Know your core values before applying for college and scholarships

Does your family have a set of core values? Does your teen?
Values guide our every decision, including the decision of which COLLEGE to attend and which EMPLOYER to work for.
This is an important bit of information most families have not and are not considering. Living by your values, or not, influences your happiness and contentment with life. It's important to know your values and know if the decisions you are making are in alignment with those values.
For example, 3 of my core values are INTEGRITY, SERVICE, and FAMILY.
Integrity includes values such as honesty and truth.
About a year ago I got so frustrated seeing my friends consistently repost things that they didn't bother to research, that I imposed a '3-strikes, you're out' policy. I shouldn't have to do the research for you to find that what was posted is false. Needless to say, my Facebook feed is much more pleasant to read.
Service is a value that was passed down by my family and then to my children. Service to others is an important aspect of my upbringing. It didn't matter that we were poor. You can still give your time and talents. My parents modeled it and we did the same. My children have received state and national awards for their service to others. They were not in it for the award. They were rewarded for what they were already doing. After my daughter moved to another state, she noticed there were certain places she passed where the homeless were regularly seen. She put together brown paper sacks with necessities such as toothbrushes and paste, socks, fast food gift certificates, etc for women, men, and children. She had them on the floorboard of the back seat of her car which she could easily reach and hand out. I was so proud of her.
Family is another very important core value for us. Again this was modeled by our parents. My dad said he felt so lucky that we didn't have the family problems that others talked about in his office. We have a close family which includes extended family.
When my son was negotiating a new employment contract he said to me, one thing that is important to him is to be able to take a week off to visit his sister after she has her baby, after only being employed a few months. If the answer is anything other than, "yes", then his answer to the offer of employment would be a hard, "No."
Think about what values are important to you personally, and to your family. Discuss it with your children and teens. Can you discern what are the values of the colleges your teens want to apply to? Is that a good fit? When they are filling out college applications and scholarship applications, their values should come through, possibly in their essay.
My 6-week course for parents, Cracking the Code to Free College, covers much more than how to find and win scholarships. It is literally everything we did that got our kids accepted to every college they applied to with top scholarships. It was definitely seeing those values in their application that had colleges calling the house asking, 'What can we do to get you to come here?'
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