Thank you to the NHS and the NJHS for sponsoring this post.
Parenting is not an easy job. We get through the the baby stage of diapers and nursing or bottles, just to arrive in the toddler years where we are running after little feet all day just to keep them out of trouble. Before we know it, our littles are in Kindergarten and learning to read and write, and the next thing we know they are in middle school facing all the drama of the opposite sex. Then it’s high school and you start visiting colleges and realize these young people who you have raised are going to eventually fly the coop. And you cry. Oh wait, that was me!
My oldest daughter will be heading to a college program next month. She will be moving to another city almost two hours away. Am I worried? A little. Excited for her? A lot! Fortunately, I’ve spent a lot of time helping her prepare. And I still have one to go. My sixteen year old is a junior, and we’re looking at colleges now. But statistics show that more than half of middle school students have not started preparing.
Parents play a really important role in helping their kids prepare for college. In fact, according to research from the National Honor Society and the National Junior Honor Society, many students rely on parents more than anyone else during this process. That makes sense, because they trust us to help them make good decisions. But where do we go to get the best information? If you Google College Help, you’ll get a plethora of links you can visit, and not all of them are legitimate.
Fortunately, we can turn to the Honor Your Future Now website, where you can learn all you need to know about preparing your high schoolers and middle schoolers for college. Middle School? Yes! In fact, the first thing I learned about college prep is to prepare early. Now students can visit their own section of the website and learn about what steps they need to take to prepare, too.
Honor Societies have unveiled all new resources for students with the goal of empowering them to build skills and experience following five proven pillars:
Utilizing the Honor Your Future Now website, parents and students will find:
- Preparing for College Checklist: Steps for navigating the college preparation process
- Parent’s College Checklist: Tips for parents to follow to help their students prepare for success
- 10 Tips for Success: Tips by Hill Harper, Brown University and Harvard Law School graduate, as well as an award-winning actor, best-selling author, philanthropist, and youth development activist.
- Letter of Advice: Letter from Jonathan Mathis, Director of the National Honor Societies, about how to be successful today and in the future.
- Community Service Idea Starters: Community Service plays a part in scholarships. Students will find tips to them find a community service project that is a good fit for them.
And speaking of scholarships, new resources are being introduced for the 2015-2016 academic year for student members, including:
- NHS Scholarship Program: The current NHS Scholarship Program is doubling the amount of total money awarded to $500,000 to reach more students than ever before, with a a total fund of up to $2 million within the next four years. That is huge for our students!
- NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award: The new NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award starts off 500 middle-level students with $500 each for their college savings.
- College Admissions and Financial Aid Planning Support: A series of webinars will take place as well as Twitter Town Halls to give students the chance to ask college admission officers their questions about choosing a college, applying, and getting financial aid.
- Scholarship Search Tool: A members-only online tool built around the five pillars of NHS and available in January 2016 to help students with that college scholarship search.
- State Summits: Beginning in early 2016, these one-day events will bring NHS/NJHS students and advisers together for leadership development.
The holidays are a great time to sit down with your child and talk about the future. It’s a laid back time when you can chat about it in a relaxing atmosphere, when you aren’t rushing to the next thing. I’ve already started discussing plans for the second half of the school year with my 16 year old. She’s already taken the PSAT and she’s been prepping for the SAT. We’re planning to do the training necessary to start volunteering together at our local animal shelter in January. We’ve talked about how she will have to juggle a bit to continue in our local youth opera program while volunteering and taking dual enrollment classes. And we’re trying to narrow down college choices as well as how to pay for them. It seems like a lot of work, which is why starting early is so crucial.
Sit down with your child and start the conversation. Show them the Honor Your Future Now website and ask them to spend some time exploring. Maybe they could even make their own checklist of what concerns them the most about college. Taking the bull by the horns now will save you a lot of worry in the future.
Abraham Lincoln said, The best thing about the future is that is comes only one day at a time. Let’s help our students make every day count.
Have burning questions now? I’m cohosting a Twitter Chat on December 9th and I’d love to have you join us! Need a little help figuring out the Twitter Party procedure? It’s so easy. Just follow the directions below. Remember to use #HonorYourFutureNow in every tweet so you can be eligible for prizes!