student achievement

More young people today are realizing earlier and earlier the value of black_businessmanbuilding and maintaining effective social and professional networks as they go through high school, college, and especially after college. The basic essentials of effective networking actually begin in middle school when we as parents begin to strategically guide our offspring to the “right” clubs, social organizations,  and  even churches in an effort to not only help them develop lifelong friendships, but to also foster  relations that  become  potential professional network contacts as they grow into adulthood with full-fledged careers.

We know that there are many advantages to establishing a professional network early in one’s career. According to one successful United States tutoring and mentoring firm, high school students learn quickly that networking in college is serious business. “Networking in college and in one’s personal life can build lasting relationships that will help a student gain an edge when they are preparing to graduate and enter the world of world.” (Read more at Think Tank Learning  )    

For this posting, I went to one of my trusted and reliable sources on the topic Quint Careers  and found the following tips and advice on networking for young people who plan to be future executives tomorrow.


It’s helpful to examine how people get their jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor says that only about 5 percent of people obtain jobs through the “open” job market — consisting primarily of help-wanted ads on the Internet and in print publications. Another 24 percent obtain jobs through contacting companies directly — the cold-contact method of job-hunting. Twenty-three percent obtain jobs through such means as employment agencies, college career-services offices and executive-search firms. The remaining 48 percent — nearly half of all job hunters, obtain their jobs through referrals — that is word of mouth. How do they get referrals and find out about jobs through word of mouth? By networking…


3705001-beautiful-young-girl-in-business-suit-working-on-laptop--shot-in-studio-with-the-canon-20dReach out to liked minded professionals in your community and worldwide by using social media platforms and up and coming web based technologies. Remember that your professional brand can be negatively impacted by improper postings on popular platforms like Instagram, FB or Twitter.  Do research to find social media sites that market to a niche professional market.  For example if you are a museum industry executive wanting to expand your professional reach, you’d want  to join a social media site specific to people who work in the museum industry.


One of the best sources of networking contacts for students is the guest speakers that come to talk to your classes. These professionals are a vast untapped resource.  Don’t be afraid to go up to a guest speaker after his or her presentation to introduce yourself, express interest in their product or service as well as your extreme appreciation for them taking the time to speak with you directly. Have a business card ready to give them and ask if you could contact them at some time in the future to conduct an information interview. Don’t forget to get their card too!


Active job-hunters often join discussion groups or read a newsgroup on a topic of their choice. Sites like at or Topica provide a list of numerous newsgroups or discussion lists that the job-seeker can join. Establishing an ‘Internet Presence’ by posting on a discussion list (after learning the rules of ‘Netiquette’ one should follow for posting a message or reply) facilitates others getting to know you and your area of interest/expertise.”


Become active in your community. Participate in school clubs that are related to your career interests and develop lasting relationships with your classmates and teacher club leaders. Take leadership roles in the activities of clubs you join and use the opportunity to network with members of the community who may one day become will valuable resources for potential internship and job leads for you tomorrow.


Choose a mentor early in your career planning process to help guide you inBeautiful Little Business Woman With Briefcase and Handful of Mo decision making. In addition to your parents and teachers, having a career planning mentor can definitely give your networking skills a boost and help you practice with a trusted adult.

Most mentors state that it’s very rewarding to help someone, remembering what it was like when they were trying to decide on a career. Having a mentor can be the first step toward deciding on pursuing a given career. Many students begin with making networking contacts that grow into working part or full-time for their mentor or their mentor’s contacts. As students gain work experience they qualify for many internships and business opportunities.  A college career center is only one way of seeing about getting a mentor. Usually colleges have an Alumni Network for this purpose. Also explore mentors in places of worship, social and civil clubs that your parents belong to or community business leaders.

Good Luck!

I was recently at a start of the school year Kick Off event hosted by my local chapter of the NAACP. Nia reluctantly came with me. I made her come, mainly because I didn’t want to leave her in the house alone, but of course I spun it into “Nia, you have to come because you’ve got to start building your professional network and this is a great place to start!” ….. (Always the teacher… LOL)

Well, it’s like I say to you all the time… Continue Reading

African-American-students-in-a-classroom-ShutterstockIn my last post I talked about ways in which parents can encourage their kids’ development of STEM skills by helping them to see how STEM is interwoven into almost every industry and occupation today. As I explained, I took my daughter on a field trip of sorts, to help her see STEM at work in the television and film industry I appreciate all the positive feedback and encouragement I received from that posting! So, I decided to stay on this topic for a while longer so that we can delve into it a little deeper.

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MH900400027A few weeks ago I was at a school district wide meeting where teachers and parents came together for some frank conversation. A group of teachers representing multiple grade levels and subject matters presented to us (parents) a Teachers’ Wish List… It was the top 10 things teachers wished more parents would do at home to support their (the teachers’) efforts in the classroom. Now of course, standard things like checking homework folders daily, reading to your child and/or making them read every day and getting involved in school activities were among the things wished for. However one big wish Continue Reading

Ask yourself the question… What is the goal of education? Is it to gain specific knowledge and skills in order to get a good job or start aMH900439573 business? Is it to learn how be social and civic minded so that you can make the world a better place? What about this one; education’s goal is to teach people essential interpersonal skills and tolerance so that they can form successful relationships with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures. Or maybe, it’s more simplistic than that.  Maybe, the goal of education is simply to help people attain their goals and realize their dreams. Continue Reading

Hey there … How is everyone? Have you settled down from all the celebration of President Barack Obama being elected to a second term?  I haven’t.  I am still elated, full of hope, promise and looking forward to the next four years…. Ok, I know it’s a bit corny… (Ya’ll know me by now, LOL) but do take a minute to rejoice with me…. Click to Celebrate!
OK. Are you now finished doing your happy dance?  Good, now it’s time to get back to work… Continue Reading

How is everyone? I know I haven’t posted in a while. I decided to take a short break; down time, so that I could, (as Debbie Allen would say) Relax, Relate and Release! (The link is a comical reminder in case you forgot!)

This year so far has been a whirlwind! Full of change!  I’ve had a lot of transition in my life; changes in my professional, personal and family life… you name it. In a matter of months, there have been significant changes in just about every aspect of my life.  Mostly good, although, a few have presented some challenges. However, all in all, I am on course and lovin’ life…

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This is part of a reading assignment I was given while taking an  “Introduction to Instructional Technology” class during my graduate school program at Indiana University in Bloomington…. First day of class…. first reading assignment….. first class about the “history of educational technology…..first paragraph…… Continue Reading

Hello Family!

Very briefly…. I prepared this document for Nia’s school and decided to post it on my blog in the event that there are any teachers, parents or administrators out there who need a quick and last minute resource to begin their Black History Month celebrations tomorrow!  It’s a “On This Day in Black History…” and gives an important fact for each day of the month… Continue Reading

Hello Family,

I hope all is well in the new year for everyone….

During last summer while attending the SOS Conference and March, I had the pleasure of meeting Ruby Veridiano; Lit Corps and Social Media Ambassador for an organization called Lit World.  She was a featured speaker at a conference session I attended on education and it’s role in world literacy. I felt an instant connection with Ruby. Her warm and personable demeanor made it very easy for me to engage in conversations going on during our conference session. I admired her passion and drive as she discussed her role in Girls LitClubs in NYC. I was just really impressed with her and the organization she represents. (oh, and not to mention; too, she told me she is a native of one of my favorite cities on the west coast (shout out to Oakland, CA) (smile)  Anyway, Ruby and I became instant friends…. Continue Reading

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