If you are anything like me the “Operation Varsity Blues” college racketeering scandal completely sucked me in yesterday. Cheating, bribery, faked learning disabilities; it’s helicopter parenting at its most extreme. While the FBI papers read like a Riverdale episode, what struck me was the lengths parents were willing to go to. Not for their kids, but for themselves. And, why? What is it that people are so afraid of? A state school, a non-named brand school? What kind of message are we sending our kids when only a selective school will do? What does success look like when that is the only option?
This all made me re-examine the work that we do and my own path here. Honesty is a core part of how we are held together as a community. Our schools teach our kids the 5cs of Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, Communication, Collaboration, Citizenship (global and local) and Creativity & Innovation. At Jett Ed, we support students and want them to be engaged, thoughtful learners and the true version of themselves. The skills we teach around time management, organization, studying, and college counseling are all centered around this.
When I think back on my own high school journey, it was not a straight path. I started a my junior year at a new high school almost 3,000 miles from home. I left a loving family, friends I’d known since kindergarten and the laid back, liberal culture of LA and traded this for a new school with kids from all over the world in a small town in New England. I got to boarding school and I floundered. Academically, socially, emotionally and culturally I was lost. I didn’t play field hockey or lacrosse and couldn’t understand why everyone was so into these sports with sticks. I had a pay phone in my dorm lobby that I had to wait to use to call friends who were three hours behind me, or have to mail them a letter and wait to hear back (the horror!). Academically, subjects that came relatively easily to me all of a sudden were impossible. I almost failed math my junior year (and ended up spending my summer retaking classes). But these were all my problems to own and the experience gave me the tools to be my own person...and own my failures and successes.
Teaching kids to advocate for themselves, having their own voice be heard and gaining skills to be more independent as they move forward in college (and life) are at the heart of what we do. And remember, there are 2,000+ colleges and universities in the U.S.; there is a place for everyone.
We are grateful to be on this journey with you.