I have to say that I was really disturbed by my brief conversation yesterday morning. I am so happy to report that I had a GREAT exchange with another guidance counselor just a few minutes later! The phone rings…


Me: Thank you so much for calling me back! I wanted to follow-up on my email from earlier this month, about my services to parents and teens—workshops and coaching.

Ms. ______: Oh! We have someone come in from ______ College and they talk about admissions to both teens and parents.

Me: Oh! Well, I really focus on parents and how they can support their teens during the college search, and I talk with them about their changing roles in the lives of their teens. I talk to teens also, and offer coaching to teens and families where there may be special needs or the need for more support services. May I send you the more detailed description of my series of workshops for parents?

Ms. _______: Well, how does this work, is it complementary? And, what do you expect to gain from it? What is your background?

Me: Yes, my workshops are free for parents. I bring articles that I have written and other resources. Parents can just come to the workshop and listen, they can take home resources, and they can contact me if they want to have further conversations about what I have to offer. My background is in special education—I was a teacher, principal and administrator, I have a doctorate in curriculum development, and my daughter is a college graduate. I started this work over seven years ago when my daughter went through the college admissions process and, while she went to a very good school, she didn’t feel that she knew all the pieces of this puzzle. I am also a member of Clark University’s Alumni and Parent Admissions Program.

Ms. ______: Oh! We want to be sure that people talking to our families know what is happening out there and have current information, as we can’t get out as much as we would like. We spend a lot of time talking with the college reps to learn what they want these days.

Me: Well, do you know www.unigo.com? It’s a site where students write about their experiences at college, and they’re on campus now.

Ms. ______: Oh yes, it’s like the Fiske Guide but written by students.

Me: Yes, it’s a student’s guide to colleges. Well, I am on their expert panel.

Ms. ______: Oh!

Me: I’ll be happy to send you the descriptions of my workshops later this morning. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ms. ______: I will have to talk with my counterpart at _________. I will be in touch!

Me: Thanks!


Woo Hoo! A guidance counselor who understands that students and parents need information and options around the services that support them during the great adventure of the college admissions process.




Okay, maybe that title is a little too broad… Here’s one guidance counselor’s response to my offer of complementary services to students and their parents:



Earlier this morning:

Me: Hi! My name is Jill Greenbaum and I am following up on the email that I wrote to you earlier in the month. I offer coaching to teens in the college search process and presentations to parents about their roles in the lives or their teens. I was wondering if my services might be of use to families in _________.

Mr. (shall remain nameless): We actually find that rather insulting. We think we do a pretty good job here.

Me: Do you have students with special needs? Or parents with concerns?

Mr. __________ We have that covered.

Me: Oh! My work is not meant to be insulting, it complements that of guidance counselors. Thank you for your time.


Wow, wow, wow!


  • The ratio of students to guidance counselors in the US 476:11
  • One in five students delayed going to college due to inadequate counseling2
  • In 2009, 120,00 high school seniors hired educational consultants3
  • 48% of students felt they were “a face in the crowd” to guidance counselors2
  • 38 minutes is the total average amount of time a guidance counselor spends per student discussing college admissions1

There are plenty more statistics… they are mostly disheartening.

 1 American School Counselor’s Association

2 Public Agenda 2010 Survey of Effectiveness of High School Guidance Counselors

3 Rheault


Happily, there’s good news to follow in Part 2! 


Current Dilemma in My Coaching Practice

One student in coaching with me appears to be stuck, at a loss, finding it very difficult to move forward and complete the tasks necessary to finish the applications for the admissions process.


Time is growing short to submit applications for September admission


  • Explore the resistance to getting the work done—what are the questions, concerns or fears—and develop ideas and techniques for handling the unspoken distress
  • Discuss and list the tasks to be completed and create deadlines and milestones
  • Check in/touch base about progress


No response to check in email


Offer different kind of support—more active partnership—until the student is ready to do the tasks more independently


No response to my offer for more support in my second email

While there may be activity around the tasks, I am concerned about activity and yet not productivity… 


I can relate, can you?

For me, today has been a day of organizing my thoughts around wellness, to share/write up/draw for my next ezine (tomorrow), creating a new description of my ebook for my store page, organizing my outreach to guidance counselors and administrators, contacting an editor about my book, updating video content, and planning for several new products. These are all important tasks yet I am stepping back to be reflective/gain self-awareness, to be sure that I am not mistaking activity for productivity. Do you ever have those days?

Perhaps it’s just a day full of handling the details that push many projects forward… just doesn’t feel as satisfying as big chunks of projects accomplished. Maybe I can reframe that and look at total number of tasks achieved… Mmmm, I’m liking it!

Check out the new intro on my video, Find the Right College with Jill’s New Ebook, And if you’re more of a fan of paperbacks (than ebooks), you can find my book here on Amazon or here on Barnes & Noble’s site.


or, Smart Teens are Thinking Ahead and Prompting Their Parents to Think about the Future

I’m noticing a shift my practice… My clients are becoming high school juniors, not under-the-crushing-deadline-of-admissions seniors. This is great news! In my work, I am all about learning the path to finding the right college so that the process is focused and streamlined, with no floundering about on the part of teens or their parents.

In the past I have worked with seniors to complete their search in less than 60 days. Now I am starting with families earlier, affording them the time to ease into the process, feel more comfortable with all the pieces to the puzzle and the decision points along the way—which requires a lot of sifting and sorting, researching, and analyzing. And, if there are any special circumstances, from

  • a desire to continue with a sports team, specialized study in theatre or the art to
  • special learning academic needs, or
  • the need to secure substantial financial aid

starting within the month is the smartest plan.

Give yourself the gift of time. Begin thinking and talking about the search now, shift into action in the new year and you will have the luxury of time to understand and enjoy the adventure of what the future holds.


NEWSFLASH: How to Major in You and Find the Right College in now available on Barnes & Noble site, here,

Insider info: My book is even more affordable on www.createspace.com, here, with this discount code, KXUZUQSN.




I love making the time to think about what’s important to me!

Honestly though, crafting all my (divergent) thoughts into a coherent piece to share with others is really challenging. The process makes me appreciate the process that my “coachees” endure when I suggest the fourth or fifth revision of their essays for college applications.

Just the other week I completed a teleclass in writing a manifesto. I want teens and their parents to truly understand the foundation for my coaching approach, program and resources for families. True to form, I wrote down ideas, envisioned how it would come together as a picture (!) and then used words and a drawing for the first draft (below)… I am refining it still.

My Manifesto


All the time devoted to thinking about what’s important to me led me to add to my ideas about how parents’ and teens’ roles change over time—a topic near and dear to my heart. With the opportunity to write for Inner Peace Parenting, an emag, I developed my mission statement as a parent. I hope you will read it, My Parent Mission Statement and then consider looking at Inner Peace Parenting’s current edition which contains so many terrific articles by friends and colleagues.

May I suggest that you make the time to engage in reflection about what’s important to you and how you endeavor to live those values and beliefs every day. Please write to me with your reflections about the process, your mission statement or manifesto—I’m collecting them!


And, check out these great examples of manifestos:


The You Matter Manifesto by Angela Maiers, http://www.angelamaiers.com/2012/01/the-you-matter-manifesto.html

The RightBrain Terrain Manifesto, http://rightbrainterrain.com/Manifesto.htm

The Create Manifesto, http://www.pinkparadigm.com/MarcysManifesto.htm

Seth Godin’s Stop Stealing Dreams, http://www.squidoo.com/stop-stealing-dreams







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