Some Scholar(ship)ly Advice

As the deadline for our scholarship draws near, I decided to reach out to winners from previous years to check in with them and see what advice they had to offer for this year’s applicants. For more information on our scholarship and how to apply, head here.

Hilton Stallworth (2020)

Check out our 2020 post on Hilton and his Design A Better Future project, All the Stars Initiative.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to this year’s applicants, what would it be?

A: My best piece of advice to this year’s scholarship applicants would be to have confidence in your work and convey your passion for the issue being addressed!

Q: What has been the best thing to come from your scholarship project?

A: The best thing that has come from the project that I worked on whilst in High School was that it enabled me to encourage some of my fellow students to pursue excellence in academia. It also helped give me experience with conceptualizing and developing planning skills!

Q: A quick update on you! What are you up to? Are you still actively involved in your project?

A: I am currently enrolled at NC State University majoring in mechanical engineering. I am not currently still involved with the specific project I worked on in High School, however; I still am trying my best to encourage my peers to pursue their dreams and fight to do the best that they can!

Have confidence in your work and convey your passion for the issue being addressed.

Hilton’s advice rings true: as I’ve been reviewing the feedback forms and final submissions, you can tell when someone is genuinely passionate about their project. Passion comes through in anything that you do, and why not use that passion to better your community! For more information on exactly what we look for in a scholarship submission, I highly recommend this post.

Color Me Concluded: My Final Musings on the True Colors Personality Test

This post is part of a series of posts on teaching to different personality types as found in the True Colors Personality Test. To see more, head here.

If you’ve gotten to the end of my True Colors Personality exploration, you might be asking yourself “Now what? How can I apply this knowledge to better myself as a teacher/parent/student/friend?” Ultimately, that is up to you. I know a lot of people think personality tests can be gimmicky, and when it comes to the “What Kind of Cheese Are You on the Weekends?” sort of test, I can agree. But I do think there are some personality tests that can propel you toward valuable introspection. McKenzie did a great job of covering a few of these with her deep dives of the Myers-Briggs, Enneagram , and the Child Whisperer personality tests.

As noted on Better Help, “The true colors personality test provides a method of understanding ourselves and others. The test uses the colors orange, gold, blue and green to represent four different personality types. The four colors combine in different ways to make up different personality spectrums. For most people, one of the four types is more dominant than the others. Learning about our personalities offers insights into our different behaviors, motivations and more.

“By using colors instead of labels, the true colors personality test aims to improve global understanding. The intuitive classification makes it easier for us to identify and remember the four personality types.”

These tests aren’t meant to serve as definitive labels for yourself and others; they are merely guideposts that can help you make sense of human nature. It can be easy to see your results in black and white when they should be used to recognize all the shades of gray within your personality and the personality of those around you. I could tell myself, “As someone with a blue personality, I shouldn’t be friends with gold personalities because we are too different.” And sure, there are some personalities that might clash a little more with others, but the whole point of these tests is to prove that anyone can get along with everyone if you take the time to understand them.

Another benefit of knowing different personality tests is that you can use your results to identify opportunities for growth. As a blue, maybe you need a lesson on resolving conflict instead of avoiding it. If you are a gold, you might consider trying to live in the moment rather than planning for the future. For those with a green personality, practice identifying your emotions and giving yourself permission to feel them. Perhaps an orange needs to train themselves to think before acting. 

Think of personality test a healthy reminder that we all have strengths, weaknesses, quirks (endearing or otherwise), and something unique to bring to the table. Personality tests can be a wonderful reference point in learning how to get along with others, regardless of what their results indicate. Don’t let someone’s True Color dictate to you how you think that person will act, allow them to show you. 

As a teacher, you should distribute at least one personality test within the first week of school. If your students are too young to answer questions themselves, send the test to their parents and have them answer it. Not only is it a fun activity for your class, but it allows you to better plan lessons and activities. It opens up lines of communication and sparks meaningful conversations.

Do you know your True Color? How has this knowledge helped you as a teacher?

So You Wanna Win A Scholarship?

Time flies when you are serving your community! Graduation is quickly approaching and that means our scholarship deadline will be here before you know it. Your final submission needs to be submitted by May 28, 2022 11:59pm MST. To increase your chance at winning, you can still submit your working strategy form for feedback until April 28, 2022. For more information on our scholarship, head here.

I’ve been having so much fun reading through the submissions so far and I’m excited to see what else you guys are working on!

Here are a few recommendations for those who want to fill out their strategy plan and get direct guidance for your project:

  • It might be an optional step, but the more specific you can be, the more specific we can be with our feedback.
  • Use the SMART goal model when talking about your goals and include short and long-term goals.
  • Think past, present, and future when describing your resources. What skills have you already developed? What materials will you need to collect? How much time are you currently putting toward your goals?
  • Allies are wonderful assets but really focus on who the decision makers will be during your project. How can you use the connections you already have to get your project off the ground?
  • Tactics are going to be what propels you to accomplish your goals. A tactic is only effective if it’s delivered, in some form, to a decision-maker. For example, “raising awareness” doesn’t help unless you’re raising your decision-maker’s awareness or using that awareness to mobilize individuals to pressure specific individuals in charge. What steps can you take to do the most for your community?
  • An additional $5,000 is rewarded to the winner to help fund their project so think long-term and brainstorm ways you can continue to help change and shape your community once your project is completed.

Best of luck to everyone applying for our scholarship! I have been inspired by the submissions and I can really feel the passion you have for improving your communities.

Are Our Students Really The Lost Generation?

There’s a lot of buzz going around our communities about the “lost generation” of students. Everyone talks about this group of students currently in school, whether that be elementary school, high school, college, or graduate school students as if they are getting lesser of an education. 

The stance is that since learning is taking place over video calls, sometimes half in-person and half virtual. Each day protocol is changing and sometimes students don’t even know if they are supposed to be physically in their school or if they need to open up their laptop and log into online learning for the day. Because of this, they aren’t gaining the knowledge and education that everyone else has been offered up until this point, therefore, we will have a generation of incompetent beings running our world.

But what if they aren’t the lost generation? What if these students are exactly what our future needs? 

Adaptable. 

Able to work well with technology. 

Figuring out how to learn virtually when they do better in-person. 

Personal skills to work with new teachers as needed. 

Ability to use multiple platforms of learning for multiple subjects in school.

Our society is correct, these students aren’t obtaining the same education we did, but I would argue that they are receiving a better education. They are put through more changes and learning platforms than we could ever imagine as students. 

Teaching and learning during a pandemic are hard, it’s a level of hard that no one can understand unless they are there in the moment doing it. But our teachers and students are working harder than ever to continue on the education system, and they should be commended for that! 

Let’s stop calling them the lost generation and start recognizing that they may just be the generation our world needs someday. 

Handling Senioritis

Hey seniors! It’s that time of the year again. The time when Christmas break is over and you’re heading into your last days of school before graduation. Anytime between now and the spring, senioritis is going to hit. It happens to everyone! As someone who has been through senioritis twice, once in high school, once in college, here are my tips for you to make it through your last months as a student! 

Take breaks. Work hard and get those assignments done, but also, take breaks! It will help you be more productive in the long run. Plus, you deserve a break! 

Make lists and prioritize what needs to be done. 

Fill those lists with exciting to-do’s as well! Such as “pick up senior packet” or “Finish last paper.” 

Grab a friend to do homework with, study, and check off those to-do lists with! It can be easier to stay motivated if you’re both working towards a common goal. 

Remember that you didn’t come this far to only come this far. The end is near, you can make it! 

You’re a great student and have the potential to go so far, so keep going! We believe in you! 

A List Of Our Best Interview Tips

supporting teachers

Let’s talk interview tips! A lot of you students out there are most likely going through some sort of interview process over the next year, whether it’s for a job, getting into a college program, or something else. Here are our best tips for you! 

  • Research the company or program before the interview. Specifically, search for their mission statement. Having a decent knowledge of the company can give you an advantage in the interview. It can also help if they pose the question, “do you have any questions for us?”
  • Wear professionally appropriate clothes. 
  • When asked about your biggest weaknesses, don’t do the cliche “turn your weakness into a positive” by saying something along the lines of “I care too much.” Interviewers know this trick and are often turned off by it. Instead, own your weaknesses and let them know it’s something you’re working on. 
  • Be personal and approachable. 
  • On the way to the interview, turn on your favorite song, and jam out! It’s good to let loose for a little bit before going in, it can help you stay calmer and be yourself. 
  • Follow up the interview with a thank you card or email. 

We would love to hear your tips on interviews! What do you do before, during, and after to prep? Good luck with all of the applying and interviewing you’ll be doing over the course of the year, we believe in you! 

The Rallying For Student’s I’ve Witnessed Working Customer Service

To all of my loyal readers out there, I’m sorry I’ve been a little MIA the last few weeks. 

I’ve been working from home for my company, Honors Graduation, a graduation outfitters store. April and May are very busy for them with graduations all over the United States going on. This year, despite graduations being canceled all over the nation, they are still as busy as ever. I wanted to share a few things I’ve been able to witness as a customer service rep for them over the last few weeks. 

Parents ordering their student’s graduation items because schools are not handing them out with graduation being canceled. 

Schools are still ordering cords, caps, tassels, and more for students to keep. They are also paying extra to have them shipped to individual students so that they don’t have to go out to the schools to pick up the items. 

Grandparents, parents, club advisors, teachers, and schools have ordered embroidered custom stoles for their graduates who can’t have graduation this year. 

Parents working hard to put on virtual graduations for their kids, with family and friends tuning in via Zoom. 

Schools setting up virtual graduations via Zoom. 

Paying extra in shipping costs because schools have been moving graduation dates around. 

Parents buying all of the graduation essentials so that their kids can take graduation pictures. 

So many custom stoles ordered to provide graduates with as much recognition as one can give at this time. 

Overall, working for this company I have seen first hand how hard everyone is working to recognize our graduates during this uncertain time. Working customer service is obviously full of unhappy customers with a problem- that is why customer service exists! But on those occasions where someone tells me their heartwarming story of their college graduate who worked so hard to achieve this goal, and how they just want to purchase a cap and gown so that she can have something to remember this by. 

When someone thanks us for being open during this crazy time so that they can still have their needs met. 

I know times are crazy and uncertain right now, but I can’t help but to slow down myself and see everyone rally together. It’s incredible. 

How have you witnessed a greater collaboration of a society? Whether on a larger scale or in a smaller, community scale? How have you shown your graduate recognition during this time?

If you are or know of a graduate that could use some encouragement during this time, check out my open letter to college graduates part one and part two.