African American families rely on resourcefulness to pay for college according to MassMutual’s College Planning and Saving Study

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Springfield, Mass., June 7th, 2017— The majority of African American parents (82 percent) agree that a college education is important and nearly the same amount (81 percent) agree that saving for college is a high priority. However, nearly 3 out of 5 (58 percent) are concerned about paying for college and half (49 percent) are concerned about the affordability in the future, according to new research from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual).

MassMutual’s College Planning and Saving Study examined the attitudes, behaviors and needs of families related to planning for and funding higher education. The study provides a deeper understanding of the importance placed on education and how ethnicity affects family decisions and financial behavior.

For African American parents college is seen as the path towards high-paying careers, financial security, and respect.

“Overwhelmingly, we heard parents emphasize the importance of an education, especially in today’s world, to help their children not only secure their financial futures but to help safeguard them against discrimination and other societal woes,” said Evan Taylor, a director of multicultural markets with MassMutual. “Many view an education as a critical tool for their children to move toward more equal footing in society as a college degree is something that can never be taken away. For this reason, most parents expect their children to go to college and are savvy in finding ways to pay for it.”

Top ways to pay for college cited by African American respondents to the survey included college-sponsored scholarships (48 percent), federal student aid (42 percent), own savings (37 percent) and work-study programs (35 percent). In fact, more African Americans cited having a child participate in a work-study program as a source of funding than any other group.

Based on the study’s insights, MassMutual offers three practical tips to help African American families plan and save for college:

1. Hope is not a plan. Begin with a clear picture of your family’s finances. Then identify priorities, budget for the unexpected, and start saving as early as you can. The birth of a child is a great time to begin saving for your child’s education. Time is on your side. The money will work for you as it earns interest, which compounds over the years. There are many tools and calculators to help you figure out how much you need to save. Visit the MassMutual savings calculator.

2. Continue to be resourceful. Get your child involved in exploring scholarships, grants and work-study programs.

3. Talk early and often. Sit down with your child and talk about their dreams and aspirations before choosing a college and major. Help your child balance being realistic with aspirational when choosing what colleges to apply to. Help them think about what schools and majors will help them land a job in their chosen career after graduation. Lastly, discuss how some careers may require further education, like graduate school.

The findings of this research study come on the heels of MassMutual’s launch of its newly refreshed brand, which was designed to better reflect and build on the legacy and the core values that have guided the company since its founding. The new brand recognizes that while the world celebrates independence, true happiness comes from interdependence and our reliance on one another.

“We’re here to help educate African American parents about options for their families, and then help them make their financial goals a reality,” concluded Taylor.

Methodology

MassMutual’s College Planning and Saving Study was conducted for MassMutual by New American Dimensions, LLC in December 2016 to examine the attitudes and needs of families related to education planning and funding. Qualitatively, 22 mini focus groups were conducted with five ethnic groups (Hispanic/Latino, African American/Black, Chinese American, Korean American, and Asian Indian American) in English and in-language. Quantitatively, a 20-minute online questionnaire, conducted in English, comprised 1,750 interviews; within the total number of surveys, 150 completes were obtained for each of the five ethnic groups. Both qualitative and quantitative research was conducted with men and women age 30 to 64 with children age 5 to 15 for whom they are financially responsible. Respondents also met a minimum household income requirement ($50,000+) and participate in financial decision-making for their household. Results for the total were weighted to the 2010 U.S. Census distributions for ethnicity to be representative of American families in this age and income bracket.

About MassMutual

MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. MassMutual offers a wide range of financial products and services, including life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, annuities, retirement plans and other employee benefits. For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.

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Atlanta HS Students Make History At Harvard’s International Debate Tournament By Securing Second Championship

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Atlanta high school debate team dressed in suits and red bow tiesstudents

Two high-school students led their all-Black debate team to their second consecutive championship at Harvard’s international debate tournament. The two boys also set an unprecedented and undefeated record at the tournament.

According to a press release issued by The Art Department, each member on the team is from Atlanta. Despite having no prior experience in debating, team members DJ Roman and Keith Harris beat competitors from 15 different countries around the world.

“This is the moment that we’ve worked so hard for,” said Roman. “Our accomplishment is far bigger than us; we are showing the world what black youth are capable of achieving when given equal access, exposure, and opportunities.

This win is for our ancestors, our city, and most of all our culture.”

The students have been able to receive debate training as a part of the Harvard Diversity Project, which Blavity has previously profiled.

For the past 10 months, the students have been training on weekends under Brandon P. Fleming, Harvard’s assistant debate coach.

“Knowing that they will compete against hundreds of scholars who have years of debate experience combined with the benefit of private and prep schools to their advantage, we seek to level the playing field by introducing our students to higher level academic disciplines that are typically unavailable in traditional school settings,” said Fleming.

Atlanta High School debate team poses on the steps of a Harvard school building

Continue on to Blavity to read the complete article.

Kamala Harris Proposes Plan To Invest $60 Billion In Historically Black Colleges

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Kamala Harris speaking at podium

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) rolled out two policy plans Friday morning aimed at closing the wealth gap for black Americans. Harris said in a press release that if elected president, she will invest $60 billion in historically black colleges and universities and $12 billion in black-owned businesses and entrepreneurship. She said she would also invest $2.5 billion in programs that train black teachers ― an addition to her March proposal to raise teachers’ salaries.

The presidential hopeful, a graduate of HBCU Howard University, described the proposal as “the next major planks in her Black agenda,” according to her campaign’s fact sheet.

Of the $60 billion she plans to invest in HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions, Harris said she would put $10 billion toward school infrastructure to build classrooms, school labs and other facilities. The other $50 billion would be used to create a competitive fund at the Department of Education to support science, technology, engineering and math education at HBCUs. The competitive fund would go toward scholarships, fellowships and research.

The $12 billion policy proposal would be allocated to federal contracting programs that would help black business owners create businesses from the ground up.

“We can create a pipeline for ensuring that Black Americans are leading the research and entrepreneurship to grow our innovation economy and participate in the wealth it generates,” the campaign fact sheet states.

Continue on to the Huffington Post to read the complete article.

Toni Morrison, Towering Novelist of the Black Experience, Dies at 88

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Toni Morrison recieves medal of freedom award

Toni Morrison, the Nobel laureate in literature whose best-selling work explored black identity in America — and in particular the often crushing experience of black women — through luminous, incantatory prose resembling that of no other writer in English, died on Monday in the Bronx. She was 88.

Her death, at Montefiore Medical Center, was announced by her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf. A spokeswoman said the cause was complications of pneumonia. Ms. Morrison lived in Grand View-on-Hudson, N.Y.

The first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1993, Ms. Morrison was the author of 11 novels as well as children’s books and essay collections. Among them were celebrated works like “Song of Solomon,” which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977, and “Beloved,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.

Ms. Morrison was one of the rare American authors whose books were both critical and commercial successes. Her novels appeared regularly on the New York Times best-seller list, were featured multiple times on Oprah Winfrey’s television book club and were the subject of myriad critical studies. A longtime faculty member at Princeton, Ms. Morrison lectured widely and was seen often on television.

Continue on to the New York Times to read the complete article.

Google announces literary activities to help kids evaluate and analyze media as they browse the Internet

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Mom and daughter looking at a tablet together

Google is pleased to announce the addition of 6 new media literacy activities to the 2019 edition of Be Internet Awesome. Designed to help kids analyze and evaluate media as they navigate the Internet, the new lessons address educators’ growing interest in teaching media literacy.

They were developed in collaboration with Anne Collier, executive director of The Net Safety Collaborative, and Faith Rogow, PhD, co-author of The Teacher’s Guide to Media Literacy and a co-founder of the National Association for Media Literacy Education. Because media literacy is essential to safety and citizenship in the digital age, the news lessons complement Be Internet Awesome ’s digital safety and citizenship topics.

Overview of new activities:
1. Share with Care: That’s not what I meant!
● Overview: Students will learn the importance of asking the question: “How might others interpret what I share?” They’ll learn to read visual cues people use to communicate information about themselves and to draw conclusions about others.

2. Share with Care: Frame it
● Overview: Students will learn to see themselves as media creators. They’ll understand that media makers make choices about what to show and what to keep outside the frame. They’ll apply the concept of framing to understand the difference between what to make visible and public online and what to keep “invisible.”

3. Don’t Fall for Fake: Is that really true?
● Overview: Students will learn how to apply critical thinking to discern between what’s credible and non-credible in the many kinds of media they run into online.

4. Don’t Fall for Fake: Spotting disinformation online
● Overview: Students will learn how to look for and analyze clues to what is and isn’t reliable information online.

5. It’s Cool to Be Kind: How words can change a picture
● Overview: Students will learn to make meaning from the combination of pictures and words and will understand how a caption can change what we think a picture is communicating. They will gain an appreciation for the power of their own words, especially when combined with pictures they post.

6. When in Doubt, Talk It Out: What does it mean to be brave?
● Overview: Students will think about what it means to be brave online and IRL, where they got their ideas about “brave” and how media affect their thinking about it.

Expanding resources to families
YMCA
We teamed up with the YMCA across six cities to host bilingual workshops for parents to help teach families about online safety and digital citizenship with Be Internet Awesome and help families create healthy digital habits with the Family Link app. The workshops, designed for parents, coincide with June’s National Internet Safety Month and come at the start of the school summer holidays.

Continue on here to read more.

Financial Freedom for Millennials: A Bucket List

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millennials discussing finances

By Molly Barnes, Digital Nomad Life

The 2007 movie “The Bucket List” told the story of two terminally ill men seeking to finish out all the things they’ve always wanted to do but never completed. The duo set out on their adventure with the intention to fulfill all their dreams before they “kicked the bucket.”

While most people associate bucket lists with experiences, you can apply the same concept to personal finance matters, as well. Essentially, you list all the things you need to accomplish in your financial life and then start making moves to get them done. According to financial experts, people should start to tick off money-matter items on their lists while they are still in their 20s and 30s. With this strategy, they’ll achieve financial freedom sooner than later because they’ve set themselves up for a less stressful future as they reach retirement age.

At this point, retirement probably seems a million years away, but now is the time to start thinking wisely when it comes to money. Check out our financial bucket list for millennials.

1. Live with roommates

Most millennials want to move out of their parents’ home but can’t always afford to do it. Why forego and miss out on the pleasures of autonomy you can enjoy living on your own? Get some roommates instead to help share housing costs.

When seeking roommates, always be smart and keep safety in mind during the selection process. Everyone, especially women, should stay away from listings on Craigslist and other platforms that don’t fully vet the people out who post these listings.

Once you’ve got your roommates in the house, aside from the financial savings you’ll enjoy by splitting the rent, you can make some great memories — or at least accumulate a few great stories to someday tell your family and friends.

2. Move to an affordable city

Sure, New York is the city that never sleeps, and Los Angeles sees a lot of action, too —but these cities are incredibly expensive to live in. Instead of struggling (even with the help of roommates) in an expensive city, consider relocating to a more affordable city with a lower cost of living. Kansas City, for example, is not only affordable, but it also offers plenty of great job opportunities and even boasts some of the shortest commuting times in the country.

3. Downsize and sell some stuff

We live at a time minimizing is en vogue, especially for millennials. Aside from being a trendy thing to do, selling off possessions you no longer need or want can net you some serious cash. Try selling clothes, unused gift cards, old electronics and gadgets, pretty much anything.

If you have old toys, video games, or other nostalgic items you don’t necessarily want to hang onto anymore, try selling these too. You’d be surprised at how well nostalgia sells! Set up an account on eBay (or another preferred platform) and get selling. Then take that money and save it or invest it so it grows.

4. Learn thrifty shopping habits

Even if you’re aiming to downsize, there will still be stuff you need. Instead of paying full price for new items, learn the art of thrifting by shopping at places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity resale stores. You can find great deals on everything for the home from kitchen necessities to furniture, along with personal items, too, such as clothing and accessories.

Other ways to save on shopping are to watch for sales, try extreme couponing, and follow discount sites such as Groupon for deals on things you want to buy. Also check out Craigslist and Freecycle to find freebies in your neighborhood.

5. Make a few investments

While making habitual changes can go a long way toward achieving financial freedom, you’ll want to find other ways to increase your bank account. Why not try purchasing some stocks and seeing what happens? Some online brokerage sites let users start buying with as little as $100 and make trades for $5. You can buy small amounts and see if you can aggressively make them grow. “Playing the market” is a unique experience that not everybody gets in their lifetime — and watching your stock’s values go up is a thrill.

6. Launch a business

Even if you’re holding down a full-time job, you can launch a business on the side to generate some extra cash and help build your financial future. It could be something as straightforward as buying a property to use as a vacation rental. Or you can build a brand in your spare time, you can market your business by creating a presence on social media and cultivating helpful business relationships. Sign yourself up to attend some trade shows to help establish a name for yourself.

Depending on your line of work, you may need to obtain a license, insurance, or meet other local legal requirements. Be sure to have your ducks in a row and do everything legally. Also, remember that you’ll need to file taxes as a business. An online calculator can help you make the necessary tax calculations.

Achieving financial freedom is a wonderful feeling! The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be that much closer to your ultimate money goals … and then you’ll be able to afford the things on your “other” bucket list.

Meet the 16-year-old Texan who will be attending SMU’s law school this fall

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Haley Taylor Schlitz,stands outside in a summery dress and her arms folded with a big smile on her face

A 16-year-old Texan recently shared her journey from home school to law school. Haley Taylor Schlitz, who graduated from high school at 13, is preparing to attend Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law this fall, one of nine schools that accepted her, according to the American Bar Association.

“I think the entire educational experience has really helped me grow and learn who I am better,” Haley said. “A lot of people find that out about themselves a little bit later in life. My education has really helped me get to know who Haley is.”

Teen phenom Haley Taylor Schlitz,16, who graduated from high school at 13, is preparing to attend Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law this fall, one of nine schools that accepted her, according to the American Bar Association. The Keller, Texas teenager had an accelerated education following her graduation from home schooling in 2013. She since attended Tarrant County College and then Texas Woman’s University.

Haley was home-schooled after her parents withdrew her from public school in the fifth grade because they didn’t like the way she was being taught.

After high school, she began taking classes at Tarrant County College and started at Texas Woman’s University in 2017, according to her website.

“Home-schooling helped me go at my own pace and thrive on my own terms,” Haley said. “I was able to skip what I knew and do what’s at my intellectual level.”

Haley was accepted to law schools at Howard University, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Texas Southern University, among others, but ultimately chose SMU, according to Texas Lawyer.
An author at 16

After their own experience, Haley and her mother, Dr. Myiesha Taylor, decided to write a guide to home schooling for black parents in America.

The Homeschool Alternative, which published in January, teaches families about the home schooling mindset, its benefits, what it requires and how to begin, according to the book’s website.

“I feel like there are a lot of students who can do what I did,” Haley said. “Obviously it’s not impossible because I did it, and I’m not a super genius. I work very hard, but I’m not out of reach.”
Mom on TV

In 2013, Haley’s mother, an emergency physician, was so inspired by the children’s show Doc McStuffins that she sent Disney Channel a collage of herself and other female doctors of color to thank them.

The show portrays a young black girl nicknamed Doc who treats her toys as patients.

Disney responded by casting her in a live-action segment. Months later, they also named a character on the show after her — Myiesha McStuffins.

Taylor told the Dallas Morning News in 2013 that it was “an unbelievable honor.”

“My kids identify with the Doc character so it’s surreal that Doc’s mother has my name. I feel like it’s full circle,” she said. “I started off as a little girl like Doc McStuffins and I grew up and became her mother, a doctor with children who are aspiring to be doctors, too.”
Far-reaching goals

Haley initially wanted to go into medicine like her mother but now wants to become an attorney and advocate for gifted students from traditionally neglected communities. She has spoken out against systemic racism in American public schools.

“It is my hope that I can bring my passion for addressing education equity issues, and help facilitate a program that focuses on the legal advocacy needs of underserved students and their families in accessing gifted education programs,” she wrote in a 2018 Medium article. “The lack of access to these programs helps promote stereotypes and keeps students of color in our K-12 schools locked in an education system that views them as the problem instead of the solution.”

After she graduates from SMU, Haley hopes to practice law and become a judge. She said she also wants to open her own business, an organization similar to a school that would allow students to “thrive as themselves.”

One of her goals is to increase the opportunities for gifted and talented girls and students of color.

“I really want to help students realize their potential even if they can’t home-school,” Haley said. “I want to help families open their eyes to the opportunities that they don’t even realize are there.”

Haley knows her path isn’t typical.

“I understand that although my ’16’ is not the 16 most envision in their life, my version allows me to engage in the areas I deeply care about and advocate for a fully just and equal society,” she wrote in the Medium article. “I love my version of ’16,’ and look forward to immersing myself in the study of law.”

Continue on to Dallas News to read the complete article.

Get to Know These Notable Black-Owned Banks

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The outside of OneUnited Bank

As of 2018, there are only 19 black-owned banks in the United States, according to BankBlackUSA.org. These banks, however, make a big difference in their communities. The following banks are among those that have served the African-American community.

Citizens Trust Bank

Citizens Trust Bank has been building relationships since 1921 – it remains committed to providing personalized service and financial solutions to meet the growing needs of its community. Through a legacy built on principle, the bank goes beyond meeting the needs of offering banking solutions; its mission is to empower customers and future generations for financial success. In turn, their success is Citizens Trust Bank’s success.

Source: Citizens Trust Bank

First Independence Bank

First Independence Bank, the only black woman-owned bank in the United States, was founded in 1970. The Detroit-based bank now has three branches and was established to serve the financial needs of its community, businesses and citizens.

Source: First Independence Bank

Liberty Bank and Trust Company

Liberty Bank, a Louisiana-based commercial bank and the third largest African-American owned financial institution in America, was founded in 1972, with holdings of $374 million. Liberty Bank has 15 branch locations in Louisiana, Mississippi, Kansas, Missouri, Alabama, Minnesota, and Illinois. Liberty Bank is passionate about helping more people achieve more economic freedom.

Source: Liberty Bank and Trust Company

Mechanics & Farmers Bank

Founded in 1907, Mechanics & Farmers Bank (M&F) is the second oldest minority-owned bank in the United States. The bank is the ninth largest financial institution in the United States, with nearly $256.9M in total assets as of 2018. M&F Bank is certified as a Community Development Financial Institution and is the only bank in North Carolina to receive this designation.

Source: Mechanics & Farmers Bank

OneUnited Bank

OneUnited Bank is the premier bank for urban communities, the largest Blackowned bank, the first Black Internet bank, and a community Development Financial Institution that started the national #BankBlack Challenge in 2016. OneUnited Bank is designed to harness the economic power of the Black community and focuses on one clear financial message that #BlackMoneyMatters. The bank has offices in Los Angeles, Boston, and Miami and has financed more than $100 million in loans in the last two years.

Source: OneUnited Bank

If you’re on the go and want to see what Black-owned businesses are near you, download WhereU. The app is a directory of local Black-Owned Businesses and has information for the United States, the UK, France, and Canada! It’s user-based so you can add any Black-owned businesses you haven’t seen on the app!

Artist, Icon, Billionaire: How Jay-Z Created His $1 Billion Fortune

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Jay-Z is seated in front of audience clapping his hands wearing a NYN baseball cap

Nine years ago, two unlikely lunch partners sat down at the Hollywood Diner in Omaha, Nebraska. One, Warren Buffett, was a regular there. The other, Jay-Z, was not. The billionaire and the rapper ordered strawberry malts and chatted amiably, continuing the conversation back at Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway offices.

Buffett, then 80, walked away impressed with the artist 40 years his junior: “Jay is teaching in a lot bigger classroom than I’ll ever teach in. For a young person growing up, he’s the guy to learn from.” This moment, which was originally captured in our 2010 Forbes 400 package, made it clear that Jay-Z already had a blueprint for his own ten-figure fortune. “Hip-hop from the beginning has always been aspirational,” he said.

Less than a decade later, it’s clear that Jay-Z has accumulated a fortune that conservatively totals $1 billion, making him one of only a handful of entertainers to become a billionaire—and the first hip-hop artist to do so. Jay-Z’s steadily growing kingdom is expansive, encompassing liquor, art, real estate (homes in Los Angeles, the Hamptons, Tribeca) and stakes in companies like Uber.

His journey is all the more impressive given its start: Brooklyn’s notorious Marcy housing projects. He was a drug dealer before becoming a musician, starting his own label, Roc-A-Fella Records, to release his 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt. Since then he’s amassed 14 No. 1 albums, 22 Grammy awards and over $500 million in pretax earnings in a decade.

Crucially, he realized that he should build his own brands rather than promote someone else’s: the clothing line Rocawear, started in 1999 for $204 million to Iconix in 2007); D’Ussé, a cognac he co-owns with Bacardi; and Tidal, a music-streaming service.

Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean, the superproducer behind some of Jay-Z’s biggest hits, looks at Jay-Z as something others can model: “It’s bigger than hip-hop … it’s the blueprint for our culture. A guy that looks like us, sounds like us, loves us, made it to something that we always felt that was above us.”

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

Here’s One of the Nation’s Most Diverse HBCUs

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Diverse college tudents standing in a row

Kentucky State University (KSU) President M. Christopher Brown II announced that Kentucky State is one of the most diverse institutions among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the nation. In 2018, KSU was also a multi-award winner at HBCU Digest’s HBCU Awards.

President Brown said KSU has nearly 50 percent African-American students and 50 percent non-black students. Additionally, the university has nearly 50 percent African-American employees and 50 percent non-black employees.

“It is rare for an institution to be at the midpoint—50 percent mark on all matrices. There are schools that spend millions of dollars trying to get to that middle point,” President Brown said. “They spend a lot of money on enrollment management, diversity planning, and strategic recruitment trying to achieve this level of diversity that indicates maximal engagement.”

President Brown added that KSU is a prime laboratory for every intellectual possibility in the country.

The research was conducted by Kentucky State’s Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The percentage of students was based on the total fall 2015 enrollment, which included undergraduate, graduate, full-, and part-time students. The percentage of employees was based on the total fall 2015 employees, which included faculty, staff, full- and part-time employees.

President Brown said KSU will continue to strive for inclusive excellence and noted that people from different backgrounds working together produces results that make everyone better and can have direct impacts on student achievement and workforce development.

Working together, learning about differences and similarities, results in better, more comprehensive solutions, he said.

Source: kysu.edu

How Concierge Parenting Services Can Help Prepare Kids for College

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student with exam paper and pencil taking a test

College admissions issues has been stealing the headlines. From the college admission scandal, where wealthy people allegedly paid to help their kids get accepted to high ranking colleges, to the talk of adding diversity scores to help boost some SAT/ACT tests, the news is filled with the challenges that those wanting to go to a good college may face.

Some parents are opting to take an approach that is more tailored to helping the child become prepared to excel and get into the college of their choice. This new approach, called concierge parenting services, aims to provide a customized plan to take the child to the next level, by identifying their fullest potential and capitalizing on it.

“Too often, the approaches taken in schools are failing students. Every child learns differently, so a cookie cutter approach just doesn’t work,” explains Reena B. Patel, a parenting expert, licensed educational psychologist, and author, who offers virtual workshops. “Through concierge parenting services, parents can learn exactly what their child needs to focus on in order to excel. The plan has been tailored to their unique child.”

Recently, Gallup suggested that education in the country takes the opposite approach of standardized tests, which students are being inundated with around the nation. What they suggest is that students need a test that is for them and about them, so that they become better at understanding and developing their own unique talents, which will help them succeed in school and life. This is the goal of concierge parenting, too.

Concierge parenting is service offered by Patel and other professionals in the field, in which they conduct extensive assessment on the child. Here are some of the ways that concierge parenting services can help prepare kids for college:

  • The assessments that are conducted show a child’s strengths, so that they can capitalize on them in order to reach their goals.
  • Parents receive a customized learning profile of their child, which will give insight as to how they best learn and optimize their strengths while developing areas of need. Parents can use that information to ensure that their educational needs are being addressed and how to take their child to the next level of growth.
  • Their learning profile includes such things as the child’s emotional resilience. This is important information, because it sheds light on how well the child will adapt to stressful situations or challenges. They can use the information to help the child learn more coping skills.
  • Parents receive the tools that they need in order to help their child navigate studying, taking tests, and applying for colleges. Rather than guessing how to best go about these things, the information has been tailored to the needs and styles of the individual.
  • Similar to a concierge in a hotel, parents get a tailored approach that is focused on meeting their needs and ensuring their child’s success. By taking advantage of a service like this, parents can learn their child’s strengths then nurture them and focus on excelling those strengths to be the best version of themselves.

“If you want to feel confident about your child’s education and future college acceptance, you can’t go wrong with taking a concierge parenting approach,” added Patel. “The purpose of concierge parenting is to help remove the stress, hurdles, and disappointment that may come later on. It helps your child to set out on their path with a detailed map to help them successfully get there.”

Patel offers several concierge parenting services packages, including being able to tailor a program to meet individual needs and goals. Two of her popular packages are titled Optimal Learning and New Parent. The Optimal Learning package offers a comprehensive assessment, customized report with specific tools to apply, follow up emails to ask questions, comprehensive evaluations to include, but not limited to, intelligence testing, academic testing, social and emotional readiness, and executive functioning testing. The New Parent package focuses on the idea that every baby and child is unique and has a different temperament. It’s ideal for new parents or a parent of a teen. Finding time to address challenges, such as behaviors, or how best to get your baby to sleep is hard. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a service customized just for your family and child? One that is effective and developed by a professional expert.

Each concierge parenting package includes initial consultation to identify concerns and goals, three session observation, modeling, and implementation of expert techniques, and one follow up virtual call after strategies are implemented.

In addition to offering concierge parenting services, Patel is the founder of AutiZm& More. As a licensed educational psychologist and guidance counselor, she helps children and their families with the use of positive behavior support strategies across home, school, and community settings. She does workshops around California, and virtual workshops globally where she provides this information to health professionals, families, and educators. She is also the author of a book that helps children with anxiety coping strategies called “Winnie & Her Worries,” and author of a book about autism awareness and acceptance, called “My Friend Max: A Story about a Friend with Autism.” Both of her books are available on Amazon. To learn more about her services, visit the website at reenabpatel.com.

About Reena B. Patel
Based in the San Diego area, Reena B. Patel (LEP, BCBA) is a renowned parenting expert, guidance counselor, licensed educational psychologist, and board-certified behavior analyst. For more than 20 years, Patel has had the privilege of working with families and children, supporting all aspects of education and positive wellness. She works extensively with developing children as well as children with exceptional needs, supporting their academic, behavioral and social development. She was recently nominated for San Diego Magazine’s “Woman of the Year.” To learn more about her books and services, visit the website at reenabpatel.com, and to get more parenting tips, follow her on Instagram @reenabpatel.

Gallup. It’s time to try the opposite of standardized testing. gallup.com/education/237284

$2 Million Awarded to Historically Black Colleges and Universities

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MBASudents graduating university waving

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), is announcing grant awards of nearly $2 million to four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

In June 2018, MBDA invited HBCUs to propose projects that will achieve one or more of the following objectives: increase their ability to compete for and receive Federal research and development funds; establish partnerships with Federal laboratories and other technology resources; increase Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) entrepreneurship; and compete for Federal contracts.

“Historically Black Colleges and Universities served as the catalyst to creating the black middle class in America and will continue to be the incubator for minority business talent, innovation, and leadership. These important schools generate billions in economic impact annually and are engines for job creation in their local economies across the United States,” said MBDA National Director Henry Childs II. “These grant awards will provide seed money for these institutions to pursue innovative projects and to build more revenue-generating infrastructures to better serve our nation’s future entrepreneurs and workforce.”

The HBCUs that received grant awards include:

  • Clark Atlanta University ($499,497) to develop a STEM entrepreneurship curriculum that increases student interest in the innovation economy at three Atlanta University Center Consortium campuses.
  • Howard University ($359,891) to design a technical support model for 11 HBCUs in the mid-Atlantic region to compete for Federal research and development funds and leverage partnerships with Federal laboratories.
  • South Carolina State University ($404,992) to launch regional training sessions for HBCUs to compete for Federal research and development funds.
  • Tougaloo College ($695,412) to establish a partnership among multiple HBCUs, private companies, federal labs, and research institutions to increase capacity for HBCUs to participate in federal research and contracting opportunities.

These programs are part of the 2018 MBDA Broad Agency Announcement, a new initiative. More than $13 million was awarded for 35 projects focused on Department of Commerce and MBDA priorities from resources that increase disaster preparedness and relief to programs that increase access to capital.

 

Source: Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

How MBA Programs are diversifying

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During orientation at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business, first-year MBA student Jasmine Howard received a lesson on the neurochemistry of unconscious bias, which explored “how the brain takes shortcuts and makes stereotyping decisions,” she explains.

In another exercise, students were asked to stand up if they identified with certain groups or preferences. “There was a mix of visually obvious traits like race and ethnicity, but also some less obvious ones like ‘I am or love someone who is LGBTQ or struggling with addiction,'” she says. The point: “To learn on a deeper level all the different aspects that make up a person and what they bring to the table.”

Bias training and similar exercises are becoming routine at business schools around the country seeking to boost the ranks of female and traditionally underrepresented groups in graduate programs – and make them feel welcome on campus. The push can’t come soon enough. Only 16 percent of GMAT test-takers in the U.S. are from underrepresented populations, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the test, and many schools have dismal numbers of minority students.

That’s in spite of a growing consensus that diversity in every form – from race and gender to country of origin – improves both the educational experience and the field of business itself, experts say.

“You will learn a lot more when you are interacting with people who think differently than you do than if you’re dealing with people who already think and believe the same things you do,” says Bruce DelMonico, assistant dean for admissions at the Yale School of Management.

And research consistently shows that diverse business teams perform better and achieve superior outcomes, such as greater creativity and innovation. Of the more than 700 business leaders surveyed by the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill in 2016, 95 percent said an inclusive culture is critical to their organization’s future success.

No wonder schools are stepping up their efforts to recruit minority candidates for MBAs and other graduate degrees. According to Juliane Iannarelli, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer for AACSB International, a nonprofit that accredits business schools globally, the institutions making the biggest strides are those “tackling multiple dimensions.”

This can mean engaging minority high school students to think about careers in business, assessing the climate for inclusion and diversity on campus, and staging recruiting events or diversity weekends for prospective business students.

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