Archives for Dec,2012

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In Memory Of Those We Lost At Sandy Hook Elementary School

I live less than 30 minutes from Sandy Hook Elementary School and have several clients who live in or around Newtown. As so many people have, I’ve spent the greater part of the weekend trying to come to terms with what took place Friday morning. I’ve felt sadness and anger all at the same time. I’ve hugged my four year old and cried quietly while he hugged me back not knowing that I was desperate for his touch. I’ve watched the news unable to understand and, yet, incapable of looking away. And I’ve noticed the shooter’s name just about everywhere I looked.

I don’t want to see his name. I want to see the names of those we lost. I want to hear their stories and know who they were. I want to celebrate the good they did and the difference they made in their lives. But most of all, I don’t want to forget. And I hope you won’t either.

May they rest in peace:

Charlotte Bacon, 6

Daniel Barden, 7

Rachel DaVino, 29

Olivia Engel, 6

Josephine Gay, 7

Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6

Dylan Hockley, 6

Dawn Hochsprung, 47

Madeleine F. Hsu, 6

Catherine V. Hubbard, 6

Chase Kowalski, 7

Jesse Lewis, 6

James Mattioli, 6

Grace McDonnell, 7

Anne Marie Murphy, 52

Emilie Parker, 6

Jack Pinto, 6

Noah Pozner, 6

Caroline Previdi, 6

Jessica Rekos, 6

Avielle Richman, 6

Lauren Russeau, 30

Mary Sherlach, 56

Victoria Soto, 27

Benjamin Wheeler, 6

Allison N. Wyatt, 6

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Students, What Are Your VIPS?

I’ve been feeling under the weather for the last couple days and today decided it made more sense to share a blog I wrote for Christine VanDeVelde and Robin Mamlet, co-authors of the book, College Admission rather than just put something out there that wasn’t my best effort. Whether you are a regular reader or are just stopping by for the first time, I appreciate the fact that you’re here. And I want to make sure I am always offering you something of value.

When I work with students, I try to get them to tap into their VIPS – values, interests, personality-style and skills. Why? Because when you know who you are and what you’re good at, your chances of finding success in your life increase significantly. And by success I’m not just talking about making a lot of money. Instead, I want my students to create lives for themselves where they find success in their work, their relationships and in life, in general.

Here’s the blog about VIPS. If you have any thoughts on it, please leave a comment below. If you think it makes a lot of sense, consider sharing it with someone you know.


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Don’t Let Assumptions Lead You Astray

My seniors have most of their application work done and my juniors are starting to explore programs, potential job shadows while trying to get a grasp on just how much college is going to cost them.

It’s an interesting time of year because I find myself on pins and needles with the seniors, hoping that we have done everything right and that acceptance letters will come their way shortly. With the juniors, it’s all about exploration and introducing them to the idea that they need to be good investigators right now.

Which brings me to my thought for today.


Don’t make them.


There is so much information to be had about colleges that to rely on something somebody once said as a reason to apply or not to apply is just foolish. I know we all have those people in our lives who tend to know a little about everything, but when this so-called expert on life tells you that you shouldn’t apply to a school because it’s an all-male school (when, in fact, it is not) or tells you that the professors aren’t any good (like anything in life, there are the good, the bad and the ugly but I refuse to believe that the entire roster of professors on any given campus are just the worst in the world) or that there’s no way you can afford it, I say it’s time to find out the truth for yourself.

This is YOUR college application process. Not your friend’s, not your uncle’s and not your parents. Yours. And you need to own it. Use the resources available to you to qualify information before you allow assumptions to lead you astray. Go the colleges’ websites and read up on their profile, their demographics and their majors. Use their net price calculators to learn more about what you might be able to expect financially. Go for a visit and sit in on a class in your intended major. If you can’t visit, check out a virtual tour or read student reviews on sites like Unigo or College Prowler.

Whether you do all of these things or just some of them, whatever you do, just don’t make assumptions.

If you have questions or would like some help with your college search and application process, use the comment box below or email me directly at I would love to hear from you!

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