Tag Archive: College


I just want to take the time and say congratulations to Englewood Urban Prep Academy Class of 2010!! You all defeated tumultuous odds and through determination and hard-work you all were able to make it to the next level, college!  That’s right, everyone was accepted into a 4-year college and/or univeristy.  According to the Chicago Tribune, the entire male population from Chicago’s Englewood Urban Prep Academy is on their way to colleges which include Morehouse, Howard, Northwestern, and University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana just to name a few. 

What makes this story so remarkable is the obstacles these young men have overcome.  Peer pressure, drugs, violence, poverty, fear for safety while traveling to and from school, teen pregnancy, and motivational factors could have all taken these young men out of the classroom and into a life of crime, but that wasn’t the case.  Only 4 percent of this year’s senior class read at grade level as freshmen, said Tim King, the school’s founder and CEO.  To combat this issue, students are in school longer, need twice as many English credits to graduate, and are issued school counselors from day 1.  If you’re currently looking for a school w/ an enriched academic focus, maybe you should check out this school…

The students even received recognition from Mayor Daley who provided all the students w/ a free prom.

My hats go off to the graduating class of 2010 from Englewood Urban Prep Academy.  Way to take the lead in a society where many people choose to follow.  Please continue to set the example and standard throughout your communities.

-Ron

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5 Tips For Parents w/ College Freshmen…

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1. Don’t be the problem solver

One of the biggest things my parents had to do when I went away to college was allow me to figure things out for myself instead of them always coming to my rescue.  This meant I had to figure out my class schedule, prioritize my time effectively, figure out my class route (b/c U of I has a huge campus), and most of all determine what I wanted to do in life without chasing money and the wishes of my parents.

2. Encourage familiarization

 “There are usually lists of other students who are in their class. Try to get a sense of who’s going to be there. If they have questions about the university, parents can help them find out who to contact. But encourage incoming freshmen to make those contacts themselves.”  Using my course and school websites were crucial to my academic success.  Through these sites I was able to keep up w/ assignments as well as make new friends based on who were in my classes with me.

3. Don’t over-communicate

“We live in such an electronic, cell-phone, text-messaging culture that I see a lot of students who are in touch almost every day with their parents,” says Paul Chelsen, vice president for student development at Wheaton College. “I think regular communication is important, obviously, but there can be so much communication with friends and family on Facebook back home that it can derail the social integration that can happen when a student goes away to college.”

Chicago SunTimes

-Ron

Even Kanye Will Work for Free

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Even though Kanye didn’t graduate from college, that hasn’t stopped him from getting the college experience.  After creating multiple successful albums, countless hours of touring, and producing for some of the biggest stars, Kanye West is taking time to work for free w/ The Gap Clothing Line.  He’s doing a summer internship w/ the Gap, w/ hopes of sharpening his skills for fashion design .  The Chicago Tribune reports ” He’s working side-by-side with pal designer and creative director Patrick Robinson, who was reportedly hired to spruce up the label.”  He’s already been successful at creating Air Yeezy’s w/ Nike and Louis Vutton casual shoes as well.  Maybe he’ll get a clothing line from this deal.

For those that don’t know, internships allow people to gain first-hand experiences w/ a given company, seeing what it’s like to actually work in the field of your dreams before it actually happens.  Many times college students work as interns over the summer to gain experience, background knowledge, and most importantly connections into the job fields they wish to engage in for the future.  They can be really great resources as sometimes interns get offered jobs before there summer is up.  Networking is key in any job field and internships can be essential toward future employment

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It’s that time again, time for recent high-school grads to enter adulthood aka college.  As a graduate of the University of Illinois, I’m here to say college is hard work but ultimately a lot of fun.  You’re able to find out who you are as a person, what u like in a person, and set up future networks around the U.S.  But before you can do all of these things, you need to make sure everything on your checklist is covered.  Here’s my top three on my list:

College selection:  This is the most crucial checkpoint on the list, which is exactly why it tops my College Checklist.  You should begin researching colleges, toward the beginning of your junior year.  I say this is a great time to list your top 5 college choices, seeing that the ACT Test is right around the corner.  Reasons will differ but your top choices should be colleges that offer your major you intend to focus on as well as rank high in the particular field you plan to go into.  Choices like these will usually put you in a better position post-graduation. 

Standardized testing: Tests such as the ACT & SAT set the stage for college choices.  You have to look at high-school like a long marathon meaning only the strongest and most prepared will survive.  High-school and the ACT/SAT represents that marathon and only the students most prepared to run it will survive.  High scoring on your ACT or SAT places more options and resources at your disposal (i.e. more scholarship opportunities, more grants available, more college choices w/ various programs, etc)

Homer-D'oh!

Financial Aid 101:  Many youth miss out on great financial opportunities b/c they miss the deadline.  Dont believe me, then check this out (The Sun-Times reports, “The state will deny the financial aid applications of an estimated 130,000 students — the most in Illinois history.”)  That’s alot of students but I hope you won’t be one of them.  Loans, grants, scholarships, and FAFSA are all monetary opportunities for you to take advantage of.  Make sure you stay on top of deadlines and have money when school starts to pay for your education. APPLY!! APPLY!! APPLY!!

-Ron

Savvy Investment?!?!

soulja boy

First, I want to say Happy Memorial Day to everyone who checks out our blog.

During the Memorial Day Weekend, I saw an interview Soulja Boy had w/ The View.  For those who are unfamiliar w/ the young music hit maker, his rise to fame came from YouTube, where he’d post his videos online and gain a big fan following.  That caught the attention of record executives, and from there he shocked the world w/ songs like “Crank Dat”, “Kiss Me Thru the Phone”, & “Turn My Swag On”.  He came off as a respectable young teenager, with a passion for entertainment when discussing his past.  Whoopi Goldberg asked him his hardest question though when she said “Tell me about your education…Are you checking everything yourself so you know how your business is going?”

Now I first want to applaud him for getting his High school diploma because I was unaware that he had done so, but the thing I noticed as he discussed “how he wants to go to college”, was the large amount of jewelry he wore.  He had multiple rings on, a huge chain & Soulja Boy Tellem pendant, and a larger than life bracelet.  Being on top of your money is more than having business savvy people taking care of your finances.  It has more to do w/ making smart investments and having all that jewelry is not a smart investment.  Barbara Walters closes the interview by suggesting that he tones down the jewelry and make better investments in things that appreciate w/ time and don’t depreciate.  I also recall a recent video from TMZ where Soulja Boy had just left the Louis Vuitton store and showed the receipt to the paparazzi.  The bill was over $12,000.  

Youth: Clothes, Jewelry, & Cars DEPRECIATE with time, meaning they lose value with time.  Things such as houses, painting, and property APPRECIATE with time meaning they gain value.  Many people commit crimes b/c they dont have money and are desperate to make ends meat. Making better investments are crucial, especially in trying times of Recession!!!

Click here for the full interview on The View

-Ron

Attention: ……..Span

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So we all know when the weather gets warm it takes some kind of super human strength to focus on things like the area of a cylinder or world history. When it comes down to it its about discipline. When you go to college just about every semester you have 1 or 2 professors who either have a really strong ascent that’s hard to follow or who just randomly talk whether you are paying attention or not.

This week I have a lot of friends still in college who are stressing out about finals, presentations, and reports trying to graduate. For me the hardest thing about college wasn’t really the work. It was more so being organized. When you are in junior high or high school a lot of times you have teachers constantly reminding you when work is due. Sometimes they allow you to make up missing assignments or redo work or test that you didn’t do well on. In college for the most part you don’t get those opportunities. There isn’t someone constantly saying “hey did you finish that project due next week yet?”. Or a parent saying “you should probably study now instead of seeing who gets eliminated from American Idol tonight”. It’s really up to you and focusing can be a hard thing to do if you not used to relying on yourself.

Being in school is about learning the system. You learn how to work in groups, how to organize ideas, how to solve problems, how to work under stress, and how to make up answers on essay test. Half of the stuff you learn in class you might not ever use in real life, that’s no secret. But learning how to get stuff done, no matter what it is can help you later on. Sometimes you have to face challenges.So my advice is don’t sleep on yourself,  because if you do so will everybody else.

Erik