Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ACT Workshop -- What a Difference It Can Make!

     I just wanted to drop a note about this project and thank the instructors, my pastor and church, potential sponsors, especially the owners of “Hot Wings Express”, and those who wanted to help and couldn't to explain why this project and these instructors are “something you should grab at and know that it is not by accident, but rather design”.

     There is a strong cry to find out how can we help our children/students to become successful and productive regardless of what profession or career they decide to do. One of the biggest factors that force the students not to learn is that many students do not know how to utilize their critical thinking skills and understanding the power of technology. The students use it more for “entertainment” rather than “edutainment”. Edutainment is blending both education and amusement together.

     The goal of any workshop should be to have positive results for the audience that it is trying to assist. We have committed and serious instructors that want to be that change that help students to achieve to their potential and not look at their current circumstances to decide on their life goals or careers. We know that the workshop is going to work and we know that we are going to get serious and committed students, sponsors and an awesome location to have the workshops in.

     Many of you are looking at the fee of $10-$20 per session as being a lot or too much and can’t image paying such a fee. But when you look at the background of the instructors and the level of experience and the journey they will take you on, you probably could add 4-6 more zeros behind it and still not pay enough. I am told that sometimes opportunity cost, but you have to know when to go for the cost. “I say it is now!”

     I want 6 to 8 weeks of workshop time because we must allow for all functions of brain to work to its fullest potential. We will be imparting information in the sensory register. The sensory register is where perception or detection is stored. This allows a person to be able to recognize and assign meaning to what he or she perceives. Then we will be moving into the students’ short-term memory. Short-term memory (STM) is called working memory. STM is selective attention that establishes what information will move from the sensory memory to short-term memory. STM is similar to a computer RAM or Random Access Memory. STM is a holding place for short computation that will eventually be transferred to memory or be discarded. Then we finally get to long-term memory. Long-term memory is permanent memory. Long-term memory can be held for a longer period of time. The memory being stored in long-term memory can also be stored for the rest of a person’s life. And just think if the students can accomplish all of this in 6-8 weeks; how awesome they would be when they take their exams. The students will also relate the information as being something to take pride in and know that it will help them to receive scholarships and acceptances to various colleges and universities.

     So, in closing I ask that you consider this opportunity and that you share it with others. We must challenge and believe in ourselves and look beyond our circumstances and strive to be the best we can. We should “achieve” because “we believe” and know that “Faith” and “Works”, will allow us to “accomplish” beyond our means. You control your destiny, why not choose knowledge. If you are able to help a student financially to attend the workshops, “do so". The best is yet to come.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

How to Prepare for College Correctly -- Please Share!!!

I wanted to take the time to release information that will make a difference in preparing students along with their parents for college. I believe that information should be shared with all and that it must be obtainable in a way that people can have access to it. I am haunted by the quotes of Harriet Tubman that says:

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."
"If I could have convinced more slaves that they were slaves, I could have freed thousands more."

The key to receiving the information that I provide you is to learn how to understand it. I am currently using the information with my youngest child, who is 12 years old.

My son has learned how to use and access the computer to research information he needs, be it a book report, gaining knowledge or playing games on the Internet. He not only uses Consoles games such as the WII for entertainment, but also for enhancing his sports or artistic skills. For instance, my son volunteered for the Special Olympics Bowling Event and bowled hitting 3 strikes and 1 spare consecutively. He credited the bowling to him practicing on the WII Sports. He has taught himself how to be an Anime artist. He is currently teaching himself how to read, write and speak Japanese. He loves reading books and when he goes to the Library to check them out he checks out 15 to 20 books and read them all within the 21 days allowed to keep the books. He has so far received awards from “Who’s Who Among Middle School Students”, Outstanding African American Student, Memphis Urban League’s “Do the Right Thing” Award, and Kohl’s Kids Who Care (Store level) for volunteering as a human shield during the 40th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s death.

Below are the links that will make a difference: (click links to retrieve the information)

College Preparation

How to create a College Portfolio (Learn how to create Business Cards, Resume and Portfolio)

College Preparation TimeLines

Preparing for the ACT/SAT Exams

Preparing for the ACT/SAT Exams

I am often reminded of the students that I and others have assisted or guided in workshops or through advice. Some of the students that stand out are those students that didn’t have a mentor, had low self-esteem or didn’t think that they could pass the exam or could even attend college.

I am especially pleased with Julian’s story. A student that wanted to attend college, but didn’t believe he could. At the time, Julian had just graduated with the “Class of 2008”, but during August of 2008, he had never applied for college or taken the ACT. But in my meeting with him, I felt he had a fire and desire to want to achieve and had the ability to do so. I advise him how to prepare for the ACT and to utilize the links on my blog, Planning and Preparing for College (Scholarships, Internships, Etc) located at . He took the advice and took the ACT exam and scored a 21 on his first try which allowed him to be eligible for the TN Lottery and get assistance to attend college.

The reason the workshops were successful is because it taught students’ methods, techniques and to utilize practice exams to build up their test skills and speed. In the end, knowledge is powerful, if used properly.

Below are two technique documents (Math and Science) to be used as tips along with suggested websites to practice the ACT/SAT with:

Tips for Math and Science:

Math Problems

Scientific Methods

Go to Practice Links section on the right side of the blog.

Below are the next scheduled ACT and SAT dates:


Test Date: October 27, 2012
Registration Deadline: September 21, 2012
Late Registration Deadline: September 22 – October 5, 2012

Test Date: December 8, 2012
Registration Deadline: November 2, 2012
Late Registration Deadline: November 3 – 16, 2012

Test Date: February 9, 2013*
Registration DeadlineJanuary 11, 2013
Late Registration Deadline: January 12 – 18, 2013

Test Date: April 13, 2013
Registration Deadline: March 8, 2013
Late Registration Deadline: March 9 – 22, 2013

Test Date: June 8, 2013
Registration Deadline: May 3, 2013
Late Registration Deadline: May 4 – 17, 2013

*No test centers are scheduled in New York for the February test date.

visit for additional registration dates.


Test Date: October 6, 2012
Registration Deadline: September 7, 2012
Late Registration Deadline:  September 21, 2012

Test Date: November 3, 2012
Registration Deadline: October 4, 2010
Late Registration Date: October 19, 2012

Test Date:  December 1, 2010
Registration Deadline: November 1, 2012
Late Registration Date:  November 16, 2012

visit for additional registration dates.

FAFSA Process Starts on January 1

January 1, is the start date for applying for the FAFSA for the 2010-2011 college school year.

PIN Registration for FAFSA

In order to register for FAFSA online, you must get a PIN number. The Pin Registration URL is:

or click the URL below that will take you to the PIN Application page and then follow the instructions:

For frequent asked questions related to the PIN, click the URL below:

The FAFSA application is available online on January 1nd. The URL is listed below:

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Calculator:

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Common Application Overview

The Common Application process is becoming popular for students applying for college.  Many students who are applying to various colleges and don't want to keep creating duplication of information, difference essays, short answers, etc are using the process.  The Common App provides an extensive searching tool for you to search for and research information on each of the 400+ member institutions. This searching tool is available from the main Common App website It can also be accessed by clicking on the 'Search for Colleges' link in the left-hand menu or from the ‘My Colleges’ page of the site.

Click here for a video tutorial on how the online system works.

Click here to retrieve the list of the Colleges/Universities

The purpose of the Common Application is to serve students by facilitating and simplifying the college application process for those seeking admission tomember institutions. In so doing, the Common Application introduces candidates to a broader range of institutions than they might otherwise consider, provides immediate access to application forms, and may be used as an educational tool in preparingstudents for the college selection and application process.

If you have already applied at a particular college or universities do not duplicate the process on the common application website. You only need one application submitted per student to a college.


High School Transcripts, Letters of Recommendations, Counselor Report, Secondary Report, need to be submitted to the colleges/universities prior or by theregistration or scholarship deadline. If you have not done so already, students should request them from the necessary persons or institutions ASAP. The clock isticking and coming to a fast end. Please remember that you are competing with students from across the country or state and your letters should reflect you in a verystrong way or not be average in meaning or tone.


Many Common App member institutions require supplemental forms. These supplements may be available online on this site or on the institution's website. If an institution that you have selected requires a supplement, this will be available in the 'Supplements' section. If a supplement is required, you must complete and submit this before your application package will be complete.

Some member institutions require that you submit the supplement prior to submitting the Common App. If that is the case, you will see information about that requirement on the Future Plans and My Colleges pages for those institutions.

College Application Fee Waivers:

Below are the eligibility guidelines for college application fee waivers. Many colleges do allow fee waivers under the listed condition. The following URL listed some of the colleges that will allow fee waivers. You may also contact the individual college/university to see if they allow waivers and the procedure for obtaining a waiver. Sample list of college participating in the SAT College applicationfee waivers. The URL is:

Fee Waivers

NACAC Fee Waiver Request
College Board Fee Waiver Request
Other Fee Waiver Request

Eligibility Guidelines for High School Seniors

Must meet at least one of the following indicators of economic need:

Family receives public assistance. Student is a ward of the state. Student resides in foster home. Student participates in free or reduced-price lunch program at school. Financial Hardship (must be approved by the guidance counselor or principal)


Each member institution has a specific deadline for when they will accept your Common Application and supplement. Once a deadline has passed, you will no longer be able to submit your forms to this institution. Deadlines can be viewed on both the ‘Future Plans’ and ‘My Colleges’ sections.

Please note that some institutions have a supplement deadline before their Common Application deadline. Do not wait until the last minute to submit your forms.

The Common Black Application Overview

EDU, Inc. has been developed to augment the recruitment efforts of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and to increase the number of educational opportunities for students nationwide. Complete the EDU, Inc. Online Common Black College Application and have it delivered to all 34 Member Institutions below for only $35. All Member Institutions have agreed to waive their application fee.


Please contact EDU, Inc office at (770) 716-0616 if you have questions.

Accreditation of Colleges and Universities

Most people don't take into account the accreditation of a school when applying, but it can play a big role in terms of employment beyond college, in terms of financial aid, transferability of credits, etc. The link provides information about institutions that are accredited by accrediting agencies that are recognized by the US Dept. of Educ:


Other useful sites include:
Ed Picks
Accreditation List
Financial Aid
Submitted by: Devon L. Hill

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Survival of the Parent

by Callie Herd

Who would have ever thought that preparing your child for college would be one of the hardest tasks one can imagine. Just think only a few years ago, I was giving birth to someone who was completely depending on me. I told her what to do and I molded her into what I felt would make her a better individual. As I looked back on my childhood, I made a vow that my children would be able to decide at the end of their high school year what path he/she may want to take. Be it college, technical school or going out into the workforce, I would be proud of them and know that whatever they decided to do with their lives that they would do their best and become successful.

I wanted to make sure that they valued mankind. So, I allowed them to assist me on many of my volunteer ventures. I knew that this would help to develop their characters and allow them “to do unto others as they would want them to do unto them.” It wasn’t hard for me to know that they must develop a compassion for others and always know that everyone needs to be loved and feel wanted. They were taught that they couldn’t always choose the way their lives may turn out to be, but they must have faith that there will be a better day.

Now I look at my daughter as she prepares to graduate this May. I am in total amazement on what the future will hold for her. Although she has selected a college major and has high hopes of attending the college of her first choice, I still wonder if I have done enough to ensure that her entry into her freshman year will be the way she wants. You see being a parent is tested when your child is preparing to attend college. Like many parents, I don’t have a lot of money saved where I can just write a blank check to the school of my daughter’s choice. I had to decide early what role I would play in preparing her for college. There was only one conclusion and that was to play an active role.

Because I had already gone through one child going to college, I was aware of the importance of making my child well rounded, if you wanted them to seek scholarships and/or financial assistance. I made sure that whatever community service organization or project my daughter did, I wanted her to enjoy it and know that the purpose of volunteering was not just to get points for college, but rather to make a difference in one's life. I told her that volunteering is quality, not quantity.

I knew also that her academic achievements would have to be on a competitive level to compete with other students on a local or national level. She took honor classes to help balance her regular classes. The honor classes also allowed her to comprehend her subject matters in an intense way and to help in preparing her for college courses.

But as I got close to the end of her senior year and could feel the intense stress that was taking over her, I wondered if I had done enough. I asked myself, “What could I do to ensure that she would make it to the finish line?” I began to work closer with her to make sure that she made a list of the colleges/universities she wanted to attend along with the requirements and deadlines for registering and getting her financial aid information in on time.

I found myself attending meetings, workshops, and seminars that would assist in learning how to find, research or get scholarships or college information. I started also surfing the Internet for scholarships that I felt that my daughter could apply for. I found myself networking with other parents that were seeking the same purpose of obtaining scholarships for their child.

Overall trying to be a survivor in this fast paced cycle of getting one's child admitted and finding ways to get his/her tuition paid has truly been rewarding. I can now see why it is important for anyone to start early in the process. You cannot wait until the deadline, but you must be aware of what is required of each college or university you want your child to attend. You as a parent must sometimes have to fill out the college applications and allow your child the opportunity to write his/her essay without the pressure of worrying about the other needed paperwork. We as parents must realize that this is a “we” process and how much we put into this process will determine how much our child will receive from it. A child must never take the path of preparing for college alone, but have a parent or someone to talk to or discuss their future with. Preparing for college is an important step in a child's and his/her parents’ lives. We must teach our children how to survive and strive to be the best he or she can be.

Copyright © 2005 by Callie Herd

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Keep Hope Alive

Educators with purpose driven lives: Dr. Franklin with Ms. Callie Herd the founder and visionary of

Legend and Legend in the making: Tha Artivist meets Dr. John Hope Franklin...Dr. Franklin an avid music lover is holding an art work named "Money Jungle" which is Tha Artivist's tribute to Duke Ellington,Charles Mingus, Max Roach and their phenomenal album "Money Jungle"..The small pic Tha Artivist is holding is entitled "Black Gabriel" which is Tha Artivist's tribute to jazz trumpet players.

Keep Hope Alive!!! Tha Artivist Reports...

I had the pleasure of meeting the one and only historian extraordinaire Dr. John Hope Franklin at the Southern Books Festival on Saturday Oct. 14,2006 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center…In my nearly three decades on earth I have met my share of celebrities and famous people…However on that beautifully bright and warm autumn day meeting this particular celebrity was a necessity...You see one of my favorite subjects is African American History…Dr. John Hope Franklin is one of the preeminent scholars on this subject…You could probably consider him the Living Dean of African American Scholars…His seminal work "From Slavery to Freedom" has been in print and taught in American classrooms and universities since its first publication in the 1940s…At the young age of 91, Dr. Franklin can be considered the bridge connecting early 20th Century historians and scholars such as Dr. W.E.B. DuBois and Dr. Carter G. Woodson with their later 20th Century counterparts such as Dr. Cornel West and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson…Dr. John Hope Franklin's academic and scholarly prowess is so revered that he was asked by then U.S. President Bill Clinton to serve on his special commission on race relations to find out the root causes of racism and to create solutions to eradicate the social virus once and for all…For his life's work in 1995 Dr. Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

I pride myself on being an "artivist" (one who uses his/her art and talents to promote and bring about change) and "artstorian" (one who uses his/her art to document history)…So in many ways Dr. John Hope Franklin is a hero to me for what he has been able to endure and achieve in his 91 glorious and peaceful (he said he has only endured one headache in his entire lifetime and that happened when he was about 5 or 7 years old!!!) years on this earth…

I remember seeing Dr. Franklin on the Tavis Smiley show back in February of 2006…He was there promoting his newly released autobiography Mirror to America…Watching and listening to Dr. Franklin has always been a source of "edutainment" (educational and entertainment) for me…This time on t.v. he didn't disappoint being very vivid and candid about his nearly century old existence on earth…My supportive mother, Ms. Callie Herd creator of also saw the episode and suggested that I send Dr. Franklin a portfolio package about me and my activities detailing my aspirations, achievements and so forth with the hopes that I can get a chance to meet and talk with the man himself…She even went as far as to write an e-mail to the man and got a response from Dr. Franklin's handlers at Duke University in less than 24 hours on what to do and where to mail whatever we were going to send…Although I had a lot of respect for Dr. John Hope Franklin, I truly had no desire to pursue this...I have tried and failed or came up short on many occasions to meet with influential, well known and paid individuals like Dr. Franklin…The results for the most part have been mixed, indifferent if not totally disappointing…At this point I wasn't in the mood to waste more money, hope and time with unreceptive celebrity types…

However, after much "harassing" by my insistent, but well meaning mom I finally put together a nice size packet that seemed to include every newspaper clipping and article that included a mention of my name and activities…I assembled everything in the packet myself except for the cover letter which was provided by my seemingly omnipresent mother (after all it was her idea why not leave it to her to provide the explanation)...I also sent Dr. Franklin an autographed copy of the newspaper article a great friend of mine Mr. Byron Lee did on me for the St. Louis Limelight Newspaper…Well we sent the packet off and waited…And waited and waited…Finally my mom, not I, grew restless and decided to contact Dr. Franklin's handlers at Duke…They said that he was currently on the road promoting his book and will get back with us shortly…In the meantime they told us to send them a fax detailing what we wanted with Dr. Franklin...My mom almost followed through on the request when she realized that we already sent him a nice size package detailing all that stuff and so she e-mailed his handlers telling them what was the purpose of faxing when we already sent you all a package detailing my background and requests??? Finally after six months of waiting I got a reply…My portfolio was mailed back to me with a handwritten letter…The handwrting was really beautiful and neat in slanted cursive...I knew it had to be his hand because they don't teach kids these days to have that much pride in their handwriting abilities especially with the rise of the computer, internet and Microsoft Word…The following is from the handwritten letter:

Dear Ronald Herd,
I have received much information about you from your dear mother, and from what she says I must say that your interests and activities are noteworthy. I f you are as interested in your career as your mother is, please indicate it by taking up your own cause and promoting it in every way possible. Meanwhile, best wishes to you
John Hope Franklin

At first glance, I was a little taken aback by the letter for one being that I actually got a response and a handwritten letter at that from one of those celebrity type (at least in the academic field) personalities…Secondly, the advice although well intended is not truly reflective at all of the situation in regards of me taking up my own cause…If you are reading this article I am taking up my own cause because I am writing about my experiences or cause...If you are looking at the pic of me and Dr.Franklin holding my art then I am taking up my cause because I created the opportunity...Well, I take partial credit, it was actually my beautiful mom's idea to go to the book festival with the exact goal of meeting Dr. Franklin…As I stated earlier I put the packet together, but my mom provided the cover letter and like I said before since it was her idea to contact Dr. Franklin in the first place I saw it as a fitting tribute…As a matter of fact many people especially in the arts have always let relatives helped them in the advancement of their careers…Would Vincent Van Gogh even sold a painting in his lifetime if it wasn't for the efforts of his art dealer brother Theo in promoting his work??? Would Usher be the superstar he is today if it wasn't for the efforts of his mom who is also his manager??? The same could be said for Beyonce and Jessica Simpson whose fathers have played substantial roles in the developments of their talented and beautiful daughters' careers…Supermodel turn t.v. talk show hostess Tyra Banks credits her mom's support in helping to get her career off the ground in a very hands on way… Could John F. Kennedy had a successful political career without the aid and help of his family in particular his father Joe P. Kennedy and brother Robert Kennedy as his campaign manager??? What about Joe Jackson??? Regardless of what you may think of these examples and the many more I could provide, we must all realize that it really takes a group effort or village to make things happen…Just like Dr. Franklin has his many handlers at Duke University we all need people to lean on and aid us in our respective journeys…Like the poet John Dunne wrote "no one man can stand alone as an island"...Besides if you receive any e-mail, newsletters, visit my numerous websites, attended any of my art shows you should know that I play a pivotal role in making those opportunities happen with the unwavering support of my mom of course…

The letter did not really bother me, I actually took it as a sign of respect and encouragement…However, when my mom saw it she was a little perturbed by it…Even though she didn't say it much it really did bothered her that Dr. Franklin allegedly thought she was doing most of the heavy lifting...I told her it shouldn't matter and that the most important thing in these types of situations is to get a response and so regardless what was written or said the Dr. Franklin project was a success…

My mom still couldn't put the issue to rest and so I guess it was a blessing that we got to see Dr. Franklin this past October…The funny way on how we got to meet Dr. Franklin must have been destiny...My mom was actually coming back from the restroom when she just so happened to cross paths with Dr. Franklin while he was getting off the escalator…I was actually waiting in the hallway in front of the conference room where he was to give his speech…I could hear my mom's distinctive voice…I knew she must have met somebody of importance and reverence by her tone…I look around the corner and lo and behold there was my mom talking with Dr. John Hope Franklin!!! The first thing she addressed to him was the letter he wrote in response to the packet I sent him…Although the letter was signed in his name he denied knowing about the existence of such letter, probably to save face in front of two of his admirers, both high school teachers with one of them in particular hero worshipping him with praises of all sorts (which he deserves)…However I knew without a doubt that he wrote the letter, but I did not feel the need to express that to him…As a sign of goodwill he did offer his card with his personal mailing address to us...He also let us take pictures with him as well which was also very nice of him considering that he needed some time to get his thoughts together for his presentation...Overall I found him to be a very nice and peaceful man who reminded me a lot of in look and manners of my late maternal grandfather, Arthur "Grip" Taylor

We truly enjoyed his presentation…The room was packed with people (mostly White folks, it is a shame that many people of color didn't come out for this was a message that Black folks in particular needed too hear)…Basically Dr. Franklin talked about his childhood, the importance of documenting one's history on one's own terms, his fascination and passion for the extraordinary life and achievements of George Washington Williams, love of opera, racism and little bit of everything in between…As usual he kept it edutaining…When it came to the Q and A session my mom and I were eagerly awaiting our turn to ask the living legend a question or two...My mom went before me and asked Dr. Franklin why is that Old School so hesitant to help New School meaning why sometimes respected elders did not always share what they know with younger people who eagerly seek them out for advice...I then followed up the question with how much of an influence was Dr. W.E.B. DuBois (who also went to Fisk and Harvard like Dr. Franklin) on him becoming a historian…I also asked his thoughts about one of my favorite historians, Mr. J.A. Rogers (he did not supply an answer to this part of my question...I guess he tired himself out for he was long winded in a very good and honorable way on answering a question about who was Mr. George Washington Williams, a person who caught his imagination and who he became the definitive biographer for)…To summarize his answers to both questions he said that Dr. Dubois wasn't an influence…He said that he first met Dr.DuBois as a grad student and was disappointed by how the famed academic was unreceptive to his introduction…Years later he was invited by Dr. DuBois to lecture at some of his classes at City College in New York City...Dr. Franklin stated that Dr. DuBois started to respect him as a colleague once he started seeing Dr.Franklin's name in the press and even went so far as to apologize to Dr. Franklin for disrespecting him earlier saying that he was shy and didn't mean any harm…He also stated that Dr. DuBois would actually sit in on the classes taking notes while he lectured!!! Dr. Franklin ended this story about his relationship with Dr.DuBois by saying that you should never let anyone or any circumstance stop you from achieving your goals or pursuing the things that you are passionate about …Once my mom heard this it seems that her mood went from anxious to serene…She got what she wanted and I got what I needed...KEEP HOPE ALIVE!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Man Who Thinks He Can

By Walter D. Wintle
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win, but think you can't
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you've lost,
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will;
It's all in the state of mind.
If you think you're outclassed, you are:
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It is Never Too Late

I wanted to send out a note to the "Current graduating class" and past classes or anyone that need to know that it is never too late to go for your goal(s) in life. Many times we have our eyes toward getting the students graduated, but not looking beyond at those who felt that they can't go to college or get a decent job, or those who didn't make the requirements to graduate, but just dropped out.

I am told that life doesn't end after high school graduation, but it is the beginning of you starting your future to adulthood. Question: If we are given 3 scores and 10 years, what happens to the other 52 years after high school graduation? High schools students only use up less than one third of the years at graduation, but we acted as if it is completely over for that student or child that didn't graduate or who didn't decide to go to college until after graduation.

We must wake up and stop making the students that didn't go to college feel hopeless. Many times we may fall down, but we can still get back up and go for our dreams in life. Just because a student may have been a slow performer in high school doesn't mean he can't make it in life. There are many variables that may have allowed the student not to perform his or her best, but having a less than 2.0 GPA doesn't mean he or she doesn't have the ability to do something meaningful with his or her life.

Guys, as you read my thoughts today, I was driven to write this particular note because God was continually bringing to my attention parents, students and friends that wanted to help save these particular child(ren)/students. Some of them were very afraid that they wouldn't be able to make it in life, but it seemed (but they didn't say) that they too were feeling that the child or student current circumstances dictated that their life choices would be very slim, limited or maybe none.

I say "hog wash" because you control your destiny and must believe in you even when "Man may say "NO!"; you must say "YES!"". Life doesn't end because you make a mistake, but rather when you learn and do better from it, it manifests.

When I hear the cries from parents and students throughout the country, I too say "Yes You Can" and "Keep Hope Alive". We must began embracing these students and letting them know that they too have a future, if they really want it. It is ironic when I think about it because, as we go through life that these students will become many of our "Traditional College Students" because no one told them it was alright to go ahead and try to attend college and if it meant that they should take remedial or pre-courses that is okay. Many of these students believe this is a sign of being dumb when you take pre-courses. But I say remedial courses makes them stronger students so that they can be successful in their career choices.

Some of these students will go to college or trade-school because the welfare system will have it as one of the requirements to attend college, but still they didn't know they still had a choice to go without being forced.

I ask that we gain true knowledge and let the students and parents know that it is not too late and that they should seek an answer and not assume that life is over at 18 years old.

If all of us took the time to learn the true meaning of Community Service, what an awesome world we would live in. Community Service doesn't have a face or color, but rather it goes out to help his fellowman and doesn't wonder if that person may succeed him or her in life, but rather will still help in making the world a better place.

Below is a link that I wrote on Community Service and an essay that my daughter, Molisa wrote on her vision of how she would like to contribute her life to helping others.

As I come to a close, I ask that you take the time to help those that are lost and in search of life happiness. They too can keep their heads up and know that "life challenges goes to the man who thinks he or she can." They must also have faith and trust in knowing that their dreams will manifest.

As always visit and share the blog, Planning and Preparing for Colleges (Scholarships, Internships, Etc) located at with others. I did and it does work.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Gift to the Class of 2009 and Others

I wanted to make a special contribution to the "Class of 2009" and those that are currently preparing their child or children for college (9th-12th graders or younger) to give you a head start on the college preparation process. It is my goal that no child or parent is left behind in the college preparation process. It is important that parents/students learn the process properly and not wait years trying to catch up. The information I am providing is for any one wanting to prepare his or her child for college regardless of what age or race they might be. My concern is with the African American group because they need assistance with the process.

Many times students miss out on their gifts and talents because they (parents or children) didn't know that it was a gift or a talent. Many times the gifts is not going to be displayed in the normal words we are use to seeing (singing, artist, doctor, lawyer, professional athlete,etc). In many cases, "no one will tell you how to determine a gift or talent". Now is the time that we must wake-up and take all students/parents by the hand and teach them the proper way to get ready. It doesn't make a differences if you don't have any kids, but in the end, we are our brothers keepers. How we prepare our legacies will have a big impact on the future of our generation. In the end, "knowledge is power, if used properly".

I believe in providing an infrastructure of information on how to show my audience. That is why I created my blog, Planning and Preparing for College (Scholarships, Internships, Etc) located at (click this link: Notes on How to Use the Blog ) It is very hard when a person doesn't know and they don't have a visual of what you are trying to explain. I know that words are powerful and encouraging if we use them for the good or betterment of our legacies. I am reminded of my meeting with Dr. John Hope Franklin through one of my son's adventures. It made me realize that you have to take your own destiny into your hands and not look for validation of your peers to say that your vision will work or not. In the end, it is your belief in "You" that determines how far you will go in to making your vision a reality. My son end up writing a story about the incident with Dr. Franklin and it is entitled: "Keep Hope Alive". Please click the link below to view the story in its entirety:

Many times African American students overlook the value of Community Services in preparing for college. Some students feel that it is about the hours, but in reality it is the essence one gets from actually providing the service of helping others. I wrote an essay on "Why Community Service?" ( ) and God led me to also create a college preparation program over 5 years ago entitled: "African American Students Preparing for College: Why Community Service?" (next program is scheduled on October 4, 2008 in Memphis, TN) The purpose of both the essay and program is to allow African American students to understand the true meaning of Community Service and to aid them in preparing for college. It is also my hope that individuals will see community service as not just preparing for College but rather bringing together all people of all races for a common cause of eliminating the negativity of the world along with flourishing the good. Community Service is also a good tool to bring together the young and the old or the adults with the students.

I also hope that individuals will share the information that I provide to them with as many people that they can. Because we grow when our children grow and everyone is part of this process. Don't just hold this valuable information with your clicks or personal email buddies but with all. Push the blog to people, churches and youth organizations rather than giving them partial information on an opportunities through an email. The internet is the present and future and we must start utilizing it as way to communicate.

You might say to yourself who is this Callie Herd person that is trying to tell me how to prepare my child or children for college. Below are several links that provide information on me and thoughts that I have provided over the years:

Volunteering by Callie Herd
Survival of the Parent
Article by Stanley Crouch of the New York Daily News
Season of Hope
Pulse With Stormy on v101.1 fm
Mothers of Courage on WeAllBe Radio

As I wrap up, please encourage the "Class of 2009" to take the next ACT exam scheduled in October. If they missed the regular and late registration, they can register as a walk-in on the day of the exam. Below are details on how to register:

Preparing for College (info on ACT, click link)

Below are additional information:

Many of the major colleges/universities are reducing their cost to meet the financial needs of students that have a certain income level to allow them to attend. Last month Washington unveiled a Financial Aid Initiative for students whom family's income is under $60,000 and they have a remaining balance or loan contribution. The program will be open to the "Class of 2008". Below is the link that discuss the incentive in full details:

WUSTL Financial Aid Inititative

If you might be interested in attending Washington University and becoming a John B. Ervin Scholar, click the link below:

John B. Ervin Scholar Program (WUSTL)

Below are some college preparation information to view as well:

College Preparation Document:

College Timelines:

College Prep Timeline

Below are some ACT/SAT Practice Test Link and Info: (go to the Practice Test Link section on the blog for additional links)

Online SAT Practice Test
Kaplan ACT/SAT
Number 2

Financial Info

EFC Calculator

Common Application Process:

Common Application for Undergraduates

EDU, Inc. Common Black College Application

Community Service:

What is Community Service
Save the World: Volunteer
Volunteer Services

TN Lottery Changes:

Lottery Changes for Tennessee Students

Many of the major colleges/universities are reducing their cost to meet the financial needs of students that have a certain income level to allow them to attend. Last month Washington unveiled a Financial Aid Initiative for students whom family's income is under $60,000 and they have a remaining balance or loan contribution. The program will be open to the "Class of 2008". Below is the link that discuss the incentive in full details:

WUSTL Financial Aid Inititative

If you might be interested in attending Washington University and becoming a John B. Ervin Scholar, click the link below:

John B. Ervin Scholar Program (WUSTL)

Alabama A&M University's scholarship page:

Financial Aid/Scholarships

VISIT NOW for valuable scholarships, internships, fellowships and scholarships information. Deadlines are approaching soon. Also visit the links below for Pre-Law Students. The programs is to register/attend. The Pre-Law posting, you will need to provide your own transportation and board (they will provide breakfast/lunch).

2008 National Black Pre-Law Admissions & Preparation

National Black Pre-Law Admissons

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are born to manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

(The quote was written by: Marianne Williamson)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Could You Spare the Time To Read?-- Let's Make a Difference

As we approach a new school year and see the preparation for the next "Class of Students", I wanted to reflect and catch others at the "beginning of this endeavor", because it will make a difference.

In the end, my vision is my vision, but when it manifests, it impacts many. I am on a journey or can I say a quest to make an impact on the "true meaning of -- I am my brother's keeper" I also want to place understanding in the phrase: "Knowledge is Power, if used properly".

One of my contribution to society is providing an educational portal to those seeking knowledge. I have been blessed that I have brought into existence a dream into an actual resource. My goal is to allow the portal to be one of the biggest/greatest educational resource infrastructure for students, parents, undergraduates and graduates students.

I created my blog, "Planning and Preparing for College: Scholarships, Internships, Etc" from the urging of my son. The blog is National and is located at

My quest is that people, especially African Americans will use it and share the blog with others. I also want to help to place individuals on the correct timelines for preparing for college and obtaining scholarships, internships, fellowships, etc.

I know that the information in the blog works. I was blessed that my children were able to recieve over 1 million dollars in scholarships and offer and attend the college of their choice. The information on the blog has been helpful to many parents/students as well.

Below are 2 articles I wrote called "Survival of the Parent" and "Volunteer":

Survival of the Parent


As always share the blog located at with others so that they can prosper as well.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

It Only Takes a Minute to Change a Life

Guys, I stole the title from Mr. Jolley, ( but the words are true. I was on my son's blog, WeAllBe ( and notice an article from the Commerical Appeal that he entitled: There are more College-Educated Black males in College than those in Prison!!!! Which deals with providing information on how more African American males are in college than prison.

The Appeal called the article: Accentuate College's Positive, Not Rap's Negative
By Dr. Michael L. Lomax
Click here for more

(image by r2c2h2 (Tha Artivist))

The article got my attention because many people think that most of our African American Males are currently in the prison system, but they are really not.

My concern in reading the article is that we as African Americans should stop to "Save Our Males" before the myth becomes a reality. I am on a true mission that is guided by my belief and trust in God that we as a race of people or individuals can also have a piece of the "American Dream". We too should take the village approach and help one another and provide knowledge by using various media. I chose to create a college infrastructure resource to be shared with individuals across the country and world.

The blog is my way of giving back to society. The blog is called Planning and Preparing for College (Scholarships, Internships, Etc). It is located at The blog became National within a few months of its creation and has received a lot of national and local attention. The blog has been added to various websites as a college resource. AfamReport has currently added it as the "Best Site of the Week" for the 6th time. I am very appreciative that they like my blog that is an honor.

Overall, my goal is to promote the blog strongly to you and ask that you share it with others because the next few weeks are cruical to students trying to get into summer programs, internships, and the current "Class of 2007" to obtain various scholarships. It is also important to place indivdiuals on the proper timelines and to encourage the "Class of 2008" to start preparing now and to take the last remaining ACT/SAT prior to going on Summer break.

I am only one person, but have been a portal to hundredths and over thousandths of people. The blog is growing and will eventually have it's true place. As you read these final words, please take the time to make a difference in someone life. I did when I send it to you.

I also asked that you continue to pray for me and my family. The Devil is busy, but God is always on time.

If you get an overflow of emails that provide great knowledge and information in helping others, you too are a portal and should be honor that the deed has been placed upon you.

Is Affirmative Action and Segregation Related?

I was researching the University of Michigan Law School Affirmative Action Case that went to the Supreme Court in 2001. This case changed how Affirmative Action is viewed in Colleges/Universities. The case was entitled:

BARBARA GRUTTER, for herself
and all others similarly
Civil Action
No. 97-CV-75928
Intervening Defendants

In researching this case I came across a witness for the Intervening Defendants. His name was Dr. John Hope Franklin. I was very impressed with Dr. Franklins explanation of segration and affirmative action. Dr. Franklin provides his account of living in segregation and the impact it had on his live and what is the differences between them.

Dr. Franklin's account is very powerful and I wanted to share with you. The link is below:

Franklin's Trial Transcript (It is longed and detail, but it is a must read and should be shared with many.)

In essence, we must educate ourselves on this case and the impact it has with diversity and us attending colleges/univerities or receiving scholarships.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Progress Report from a Parent

Hello Ms.Callie,

First, thank you so much for your wisdom and the great work you do with
the blog and your fantastic email notices. I sing your praises all the
time for without all that you do, I would absolutely be lost because
of all the information there is to gather.

We're doing OK with the graduation stuff. We'll be taking the ACT again
on April 14 -- the morning after the Ridgeway High Prom! Now ain't
that a killer!!!?? anyway, he said he would be ready. We've received
acceptance letters to Tennessee State and Fisk. I believe he is leaning
toward Tennessee State as our family has a long history with TSU with my
older brother and sister going there in the early 60s, and my two nephews
graduated there in the 90s and in 2005; and a whole bunch of cousins
from the 60s through current students are TSU-ites.

We're applying for all sorts of scholarships including the Delta Sigma
Theta. He has an interview with DST next week; the Robert Church
scholarship; the Blacks at Microsoft Scholarship; and about 3 scholarships
from my local church, the national AME Church and two Missionary
Societies in the church that award kids who have been active in the church
--and James has been that. So, we're working on getting money, but the
Lord will provide.

James is working at Kroger where he went through the Kroger YouthWorks
program last summer.

Now, about the younger son, John-William, we're applying for the TSU
MITE program and also doing volunteer work at the Children's Museum and
the Civil Rights Museum. We're going through Open Enrollment with MCS to
get J-W back into the city schools so he can have some extracirrucular
activities. We're trying for Ridgeway or Whitehaven. He's coming along
though and we're going to start a few ACT help classes with him like we
did early with James.

And, is seems there was something else that I'm doing based on what I
saw on the blog, but my old mind can't think of it now. But, girl, I
really go through that diligently and put my boys into all sorts of

I like to keep you updated on our progress and to send you a word of

Take care and be blessed,

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Season of Hope

A Limelight Exclusive

By Byron Lee

At this time of the year, we usually get thoughts from everyday people regarding holiday plans. This time, however, we thought it would be good to spotlight those who have a bit more on their plate (those who give to others, those who have turned their life around, and those who are in a transition in life) in order to provide inspiration for others.

Callie Herd is a blessed woman who believes in maximizing the quality of life. In speaking, the FedEx Information Technology Specialist repeatedly says that life is more than living "3 scores and 10" (70 years). She was inspired by the example of her World War II veteran father ("Even though he went through a lot of racism and prejudice, he still had that smiling face") and the mother who tirelessly took care of said father (along with Herd's five siblings) when he came back from the war severely disabled.

Her inspiration led her to get actively involved in community service, first through the Memphis Civil Rights Museum (there was a vast need for volunteers in the wake of author Alex Haley's death in 1992) and then through work with the Memphis Food Bank, where her citywide "Hunger Hurts" activities led to an exponential rise in the number of volunteers for the charity.

The 2-time FedEx Volunteer of the Year eventually decided to turn her attention to the plight of single parents trying to find scholarship money for their children after she was able to obtain 1 million dollars in scholarships and offers for her own children. "It would not be right for me not to share this information," says Herd, "I am my brother's keeper." Her efforts resulted in the blog, a blog that has become so well known that it has been mentioned by syndicated writer Stanley Crouch, added to the blog roll of many national websites, and voted as a finalist for "Best Site for Single Parents" by Black Web Awards.

The busy Herd views Christmas as not only a time to relax, but as a time to reflect. "My father passed in August. We usually had Christmas dinner at his house. We're still going to have dinner at his house, and reminisce about the people we have lost and be thankful that we are blessed to still be here."

As for the future, Herd believes that volunteering may provide a silver lining in the overcast skies brought on by the recent Michigan State decision that has gradually scaled back the use of race-based scholarship awards. "[The children] will be looking for volunteer hours, but they will find hope and peace in helping that elderly person who doesn't have someone to read for them, or waiting with that person as they wait for someone to feed them. Our children will learn what it means to give back to their community, and, when they get into college, they can say, 'I'm not a quota, I'm a person, and I got in here because I was just as good as everyone else.'"

Like Ms. Herd, Tedarrell Muhammad also knows the value of giving. The fellow Tennessee native, born to a hard working mother, always had a knack for selling. "I used to cut people's lawns. The housing project I lived in had a lawn cutting service, but they would only cut lawns every three weeks. People in my project wanted their lawns to look clean." His desire to make more money led him to notice the large income his manager at one of his jobs always seemed to pull down. He found out the money came from drug dealing, and he was soon working under his boss.

The fast life came to an end when one of his partners was arrested, and, as a result, Tedarrell was indicted and ended up serving time. While in prison, he made a discovery that changed his life. He heard a recording of a speech made by Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. "I had never heard anyone speak like that."

The Nation would continue to play a role in his life once he was released. After being disillusioned with his first post-prison work experience, he worked for a plumbing company ("I used to scuba dive into swimming pools and change their pipes.") One day, he unexpectedly walked into a new occupation: "I changed a pipe, and I thought that it was a sewage pipe. I showed it to my boss, and he said 'People drink out of that.'" His boss also told Tedarrell about Everlasting Spring Water ( a bottle water company affiliated with the Nation. Tedarrell was skeptical, but he later agreed to learn more about it. He soon started his own branch of the company and, with the help of his wife, Deidre, who holds a MBA, and the assistance of former NBA player Larry Johnson, he was able to make it grow to a multi-million dollar operation. He now has warehouses in Memphis, Chicago, and Dallas, and he is looking to soon have plants in Baltimore and California. (He also plans to start distribution here in the St. Louis Area. "I'm looking for people who are willing and able to work to be successful," says Muhammad.)

Muhammad credits his faith in Islam, especially the tenets of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, with his success, professionally and personally. "I don't take anything for granted anymore. I realize the power of God. Without him, we are nothing; with him, we are everything. I know that if you work for God, he is duly bound to bless you."

Muhammad also views black entrepreneurship and black support as the keys to the advancement of both the black community and of society as a whole. "We should empower each other and support each other. That is what we are here to do: empower ourselves, our families, our people, and then, the world."

With regard to this holiday season, Muhammad, whose company donated water to a Native American reservation in Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, says, "We believe in giving all year round. We donate and help people out all year round. I view [the season] mainly as an opportunity to spend time with family."

Andre Anderson also cherishes time with family. Anderson is known for his fashionable wardrobe, his effortless way of making lasting impressions with strangers, and his occasionally ribald sense of humor (which always contains heartfelt advice). Very few people know, however, what this man has been though.

His demeanor had roots in his childhood identity as the class clown. He was always able to draw attention to himself quickly. However, he was soon engaging in drug abuse, which led to criminal activity to feed his habit, which led to incarceration.

At his sentencing, Anderson had a thought that forced him to see the error of his ways. "I thought of my mother being in a casket before I got released. As me and the other guys were getting loaded into the bullpen, I prayed and asked 'Lord, please don't let that happen.'"

From the moment he entered prison, Anderson was a model citizen. The road to making the institution see the method behind his madness was rather difficult: "The facility that I was in did not have anger management or drug rehabilitation programs. I did not want to leave that institution not knowing anything more than I did when I went in, so I wrote grievances to state representatives. I would get a violation and get locked into solitary confinement for 30, 60, 90 days, but I got so many positive responses from the representatives that [the prison staff] had to respect me." Anderson eventually received recognition for doing work to unite prisoners across racial and gang affiliation lines.

Anderson credits his Christian faith for bringing him through his incarceration. "By me realizing that Jesus died in order for me to live, I realized that there was a better way. I started studying and educating myself."

Anderson says that this time of year gives him the opportunity to spend time with his large, loving, extended family. "Even when I was doing wrong, they never turned their back on me. I can't let them know enough how much I appreciate their love." Giving his mother special acknowledgement, he says, "My mother is a women who is strong. When I was chemically dependent, I was not only bringing myself down, I was bringing her down, as well. But when I was out in the streets, she was praying for me. God took all of those prayers and saved me. I give my mother her flowers today, while she's living."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Nominated as Finalist for Best Site for Single Parents

Best Site for Single Parents

Vote from now until October 20, 2006 at Black Web Awards

Select the following categories below:
Knowledge and Education:
Best E-letter for Knowledge: newsletter

Best Author Site:

Best Site for Single Parents:


To view a list of all Finalist, click the link below:

List of All Finalists

Please spread the word to others so that they may vote before the October 20, 2006 deadline.

Stanley Crouch, Syndicated Writer for NY Daily Post

Stanley Crouch of the New York Daily News promoted my blog in his syndicated column for NY Daily News on today, September 14, 2006. For someone of his stature to feel that my blog on College Preparation ( should be read or use as a college resource is beyond words that I can't express. I will always be grateful that he felt that information is worthy of this type of exposure. Also one of Mr. Couch goal is to educate African Americans and other Minorities on how to get information on how to prepare for college or get scholarships, etc. I am currently getting hits from the New York area and hopefully many will be hitting the site from all over the country.

The URL to the article is listed below:

New York Daily News Article

Brief Bio on Stanley Couch:

Stanley Crouch is a columnist, novelist, essayist, critic and television commentator. He has served since 1987 as an artistic consultant at Lincoln Center and is a co-founder of the department known as Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 1993, he received both the Jean Stein Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a MacArthur Foundation grant. He is now working on a biography of Charlie Parker.

Overview of NY Daily News:

The Daily News of New York City is the 7th largest daily newspaper in the United States with a circulation of 795,000.[1] The paper, the first U.S. daily printed in tabloid form, first rolled off the printing presses in 1919. It is owned and run by Mortimer Zuckerman.

Overall, what I am trying to say each of you is: If someone such as Stanley Couch could go to my College Prep blog and see how it can make a differences in many African Americans and other Minorities lives, then you too could circulate the information to your friends, email buddies, church members, add to your youth links, etc. The information on the blog is priceless. It only require you to read and make use of. The sad thing is many African American don't know how to get on the College Preparation Timelines and they rely on others to say "do it now" and when they don't have that link to others, they get left behind. Let us stop relying on others, but in turn rely on ourselves. I know my blog works and I have results from my children and alot of other students/parents, so let us use it. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

African American Students Preparing for College and Scholarships

Why Community Service?

The students and parents need to know “Why Community Service is important to their or children growth.” Why is it important to care about their fellowman and how they can make the world a better place? The students need to know what a recruiter or college looks for in the selection process for students to attend their school. The students need to know the meaning of Community Service and not say I do it because I was told to. Many students lose valuable points needed in the college/scholarship selection process because they didn’t perform any or enough community service hours or didn’t become part of a volunteer entity. A volunteer entity can be describe as belonging to an organization or program that concentrate on providing community service opportunities for youths or students. An example is Youth United Way, NAACP Youth Program, Girl/Boy Scouts, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, etc.

Parents need to know what it takes to prepare their students for college and how others parents achieve the task and what they did for their children in the process. Many times the “we” process are left out in college preparation and the finger is pointed at the “child” or “guidance”. I beg to differ and say that “you” as being the parent/child, because no one should have control of your destiny but you. If you put the time and energy that it takes to be on a proper timeline and obtain knowledge, you should be more than equip to handle the “Road of College Preparation and Acceptance”.

One of the key words in Community Service is that it leads to “Diversity”. Why is Diversity important in Community Service you may ask? It is because Diversity brings about a change in how we interact with other races/cultures. It is important to come out of your safe environment and mingle with other racial and ethnic groups. In the end the hope is to make the world better and to stop looking at stereotypes but rather individuals. Also a college wants to know that if you are place in an environment that is not what you are use to, how will you react? Will you be able to cope or will you be a problem student? The answer is that you should be able to adapt to your environment regardless of where you are from. We must learn to accept each other differences and not assume a person character is solely base on the myths of what is said about a particular race or ethnic group.

Community Service is not something that a child does every 3-4 hours every blue moon, but is a commitment that he/she will give back to the betterment of the community. Students normally perform Community Service hours from the 9th – 12th grade and if mature enough can start earlier. It is important that when students write their essay for college or private scholarships that they can provide the essence of what Community Service has meant to them. The essay should not be a summary of what hours he/she has accumulated. Also when the student selects a person to provide a reference letter to the scholarship/selection community, he/she should be able to write an award winning letter on his/her character and accomplishments. If the reference doesn’t know you, then they can only write a form letter. As an fyi, competing for a scholarship is similar to a “beauty pageant” without the beauty. It is very demanding and competitive and they look at essays, personal statements and references closely. Sometimes Community Service can be the deciding factor in a person getting accepted or a scholarship.

Overall it is very important to take Community Service seriously. How much you put in is going to determine what you get out.

Below is an idea of what is involve in writing or providing community service feedback for a scholarship. (Please note every child has a different contribution and it is up to them to express it in a meaningful way.) The personal statement below allowed my daughter to be a recipient of the 2005 Chevrolet Excellence in Education Award.

After high school, I will attend college and major in Psychology with a concentration in Pre-Law. I also plan on attending graduate school where my career goal is to become a lawyer. As a lawyer, I plan on using my skills to provide free legal services to the needy and low-income by offering myself to the community. I would like to also set-up a GED program that will allow inmates to seek their high school, equivalent diploma and to train them for jobs and to enroll in college. The way that my school experiences, academics, extracurricular activities, outside activities, and work experience are shaping my educational and career goals are as follows:

I am currently a member of Youth United Way and Bridge Builders. In Youth United Way, I am the Community Service Chairperson along with serving on the Board of Directors. My responsibilities as the chair are to create/lead community service projects for the volunteers of Youth United Way and to oversee that they have sign-up/register for volunteer opportunities. I also volunteer to work at Soup kitchens. I will be the student project lead for the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners at a local church soup kitchen. One of my responsibilities is to register student volunteers for the event. I will be the lead person over the student volunteers during the event. I also will have to make sure that the dinners are flowing properly and that the people are served and make them feel welcome. In addition, I am also a member of the Bridge Builders program its goal is to bring youth from different backgrounds together to promote understanding. It also promotes to develop a group of future leaders that could work together to address common problems. Bridge Builders has team builders to help teach diversity, some of the volunteering consists of soup kitchens, boxing foods for the needy/homeless, programs held to get the youth community involved, etc.

Because of my dedication to giving back to the community, I would like to develop a service project that I would implement, to better the lives of Memphians. The project would be a GED, literacy, and mentoring (GLM) program. This program is necessary for that child or adult that cannot read, the teenager that dropped out of school because he/she did not meet graduation requirements, or the person fresh out of jail that wants to take the GED and make a difference in their life. There are not a lot of programs that offer these types of services, but if I can be a pioneer, hopefully others will follow in my footsteps. In performing my communities’ services duties, I have witness many situations where if only the student/child had the proper education, maybe their path would have gone positive instead of negative. It is my goal to give hope to all people. I think that if we all took a part in the process that the world would be a better place to live.

Overall, being so involved in community services has allowed me to see that what I do has an impact on others. I can not blame those who didn’t make it totally, but in order to ensure that they don’t suffer from the negative of society that I must also assist in teaching them the proper way to treat each other and for them to value life. Also, by me giving back to my community, I will show that I care about my fellowman and want life to be better for everyone and not just those who made it. It is my hope that this will cause a chain reaction throughout the world and that the future will be full of happiness.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Rhodes College Tuition Deduction

Rhodes College in Memphis, TN has started a Tuition Deduction for African Americans wanting to attend. The policy is that they will meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for all accepted African American students. That information is based on the FAFSA and CSS Profile. Accepted African American students will be awarded a financial aid package that covers everything that the family is not able to pay, with limited self help. This cost includes Tuition, Room and Board and the average loan amount was $2650 for the first year. Rhodes has some students enrolled who have an estimated family contribution of $0. Those students receive an aid package that covers everything. This opportunity is given to both in-state and out-of-state African American students.

If a student is a full pay African American student, they are treated just like our other full pay students. The student is still eligible for merit based scholarships and may receive some need based aid. That is all handled on a case by case basis.

Rhodes cost about $35,000 to attend per year (this is including tuition and room/board.)

This is a great opportunity for students to see college life first hand and to see if they would like to attend a school such as Rhodes. The URL for Rhodes is:

You can go to the followingURL to get additional information on Rhodes:
Rhodes at a Glance

Rhodes has a Dual Degree Engineering program whichallows you to attend Rhodes for 3 years and then Washington University in St. Louis for the last 2years. (see URL: Engineering for additional details). Currently you can apply online for enrollment free.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to call Rhodes College at 901-843-3000.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


by Callie Herd

Many ask me why I send out emails and share information the way that I do. I have learned over the years what it means to give back to your community and to see the rejoicing, happiness, hope and love that result.

I started my journey of community service in the early 1990's. I always volunteered but never to this degree. I looked deep inside of me to find my purpose and how I could make a difference.

I first started volunteering with the Art Services group at FedEx. One of the activities I took on was at the National Civil Rights Museum. I soon became the lead coordinator that represented FedEx. After the death of Alex Haley in February of 1992, my dedication as a volunteer was tested. With the help of a community services representative, we issued a call for volunteers. Within two hours, we received over 100 calls—more than enough to assist with the events the National Civil Rights Museum arranged to commemorate Alex Haley.

From this event, FedEx approached me to be the chair of the first Civil Affairs Corporate Neighbors Team. Never before in my life had I led anything in this capacity; but they believed in me and gave me the opportunity. Our "Dream Team of Community Services" focused on humanitarian projects. I chaired this team for three years and received the Federal Express Volunteer of the Year Award for 1993 and 1994. Our team changed the way FedEx employees looked at the United Way Memphis Food Bank Operation Feed Campaign. I chaired over 200 coordinators; we were the #1 team for Memphis. We focused the campaign on over 20,000 Memphis employees. We placed the campaign on a new level and became the #1 Corporate Neighbor Team during that period. We also had the first FedEx Family Day at the National Civil Rights Museum. After serving as chairperson, I continued to work with Civic Affairs as a volunteer and this past summer, I worked as a coordinator for the Operation Feed Campaign. Our department won "Most Creative Campaign" within FedEx.

Currently, my venture in community services has been with preparing high school students for college. We should seriously look at our current situation, come together and know that "it takes a Village" to bring our children on a positive path and to have hope for a better tomorrow. Sharing my information with others won't hamper anything that belongs to my child. In essence, what is meant for her, she will receive. My hope is that we all start sharing and looking out for one another.

I have a host of friends and associates. We share and circulate information to others. We must always seek to find the reason or our purpose in life. We must also follow through on information and never assume that opportunities are over until we research them.

Currently I have a purpose to help students/parents learn how to seek things for themselves and set their goals for the better things in life. We should always look at our options and never limit ourselves. In the end, life challenges will always go to the person who thinks he/she can.

Copyright © 2004 by Callie Herd