While President Obama has inherited an economic disaster, everyone from nonprofits to corporations are pressuring him to finance their programs. Americans are hopeful that he will lead us out of this recession and they’re sitting tight waiting for him to solve our problems. When Americans think that the problem is too big to for them to fix, and they put blame on others, they become complacent. Our founding fathers developed this great nation with people who worked together to create a better place to live. With thousands of issues that need to be fixed, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and stop complaining. And more importantly, it’s time for our youth to step up to the plate and go to bat for their future.
By giving students the opportunity to take on special projects, they can fix many of the problems without spending the billions of dollars proposed by the current administration. When these students reach out to their communities for support and volunteer their time, they can raise funds to finance just about any endeavor. This is exactly what Susan Tatsui-D’Arcy, a college advisor and author of Beat the College Admissions Game: Do a Project!, is doing. She guides college-bound students to do a project to improve their chances of getting into top universities in the country. Here’s how she’s doing it.
With so many students with 4.0 GPAs and perfect SAT scores not getting into their first choice colleges, Tatsui-D’Arcy recommends that they do projects. Students who do independent projects dazzle admissions officers with their leadership skills, passion, and drive. When these high school seniors write their personal statements and application essays, they can enthusiastically describe how they started their project and what obstacles they overcame to achieve their goals. That’s much more impressive than simply discussing dreams of doing something important someday or volunteering at a non-profit organization.
Students select projects and work closely with Tatsui-D’Arcy. Peter Livingston engineered a brake-lighting system to warn drivers that the car in front of them is slamming on its brake, not just tapping on it. Jaclyn D’Arcy founded Kids 4 Hydrogen to promote hydrogen fuel cells. Rebecca Kassel successfully passed a law in California (SB966) to reduce the amount of prescription drugs that enter our water systems. In an effort to end gang violence, Harry Weston organized a Tru-School Hip Hop Concert and entertained at-risk students at juvenile halls. The students complete their projects during 9th through 12th grade, and many continue on in college.
Tatsui-D’Arcy says that the projects not only help the students get into their top colleges, it also makes the students more confident and responsible. They realize that their efforts accomplished something that needed to be fixed, and they learned that with good organization and tenacity, they could do anything. So, Tatsui-D’Arcy helps students select their projects based on their personal interests and desire to make a difference. She has lists of special projects and brainstorms with the students until they find the perfect fit. By working with students online across the United States and in her Santa Cruz office, Tatsui-D’Arcy’s think-tank program: ProjectMERIT, is changing America --- one project at a time!