A Young Woman Learning to be Self-Directed

In 9th grade, we had a kid who loved and was interested in everything, and who managed to be accomplished at almost everything she tackled. At the beginning of 9th grade, as we began to think about what the college process meant, I heard Keith speak about CollegeThoughts. He spoke thoughtfully about matching your child to a college and about goal-driven behavior, but the most impact, for me, came from his careful focus on learning who your child was and on allowing/guiding kids to knowing themselves. I wanted for my child, the opportunity to ask herself complex questions about what she cared about most and about her goals, not only as a student, but as a full-rounded person.

When Keith spoke and when I watch and listen to him work with my daughter, it is not about gaming the process, it is about uncovering the singular qualities of the young person in front of him who is working desperately to navigate a maelstrom of academic, social and personal development all at once. When I saw that first presentation, he spoke to the value of carefully working smarter and not simply harder. He spoke to the kids who are convinced that they need to do it and handle it all on their own and who have yet to learn the benefits of, or how to, ask for help. He spoke to the kids who are driven and just need a nudge to channel their unending energy and ambition. He spoke to the kids who are lost and not even sure what questions to ask. In a short space of time, he had reached out to them all simultaneously because there was not a template, there was a person, first.

When Keith met my daughter, what unfolded was a process that allowed her to tackle the entire spectrum of the challenges she faced. Their mantra was, and is: if you’re ok, it will be ok. Built into the rigor and the high expectations, is the core of self-care, of reflection, of commitment not only to excellence of production, but to excellence of character; to the kind of person you aspire to be, to learning how to find the people and the places that feed what you care about most. It was a process of learning that there is not “a way” or “a thing”, but a path that serves you best because you take the time to understand both who you are and where you would like to be.

You can find so many places for academic automation, where your student can learn how to deliver what they believe is expected. What Keith offers is an understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses and how to deliver the best of who you are, in the places and in the ways that it is most valued. It is the best kind of challenge and seems so necessary at a moment when I see kids working desperately to fit, and not too many forgiving spaces that allow the space and time for individuals to blossom to their full potential. With CollegeThoughts, my daughter is assured of being seen and considered, and so is responsive to the required rigor because it aligns with clear goals which she has actively been encouraged to generate herself and has bought into fully. It is an unusually collaborative process with a long-term vision if you, as a parent, allow it.

What I see in my daughter is a young woman learning to be self-directed. What I see with CollegeThoughts is the potential for guiding successful young people into college and the world who, if inclined, will likely not be replicators, but thoughtful influencers and shifters in the places that serve them best.

How We Do It

While students that we coach for the SAT generally improve by 200 points and by 6 points on the ACT, we don’t use testing averages as an overall selling point. Many students who come to us for test preparation already have high scores and so we might be helping a student with a 1380 to break 1500 or helping a 28 become a 31. Consequently, if we offered our overall average each year, it might appear that we are not effectively moving the needle when, in actuality, we are helping our students to get the scores that they need to round out their application packages to great colleges across the country.

Let Us Help You Today!

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