It makes me a bit of a dinosaur to admit that Facebook was not around when I was in high school or college. In fact, it came about when I was already working, and I received several requests from friends still in college to start an account. I declined numerous times, I already had Friendster and MySpace, what need was there for a Facebook account? But everyone was loving the fact that Facebook was "exclusive" because you needed an EDU email account to sign up for it (yes, that was a long time ago, I know). We didn't even have the option to post photos when Facebook first came out, can you believe it?!
Anyway, fast forward to 2017. Everyone is on social media. I can't even start to recount the different social media apps, the only ones I use are Instagram, Facebook (which I'm told is only for old people now), Snapchat (which I joined to redeem my old age), and Pinterest (because I'm a mom of four, so naturally I do a lot of crafts and DIY stuff). What the younger generation who grew up with social media fail to realize is that the world did not always overshare. The world did not always give their opinion out for the greater public to view. People used to look at photos at your home, hence, they were close friends, relatives, etc. The implication of such an oversharing generation is that trolls are born, hidden behind the safe confines of the social media anonymity, people tend to be meaner, bullying grows, and feelings are hurt. On the flipped, there is a great plethora of useful information to be gained from the online community and social media. Sharing goodness, collaborating with different people, and making friends is all possible now.
All this is relevant to the college scene as news just came out that 10 students got their Harvard admissions revoked after posting offensive material online. You're no longer just another person with an opinion, your online opinions and choices are a representation of the school you go to and therefore, anything obviously offensive, racist, and hateful, is going to have a consequence. I hope these students, and many others who might think their online presence has no impact on much of anything and is all just "fun," wake up and smell the reality. When we were interviewing candidates at my old public accounting firm, we'd always go online and sneak a peek at their profiles, if public. This was almost ten years ago, so I'm sure firms have gotten smarter about hiring and social media presences. Be smart kiddos. If you wouldn't say it to someone's face, don't post it online.
I think it's important to know what is trending in the college admissions process, and since we've started to hear back from our students about which schools they've been accepted into lately (which has been so exciting), this is the perfect time to debunk some myths. Recently, Ray spoke to a group of students about a lot of the typical college myths from the perspective of what colleges are looking for. His presentation doesn't stray far from this op-ed from the Washington Post. Take a read and let me know what you think!
On Sunday, April 9th, Breakthrough's 2017 Entrepreneurship Class brought five teams to participate in the High School Business Plan Competition sponsored by Project Echo at UCLA.
Project Echo is a non-profit organization formed in 1996 to provide at-risk students with vocational skills and entrepreneurship training and experience but has since expanded to include students from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The annual Business Plan Competition is held at UCLA Anderson School of Management. The students pitch ideas which includes their R&D, financial analysis, industry surveillance, and marketing in three categories of food and beverage, retail, or technology. Executive level volunteer judges evaluate the teams and award cash prizes.
Our teams have been preparing since November, learning the skills necessary to effectively develop a business idea. Our team business plans included a nut smoothie company, a trip planning application, an e-waste management company, a virtual reality social anxiety solution, and a crowd sourced live streaming video platform.
All our teams had a very edifying and fun time pitching their ideas and being able to participate and watch other teams. We're proud to announce that among the winners were Breakthrough's own KALEIDE made up of seniors Ria Wang, Randy Deng, and Andrew Chou! The trio took 2nd place in the Technology category for their crowdsourced streaming platform.
For more on Project Echo, click here.
For more on our Entrepreneurship and other programs, click here.
For those of you looking for more scholarship money, here are some unusual scholarships you might want to check out. If there's money, there's a reason... right?
Click here to see the scholarships.