Do You Know the 3 Steps for Back-to-School Success?

Do you know the Recipe for Back to School Success?

Back to school is right around the corner! How you choose to start the school year can set the tone for the entire semester.

Students in line

Here are 3 Must-Do steps that all students must know in order to have more academic success and less stress.

It’s called the Recipe for Academic Success. All three steps must be done at the same time in order to get the most out of school. Continue reading

Teens: The High Cost Of A Closed Mind

Does your teen (or do you) automatically say no to things more often than yes? There is a fine line between knowing what you like and shutting down opportunities that could lead to potential learning, growth, and increased satisfaction.

As an infant, we tried anything and everything with an insatiable curiosity. Of course we had our parents to shield us from harm, but we went through the day with a non-judgmental perspective toward new foods, new people, new ideas and new experiences. We certainly had no fear of failure or fear of judgment from others.


I have yet to meet an infant who when trying to walk, fell on his butt and then stopped trying to walk in fear of what the other infants would say about him. As we grow up, many of us start to lose that child-like wonder and only stick to what we know we like or we avoid ideas and experiences that are unfamiliar to us. We start to be filled with self-doubt and skepticism. When we encounter a new idea, we may ask ourselves, “Is this going to work?” “Is this going to be worth it?” “What if I try it, and it doesn’t work? It’s just better to avoid it all together!” Continue reading

Teens: Want To Succeed This Semester?

Did you make your “Mid-Semester Check-In”?

The excitement of the new school year has faded and Winter Break seems so far away. It is extremely important for students to stay motivated and positive so that they don’t fall into the “Mid-Semester Slump”.


One essential action step that you can take is to get an honest look at where you are in each class, identify what you want to achieve in each class, and outline the exact steps that need to be taken in order to accomplish what you want. Continue reading

FREE VIDEO SERIES: Developing Resilient Teens

As you know, I am passionate about supporting teens. This generation of teens has the digital world at their fingertips, and are pioneering new ways to live with technology every day. Yet in a time when we can be so connected, many teens today feel so alone in their struggle with anxiety (even the teens who, on the outside, are very “successful”). Teens are reporting higher rates of anxiety each year, which is not surprising when we hear how teens feel overwhelmed by the amount of information at their disposal, compare themselves to countless others on social media, and feel like everything has already been said and done. All of these pressures ON TOP OF the usual ups and downs of being a teenager requires all of us to think differently about how we support teens today.   Continue reading

3 MUST-DO Steps for Back to School Success!

Do you know the Recipe for Back to School Success?

I once heard a very fit personal trainer say that “summer bodies are made in the winter.”

This inspired me to share with students that Back to School success starts in the summer.

Students in line

Here are 3 Must-Do steps that all students must know in order to have more academic success and less stress.

It’s called the Recipe for Academic Success. All three steps must be done at the same time in order to get the most out of school. Continue reading

5 Ways You’re Doing High School Wrong: A College Student’s Advice

It can be difficult for a teenager to heed the advice of their parents. For the teen, it can come off as nagging or critical. That’s why an outside perspective is so effective. However, even when the outside perspective is an adult, the words of wisdom may still go in one ear and out of the other as the teen thinks, “What does this person know? He’s twice my age!”

TeensIpadI am so excited to present this article written by Andrew Petrillo, a 20-year old college student about to enter his third year at Gonzaga University. As a high school student, he experienced the power of working with an Academic Life Coach. The lessons he learned made such a positive impact on him that he himself went through coach training in order to inspire and empower teens with the tools and mindset to not just get through high school, but to thrive.

In this article, Andrew explains what teens really need to know in order to be successful after high school. Continue reading

Sept. 5th: Why Every Student MUST Know About This Date

Are you aware of the Labor Day Divide?

It’s a fact that your school workload will get heavier after Labor Day (Sept. 5th, 2016).

So, the time management systems and plans to stay motivated that you have in place before Labor Day could make or break your Fall Semester.

Students who plan ahead and have routines down by Labor Day will continue to stay motivated and positive with less stress. Those who put it off will continue to put it off, thus adding more stress as the workload increases.

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The Top 6 Skills Your Teen MUST Learn (But Schools Don’t Teach)

It’s no doubt that learning hard skills such as math, physics, and writing are important to a teenager’s academic and professional success. However, soft skills are just as important, yet never directly addressed.{Girl at laptop looking up at camera}

Hard skills are teachable abilities and objective skill sets that are easy to quantify. Hard skills are mostly related to “left brain thinking” – the logical center.

Soft skills on the other hand, are related to “right brain thinking” – the emotional center. Soft skills are subjective skills that are much harder to quantify, yet are just as crucial to one’s success. Soft skills are also known as “people skills” or “interpersonal skills” because it relates to how you relate to and interact with other people. Soft skills involve a large degree of self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

Hard skills are taught starting in preschool, yet soft skills are rarely directly taught.

The reason why soft skills are not directly taught in schools is because they are hard to quantify. High school is the perfect environment to learn soft skills, yet teens usually lack the awareness of what soft skills are, why they need them, and how to improve them.

As more young adults from the post-internet generation enter college and the workforce, it has become increasingly clear that their lack of soft skills is having a negative impact on their personal and professional lives.

According to a 2015 article in USA Today, “The problem isn’t that new grads don’t have the right degrees or technical know-how. Only 10% of employers said there weren’t enough graduates with the appropriate degrees…But employers are troubled by graduates’ lack of soft skills. Many report that college grads are lacking in people skills and have trouble solving problems and thinking creatively.”

Fortunately, soft skills are indeed skills, and like any skill, they can be improved if one commits to learning, improving, and practicing them.

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A Top Skill To End The School Year Successfully

With just a handful of weeks left before the end of the school year, many teens are scrambling to stay on top of everything and struggling to stay positive and motivated.

I recently came across this great article entitled “A Stanford Dean on Adult Skills Every 18-year-old Should Have.”

I think that middle school and high school is a great arena to practice these skills in order for teens to take ownership of their success and to start being proactive toward learning what they’re doing that works well, and what needs improvement.

The #1 skill that this Stanford Dean argues that young adults need to learn is:

Continue reading