juniors and some sophomores to register for the October PSAT, so this article is perfectly timed to share. School counselors will share details about the PSAT calendar and how to register.

Many seniors begin the year with plans to retake either the ACT and/or the SAT (some took advantage of the College Board’s August test date).  But juniors and their parents often ask how to determine which exam is right for the student.  Most of you have discussed with us taking an ACT practice test to compare to the PSAT; according to the US News article linked below, evaluating your performance on the PSAT and the Pre-ACT is also a helpful way to determine which exam is right.  We can compare results, consult a concordance table, and then develop a plan for tests and dates to follow.

One important note:  although the article suggests otherwise, all colleges weigh the ACT and SAT equally now, so there need not be concern about any college preferring one over the other.

Article referenced below from US News

Choosing between the ACT and SAT is a pivotal decision that all college-bound high school students must make. One of the key steps in reaching an informed decision is to sit for an official practice test – the PreACT or PSAT – which give you a better idea of what to expect when you take the official college entrance exams.

In addition to considering other factors, such as whether your top-choice schools prefer a specific standardized exam, your performance on these pre-exams can help guide you in choosing between the ACT and SAT.

Read more at US News >>

Changing the world one start-up at a time

August 21st, 2017

Have you ever had a great idea for a business that you thought could really make a change?  Starting a business is not easy and for that reason most great ideas remain dormant.  It takes time, resources/money and courage to start up something new, and sometimes it is hard to take that leap of faith and believe that you can make something of your idea.

In today’s article, from NBC News, the story of two young men from Pakistan whose vision became a reality is shared.  These young entrepreneurs were encouraged by their Drexel University professor to put forth the effort to create something they believed in.  This is a wonderful article that encourages students to harness their creative powers, identify problems in need of solutions, and bring change to the world. To find out more about these young entrepreneurs, click on the article link below.  

We’d also like to note that several Shrop Ed advisees have created companies while undergraduates, and some have received wonderful recognition for their ideas. Perhaps you’ll be the next!

Article referenced below from NBC News

Danish Dhamani was painfully self-aware of his accent when he arrived in the U.S. four years ago.

Born in Pakistan and raised in Tanzania, Dhamani was riddled with anxiety at the thought of speaking in class at Drexel University. Worried this would hold him back, he sought out coaching. Dhamani improved over time, and pretty soon it hit him: No one was born a public speaker, but with a little practice, anyone could become one. But what if you don’t have the time, money or motivation to work with a coach?

The 22-year-old mechanical engineering student and his friend Paritosh Gupta, both students at Drexel, decided to create a mobile app that would help users improve their public speaking skills. The duo, who lived in the same dorm their freshmen year and became fast friends, brought that vision to life in the form of Orai.

(You’ll note that sharing the NBC web page with this article are several other articles that do not pertain to to the main story … but if you continue to scroll down once on the page, you’ll find more about student entrepreneurs).

Read more at NBC News >>

How to conquer the admissions essay

August 7th, 2017

We’ve shared several articles in the past weeks relating to essay questions, and many of our rising seniors have made good progress.  With the first day of school right around the corner, now’s the time to get serious about this part of your application if you haven’t yet done so.  In the article shared below, creative writer Rachel Toor gives great insight into what really goes on behind closed doors during admissions reviews.  

Toor gives specific examples of topics that work and some that don’t, with a great list of of things students should avoid.  The most significant piece of advice throughout this article is to make your essay personal and help the readers understand who you are through your writing.  

Many students have heard me reminisce about my years on admission committees at Tufts, Brandeis and Washington universities.  The best essays that I read during that time made me feel the student was right across the desk from me, ready to talk and answer questions.  Let your personality and voice shine through!

Article published below by New York Times

Picture this before you plop yourself down in front of your computer to compose your college application essay: A winter-lit room is crammed with admissions professionals and harried faculty members who sit around a big table covered with files. The admissions people, often young and underpaid, buzz with enthusiasm; the professors frequently pause to take off their glasses and rub their eyes.

These exhausted folks, hopped up from eating too many cookies and brownies, have been sitting in committee meetings for days after spending a couple of months reading applications, most of which look pretty similar: baseball = life, or debate = life, or “I went to a developing country and discovered poor people can be happy.”

Read more at New York Times >>

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