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The ACT is Stressful Enough. Let It Wait

Some of you may have read my recent article about when to start ACT test prep for your child. (See article here) As I have heard back from parents and teachers on this subject and researched the topic further, I have come to some alarming realizations about how much pressure parents and, in some cases, schools are placing on students to study early for this test.

One parent responded to my previous article by noting a friend of hers had started her child in ACT test prep in 7th grade. He was an exceptionally bright student and succeeded in scoring a 35 on the test in 11th grade. That sounds great, right? Well, I would argue that students can learn to master the test starting in 10th grade and still achieve their full potential without needing to maintain the focus – and STRESS – of working on this throughout middle school and early high school. I have a 7th grader. I am enjoying watching him struggle and grow and discover himself during this crucial and formidable time in his life. These are the things I believe he should be doing – exploring new academic and personal interests, failing at some things and learning through those difficult experiences, and succeeding at many other endeavors and gaining an intrinsic sense of self-worth in the process. I have seen the stress that the ACT and all other aspects of applying to college can impart upon students. It doesn’t need to start in 7th grade.

Additionally, I spoke with a teacher who formerly taught at an elite high school about the current trend toward early ACT test prep. I voiced my concerns about this issue, and she shared the following:

“I agree. Freshman year is just too early to start prep and “test prep fatigue” is a real thing. In the school I taught in, the administration was test crazy and test prep began day one in 9th grade. My students hated it and by junior year, many didn’t care anymore because they were so exhausted by test prep. As far as (practice) scores, they peaked at the end of freshman or sophomore year and there was just no way to squeeze any more points out of kids after that. Math was, of course, a big problem in the beginning because tested concepts weren’t covered yet in class, just like you said. The whole process made me so sad. And there was a dip in scores following each summer, naturally.”

My advice? Let your children learn, explore, and grow in their early teen years. There are enough new social and academic pressures for them to sort through and overcome at this age as it is. Adding the pressure of test prep (and, by extension, introducing early pressure about getting into college) in 7th, 8th, or 9th grade will, ultimately, be counterproductive. Our children will become eager to embark on the exciting adventure of applying to college (and leaving us parents behind) soon enough. Let it wait.

This was written by Laura George who is the founder of Laura George Consulting, LLC (, a college consulting firm that provides a comprehensive range of services including customized, one-on-one high school entrance exam tutoring (SSAT, HSPT, ISEE, PSAT 8/9) and ACT/SAT tutoring, college essay coaching, and college application and admissions consulting in person for students in the Chicago area and across the country via Zoom. Laura is a graduate of Duke University and Northwestern Kellogg School of Management and a former member of the Kellogg Admissions Committee.

Visit her website at, join her informative Facebook group, Parents of College Bound Kids, at or reach out to directly at if you have any questions about this, other test prep, or college admissions questions.  

Contrary to Popular Belief, Crazy-Busy is Not Normal

It’s the week before the big holidays – it’s break time. Do you feel like you want to pull your hair out from the stress? Are students marching into your offices, freaking out while waiting for news from their first-choice colleges? What about the students who are still writing their essays? Or the ones who are adding college to their lists?

Yeah, it’s enough to stress you out. It does not need to be so stressful.

Last year, I spent the last week of December coaching a scholar-athlete as he wrote essays for eight schools while on an African safari with his family. He had been rejected by a super-selective university that had given him a verbal commitment, and he didn’t have a backup plan. (All’s well that ends well: He is now on the crew team at an Ivy.)
And while Susan wasn’t texting and exchanging Google docs with a boy on another continent like I was, she did suddenly find herself working with a few students who decided at the last minute to apply to several schools after being told no by their first-choice colleges.
We were both pretty busy. But we plan for that. You can plan for that, too.
We got through it all with relative ease because we follow a tried-and-true process that works. Every time.
We don’t let our students’ emergencies become ours, especially in December. You shouldn’t, either. Contrary to popular belief, crazy-busy is not normal.

If you know us, you know we like to give away free stuff to help you guide your students. We give away free books for you to share with your students and families. And we give free stuff to you, so you can plan for just about anything, and take control of your essay coaching practice. 
We’ve got more free stuff as we move the Class of 2020 across the finish line; it’s a good time to consider which aspects of your counseling practice work well and where you could improve.

  • Is your essay process smooth?
  • Are you putting out too many fires?
  • Relying on random resources?
  • Custom solving every problem that comes up?

It doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s our next FREE offer to help you start the year:
If you’d like to feel more in control next season, I encourage you to join us on Wednesday, January 15 from 1 to 2 p.m. Eastern, for some insight into how we stay so calm, even when big deadlines approach and parents stress out and students can’t figure out what to write.

We’ll be introducing an exciting new program for professionals – The College Essay Experience, and we’ll be doing some writing, too.

Want to learn more? Join Our Free Monthly Pro Chats

Every month, we host a free professional chat (it’s a short, 30-minute webinar!) for counselors and other professionals. She talks about timely matters and answers pressing questions.

If you can’t make it, don’t worry. Just sign up, and we’ll send you a recording. Register here.

About the Author

Kim Lifton is President of Wow Writing Workshop, a strategic communication company staffed by experts who understand the writing process inside and out. Since 2009, Wow has been leading the industry with our unique approach to communicating any message effectively. The Wow Method helps business and nonprofit leaders create better blogs, manage social media, develop websites and create other communication materials. It also helps students write college application essays, grad school personal statements and resumes that get results. If it involves words, Wow can help.

RCA Hope for Addiction Scholarship

Due to the impact of the opioid epidemic in the United States and the ever expanding need for well trained professionals to help battle addiction, Recovery Centers of America (RCA) launched a scholarship program to encourage college and university students to do their part in the fight against the addiction crisis affecting our nation. We established the RCA Hope for Addiction Scholarship to offer financial assistance that will help undergraduate and graduate students pursue and finish their degrees with the intention of helping people struggling with addiction. We encourage all students to apply, particularly those who are in recovery from addiction themselves.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Students of all majors are encouraged to apply
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Must be currently enrolled or in enrollment process at an accredited university, college, or trade school within the United States
  • Must be pursuing a degree and demonstrate a desire to help individuals and families struggling with addiction
  • Limited to one (1) entry per person
  • Recovery Centers of America employees and their immediate families are NOT eligible for entry
  • Scholarship funds must be used to pay for qualified expenses for the 2020-2021 academic year

Step-by-Step Scholarship Entry Process

  1. Draft a 750 – 1,000-word essay in response to the following topic: It’s imperative for individuals and their families to have access to high-quality, affordable, and effective treatment programs in an environment that is comfortable and close to home. How are you planning to use your degree to aid those in recovery? How do you plan to help individuals and families impacted by the disease of addiction?
  2. Please include a short bio of yourself. Your bio should include your name, background, and hometown, along with your interests, goals, college major (or expected college major), and anything else you’d like us to know. Please Note: Your bio does NOT count toward the 750-1000-word count required for the essay.
  3. Send your essay to by January 31, 2020. Be sure to include the following information in the body of your email:
    • Full Name
    • Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
    • Address
    • Phone Number
    • Email Address
    • University, college, or trade school where you are currently enrolled or plan to enrollOr you can fill in the form below to submit your essay.
  4. Once the submission period has ended, our judges will review each essay and select one winner no later than February 31, 2020. The winner will be contacted by a Recovery Centers of America representative shortly after a selection has been made.
  5. Scholarship Award is $1,000

Submit your entry here:

Mindshift Guide to Understanding Dyslexia

Holly Korbey of KQED has put together a comprehensive 38 page online guide about Dyslexia. Dyslexia occurs in every language and in children from every background, regardless of race or socioeconomic status.

Stubborn. Not working to potential. Lazy. Unintelligent.

For many students sitting in classrooms right now struggling to read, they have already heard these words, or thought them about themselves. Yet no matter how hard they try, when these same students look at the page of a book or worksheet, the letters seem to move around and shift. Was the word pit or tap? Their or through?

For others, words come together so slowly to form coherent sentences, the first test question is barely answered when the rest of the class is nearly finished.

This is the daily given for students with dyslexia, a biological, brain-based reading condition connected to speech and language that makes reading words and sentences extremely difficult. Experts estimate that anywhere between 5 and 20 percent of school children have a form of dyslexia.

Dyslexia is, in fact, the root of 80 percent of all learning disabilities, and yet in many families, schools, and even businesses, it’s still profoundly misunderstood.

Chapters include:

1. Dyslexia is a different brain, not a disease

2. Recognizing Dyslexia in children

3. Educators and Dyslexia

4. Parents and Dyslexia

5. Technology Aids for Dyslexics

6. Possibilities

Information about additional resources is also included in the guide.

Here is a link to the online guide:

Train Your Mind to Think New Thoughts

If you want to think new thoughts, you have to know what you are already thinking. Your brain wants to think things that it has always thought. For example, try brushing your teeth with your left hand. It is hard, because it is something that your brain is not used to doing. 

You also want to be able to distinguish between thoughts that are actually true and thoughts that have just been burned into your memory. I think about my friend Dr. Cali Estes. Her dad always called her fat as a kid. A lot of people would have eternalized this and chose to think that they were fat. Cali didn’t do that. It is awesome when we can be told something our entire life and then consciously choose to think a different thought. Everything that you think is a choice. 

To start you have to identify thoughts that you are thinking now. You really have to pay attention to this for it to work. There are probably several negative thoughts that you are thinking that you do not even know you are thinking! Now is the time for that to stop. 

Affirmations are a great way to start training yourself intentionally. This is where I started. I started by writing down things I was committed to. For example, I am committed to working out 5 days a week. That was a positive thought that kept me on track with my thinking and my goals.  

Podcasts – Murder show? Or self development show? These two very different categories are going to change the way you think. If you are listening to murder shows you are going to be looking over your shoulder and thinking about people dying all the time. If you are listening to self development shows you are going to be filled with positivity that is going to make you a better person. What you are listening to is altering the way you think. 

Music how do you feel after you listen to Lizzo compared to a ballad by Adele? Both are fantastic, but make you feel much different. Think about it? Are you putting music in your head that is creating a better person? Is it making you feel happy and energetic? Or are you listening to something super sad and wallowing in your sadness? 

Shows – I swear This is Us makes me a better person. After I watch it I just want to love more. I relax when I watch it and it is so good that I just want to be good too! Here is another example on the other end.. There is a show called Snapped that I watched one day. I don’t know why, but I did. There was a lady on there that had some kind of psychotic episode and shot her 3 year old son in the head and then when her other son ran away she chased him down and shot him in the head. I thought about this for weeks. Why in the world would we watch things like this and fill our minds with trash that does not serve us? It was the only time I ever watched that show. Pay attention to what you are watching. 

People around you have a huge influence on what you think. I used to work at a job where there were a lot of awesome people. But there 2 people there that literally complained about everything and they liked me so they always sat by me at lunch and meetings. Avoiding them was almost impossible. Their lives sucked and they did not want to have good lives. They just wanted to talk about how much they hated everything. Eventually, they started bringing me down to the point where I had to hide from them just so I didn’t get the negativity on me. It is okay to choose who you are around, in face, I suggest it. 

So let’s get back to the thoughts we think. 

Here are some thoughts that  you might be thinking.. 

I can’t afford that. 

That is hard. 

I will never be that thin. 

Work is hard. 

You have to work a lot to be rich. 

I don’t have enough time.

I can’t focus. 

I am a hot mess. 

If I eat that I will get fat. 

She is prettier than me. 

The list could literally go on and on. From now on I want you to recognize your thoughts. And see if you can change them.. Here are some examples.. 

I can’t afford that. – I am choosing not to spend my money on that right now. 

That is hard. – With the right skills and effort I can do that. 

I will never be that thin. – It is possible that if I worked at it I could be that thin. 

Work is hard. – Work is easy. 

You have to work a lot to be rich. – Being rich has little to do with how hard I work. 

I don’t have enough time.- I have plenty of time. 

I can’t focus. – I am choosing not to focus. 

I am a hot mess. –  I’m learning from my mistakes. 

If I eat that I will get fat. – Eating one thing does not make me fat. 

She is prettier than me. – I am beautiful. 

One of my favorite people is Brooke Castillo. I have learned so much about coaching from her. She is golden and super successful. She talks about the thoughts that she chooses to believe every single day. She has a podcast, The Life Coach School Podcast. It is for everyone. It is sooooo gooooood. I listen to it all the time. 

Here are the 10 thoughts that she chooses to think. 

  1. You are 100% lovable.
  2. A great life is determined by the amazing goals you commit to, not necessarily achieve.
  3. Money is awesome. 
  4. The discomfort of growth is always better than the discomfort of stagnation.
  5.  Adults are allowed to behave how they want. 
  6. Your spouse’s only job is to be there for you to love.
  7. You create your experience, it doesn’t happen to you.
  8.  Nothing is too good to be true. 
  9. The future is always better than the past. 
  10.  The worst that can happen is a feeling. 

She talks about Thoughts to Believe in her podcast here. If you are driving or working out, you should listen to her podcast. It is great! I even had the opportunity to join her coaching membership that inspired me to start Transition YOUniversity. 

I hope this helps you in changing your thinking. It is important. The more positive you are the more positive people you are going to attract into your life. 

Get started today thinking the thoughts that you chose to think! 

JoBeth Evans has five years of experience teaching high school, and has been teaching public speaking at the University of Arkansas for five years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and a master’s degree from Arkansas Tech University. She is a nationally certified life coach with a total of three different coaching-related certificates.  In her work as a life coach, she helps teen girls make the transition from high school to college. In addition, JoBeth is a speaker and writer who works to equip young women for the major life transition of entering college.  She can be reached at

When Should Your Students Begin Preparing for the ACT Test?

I enjoyed speaking with a prospective client recently who asked me a thought-provoking question – when is the ideal time for a high school student to start ACT prep?

With increasing numbers of parents investing in tutoring and college consulting services in order to give their children the best shot at gaining acceptance to their dream schools, some are seeking earlier test prep services – as early as freshman year. Admittedly, I had not previously given this question much thought, as in recent years I have mainly worked with juniors and even seniors who were attempting to improve their scores. As I move to a more proactive model of service and seek to engage clients earlier in the admissions process, I would like to address this trend toward earlier ACT prep. I frankly do not believe starting in 9th grade will give students an edge on the test for a few reasons:

  1. They will grow weary of test prep by the time they actually sit for the test junior year.
  2. They typically do not have the full benefit of advanced math classes yet.
  3. They will not retain everything they learn about taking the test over a two-year span, as this knowledge will get diluted by other schoolwork during that time.

So what to do? I recommend starting in 10th grade at the earliest, and even then, I would only start by administering a practice test to gage the student’s areas of strength and weakness. Then throughout sophomore year, I would work with the student on some general test taking strategies to get him or her comfortable with the timing and the need to pace oneself throughout the test.

I believe the summer between sophomore and junior year is the ideal time to begin reviewing test material and strategies in earnest. Students are not in school and the added pressure of homework and tests is lifted. I also believe in scheduling test prep to target a specific test date. In this way the students can maximize their learning in the months leading up to the test and retain it in order to maximize their scores. Additionally, I am always an advocate of planning to take the test multiple times. No matter how many times students practice the full test, the first time they actually sit through it can be nerve wracking. After they have gotten one under their belts, they very often relax and perform even better on subsequent tests. Also, the pressure of only having one shot at a good score is lifted in their minds.

This was written by Laura George who is the founder of Laura George Consulting, LLC (, a college consulting firm that provides a comprehensive range of services including customized, one-on-one high school entrance exam tutoring (SSAT, HSPT, ISEE, PSAT 8/9) and ACT/SAT tutoring, college essay coaching, and college application and admissions consulting in person for students in the Chicago area and across the country via Zoom. Laura is a graduate of Duke University and Northwestern Kellogg School of Management and a former member of the Kellogg Admissions Committee.

Visit her website at, join her informative Facebook group, Parents of College Bound Kids, at or reach out to directly at if you have any questions about this, other test prep, or college admissions questions.  

Tips to Review a College Essay

It’s December, and there are still regular college application deadlines around the corner. What do you do when your students show you application essays that just don’t seem ready to go?

This is the point in the process when professionals and other well-meaning adults can overstep their roles. No worries. We’re going to share our simple approach to reviewing essays on a tight deadline.

This time of year, we get countless requests to review essays before students submit them as part of their applications. We know students have poured a lot of time into the essays; we know they want to be done; we also know there is limited time to make any major revisions.


Begin by letting go of any preconceived notions about what makes a good essay. In fact, we suggest replacing the word “good” with the word “effective.” It’s important to let each student write their story in their own voice using their own words.

There is no rubric for an effective college essay, but the ones that stand out all share a few common features. Regardless of the prompt, they:

  • Answer the question.
  • Showcase a positive trait or characteristic.
  • Sound like a high school student.
  • Illustrate something meaningful about the student.
  • Demonstrate reflection.

You will know if an essay is effective if it has a theme, which answers these two questions:

  1. What happened?
  2. Why does it matter?

We recommend reading without a red pen in hand, and without your hands on the computer keyboard. Just read. Make sure you know what the essay is about and why the student chose this topic. Then ask two key questions:

  • Is anything missing?
  • Is the college essay’s purpose clear?

Double-check the prompt. If the prompt asks the writer to reflect on an experience and its influence on them, be sure your child has talked about both the experience and its effect.

Use the checklist below to evaluate a traditional personal statement, such as the Common Application essay, the Coalition application, the University of California personal insight questions, ApplyTexas or any primary prompt from schools that use their own applications.

College Essay Review Checklist


  • Does the essay answer the prompt?
  • Can you tell why the writer chose this topic?
  • Is the essay about the student, or is it really about the place, person or experience featured in the essay?
  • Does it illustrate a trait the student wants to share with colleges?
  • Does it tell colleges something meaningful about the writer that is not clear from the rest of the application package?
  • Does the essay sound like the person who wrote it?


  • Does the first paragraph make you want to keep reading?
  • Does the essay move smoothly from beginning to end?


  • Does the essay use the same verb tense throughout?
  • Has the writer avoided sentence fragments and run-on sentences?
  • Is the punctuation correct and consistent?
  • Is every word spelled correctly?
  • Does the student feel confident and proud of the work?

That’s it. No magic. No special tricks. If you have more questions, let us know. We have more good information, and we’re always happy to share.

Find out how to inspire your students during our free webinar

We’re launching a new professional development program for counselors and consultants in January called The College Essay Experience, and we’d love to include you. 

All you have to do right now is sign up for the informational webinar. We’ll give you a taste of our process, and we’ll even do some writing. And there’s a giveaway – a free gift for everyone who signs up. You can join us live or listen to the recording

Learn more on January 15, 1-2 pm EasternSign up here, and then forget about it. In the meantime, enjoy your family and friends.

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season.

About the Author

Kim Lifton is President of Wow Writing Workshop, a strategic communication company staffed by experts who understand the writing process inside and out. Since 2009, Wow has been leading the industry with our unique approach to communicating any message effectively. The Wow Method helps business and nonprofit leaders create better blogs, manage social media, develop websites and create other communication materials. It also helps students write college application essays, grad school personal statements and resumes that get results. If it involves words, Wow can help.

10 Steps that can Help Your Students Speed Up the College Application Process

College admissions might feel more competitive than ever due to the increased applicant numbers, so taking extra time to craft a strong college application is key. While winter break is usually considered a time to relax and de-stress, this extended time off serves as the perfect opportunity for students to make significant strides on all those essays! With a majority of the regular decision deadlines falling between early and mid-January, some strategic allocation of that coveted, winter break “downtime” can make the difference between a good application and a great one.

Get into the right mindset.

How you think about the process is everything. Focus less on checking-off a bunch of to-dos and more on sharing with your sought-after colleges what makes you YOU:  your unique and compelling narrative, your “why”, what you “geek out” over, where you foresee yourself making a contribution, that can, in turn, contribute to your career trajectory, growth, and dreams. 

Create an action plan.

We recommend “reverse engineering,” which is working backward from submission deadlines and allocating blocks of time for various tasks. Create a schedule that holds you accountable for meeting benchmarks while allowing some flexibility and time for self-care.

Send your SAT/ACT score reports to colleges with time to spare.

Be sure to log online and check to see that you’ve sent your scores to all the schools that require them. Allow ample time for the scores to be sent, received, and processed by your various colleges. Pay attention, too, to the schools that are test-optional – then make a decision that best represents you and your strengths as a student.

Request letters of recommendation now.

Asking your teachers and mentors for letters of recommendation well before winter break gives them more time to write you a specific, effectively thought-out, personal letter. Consider sharing your main personal statement or a synopsis of it – along with a brag sheet and/or resume – so that your writers have a sense of how you are presenting yourself in your applications. Think of these letters as opportunities to reinforce, build upon, and add credibility and specificity to what you are already conveying about yourself.

Choose The Right Environment.

Put yourself in a space that inspires you. Bring your laptop, iPad, or journal to some of your favorite places and let the ideas flow. Changing up your environment can help college “memoir-style” essay writing feel less overwhelming, making room for writing that is more nuanced, sincere, and vulnerable.

Look over the application prompt before you write.

Formulating a comprehensive, authentic answer can be tricky! Take some time to reflect on the prompts and what they mean to you before attempting to write that fully-realized, polished narrative. Start by bullet-pointing or engaging in some uninhibited free-writes.

Use your community.

Collaboration is the stuff of inspiration, growth, and brilliant epiphanies. Meet with a trusted friend or mentor who fuels your creativity or plan a small group session. Getting out of your head and connecting with others can help tap into narratives you may not have explored and qualities you might not be able to see or hear in yourself.

Apply for scholarships.

Most students are eligible for a number of different scholarships, many of which are easy to receive, as not too many students apply for them. The extra paperwork may seem daunting at first, yet with all these application supplements and such immense personal reflection underway, you’re basically primed to jump right in! And just a little time spent pursuing scholarships over the holiday break can pay off big-time in the long run! Be sure not to ignore the ones with smaller dollar amounts, for the more the merrier as everything will quickly add up.


Always keep your squad of supporters in-the-know. Help them help you. Stay in touch so they know deadlines for submitting application materials, and the angle you’re incorporating in your narrative portfolio so that they can reinforce it and add credibility to your application through their own relevant anecdotes and examples.

Keep up with your email.

Watch for alerts from the Common App or any of the schools to which you’re applying. Communication, follow-through, and making sure everyone is on the same page can make a world of difference. 

Cindy Chanin is the founder of Rainbow EDU Consulting & Tutoring. She wrote this blog for AZ Big Media. Check them out at

Grants and Scholarships for Women

Grants for Women has put together a great list of scholarships specifically for women. If you are working with any female students that are looking for additional funding sources for their college education this is a great list of grants and scholarships that they can start with. Here is the complete list:

Altrusa International Foundation
The Altrusa International Foundation is a not-for-profit, philanthropic corporation established in 1962 by Altrusa International, Inc., a worldwide volunteer service organization devoted to contributing to human well-being through the development and implementation of effective local community service programs. Volunteers and beneficiaries include women and men.
Funding Amount: $250 – $1,000
More Info:

American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Features information on fellowships, grants, and awards for female students, presented by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in Washington, D.C. Discusses AAUW Educational Foundation fellowships and grants, AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund support for sex discrimination lawsuits, and the International Federation of University Women.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Arcus Foundation
Provides grants through several funds, to include the Arcus Fund, Gay & Lesbian Fund, Great Apes Fund, and the National Fund. The Arcus Foundation envisions and contributes to a pluralistic world that celebrates diversity and dignity, invests in social justice, and promotes tolerance and compassion.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is committed to supporting programs and organizations that create opportunity, enhance self-esteem and increase awareness about cultural and community issues among young men and women.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Association For Women In Mathematics
The purpose of the Association for Women in Mathematics is to encourage women and girls to study and to have active careers in the mathematical sciences, and to promote equal opportunity and the equal treatment of women and girls in the mathematical sciences.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Association for Women In Science Scholarships and Fellowships
Each year, the AWIS Educational Foundation offers predoctoral awards and college scholarships for high school seniors in the amount of $1,000. A new program, the Kirsten R. Lorentzen Award, is for college sophomores or juniors studying physics or geoscience.
Funding Amount: $1,000
More Info:

Avon Foundation
The Avon Foundation is committed to the mission to improve the lives of women and their families. Now past the half century milestone, the Avon Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that brings this mission to life through two key areas of focus: breast cancer and domestic violence.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Backstage Capital
Backstage invests in startup founders who identify as a Woman, Person of Color, and/or LGBTQ. They believe these founders are underestimated, and have the most potential for unlocking innovation and creating valuable businesses. To support more founders, they’re growing a global community of local accelerator programs.
Funding Amount: Varies.
More Info:

Barbara Lee Family Foundation
The Barbara Lee Family Foundation was founded by Barbara Lee to strategically advance two of her longstanding passions – women in politics and the contemporary arts. The Women in Politics Program Area is dedicated to engaging women in the American democratic process and promoting their participation at all levels of government.
Funding Amount: Not listed.
More Info:

BBG Ventures
BBG Ventures invests in visionary entrepreneurs building the next generation of market-defining consumer products and services. Every company in their portfolio has at least one female founder. Why? Because they believe the greatest untapped opportunity for venture capital lies in backing women who are using technology to address common life-challenges and transform daily habits.
Funding Amount: Varies.
More Info:

BELLE Capital USA, LP is an early stage angel fund focused on building great companies in underserved capital markets across the USA. Companies seeking their capital must have at least one female founder or C-level exec, and/or be willing to recruit top female talent to the C-suite and Board of Directors.
Funding Amount: Varies.
More Info:

Beyonce’s Beygood
A charity initiative funded by international superstar Beyonce that gives away scholarships to women, and financial assistance to families who have been affected by natural disasters. The foundation also helps with long-term revitalization and the purchase of essential goods such as cots, blankets, pillows, baby products, feminine products, wheelchairs, and more.
Funding Amount: Varies.
More Info:

Black Girl Ventures
This organization creates place-based initiatives to provide access to capital for Black and Brown women entrepreneurs. Their mission is to use entrepreneurship support and training as a vehicle for poverty alleviation and wealth building. They wan to change the fact that Black and Brown women founders are underserved, unbanked and underfunded. They currently host pitch competitions in DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF)
CWF is Canada’s first, and only, national public foundation designed to raise and grant funds to meet the needs of women and girls. Women across Canada tell us repeatedly that poverty and violence are the two major issues affecting self-reliance and independence for women.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Chicago Foundation for Women
One of the largest women’s funds in the world, Chicago Foundation for Women believes that all women and girls in the Chicago metropolitan area should have the opportunity to achieve their potential and to live in safe, just and healthy communities. We support the achievement of social justice through grant-making and advocacy. Their work is rooted in three principals of women’s human rights:
– Economic security
– Freedom from violence and
– Access to health services
Funding Amount: $5,000 to $50,000
More Info:

Colin Higgins Foundation
Through its grantmaking activities, The Colin Higgins Foundation supports organizations that build the power and leadership of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered youth (age 13-24) through:
– Grassroots organizing and/or comprehensive leadership development
– Working with historically underprivileged constituencies: youth of color,
transgendered, immigrant,low income or rural youth/and or youth in reservation communities
– Striving to bring about institutional change in the legal, political economic or cultural structures that impact the LGBT youth, and;
– Working to link LGBT youth to other organization and social justice movements.
Funding Amount: $10,000 – $20,000
More Info:

Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting Scholarships
The Educational Foundation awards scholarships to women who are pursuing accounting degrees at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Funding Amount: $1,000 – $5,000
More Info:

Federated Dept Store Foundation
Charitable giving through the Federated Foundation, from Federated’s divisions and corporate office and The May Department Stores Foundation totaled more than $33.5 million in fiscal 2005. Areas of strategic focus for the Federated Foundation continue to be education, arts/culture, minority issues, women’s issues and HIV/AIDS.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Female Founders Fund
Women experience greater successes – and fewer failures – than their male counterparts. Yet traditional venture capital does not reflect this. Female Founders Fund was founded to change that. Their portfolio companies all share something in common – each is led by talented female founders with disruptive and innovative ideas that better serve their consumer.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Girls Global Education Fund (GGEF)
GGEF is unique in that they are the only organization whose sole mission is to send girls to schools. To address the gender gap that exists between girls’ and boys’ education wanted to give girls a program of their own.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Girls Inc. Grants
Each year, Girls Inc. partners with the Annie E. Casey Foundation to offer the Family Strengthening Awards that recognize Girls Inc. affiliates for outstanding programs that make families stronger and thus, help girls reach their full potential.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Golden Seeds
Golden Seeds is a discerning group of investors, seeking and funding high-potential, women-led businesses. By seeking companies where women hold leadership positions and own substantial equity, they are funding companies that are likely to have diverse perspectives that will contribute to ultimate success.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Google’s Women Techmakers Scholars Program
Through this program — formerly called the Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Program — Google is furthering Dr. Anita Borg’s vision of creating gender equality in the field of computer science by offering an academic scholarship, awarded based on academic performance, leadership, and impact on the community of women in tech.
Funding Amount: $1,000 – $10,000
More Info:

Hopeline® From Verizon
Via this program, Verizon collects no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories and turns them into support for domestic violence organizations nationwide. The initiative aims to help the nearly one in four women, and more than 3 million children in the United States affected by domestic violence.
Funding Amount: VariesMore Info:

HORIZONS Scholarship For Women
The scholarship is intended to provide financial assistance to further educational objectives of women who are U.S. citizens either employed or planning careers in defense or national security areas.
Funding Amount: Varies
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Intel Capital Diversity Fund
The largest venture capital resource ever created to focus on women and other underrepresented tech entrepreneurs, their Diversity Initiative ensures that people from a wide variety of backgrounds can access the business development programs, global network, technology expertise and brand capital their talents deserve.
Funding Amount: Varies
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International Federation of University Women’s Fellowships and Grants (IFUW)
IFUW and its national affiliates help to build the future by offering fellowships and grants to enable women and girls to achieve their educational goals.
Funding Amount: Varies
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Jeannette Rankin Foundation For Low Income Women
A non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for, and awarding grants to, low income women, ages 35 and older. Each grant recipient has a vision of how a college education will benefit herself, her family, and her community. Most recipients are in truly meager financial circumstances and may have other hardships or disabilities.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Levi Strauss Foundation
The Levi Strauss Foundation (LSF) seeks to alleviate poverty on behalf of women and youth in communities around the world where our employees and our contractors’ employees live and work.
Focus areas include:
– Building assets
– Preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS
– Worker’s Rights
Funding Amount: $250 to $458,667
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Limited Foundation
Limited Brands is committed to being a responsible member of the global community. They support the organizations that reflect the values and concerns of our associates and our customers. In specific, they’ve targeted programs that are responsive to the needs of women, children, education and our communities.
Funding Amount: Varies
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Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Scholarship Program
Women are the overwhelming majority of professionals in the meeting industry, yet the overwhelming minority in leadership positions in their corporation/ organizations. In 2001, MPI launched a “Women’s Leadership Initiative” and has since worked to change this gender-related leadership statistic. Categories of scholarship funding include:
– College education funding
– General leadership education or academic funding
– MPI Programs- for leadership, career and education or academic funding specifically provided by MPI
Funding Amount: Not listed.
More Info:

Mott Foundation
The Mott Foundation has three grantmaking objectives: To strengthen education for democratic participation, To support women’s participation in government and nongovernmental organizations, To strengthen the effectiveness of the nonprofit sector.
Funding Amount: Varies
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Ms. Foundation For Women
The Ms. Foundation for Women has been creating opportunities for women and girls for 30 years. We know that when we invest in women and girls, helping them develop their voices and skills, everyone benefits—men, boys, families, and communities.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

National Physical Science Consortium Fellowships For Women
NPSC offers a unique graduate fellowship in the physical sciences and related engineering fields. It is open to all U. S. Citizens, but with emphasis on recruitment of applications from historically underrepresented minorities and women.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

New Israel Fund (NIF)
NIF provides grants to a variety of organizations working to promote women’s rights and status. A special initiative, in partnership with the Nathan Cummings Foundation, aims to promote social change for Orthodox and Arab women. Other grantees are promoting a long school day to enable women to work, providing legal aid to disempowered women, developing micro-enterprises for immigrant women, and advocating for increased government funds to address the needs of poor women.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

New Voices Fund
New Voices Fund is a $100 Million Fund created to empower women of color entrepreneurs to reach their full potential. This groundbreaking initiative, designed to level the playing field, provides women of color entrepreneurs with unprecedented access, capital, and expertise they need to excel.
Funding Amount: Varies
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NOW Foundation
This foundation is a non-profit organization that is devoted to furthering women’s rights through education and litigation. They are affiliated with the National Organization for Women – the largest organization for women’s rights
Funding Amount: Varies
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Open Society Institute Grants
The Open Society Institute (OSI), a private operating and grantmaking foundation, aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. Locally, OSI implements a range of initiative to support the rule of law, education, public health and independent media. Specifically for women, this organization promotes the advancement of women’s human rights, gender equality, and empowerment as an integral part of the process of democratization.
Funding amount (awarded to programs benefiting women): $340 to $550,000
More Info:

Open Meadows Foundation
This foundation is a grant-making organization for projects that are led by and benefit women and girls. Open Meadows Foundation funds projects that do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age or ability.
Funding amount: Up to $2,000
More Info:

Oprah’s Angel Network
Oprah’s Angel Network, a public charity formed in 1998, was established to encourage people around the world to make a difference in the lives of others. The charity initiates and supports charitable projects and provides grants to not-for-profit organizations around the globe that share in this vision.
Funding amount: Varies
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The PepsiCo Foundation
The Foundation aims to:
– Advance the knowledge about how to encourage healthy lifestyles and effect positive behavior change
– Support education and community organizations which advance opportunities in undergraduate/graduate education, women and minority owned businesses and workplace equality- Advance the knowledge and methods of water resource management which are sustainable and impact quantity and quality of water supply in developing nations
– Support organizations and research initiatives which help to address issues critical to the betterment of society
Funding amount: under $10,000 to over $100,000
More Info:

Patrina Foundation
The Patrina Foundation is a family foundation, started in 1990 by Mrs. Lorinda de Roulet. From the beginning, this foundation has sought to promote educational opportunities and advance scholarship by and about women. Today, the Foundation had expanded its scope to include support of social programs to improve the lives of girls and women in New York.
Funding amount: $10,000 to $15,000
More Info:

PeaChic Grants
peaChic was created by women in business, for women in business. Because of this we also focus significant effort on helping women, nationwide, achieve their dreams through owning businesses of their own. In addition to well balanced articles, peaChic also offers grants 4 times per year for the purpose of starting or expanding woman-owned/woman-focused businesses. These grants are corporate-sponsored and never require repayment.
Funding amount: Varies
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PEO International
True to the mission of promoting educational opportunities for women, education continues to be the primary philanthropy of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. In fact, the P.E.O. Sisterhood proudly sponsors no less than five international philanthropies, or projects, designed to assist women with their educational goals.
Funding amount: Varies
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Portfolia designed their funds with a special interest in appealing to women who own half of the wealth, buy the majority of products, but rarely invest in startup companies. One of their funds called the FemTech Fund is investing in 10 top performing women-owned health companies.
Funding amount: Varies
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Proctor and Gamble Corporate Giving
P&G is committed to social responsibility. They are always seeking ways to better integrate economic progress, social development and environmental concerns to ensure a better quality of life for future generations.
Funding amount: Not listed.
More Info:

Raise The Nation
The mission at Raise The Nation is to provide economic support to single parent women who want to continue with their education or repay student loans. We believe, through education, single parent women will be able to achieve independence for their families and will be successful in their goal of raising the nation – their children.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Rethink Impact
Rethink Impact is the largest, US-based impact venture capital firm with a gender lens that invests in female leaders using technology to solve the world’s biggest problems. They believe that the next generation of extraordinary companies (in health, environmental sustainability, education, and economic empowerment) will find success through their relentless pursuit of mission, for the benefit of all communities.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Roller Panhellenic Scholarship For Women
The Mary Louise Roller Panhellenic Scholarship is an annual award of $1,000 awarded to an undergraduate woman who plans to attend graduate school the following fall.
Funding Amount: $1,000
More Info:

R.O.S.E. Fund
The R.O.S.E. (Regaining One’s Self-Esteem) Fund is a national non-profit organization committed to ending violence against women and their children by assisting women survivors of violence to regain their self-esteem. By helping women to achieve a positive self-esteem, The R.O.S.E. Fund hopes to empower individual women victims to achieve self-sufficiency, rebuild their lives, and ultimately help end violence within society.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Sisters of Charity Foundation
The mission of the Sisters of Charity Foundation and its Ministry Fund is to provide support for and financial assistance to community initiatives that will benefit the poor and underserved.
Funding Amount: Not listed.
More Info:

The Sister Fund
The Sister Fund supports organizations whose work is explicitly:
– Relevant to both faith and feminism
– Focused on empowerment of women and girls
Funding Amount: $5,000 – $30,000
More Info:

Textron Corporate Grants
Textron is committed to helping prepare both adults and young people to achieve gainful employment and ultimately, success in the workplace. They support all levels of education, from early childhood to higher education and a variety of innovative job training programs for people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Third Wave Foundation Grants For Women
This foundation offers financial support in the form of grants, technical assistance in the form of trainings, workshops, and connections with experts, as well as networking opportunities for young leaders to meet and collaborate with one another to build a larger movement. Our two grant-making areas: Organizing and Advocacy Fund, and the Reproductive Health and Justice Initive, offer the above in varying forms.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Three Guineas Fund For Women
The Fund is presently engaged in a process of reflection and reevaluation of its strategic focus and operating model. We expect to emerge from this period with renewed commitment to an effective philanthropic approach to social justice issues for women.
Funding Amount: Various
More Info:

Tides Foundation
Tides Network actively promotes change toward a healthy and just society, one which is founded on the principles of social justice, broadly shared economic opportunity, a robust democratic process and a sustainable environment. Tides Network believes healthy societies rely fundamentally on respect for human rights, the vitality of communities, and a celebration of diversity
Funding Amount: $100- $674,150
More Info:

Toptal Scholarships for Women
A scholarship program committed to empowering the next generation of female CEOs, founders, and world leaders who want to change the world. This program is open to women from all walks of life who are currently pursuing or aiming to pursue any type of education program. Winners get a scholarship award and a free year of mentorship.
Funding Amount: $10,000
More Info:

Travel Grants For Women through the National Science Foundation and the Association for Women in Mathematics
This program enables women to attend research conferences in their fields, thereby providing a valuable opportunity to advance their research activities and their visibility in the research community.
Funding Amount: Up to $2,000More Info:

United Nations Development Fund For Women (UNIFEM)
UNIFEM is the women’s fund at the United Nations. It provides financial and technical assistance to innovative programs and strategies to foster women’s empowerment and gender equality.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Verizon Foundation
This Foundation concentrates its funding in the areas of literacy, digital divide, women and economic development, people with disabilities, education/scholarships, and community development.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Whirlpool Foundation
Quality family life, cultural diversity and lifelong learning are the focus areas for the Whirlpool Foundation’s grantmaking. Using these social issues as a framework for our strategic and citizenship grants, Whirlpool Foundation proactively identifies outstanding nonprofit organizations that are addressing these social issues in innovative, collaborative, self-sustaining ways.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Whitehead Foundation For Elderly Women
This foundation operates grants to a small number of institutions serving the needs of elderly women.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Whitehead Scholarship Program For Women
While most of the Lettie Pate Whitehead scholarships go toward undergraduate higher education, the Foundation maintains a special interest in health education. A significant number of its scholarship grants support education in the medical, nursing and allied health care fields.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

WHO Foundation
Specific projects and programs addressing health, education and social service needs are our priority. The Foundation recognizes the value of new programs created to respond to changing needs and will consider funding projects of an original or pioneering nature within an existing organization.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Women’s Funding Network
This fund transforms the traditional relationship between funds, donors, grassroots organizations, and the women and girls served by bringing all parties together.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Women’s PeacePower Foundation
Peacepower makes awards to grassroots projects that are working to impact issues of violence against women and their children.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Women In Engineering Grants (WEPAN)
WEPAN Awards honor key individuals, programs, and corporations for accomplishments that underscore WEPAN’s mission. They are presented each year at the annual conference for extraordinary service, significant achievement, model programs, and work environments that support the career success of women engineers.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Women’s Research and Education Institute Fellowship
This fellowship gives female students an experience in public policymaking in Congress.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Zonta International
Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy.
Funding Amount: Varies
More Info:

Looking for other resources for your female students that are considering going to college? Here is a great resource for female students looking to go into business after college – Danny De Michele

Amid limited research, educators find success with flipped classroom model

Education Dive recently reported on some success stories of schools using the flipped classroom model. According to a recent study published in AERA Open, a publication of the American Educational Research Association, the flipped classroom model has a slightly positive impact on student learning and satisfaction — but what are schools that have implemented the model seeing on the frontlines?

The authors of the meta-analysis suggest educators experience at least small positive impacts on student learning under flipped models, but that little is known about why it works well in some situations and not so much in others. They ultimately call for more strictly designed studies with more thorough reporting on the model.

Flipped classrooms’ star has been on the rise nationwide over the past decade, and Clintondale High School in Clinton Township, Michigan, implemented the concept for its entire 400-student school about that long ago.

In 2010, Principal Greg Green — now the district’s superintendent — was overseeing a failing public high school and needed to do something drastic to turn things around. He had heard about the flipped model and it seemed promising, but he was leery.

“We were taking something that’s been entrenched in society for 300 years and changing it,” he said, referring to the traditional sit-and-get teaching model. “But we weren’t being successful at what we were doing. Failure forces you to think outside of the box, and that allows for growth.”

Growth came in the form of flipping one class that included at-risk students. By the end of the year, that group was outperforming the students in traditional classrooms. So Green started expanding the program across the entire school.

While students in a traditional classroom passively receive a lecture in class and then go home to complete assignments around writing, math problems or science lab reports as homework, the flipped model sees teachers outsource their lessons to videos that students consume at home. What would have previously been “homework” is then completed at school under the guidance of teachers, who now have much more time to devote to individual guidance.

“The problem we kept hearing was that we weren’t offering enough support,” Green said. “We thought about how to give them support, and decided this was the best way to do it. Teach them the lessons at home and then use the class period to support them.”

Since flipping the entire school, he has seen an increase in attendance and college acceptance, and a drop in failure rates.

Green emphasizes that he didn’t build the model around any specific technology because that all changes. He explains that the school developed an “ecosystem” that allows for teachers to sit with the students, working with them through the learning process.

“If they have stumbling blocks, they don’t take it home and relearn the wrong information,” Green said. “The teachers are there to correct the problem immediately, allowing students to move more quickly and get immediate feedback.”

Green believes students aren’t well-supported when they have homework, and he points to evidence arguing homework doesn’t improve outcomes anyway. It took 18 months to flip the school, he said.

Teachers at Clintondale now follow an 80/20 model. That means students spend 80% of class time engaged in activities, and teachers only spend 20% of class time teaching. Early in a unit, the teacher may be doing more teaching, but students should be able to teach the unit themselves by its end.

But while few schools have completely “flipped” at large, many teachers are giving the model a go.

Kerissa Armstead, who teaches chemistry at Franklin County Early College High School in North Carolina, is launching a flipped classroom this year. Like those at Clintondale, the second-year teacher finds she has more time to work with students and more class time to devote to labs.

Since the students watch the video lessons at home on their own time, they are able to go slower or faster as necessary. Most videos are only about five to 10 minutes long and she finds them on YouTube. She also uses the program Edpuzzle, which allows her to embed questions into the videos and track who is watching and for how long.

“It’s going well so far,” she said. “I’m not only on track for the year, I may even be a little ahead. I also haven’t had any students complain about feeling rushed.”

Stephanie Anticona, a 7th-grade advanced math teacher at Hays Middle School in Texas’ Prosper Independent School District, is also launching a flipped classroom. She recorded videos while she taught lessons last year and is using them for her students to watch at home this year.

Unlike some teachers who find online content to provide the lessons, she opted to create the lessons herself because it took less time than searching online.

In her 11th year of teaching, Anticona opted to try the flipped classroom after learning about the concept in graduate school. She, too, is using Edpuzzle and hopes to win a grant to purchase the full version.

She has had no problems so far, she said, noting that test scores seem to show promise that the model is working.

“It’s a lot of work upfront, but once you have the videos, it’s easy,” she said. “And then you aren’t standing up there for 30 minutes doing the lesson. You can work alongside the students and help them.”

Here is a link the original story on Education Dive:

If you are interested in learning more about the Flipped Classroom look for our feature story on this subject in the Spring 2020 issue of LINK for Counselors in February 2020.

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