Earning College Scholarships

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Earning Scholarships is key in the college admissions process. Unfortunately, many are miseducated about scholarships. First, there are two categories of scholarships: Private and Institutional. Private scholarship funding comes from private sources like foundations, non-profits, organizations, etc. (Burger King, Gates Millennium, Coca-Cola Scholars). Institutional scholarship funding that comes from a college/university.

Secondly, there are two types of scholarships: Need and Merit based. Need is based on how much money you make and that is usually aligned with the FAFSA income standards. Merit is solely based on high academics (grades and test scores). Knowing which area you fall under allows you to explore the right scholarship opportunities. Check out this article on Forbes to learn more about how aid is determined via the FAFSA process.

Lastly, families think they have time. The key to succeeding in the scholarship process is starting early and the willingness to put in some sweat equity. There are scholarships as early as 3rd grade, so get busy.

Now that we’ve covered these 3 critical things, let me introduce you to an awesome platform for finding scholarships without your kids doing anything different from what they’ve always done. It’s really cool. Learn about and earn money for college.


Interview on Avoiding Student Loan Debt

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Great tips and helpful information was shared in a recent radio interview I did on Donnell Edwards VIEWPOINTS Show. As it is my mission to help as many families possible to be able to send their kids to college for free, I had to share this with my audience.

Check it out and let my team know how it helped you.

The time to BE ready is not the time to GET ready, just STAY Ready!

Tameka Williamson

15 Activities Or Hobbies You Can Do To Help Keep Yourself Centered

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It’s easy for stress to knock you off balance, leaving you reacting to changes rather than pushing forward toward your own goals. There is simply too much noise in daily life, and while any one issue may not matter too much, when taken as a whole, it’s draining.

Centering yourself allows you to gain perspective on what’s going on, reign in any emotions that may not be helping, and take a second look at how you want to handle a challenge. Centering yourself can give you more emotional strength to take on specific tasks, like an unfriendly meeting or a challenging client.

There are more options than meditation for finding your emotional center, each with their own advantages. Gardening, travel and exercise all create visceral experiences, which can help break you out of thought lock.

Below are some methods that members of Forbes Coaches Council recommend in order to become centered. Try some, and see which hobbies or approaches work best for you.

11. Serve Through Mentorship 

Mentoring is an act of servanthood that can save lives and have generational impact. It’s the gift that keeps giving, especially when you mentor those who are disenfranchised. Stepping outside of your norm and into the space of someone with a different background, learning their path and identifying how to add value to their life, will humble you. Then you will gain a new perspective on yourself and life. – Tameka WilliamsonCelestial & Associates Consulting 

Check out the rest of the article on Forbes by clicking here.

Reach The Executive Level With These 17 Leadership Development Tips

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You’ve spent years as a middle manager, guiding your team’s day-to-day operations and reporting their progress to your bosses and the executives. Now you’re ready to join their ranks, and start getting involved in the bigger, long-term “strategy” work that’s reserved for those in the C-suite.

But how do you get there? There are a lot fewer executive positions than mid-level management roles available, so it’s a lot more competitive – and therefore, more difficult – to climb to this next rung of the corporate ladder. However, with the right attitude, work ethic and connections, you can prove your value and earn that coveted executive title and responsibility.

If you want to up your leadership to the executive level, follow these 17 tips from the Forbes Coaches Council.

17. Re-Brand Your Inner Circle

We’re the average of the closest five people to us. Successful CEOs surround themselves strategically with leaders who meet their needs and fill in the gaps. You must do the same thing as the CEO of your life. Surround yourself with executive level or bound leaders you can learn from, grow with and add value too. – Tameka WilliamsonCelestial & Associates Consulting 

Check out the rest of the article on Forbes by clicking here.

Nine Ways C-Players Are Affecting Your Team And How To Handle It

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A strong team of high performers is a major asset to any group or company. They can dig deep, work hard and generate tremendous returns. But teams will occasionally have a mix of skill levels or work ethics: Not everyone working in a group is an A-player. The Bs are fine; you’re not too worried about how well they can keep up. But what about the odd C-players? Are they hurting how the team gets things done? And what can you do to improve their work output?

To help, members of Forbes Coaches Council share their perspectives and tips on how to handle C-tier employees, as well as what their presence means to a group. Here’s what they said:

6. Know That Everybody Can Be An Asset 

The key to leading high-performing teams is to recognize how each member is motivated and what their key assets are. Everyone’s not meant to be a top performer, but the propensity is there when people are positioned to operate in their strengths. Find the gaps and strategically align talent to meet their needs, holding them accountable via motivation and empowerment based on the person. – Tameka WilliamsonCelestial & Associates Consulting 

Check out the rest of the article on Forbes by clicking here.

15 Common Pieces Of Career Advice That Are Actually False

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When it comes to job searching or building a career, there’s lots of advice out there, and a lot of it can be conflicting. Different companies are looking for specific traits or skills, and those key traits or skills can vary easily, depending entirely on who is making the decisions and what philosophies they follow.

With all the moving parts to the system, it’s easy for someone to see patterns where there’s only noise. While someone can quickly dismiss superstitions like “sleep with a glass of water under your bed,” or “you have to wear a red suit, or they won’t consider you,” there are a number of tidbits floating around out there that everyone abides by, but aren’t actually true.

To help people sort fact from fiction, members of Forbes Coaches Council, below, talk about some common advice they’ve heard, and why it doesn’t really work. Here’s what they say:

12. ‘Keep Your Head Down And Work Hard — It Pays Off!’

Think about it! Keeping your head down causes you to blend in with everyone else when you need to stand out. Working hard is good, but if nobody knows about it, where is the value? I’m not saying brag because nobody likes arrogance. But you do want to present yourself as an asset who goes above and beyond by producing results and creating solutions. Track accomplishments and communicate with the boss. – Tameka WilliamsonCelestial & Associates Consulting

Check out the rest of the article on Forbes by clicking here.

What Uber’s Company Culture Crisis Taught Us About Leadership And Management

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In late June, Uber’s Travis Kalanick stepped down as CEO after receiving a letter from five board members calling for his resignation. According to reports, the company had been facing numerous problems, including sexual harassment issues in the workplace. Now that Kalanick is permanently out, Uber is working to fill the top position in the firm.

So what lessons can company leaders take away from the circumstances surrounding not only Kalanick’s resignation but the leadership crisis that preceded it? Members of Forbes Coaches Council have this to say:

4. Vision Can Birth Greatness, But Pride Can Kill It

Oftentimes, leaders who birth new ideas, are unconditionally married to it and not willing to walk away. But, the goal should be sustainability and profitability, even if that means walking away. Leaders must focus on the big picture, remembering it’s not about them. Instead, build a solid leadership team, a continuity plan to keep the business flowing and have a replacement to pass the baton to. – Tameka WilliamsonCelestial & Associates Consulting 

Check out the rest of the article on Forbes by clicking here.

Forbes Coaches Council Members Offer Their Expertise, Guidance to the Community

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Tameka Williamson Holds Virtual Back-to-School Rally

Tameka Williamson, coach and author of College for Free, has launched a virtual back-to-school rally to equip parents across the nation with information and resources on how to prepare, position and propel their college-bound students forward while curtailing college debt.

Participants are invited to attend 15 virtual webinars via FaceBook Live every Tuesday and Thursday at 8 p.m. during the month of August. Over 10 speakers who are knowledgeable about all aspects of planning, attending and paying for college will share the tools, insights and inspiration parents need to properly position their child to compete.

Topics expected to be discussed include:

  • What admissions look for
  • Financial aid pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • The true cost of college debt
  • Why test prep is important
  • The cost of not preparing and planning for college
  • And more

Learn more and register here.

Check out the rest of the article on Forbes by clicking here.

18 Ways To Get Better At Working Under Pressure

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My latest article on Forbes: 18 Ways to Get Better At Working Under Pressure

Everyone has to deal with pressure, both in their personal and professional lives. In the workplace, this pressure often manifests itself in the form of tight deadlines, demands from your boss, employee performance issues, and other obstacles that get in the way of you doing your job.

Since stress is unavoidable, it’s important to learn how to channel and deal with it in a healthy, productive way. In doing so, you’ll not only survive tough situations, but thrive in spite of them.

We asked 18 members of Forbes Coaches Council to each share one method of coaching yourself to work better under pressure.

11. Review Past Pressure Points And Identify Patterns

Time is a commodity we can’t get back, but we can manage it so it doesn’t manage us. Take control by reviewing past pressure points, identify patterns and lessons learned, then develop a prevention strategy to prevent reoccurrence and mitigate the unexpected risk factors. Plan using the “big rocks” concept to maximize your efforts and minimize stress. – Tameka WilliamsonCelestial & Associates Consulting 


Check out the rest of the article on Forbes by clicking here.

College Admissions Rescinded – How to Protect Yourself

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By now, you probably heard about U.C. Irvine’s decision to rescind 499 students admissions offer to attend this coming fall. As you can imagine, this is not a good thing for those students, nor is it a position you want to be in. So, what can you do? It’s the schools right to accept and then rescind an offer, right? Absolutely, it is! But note, this has happened in the past at other schools. You see, rescinded offers can happen for cause, as well as no cause. The University of California, had a problem with their system, where 28,000 students received acceptance letters by mistake in 2009. A couple of years ago, one of my client’s was attending Freshman Orientation weekend with their daughter and a group of students engaged in under-age drinking while on campus that resulted in them being sent home and their admissions rescinded. Then we have Harvard, who rescinded a group of students admissions offers in June of 2017 because of obscene meme’s posted on social media. As you can see, it can happen for a variety of reasons.

In the world of project management, we call this a known unknown risk; meaning we know it is a risk factor, so, we can now plan for it in the event it happens. Because families don’t think of this as an option, they are blindsided when it does happen; leaving them unprepared, frustrated, lost and confused. As a result, all college-bound families should have a contingency plan in place when planning to transition from high school to college. The goal is to mitigate the impact of this happening, since it is out of their control. Nothing is absolute, but here are some tips families can follow to ensure they have options and are not left out in the cold.

  1. Don’t let “senioritis” take over your child. Admissions is granted prior to the completion of student’s senior year. This doesn’t mean students can forget their studies and stop doing homework. Letting their grades tank could result in a rescinded offer, as schools require final transcripts upon high school graduation. According to a study by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), colleges say final grades are the reason for revoking admission 68.7 percent of the time.
  2. Meet obligations, but verify weekly. This is what I teach leaders constantly, “trust, but verify.” You can’t do everything and be everywhere. Schools are funneling tens and hundreds of thousands of files, paperwork and information every year and things can happen. After you submit required paperwork, documentation and pay necessary fees, call the school on a bi-weekly basis to ensure all is in order, nothing is missing and nothing has changed.
  3. Never let your child stop managing their brand. Once graduation time has come, students often lose sight of responsible decision making. They look at the summer as “free time” and a time to let loose and have lots of fun. This is fine, but it need to be within reason and not result in any legal encounters (run ins with the law). Nor should it produce irresponsible social media posts that don’t represent the values of the school or scholarship organization your child will partake in.
  4. Don’t get too comfortable during Freshman Orientation. Freshman Orientation and other campus related invites and activities are additional opportunities for the school to further evaluate whether or not your child is a good fit for their school. It’s like “being on the clock” at work while attending a networking or corporate event. Irresponsible behavior and illegal actions are unacceptable! It’s never too late for a school to rescind their offer.
  5. Have a double backup plan. Families should apply to multiple schools, giving them options. If acceptance was granted, there is a great chance an opportunity still exists, if the original offer was rescinded. Now, the money opportunity may not be the same, but that could be negotiated if your child possess the qualities the school is willing to pay for. As a last resort, attending a community college and transferring later to the school of choice is a way to still start college in the fall. This gives you time to recalibrate and work through the unexpected changes, while being productive at the same time.

Some of these options require sacrifice and/or may not be ideal, but it at least gives your family options. This is better than having no options and stressing about next steps in the midst of the chaos of having your admissions offer rescinded.

“The time to be ready, is never the time to get ready. You must always stay ready!”