Keynotes and Workshops


Crafting the Personal Statement Essay

Audience: Students

The personal statement essay is the college’s opportunity to get to know you better — your life experience, interests, ambitions and inspirations. Think of it as your interview with the admissions office. The most important role of the personal statement essay is to give admissions committees a sense of your personality and what kind of addition you would be to their school’s community. Are you caring? Do you have ambition? Are you inquisitive? These kinds of qualities are hard to determine based solely on a high school transcript or a test score. This is where the personal statement comes in. It is your chance to stand out. At the completion of this workshop, students will be able to craft a personal statement essay that highlights accomplishments, beyond those shown on the transcript.


Crafting the Why College “X” Essay

Audience: Students

One of the most challenging supplemental essays for students to write is, “Why do you want to attend our university?” With a very limited word count, this essay asks students to dig deeper than information on a college’s website. Why a student wants to attend a particular college is becoming increasingly important. There are specific strategies that a student can include to demonstrate interest. In this workshop, we’ll explore a variety of sample prompts and discuss how to students show colleges why they are interested in their school.

Turning Experiences into Scholarships

Audience: Students

We all hear that volunteering during the high schools years is the way to stand out from the crowd. But did you know that simply volunteering doesn’t necessarily make your transcript stand out from the crowd? In this workshop, you will learn the two kinds of volunteering and how to use them to win scholarships for college.


Building a College-Ready Culture: Strategies that Work

Audience: Parents and Educators

What is a college-ready culture and how do educators, counselors and mentors overcome barriers to creating that culture? In this workshop, we discuss critical interrelated elements that together help communities build and strengthen a college-going culture.   Specific strategies that focus on issues for low-income students, reasons students give for not going to college, and goal setting will be identified.


Paying for College: Finding Your Best Financial Fit College

Audience: Students

With over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, finding the right school can be a challenge. In addition to a strong academic program, students need to consider how well the school fits financially. This does not necessarily mean attending a college that you can afford to pay. In this workshop, students learn the 5 questions they should ask every school to determine “financial fit.” Also discussed in this workshop, how to understand net price and how to understand an award letter.


Paying for College: How to Find and Win Scholarships

Audience: Students

The 21st century presents some remarkable challenges for young people looking to make their way in the world. The costs of education are skyrocketing leading students to pile up enormous levels of debt. It’s no way to begin a life. I didn’t want this for my children and know that I am not alone. In this workshop, I will reveal the secrets, strategies and system that I used to help my son win over $700,000 in scholarships paying for college through graduate school and how you can do the same.


Creating a Strong Online Brand and Why It Matters

Audience: Students

On June 12, Harvard University rescinded the offers of over ten students. It was not because of low-test scores, lack of volunteering or low GPA. It was due to the students’ online presence in a “private” Facebook group. Between social media, school newspapers, club rosters, team websites, volunteer reports, and more, nearly every student today has content about them or that they created online. Odds are that there is a lot of content about you already on the Internet. Some of it good. Most of it neutral. And occasionally something negative. In this workshop, students will learn how to use social media to influence what they want people to find when they search for them. If you don’t think that college admissions counselors and scholarship judges are not searching for you online, then think again! They are and what they find can either hurt or help you.


What Does Leadership Look Like

Audience: Students

Demonstrated leadership is a characteristic that college admissions officers and scholarship judges look for in applicants. The challenge is that students tend to think of leadership as a position such as being capital of the football team or class president. Leadership is influence.   Many students have significant leadership skills, but need to know how to recognize it and share it with others on their college admissions and scholarship applications.


Financial Aid Myths

Audience: Students

As the cost of attendance continues to rise, many students turn to financial aid to pay for college. What is financial aid? How do I qualify? Are loans the only form of financial aid? This workshop will walk students through understanding what financial aid is, how to apply for it and equip them with truth to counter the myths that many students believe about financial aid and winning scholarships.


Becoming A Shark Mom: Supporting Your Child

Audience: Parents

Our children need us whether they realize it or not. Just how involved should a parent be in the college admissions and scholarship process? More importantly, how do you stay close without pushing them away? In this heart-to-heart workshop, Pam will discuss how to be a support during the college planning phase and how to keep your influence in your child’s life even when they enter college.