Finance:

 

 

Student Entrepreneurs The Value Of A GED College Financing Professional Development Cutting College Costs Scholarship Opportunities Career Goals Saving American Jobs

Help Teens Learn About Business

(NAPSI)—When it comes to toys and games, one group of young people isn’t just playing around.

In fact, it’s helped create a great new game and hopes to use it to raise money for a not-for-profit organization that goes into schools to teach teens entrepreneurship.

The Project

These students at New York’s prestigious Stuyvesant High School are on their way to becoming the next generation of toy inventors. They put together Toys By Teens, a nonprofit toy company that encourages kids to develop original toys and games and then market the inventions.

Founded by Pam Chmiel, who originated the Teen Entrepreneur Boot Camp, it works in partnership with mentor and toy inventor Dr. Howard Wexler. He donates an original toy or game for the kids to manufacture, market and sell. Throughout the school year, the youngsters meet with professionals in accounting, product development, distribution, public relations, graphic design, market research and more who teach them essential entrepreneurial skills needed to successfully build a brand.

“We teach teen entrepreneurship by giving them a real product to work on getting into the marketplace,” says Chmiel. “Dr. Wexler offered to donate one of his inventions to our program and work with the teens on refining the game so we decided to form Toys By Teens.”

The Game

The teens are launching their first product campaign for the game “Correct Me If I’m Wrong.” Consisting of 19 different games, the product features a play-writewipe dry-erase board and marker for clean, easy play.

“We have never manufactured or sold a product before, so we are planning to start slowly by selling to boutique toy stores across the country to get our feet wet,” says Chmiel. “Our plan is to have the students manage the sales. We hope to become a full-fledged toy company for the purpose of giving teens a real hands-on business experience.”

How to Help

Toys By Teens is currently hoping to raise $20,000. You can be a part of the project by contributing at YouTube.com/toysbyteens.

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New Campaign Promotes The Value Of A GED

(NAPSI)—Getting a high school degree can be a sound investment. Students who drop out of high school tend to earn less and to have a lower quality of life. Many work multiple jobs just to support their family.

Also, those without a GED diploma tend to get the lowest paid and the least stable jobs. As of 2009, nearly 30 percent of adults living in households at or below the federal poverty line did not have a high school credential.

While people may know they need a GED diploma, they often lack the resources to get started.

The Road to a Better Life

To help, the Ad Council and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation have launched a series of public service advertisements (PSAs) promoting their national GED Achievement campaign. The campaign is designed to provide high school dropouts with the encouragement and information needed to begin the road to a GED diploma.

“Through this campaign, we hope adult learners are inspired to complete their high school education by pursuing a GED,” said Susan Lanigan, member of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation board of directors.

Stars Give Pep Talks

A number of celebrities including Jamie Lynn Sigler (“The Sopranos”), Jerry Stiller (“Seinfeld”) and Christopher Lloyd (“Back to the Future”) are participating by giving a series of pep talks in the ads. The PSAs show that getting a GED diploma gives you access to more possibilities in life-further education, better job prospects and more confidence in yourself.

The campaign, which is also available in Spanish, directs individuals to a toll-free number (877-38-YOURGED) and the campaign website, www.yourged.org, where they can find referrals to free GED programs and information on the GED diploma process.

Tips on Finding Help

Additionally, the site offers a zip-code search for local literacy centers, the hotline number, a simple six-step process towards earning your GED, and inspirational stories from adults who have earned their GED.

To learn more, call (877) 38-YOURGED or visit the website at www.yourged.org.

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 Thinking About College: But How Do I Pay For It?

(NAPSI)—It pays to go to college: According to the College Board, people with only a high school diploma are about twice as likely to be unemployed as those with a four-year college degree and earn an average of $22,000 less per year. The question, however, is how to pay for it. Steve Olszewski, senior vice president of Discover Student Loans, shares six tips:

1. Start with your savings. Consider personal savings before turning to loans. Even a little bit of savings can help when you’re considering options to pay for college, and the sooner you start to save, the less you will need to take out in loans when the time comes to pay for college. Invest your hard-earned money in yourself.

2. Pursue “free” money. Whether it’s scholarships, grants or donations via the Internet, find money that doesn’t cost you money. Two good sources are fast web.com and collegeboard.org. Also, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), even if you don’t think you qualify. Schools use it to determine eligibility for grants, scholarships, work-study awards and federal student loans.

3. Carefully review your Student Aid Report (SAR). The U.S. Department of Education will send you a SAR about a week after you submit your FAFSA online. This report tells you how much you’re expected to contribute toward your own educational expenses.

4. Compare your financial aid packages. Each school listed on your FAFSA gets a copy of your SAR and uses it to prepare a financial aid package for you. Compare financial aid packages to understand the difference between the costs of a college and the aid offered. You can use this information to narrow your choice of school based on affordability. If your financial aid package indicates that you are eligible for federal student loans, you can apply directly at studentloans.gov.

5. Consider employment options such as the Federal Work-Study Program. You can apply for this part-time employment program, which is funded by the government and lets students earn money to help pay for college. Money earned from part- or full-time employment can also be used toward college expenses.

6. Explore private student loans to cover funds after “free” money options and federal student loans have been used. Private student loans are designed to pick up where grants, scholarships, federal student loans and your own money leave off. When applying for a private loan, consider a co-signer. It may improve your chances for loan approval and even get you a lower interest rate. Applying online is easy at www.DiscoverStudentLoans.com, where knowledgeable student loan specialists are available 24/7 to assist you every step of the way. The site also features a student loan calculator and helpful advice. Learn more by calling (877) 728-3030.

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 Helping Teachers Make A Positive Impact

(NAPSI)—While summer is often a time when students and parents enjoy their vacation, it can also be a time for teachers to go back to school.

That’s because summer is a key time for many professional development programs that are designed to help teachers meet the ever-changing demands of the classroom.

For example, ASCD—one of the leading providers of professional development programs for teachers—hosts a number of conferences and institutes around the country to improve the efficacy of educators.

At these gatherings, thousands of educators are exposed to ideas, techniques and strategies designed to improve teacher effectiveness and support the success of each learner.

Making An Impact

Typically, topics covered at these events will range from techniques for improving classroom performance to strategies for implementing high-quality curriculum. Many believe that what makes these programs stand out is that they have a real impact on educators who participate and, ultimately, their students.

This seems to be a characteristic of professional development programs that are considered outstanding.

According to a recent study by Scholastic, 85 percent of educators said good professional development programs had either a very strong or strong impact on student achievement.

A Focus on Development

In addition to conferences and institutes, ASCD also offers a variety of in-person and online professional development resources for educators of all levels. These books, courses, videos and more aid teachers in the never-ending effort to meet the needs of today’s diverse and evolving student population.

Promoting Best Practices

Founded in 1943, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is an educational leadership organization dedicated to advancing the best practices and policies for the success of each learner.

The theme of this year’s summer conference in St. Louis, Mo., is “Revolutionizing the Way We Teach and Learn.” The topics addressed at this event will include 21st Century Learning Skills, Classroom Instruction That Works, Effective Teacher Supervision, and Professional Development and Bullying Prevention.

To learn more, visit www.ascd.org.

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 Tips On Cutting College Costs

 

by John A. Addison, Jr.

(NAPSI)—From tuition to room and board to books and supplies, college costs can be quite intimidating for both students and parents.

Fortunately, the good news is that by doing your homework, it is possible to find ways to trim the bill. Here are some tips:

• Take Advanced Placement exams. High school students can often earn college credit by taking Advanced Placement tests. The majority of four-year colleges in the U.S. will count them toward your required credits. Taking such tests may enable a student to save as much as a semester of classes and save on tuition and room and board as well.

• Select a school close to home. Attending an in-state public college can be less expensive than attending a private or out-of- state public school.

Another saving strategy is to consider a nearby community college—while living at home—and transfer to a four-year school at a later time. This can be a thrifty way to get prerequisite classes out of the way.

• Rent textbooks. Textbooks—even used textbooks-are another part of the college experience that has gone up in price. One option is to rent books through a service such as chegg.com or bookrenter.com, which claims to offer students savings of up to 80 percent. Some services will ship books anywhere in the country with free return shipping.

• Start saving early. It’s never too early to begin saving for your child’s college education. Consider opening an Education Savings Account for him or her—the sooner the better. A Primerica representative can help you get started.

To learn more, visit www.primerica.com.

Mr. Addison is Primerica’s Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Primerica Distribution

 

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Why Veterans Are Choosing Career Colleges

(NAPSI)—After serving their country, many veterans are returning home to another kind of battle: the struggle to find a job in a recovering economy.

A recent study by the Department of Labor found that “young male veterans (ages 18 to 24) who served during Gulf War era II had an unemployment rate of 29.1 percent last year, higher than that of young male nonveterans (17.6 percent).”

For many of these veterans, the problem is the lack of a college education. Fortunately, a generous 9/11 GI Bill allows vets to pay for college.

The bill covers traditional colleges but it also covers institutions known as career colleges. These colleges train students for a specific career, trade or profession—such as nursing, graphic design, medical technician, culinary arts, fashion design and media arts.

There has been some debate about the value of such schools and some critics have said that many of these schools target veterans because they have government- backed tuition money—and then don’t deliver a quality education.

Yet many veterans insist that career colleges address their unique needs. According to the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, individuals who have served their country select these institutions for many reasons, including career focus, flexible schedules, smaller class sizes, concentrated program offerings and other attributes that make institutions military friendly.

One group has come together to address the concerns. Saving Our Student Veterans is a coalition of Veterans Service Organizations, career colleges, and college admissions officials who have proposed a solution that would protect a veteran’s choices but make sure that veterans are not taken advantage of.

One example is Military Families United, a national coalition of Gold Star and Blue Star families, veterans and other Americans who share an appreciation of our military, which has partnered with proprietary colleges to provide opportunities in education.

“Our organization was looking to do something for military spouses-the people who stayed home during the long deployments and cared for the children and kept the family in order,” said Robert Jackson, director of Military Families United. “Our military families chose The Art Institutes because they offer a curriculum focused on getting a job with lots of flexibility, so we were thrilled when they decided to create a new scholarship partnership.”

For more information, visit militaryspouses.artinstitutes.edu.

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Tips For High School Graduates

(NAPSI)—School may soon be out if you are a graduating senior, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have homework. Here are some tips to help you navigate the new responsibilities in your life:

• Discuss your career goals with counselors, teachers and family and ask their advice.

• Gather information on careers that interest you. Talk with people who are working in those occupations and find out what it takes to succeed.

• Create a résumé to use in job application and create a list of admission requirements for schools you would like to attend.

• If you are a young man, register with the Selective Service System. Remember, registration is required by law within 30 days of turning 18.

You can register by mail, at the U.S. Postal Service or online with a smartphone or computer. Simply log on to www.sss.gov and click on the registration icon.

Remember, men must register to remain eligible for Pell Grants, College Work-Study and Guaranteed Student/PLUS Loans, federal job- training programs and federal jobs.

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Saving American Jobs

(NAPSI)—With budget cuts expected in the aerospace and defense industry, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) wants Americans to know how this could affect the economy.

According to a recent Deloitte study, the aerospace and defense industry supports more than three and a half million American workers. The report details the industry’s sales of $324 billion in 2010 and position as the No. 1 contributor to the country’s positive trade balance, at a net $42 billion.

“The data speaks for itself: America’s aerospace and defense industry is a sector that punches far above its weight,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey.

A separate study conducted by Dr. Stephen Fuller of George Mason University projects that more than 1 million American jobs could be lost as a result of defense budget cuts.

Both studies are available at www.secondtonone.org.

America’s aerospace and defense workers hope that people will contact their elected officials to let them know how they feel about this issue.

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AMERICA'S HEROES



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