Kevin and I, BetterGrads’ co-founders, have submitted a proposal to speak at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas in March 2012! The presentation is titled +1 Matters: Social Networks and Education. We want to talk about what we have been trying to do with BetterGrads so far and what every educational initiative should know about social networks. Every year, high schools lose their most valuable resources when alumni leave for college. With online social networking, this doesn’t have to happen. Our presentation is about the importance of social capital for education. Most people know social capital from the book Bowling Alone: it’s the stuff that drives civic life. But it can drive many other things, like a student’s success in college or career. As you know, at BetterGrads we connect recent graduates back to their public high schools as mentors, regardless of distance, because unlike their private [...]
Last Fall, student participants in the BetterGrads pilot eMentoring Program at Granada High (Livermore, CA) formed a new club on campus unlike any other. The College Prep Club was designed to encourage students – 2400 in all – to see college as an attainable goal. Since its inception, the College Prep Club 2012 (with “2012″ signifying the year members will graduate from high school and begin college) has significantly improved the college-going culture on campus. The College Prep Club has been involved in several college-themed activities, including SAT study sessions and College Planning “Expo” nights. Recently, students initiated the Pennant Project, for which club members collect pennants from Granada teachers’ alma maters and ask them about their experience there. The pennants will be displayed in the Granada High library and career center with the intent of further promoting college-going culture by connecting specific schools with students’ teachers. As part of [...]
BetterGrads is delighted to announce the BetterGrads-Pedrozzi Scholarship, which will award two $1,500 college scholarships to students who participate in our pilot eMentoring program at Granada High School in Livermore, Calif. The BetterGrads-Pedrozzi Scholarship is funded by a partnership with the Pedrozzi Scholarship Foundation, a Livermore-based private family foundation. Since 2008, the Foundation has awarded more than 200 scholarships to deserving graduates of Livermore high schools in pursuit of higher education, totaling nearly $1 million. The scholarship will recognize two student mentees at Granada High who have embodied the ideals of the BetterGrads eMentoring Program through leadership and community service. Students will fill out an online application, which includes two short essay questions and an optional letter of recommendation. Two equivalent scholarships will be offered at Livermore High School during the 2011-12 school year, when we expand our programs there. The deadline to apply for the BetterGrads-Pedrozzi Scholarship is 11:59 [...]
Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for BetterGrads. We are delighted to announce the launch of our re-designed website. The streamlined, informative, resource-rich interface supports our raison d’être: to empower students for success and create sustainable college-going cultures at their high schools by connecting them to recent alumni.
Last week, BetterGrads returned to Granada High School (Livermore, CA) for College Planning Night and the Freshmen-In-Transition (F.I.T.) program. The presentation team included three of our fabulous mentors – Andrea Olson, Andrea Duwel, and Greg Felter – and me. We spoke about college to bucket-loads of students and parents: nearly 800 over two days. Unlike last year, when we used a more scripted approach to our presentation curriculum, this year we asked attendees to direct the show by slinging questions at us on any aspect of college. Let the fun begin.
Write a letter to your high school self. Share the things you questioned about college that eventually were answered. Share your wisdom and advice. Give some guidance to the next generation of college potentials.
The apple often doesn’t fall far from the tree. We all know that adage. For better or for worse, our moms (and dads) make a big difference in our college and career success. What to do if your parents were not well-educated or high up on the professional ladder.
BetterGrads will be offering four College 101 panels in January 2010 at San Francisco Bay Area High Schools, including Richmond High School and Oakland Technical High School.
As an exclusive for our blog readers, we’d like to share some of the early findings from the post-presentation surveys from our 7 presentations to over 600 students and parents at Granada High School in Livermore, CA. Four-hundred and ninety-four freshmen responded (of the 570 or so we addressed through the Freshmen In Transition (F.I.T.) program). The remainder of the survey responses came from students who attended our two panel discussions at College Night, which involved 11th graders and their parents.
BetterGrads kick-off mixer on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.