Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanks WRDW and Workshop follow up

The scholarship workshop in the computer lab went well. Parents, grandparents, and students were in attendance.

WRDW, the only local news station that also uses Twitter (@WRDW) sent out a reporter and a camera man.

I still cannot break the stigma that these workshops are for everyone who can maneuver through the Internet and not just for juniors, seniors, and adult or non traditional students. Scholarship searches and applications must start at a younger age.

Even the FAFSA site has a site dedicated for middle school students . As they state, "Sure, you can wait for your parents or teachers to provide this info. But why wait on others to learn what’s best for YOUR future?"

The shared document and presentation can be accessed by anyone on the net reading this blog. Just click on the links in the previous sentence. The documents were created with Google Docs and Presentations.

One example of a scholarship open to students with a minimum age of 13 from DoSomething. DoSomething.org has teamed up with Mountain Dew to offer six $5000.00 scholarships. Applications are due December 12, 2008 and winners announced in January.

For more information visit the DoSomething.org website to see some awesome opportunities for our youth from grants to support their cause to

Apply For Your $5,000 Scholarship!
Eligibility
All applicants must be 13 years old or over to enter, a U.S. Citizen, and, most importantly, awesome.
The scholarship money can be used for any advanced education, be it college, graduate or vocational.
Applications will remain open until December 12th and winners will be announced in January.

The students checked their Internet impression by conducting a Google search of their name and viewing the News, Images, Maps and the search results. After the Google search, they entered their names in cvgadget.com and saw how their piece of cyberspace can be viewed by others. The point was made that if they apply for a job, a scholarship, an internship the pictures they put on MySpace or anywhere else on the net can be found even by library patrons.

We discussed a few social networking apps, everyone acknowledge hearing or participating in MySpace...but Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn had the heads shaking in a negative fashion.

Everyone was encouraged to apply for their free credit report through the Federal Trade Commission's site. You do not have to be an adult to be a victim of identity theft.

We discussed resumes, scholarship application letters, finding a minimum of 3 adults outside of family and friends that can write a valid letter of recommendation.

Then we stepped out of the computer lab and ventured over to the Reference section where the paper copies of the FAFSA applications and the many reference books about scholarships and colleges are available for those who want to read books that did not leave the library. Then over to the aisle with the 370 series of books where they can get books to check out which ranged from how to study, how to survive your freshman year, scholarships, PSAT, SAT, MCAT, LSAT study guides.

Back to the computer lab for more practical application, accessing GAcollege411 and searching for your Internet appearance.

I look forward to next week's workshop. I challenge our students to spread the word about what they learned to their friends, younger brothers and sisters, and yes, even their parents.

When a student has to fill out a FAFSA, parental information about taxes is required and many students have never filed taxes and may not be sure how to discuss the subject with their parents.

Other topics discussed encouraged the students to empower themselves, look into dual or joint enrollment while they are still in high school, qualifying for free and reduced lunches qualifies the student for free or reduced SAT fees and allows the student to apply up to 5 colleges with fee waivers.

I reminded them not to by into the media hype, they can Do It! I asked them all to spend as much time as they do surfing the net, working on their MySpace page, and invest a little time in themselves by registering for GACollege411, checking out the many links compiled in the shared document and if they needed assistance they knew where I would be for the next 3 Wednesdays.

If we do not invest time, interest, and concern in our youth...Who will be rocking your rocking chair in the future?
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