Let's keep doing the good work.
Sessions, meals, socials, visits to the vendor floor, more sessions, more events - and in between all of those exciting moments...there were hugs! My favorite part of NACAC this year was meeting counselors who were in attendance because of an HSCC sponsorship...or because they'd received one of the three dozen IMAGINE grants from NACAC.
Let's keep doing the good work.
"We cannot be selectively horrified and disgusted by racism." - Dr. Shaun Harper
I returned from NACAC-Boston with renewed energy - and the focus and drive to ensure that The High School Counselor Challenge could continue to serve as a meaningful and transforming vehicle for public high school counselors.
This year, our focus will be to identify public high school counselors and supporting organizations that serve Title 1 schools - and bringing those champions of students to NACAC - with an explicit focus on providing leadership opportunities for counselors of color.
To join, please fill out this simple google form: https://goo.gl/forms/qLoYSsUeEGmajAXm2
I tried to take a 3-day weekend. I really did. But (the best news is that) no one let me!
We had challenges accepted over the weekend, on Monday morning at the crack of dawn - and after the close of business on Monday night!
The most exciting part of the day, though, was Katherine Long's lovely piece about #hscc2015 in The Seattle Times.
The story was shared and "recommended" by readers over 300 times by the end of the day, and I was contacted by counselors from all over the Northwest. They wanted to share their stories and give thanks - and I was happy to accept their "notes of thanks" on behalf of all of the colleges, universities, corporations, and charitable partners participating in the challenge. And in the "thank you" department, many thanks to Mike Siegel (from The Seattle Times) for making me look positively normal in the pic (see above).
Of course, my mailbox was already quite full from NACAC's email on Friday, which directed all "traffic" regarding The High School Challenge to me!
The work continues - as do the challenges! We have more than a half-a-dozen challenge streams currently going strong! OK - back to the work of The High School Challenge!
Who's counting? I am. I just did. Wow.
Today, the challenge was bouncing all over America - from Baltimore to New York to Rhode Island to Boston to Los Angeles to Spokane!
But it was a piece of press that caught my eye today. Actually, it was the author that caught my eye. Because when Scott Anderson, Senior Director of The Common Application, takes the time to write an article for The Huffington Post about the work of The High School Counselor Challenge...well, that's just awesome.
It's called "Three Ways Parents Can Help Colleges Help Their Kids' School Counselors" and I was really blown away by the fact that Scott took the time to make us his priority today. Many thanks to you, Scott, for supporting this initiative.
It's been just over a week since we got started, and - today - we crossed the 100 mark! As of tonight, #hscc2015 is responsible for having 102 public high school counselors from underserved communities sponsored to attend NACAC in San Diego next October!
We had two particularly cool moments today. Whitman wins the prize for most creative acceptance picture so far: The Whitman Golden Ticket! If you check out the fine print, it reads, in part: "Greetings to you, lucky recipient of this Golden Ticket from Whitman College." Brilliant!
Another amazing highlight was our third acceptance from an individual. This time, Chris McQuarrie (who won an Academy-Award for writing THE USUAL SUSPECTS and is now directing Tom Cruise in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 5) agreed to sponsor a #hscc2015 counselor. Here's hoping our support from the entertainment community continues to be as strong as our support in the post-secondary community!
In the (now) harried world of The High School Challenge, it's easy to actually LOSE COUNT of the number of colleges, universities, and thoughtful organizations and people who have popped over to @hscc2015 to lend their support. The #hscc2015 hashtag sometimes comes at me like a fire-hose (and that's a good, good thing)!
At one point yesterday, after Zinch came in to sponsor 2 counselors, and Chegg came in to sponsor 3 counselors, and then The College Board came in with an offer to sponsor 6 counselors, I actually lost track of the college challenges for about 30 minutes! I was so busy thanking these amazing organizations, that I (almost) let a wonderful #hscc2015 acceptance slip by! So, many thanks to Parchment for their quick acceptance, and my apologies for not seeing it sooner.
The challenges keep on coming, and they have left "our post-secondary" world in a big way. Josh Charles, the Emmy-nominated star of "The Good Wife," decided to honor his Baltimore roots and accept the challenge to send a Maryland counselor to NACAC. We're delighted he is paying tribute to our work with his support!
Finally, it was fun to watch how quickly TCU threw down on SMU - and how quickly the acceptance came in from both. Ah...college rivalries!
More to come on Monday! Enjoy the weekend!
Have I mentioned how much fun this project is?? Man - this is a hoot!
I'm writing letters of recommendation for my students, processing IB exam registrations, answering calls from incoming 8th grade families, and then the phone rings and it's a man from a national newspaper.
"Um...hey - can I call you back. I'm kind of on an admissions deadline here. " :)
And more #hscc2015 colleges and universities joined in the fun today! We went East, North, South and West - all in the space of a few hours. There are 8 open challenge streams right now (I'll admit it: I've lost count and have to go back tomorrow), and my email box is getting lots of hits.
So happy to be doing this work, especially after participating in my first #emchat session (with all kinds of college and counseling folks) on twitter tonight. #WhatAGreatCommunity
The whole challenge can shift on a dime with ONE challenge - and that's just what happened this morning. Eric Furda, Dean of Admissions for the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), accepted the challenge from the IBO this morning - and did something extraordinary.
Putting on his hat as the Chair of The Common Application's Board of Directors, he challenged EACH AND EVERY member of the Common Application consortium of schools to accept The High School Challenge!
Got started on the work of The High School Challenge this morning, when my twitter feed seemed to literally EXPLODE with activity.
What I didn't know then (but I certainly know now) is that Patrick O'Connor wrote a piece for HuffPo College, entitled "Help Out a School Counselor? I'm In, With #hscc2015. It's a great piece, and it certainly got the buzz for #hscc2015 going before my coffee kicked in!
Today brought other surprises, as well. Jon Cryer, star of the CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men" jumped into the challenge to sponsor a counselor from Bronx Science, his alma mater in New York. And the challenges kept coming in all day. At one point, I realized that I was tracking 8 separate challenge threads - and here's hoping they keep going!
The day contained some special treats. Daniel Follmer's team at The University of Chicago came onboard. Dan was literally "at the table" with me when I first sketched out the challenge, so seeing that tweet made me very happy, indeed. It's also really nice when "the boss from work" shows up, so when Marie Vivas, the head of University Relations for the IBO tweeted that they were joining in, I really smiled! I got even more giddy when I saw that she had challenged Eric Furda, the Dean of Admissions at UPenn.
Given that we were on an international kick, it was really great to have the day end with our first international challenge: Quest University, who have visited my school quite often over the past few years, joined in and challenged other Northwest friends, Simon Fraser University.
Looking forward to tomorrow!
Today was...WOW. Just WOW. The High School Counselor Challenge fielded emails and phone calls all day long from colleges and universities all across the country...and from other places, as well!
The challenges just kept coming...and going...and coming...and going!
Some moments were truly spectacular: Kaplan started our morning with the generous sponsorship of a counselor - and a free classroom course certificate for every single one of our #hscc2015 counselors. Then, just 30 minutes later, our friends at Princeton Review decided to sponsor 4 counselors (one from each region)!
I could barely keep up with the home page photos of each college and admissions team challenging one another!
I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring!