Jessie's Blog

Is Showing Up Enough?

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Earlier this week, I found myself in savasana in a Core Power Yoga studio in Colorado Springs. For non-yogis, savasana is the final resting pose at the end of almost every yoga practice, and basically involves lying flat on your back on your mat with your eyes closed for a few minutes. The enthusiastic instructor had a very Colorado-esque handlebar mustache and shoulders that flexed in ways that I didn’t know were possible. He guided us into the final resting pose as he intoned, “So whatever you…

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(Don't) Focus on NORMAL

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This charming little sign has lived for years in a prominent place in our kitchen. I installed it there lest any guests get the crazy idea that we're NORMAL.

Starting at eight years old, I swam on a swim team at a local pool club. We’d leave the house at 8 a.m. each weekday. I’d hold on tight, one arm around Mom’s waist and the other gripping my towel, as we sped on her motorcycle down the east shore of the lake toward the club, the dips of the road memorized by my stomach. She had a Yamaha 250…

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That Time My Teen Texted Me to ASK for a Haircut

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You can thank me now. I was going to write this week's post about ballooning college application volumes and what to do about them. Then, I got a haircut and felt a little lighter in a world full of heavy issues, and so... I digressed. Bear with me.

Today let's remind ourselves of the power of the small wins in life – like a great haircut – and the relief we feel when we realize that some of what we've struggled to communicate to our children actually sank in and we no longer have to worry abou…

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The Powerful Mindset Question Your Teen (and You) Should be Asking


My work is to help students open doors and create opportunities for themselves. I recently recorded the following 58-second video and posted it to Insta. I framed the information as an important tip for students to keep in mind during college visits. However, the point I address is broadly applicable to all of us and how we show up in life for nearly everything and everyone. In fact, it's a question we could each productively ask ourselves dozens of times a day:

Am I trying to prove that I am…

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I'm Planning College Visits with my 15 year old. Why?

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Spring Break is right around the corner and quite unexpectedly, I find myself planning college visits with our 15-year-old daughter.  She is a sophomore and our youngest. With three older siblings, we've been to this rodeo before. In the past, we have always commenced with this ritual in the winter and spring of junior year. Yet, for Mary, I feel compelled to start now. Why?

I've been questioning whether it's too soon to be starting down this rabbit hole, especially since she plans NOT to app…

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WOW! Just Wow! You and Your Team Clearly Delivered!

Meet Jesse. Jesse is a senior in high school @sussextech in Northwest NJ. Attending and succeeding in a project-driven, hands-on Engineering Program was not easy during COVID. Jesse has always liked to challenge himself and stay busy and fit but with virtual learning, he was left with more free time than he liked. The list of activities that were canceled was long: basketball, youth group, in-person classes, lifeguarding, weight room workouts, and engineering competition workshop projects.

Reco…

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The Test Optional Dilemma Continues

Are the SAT and ACT Still worth worrying about? The short answer is likely "yes."


The pandemic's ripple effects continue to send college admissions offices scrambling. They have long relied on test scores as one of the key variables they use to evaluate candidates, yet according to FairTest, seventy-six percent of bachelor's-degree-granting institutions have now adopted some blend of a test-optional or test-blind policy. The ramifications have been – unsurprisingly – both positive and negativ…

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The #1 Roadblock Your Teen Can't Avoid

There is no limit to the amount of time and treasure we can invest in enhancing our children's potential. It can feel like there are endless educational and experiential opportunities to be had... because there are. It can also feel as if there's no limit to the expense those opportunities can amass. At the end of the day, we do our best with the means at our disposal to help our children realize their potentials, but as teens reach the cusp of adulthood, the stakes can feel higher. The added pr…

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My Top Eleven Things from '21

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In my last newsletter, I promised to share a list of eleven things that went really well last year as part of what I have come to call the Anti-Resolution Movement (ARM). The idea came to me after starting to read, The Gap and the Gain: the High Achiever's Guide to Happiness, Confidence, and Success by Dan Sullivan with Dr. Benjamin Hardy.

I had a vision of sitting contemplatively with a cup of green tea under a blanket with my dogs snuggled on the couch as I happily reflected on what went re…

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Elevated Admissions Saved Us! 

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Jessie Martin and Elevated Admissions saved us! 

My son had begun his college application the summer before his senior year, and he had met with a local college advisor from another company. As we got closer to deadline day, we realized that he still had no idea where to apply or what to study in college, and his application was nowhere near where it needed to be. Based on many recommendations, we reached out to Jessie Martin at Elevated Admissions. 

With only three weeks before the early-admi…

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