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UnMazed Â

May 2019


Teen's Guide to Summer


C O N T E N T SÂ Teen's Guide to the Summer MAY 2019 Featured:

8 Ask the Expert: Student's Part Time Job & Social Groups 10 5 Reasons for a Summer ACT/ SAT Test 12 Types of Self-Care 14 Microscholarships through Raise.Me 15 5 Tips for a Great Campus Visit 17 Stress & What to do About it 18 Mental Health Awareness Month 20 22 23

Why Every Student Should be MOOCing! Florida Summer Programs at Universities Florida Bright Futures Changes: Making It More Difficult to Receive




Letter from the Editor





By: Dr. Amanda Sterk, Senior Editor and Founder of UnMazed Magazine

Education always seems to come in cycles. As the school

Courses (MOOCs) are great in having students find their

year end winds down, there is a continual flurry of tying up

passions and interests little to no cost. Many students take

all the year's happenings, and one of those areas is looking

the summer to focus on relaxing and practicing some self-

forward to the summer and trying to figure out what to do

care as they relish in a slower schedule. Jenny Murphy,

with teens to keep them busy- besides sleeping in and

Aimee Carlson, and I all shared some mental health/ self-

playing video games all day.

care tips for teens to do so in a good, healthy way.

Many teens may start a part-time job, do some

One of the articles that all parents and students should be

volunteering, or spend some time relaxing. This edition of

focusing on is the proposed changes to Bright Futures. The

UnMazed asked educational experts to share their

summer time is a great time to try and get that last test

expertise on some key strategies to the summer months.

score for seniors, or for underclassman to start their testing journey to reach their desired scores.

Rob Hicks discussed what parents and students need to know about making the right choice in the finding a part-

As an educator and parent, I have always loved the summer

time job, as often students are exposed to new social groups

time. I hope that everyone has a happy, healthy summer!

that can have a positive or negative impact on a teen. As well, while students are home, using Massive Open Online

by Dr. Amanda Sterk, Senior Editor


Magazine articles and more can be found at Where Florida experts meet for teen success.

Contact us: We enjoy hearing from from parents, students, and educators throughout the state. Send us your photos, letters, or comments to Or visit us online: Do you want to collaborate? This magazine is designed for educators across the state to share their expertise on a variety of topics. We welcome those who would like to participate in creating this resource.


UnMazed Where Experts Meet for Teen Success


Amanda Sterk, Ed.D., is author of College UnMazed: Your Guide Through the Florida College & University System. She currently works at Florida SouthWestern State College as Director of Accelerated Programs.. Dr. Sterk has been an educator for 20 years as a teacher, school counselor, and administrator. She is founder of the Florida teen resource,Â

The only high school to college guidebook created exclusively for Florida students


"Dr. Sterk has a gifted ability to understand the perspective of others which positions her as a true student advocate. College UnMazed will certainly guide the college applicant in a caring, confident, wise manner for their success." Nancy Jordan, Ed.D. Educator & Administrator




PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY! Do you want to make sure you are ready for college admissions and scholarships? College UnMazed answers all your questions and provides you step-by-step guidance to maximize your student's results!

Topics include: 1. Academic & Career Planning 2. Developing a College List 3. Applying to Colleges & Universities 4. Scholarships & Financial Aid 5. Organizational Tools for Success

College UnMazed provides you comprehensive support through the entire college application process. From detailed charts, infographics, student examples, and resources, this is the most comprehensive guidebook on the market.



A student's first jobWhat parents need to know. Whether they realize it or not, many parents have already vetted the adults in their children's lives. Grandparents, aunt, uncles, and other relatives as well as family friends and neighbors are typically known well enough by parents before they spend significant time with children and teens to know if there are any red flags. Teachers, coaches, and church staff either have extensive background checks or at least are screened before working with children as well. Few parents, though, typically know much about their teen's adult supervisors or coworkers. Often, these end It's summer time and that means many teens will be

up being the adults that teens spend the most time with

getting summer jobs. Summer jobs are great

outside of their parents. However, there is no mechanism

opportunities. Teens gain work experience and are

for a parent to have any sort of background check on the

able to add income that can pay for many of their own

other workers at, say a random restaurant or shop, that

expenses. They also gain life experience in those jobs.

the parent has no ties to.

Here, they learn the way the world works which is often quite different than the way school works. Don't

I believe that 99.9% of people are more or less good-

show up for school, for example, and you just have to

natured and unless you keep your kid in a bubble you

get your mom to write you a note. Don't show up to

can't shelter them forever. But, you do need to be aware

work, and you're fired.

that these are going to be influential people in your malleable young person's life. Thus, take the time to ask

A great deal of that life experience comes from the

your child about work and the people there the same way

interactions with other adults. Now, I'm a huge

you do about their school day. Make some visits here and

believer in the fact that young people, especially

there to their work, if that is reasonable, and casually

teens, need positive influence in their lives from

meet some of those people.

adults that are not their parents or caretakers. Many of the issues they deal with stem from their parents in

I'm not advocating spying or witch hunting, I'm just

the first place and at the very least the perspective

advocating awareness of the people your child is around.

that others can provide on life outside of their family

Teens enjoy the company of adults and will gravitate

circle is invaluable and can make for a more well-

towards them if and when they have a chance to form a

rounded person.

bond. Be sure you're at least a little bit in the loop on who


those people are. Rob Hicks, M.Ed.,has worked in public schools for 16 years. He is a school counselor at Fernandina Beach High School and the Ogburn School. He    maintains the "Getting My Guide On" blog about all things school counselor at and writes about local history.


Your Support Matters

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Types of Self Care Physical






The summer is a great time to practice self-care, especially the areas we often neglect during the school year because of our busy schedules. Take time over the summer to regroup and refocus on some of the areas that mean most to you so you start the school year strong.









Time alone





Support systems


Knowing yourself




Positive social


Personal identity






Honoring true self

Skill building

Healthy Food



Self-care is anything you enjoy doing that helps make you happy and maintains your physical, mental or emotional health. It's when you take the time to take care of yourself. It can be simple everyday pleasures like soaking in the bathtub, reading a magazine or going for a run. Or bigger things like having a meal with friends, doing a hobby or playing sport. For teens, selfcare helps you deal with life’s everyday pressures in a more positive and rewarding way.

Self-care does not always have to take a lot of time or money. Simple walks around your community, a few minutes listening to your favorite band, a nice hot bath, or reading your favorite books are all ways to regroup and refocus on your tasks at hand.

WHY SELF-CARE IS SO IMPORTANT TO TEENS For busy students, self-care can help replenish your physical, mental and emotional energy, and boost your creative and spiritual reserves. All of which get depleted when you’re tired and stressed, especially this time of year. Self-care can help you be a more engaged and effective friend, child, and person. You’re likely to be more patient and have more positive interactions with those around you. Far from being selfish, self-care is one of the best ways to help your family and friend situations. When teens practice self-care, it allows you to slow down and regroup. Often times, we are on fast- turbo charge and taking this positive habit will help you focus and be more successful later in life. As a teen this will be some of the hardest years as you are figuring out who you are and where you fit in, let alone all the stress of your academics, social life, and pressures of the future. Learning self-care can help you through this tough period. WHY SELF-CARE IS OFTEN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PRIORITY LIST You’ve got a million tasks on your plate, get good grades, study for the upcoming ACT/SAT test, build you resume, volunteer, play sports, hang out with your parents, keep up your social media, take care of your siblings, and give time to your friends/ significant other. So it’s no wonder self-care, especially your own, is way down your list: There is often not enough time and you feel guilty spending time on yourself when your family/ friends needs help. Which is why it’s important to remember that your self-care is good for you and those around you.

Physical self-care could include exercise, playing sports, soaking in the tub or having a massage. Mental and emotional self-care could include listening to music, watching TV, watching a show or game, being out in nature, talking with friends, or hanging out getting a coffee. Creative and spiritual self-care could writing in a journal, drawing, Instagramming, joining a creative class, reading books, listening to podcast, or watching Ted talks online. Spirituality is the way you reconnect with yourself and others, this could include attending a church service, reading scripture, meditating regularly, yoga, meeting with other like-minded people, or doing service for others. SELF-CARE IF VERY INDIVIDUAL What works for some won't work for others. For example, exercise makes some people feel on top of their game, while others are restored by a bath and a snooze. The important thing is to do what you enjoy.

SELF-CARE IS BEST DONE AS A ROUTINE Regular acts of self-care keep you energized and dealing with pressures well. Which is better than an emergency fix to get back on track when things go wrong. So use the summer to start working on your own self-care strategies. Talk to others about what they do and how you can better incorporate it into your daily life. Find others that have similar interests and agree to support one another when you need it the most!







Raise.Me Create an account at It will ask for your information and will have you select several colleges you are interested in.


Enter Grades


Earn an A or B





If you have high school grades, it will ask for the type of class and your grade. Enter in the year to received the grade, the course title, teacher's last name, and your grade.

You can earn between Earn $10-1,500 per course you earned an A or B, the higher the course work (honors, AP, Dual Enrollment etc) is more money.

Colleges award students who do community service because it shows compassion, strong character, and leadership. Add the hours you volunteered outside of school. Earn $60-7,500.

Colleges want students who take on leadership roles because of the skills connected to them, listening, communication, motivating, and confidence. Earn between $10-$4,000 per award.

Club or Sport Consistent participation in sports and clubs makes you a better college candidate. Earn $10-600 per year.

Work Experience

Colleges understand many students have to work to help their families, causing them to forgo extra-curriculars. Earn. $71-3,000 work experience.

College Exams Taking college exams, such as the PSAT, ACT, and SAT, allows colleges to see your academic potential at their college. Earn $17-3,000.

Summer Progams Many colleges offer Pre-College programs, that include orientation, a campus tour, opportunities to meet other students, and even attend classes. Earn $100-2,500.

Visit a College Visiting a campus gives you an opportunity to meet and learn about the college, and they get to know you as a student. Visit a college, earn $100-4,000.







Checking out colleges is always a great idea. Visiting multiple campuses will give you a better sense of what you're looking for in a college experience. Here are six suggestions for planning your visit and getting the most out of it.

Do your homework. You need to have some background knowledge before visiting a school. Surf a school's website, download publications, and read their blogs. Following their social accounts can also keep you up-todate on news and what may be going on around campus during the time of your visit.

Schedule your visit. Call the Admissions office to schedule a tour or go online and register for an open house event. With a little bit of notice, your admissions counselor can also arrange for you to sit in on a class, meet with a professor, and attend a club meeting or sporting event.

Ask questions. If something is important to you, ask about it. College is a huge investment in time and money, so you want to make sure you're getting everything you want and need. Faculty, admissions counselors, and students are happy to answer ALL of your questions.

Linger for a bit. A visit isn't only about seeing the sights; it's seeing if you feel like you'd fit in. After the official tour ends, hang around a while longer. Revisit the library. Have lunch in the dining hall. You'll be able to see how members of the community interact with one another and get a better sense of what life on campus is like.

Venture out on your own. No matter how amazing the college you attend is, you will need to get off campus once in a while. Is the neighborhood safe? Does it have what you need? The local community will also be your home for the next four years, so you want to make sure it's a place you'd enjoy.

Take notes.

What did you see that excited you? Would you be comfortable living in the residence halls? Can you picture yourself as part of the community? Take photos and notes during your visit so that you can look back when you're trying to make your decision about where to apply or attend.




Aimee Carlson, Healing Homes, Walk with Aimee as an accidental opportunity yields the best discoveries of her life. From successful franchise owner to Network Marketing Professional.  Aimee has spent the last 4 years improving her health naturally and empowering families to do the same.  You matter, Your family matters.  




I’m not sure about you, but boy does my body let me know that I have put it under a lot of stress AFTERWARD!!! It’s like it says, whew, now that that’s over it’s time to collapse.   This is certainly that time for you as a senior.  Just now you have finished burning the midnight oils studying for finals.  But this entire year has been one life long decision after another. What school is going to be best for me and my area of study, did I complete all the



take 10 minutes to start a journal and sit quietly with your thoughts. It’s amazing what comes to us during these quiet times.  Write out 3 things you are grateful for.

Facebook 2



application paperwork, financial aid paperwork, have I submitted all the scholarship applications? Do I have my summer volunteer, work or program opportunities planned?  The list goes on and on.   So what can we do to take care of ourselves during this time and help our bodies recover?  I’m going to give you my top 6 things I like to do that bring us back to center, ground us and help us deal with all the daily stressors that are coming at us in warp speed!  


just walking 20 minutes a day increases the release of energy producing hormones.  And we can all use energy!  It also releases dopamine, which is what makes us feel good!

Take time to spend with your friends or family members. Being with the ones who love you lifts our spirits!




EAT WELL Twitter I know it’s easy to grab that fast food, donut, candy, soda or energy drink.  However, these things are not real food or providing the fuel your body needs to create the energy you need.  Try replacing soda with water and just adding in fresh fruit instead of the donut or candy!  Your body will thank you!

Be true to who you are. Nothing helps us be emotionally well more than staying true to ourselves. You were uniquely made!

Get out of yourself and help someone else. You will always feel better and I know I seem to get more out of helping others than they do!!  







Mental health Awareness Month

One in five kids lives with a mental health issue. Less than 50% of those kids will receive appropriate diagnosis or treatment. 20% of adults suffer from mental illness. NAMI reports that 50% -75% of these individuals experienced adolescent onset. This fact can no longer be ignored. There have been 60 school shootings since the Sandy Hook attack in 2012. The Educators School Safety Network reports during the 2017 -2018 school year school-based violent threats increased across the nation

Fifty threats on average per day. There have been violent threats in 48 states to date. 450 Billion dollars is lost in earnings and health care costs due to mental illness. This is an urgent need to protect the safety of all children in schools. Mental health issues can adversely affect student’s ability to learn, grow and develop. And I think most of us agree that adding more guns to a gun and violence matter is not the answer.  

JENNY MURPHY, FABULOUS FREEDOM FIGHTERS In terms of disability and cost for individuals, families, and society, as a whole, is mind-blowing. Mental Health is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a complete state of well-being enabling individuals to realize their abilities & strengths, learn coping techniques to assist them in becoming fully functioning and productive members of society. The individual is able to cope with “normal” life stresses. At South West Florida Mental Health Alliance (SWFLMHA) we empower, educate and equip clients with coping tools and other strategies to help them achieve a better quality of life. Sadly, mental health issues are mostly ignored, neglected and swept under the rug. We focus on “what did the child do?” instead of “what happened to you?” Professionals too often focus on the problem and not  the solution and they are responding the patients reactively not proactively. Prevention is key.   It’s cheaper to raise a healthy, well-adjusted child than to repair a broken adult. Mental health of our children should be a top priority as it affects so many. Schools have a unique opportunity to meet kids where they are at. The most common student mental health complaints are Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Suicide, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, eating disorders, bullying and addiction. In recent years we are seeing adolescents addicted to pornography to add to the list of issues. If that feels overwhelming while you read it… good, then I have your attention.   Stay tuned for Part II in the June Edition!

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 David Lawrence Center  (Collier County) (239)455-8500 National Alliance on Mental Illness, Collier County National Alliance on Mental Illness, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry Counties The National Alliance for Caregiving offers a free handbook Circle of Care: A Guidebook for Mental Health Caregivers Collier County Mental Health Court Lee County Mental Health Court Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Local Support Groups: Anxiety and Depression Association of America U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Mental Health and Addiction Insurance Help) National Suicide Hotline no. 1.800.273.8255. Text 24/7 HOME to 741741

Your SWFL advocate: Fabulous Faithful Freedom Fighters, Inc. They have an extensive list of services and resources available for sexual assault victims. They have over 30 years of experience addressing the very specific needs of sex crimes victims in SWFL & beyond. They have an incredible team of empathetic staff & volunteer specialists. They have office hours or in- home services available. Phone or Text: 239.601.4389 (24/7)  Email: Website: Jennifer Murphy, MS, AS, has  been working with Sex Crimes victims/Survivors for over 30 years. She if founder of  Fabulous Faithful Freedom Fighters, Inc.


Summer Options

ONLINE MOOCS Strengthening Student Interests Online COURSERA Coursera has been the leader in MOOC courses, and universities like UPENN, Johns Hopkins, Standford, and Duke , produce multiple courses

CURRIKI Courses are aimed at teachers, parents, and kids in grades K-12, and offer learning ideas and resources from around the world.

EDX Courses from top universities such as MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, and Columbia University, the courses are provide a gateway to leading educators in the field.

ALISON Alison (Advanced Learning Interactive Systems Online) touts itself as the world's leading free online resource for language courses, life and business skills, and health.

UDEMY With 65,000 courses online, there choices are endless., such as Manga Art School, Japanese, vocal singing , How to DJ, and Fashion Blogging,

MOOC lIST Make your MOOC search. While MOOC List does not have individual classes, it is the best search of multiple sites to find the right course for your summer.

SILKSHARE Unlimited access to over 20,000 classes in design, business, technology, photography, entrepreneurship, film and writing. These courses will allow students to follow their passions.

UDACITY Created by two Stanford professors, if your student is interested in anything technology related this is it. Unique courses from Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, and more.

KHAN ACADEMY Strengthen student's academic skills in subject areas such as mathematics, computing, science, and history. Khan Academy is also partnered with the SAT to provide free coursework.

OPEN YALE An opportunity to attend Y a full Yale course, with class lectures and course materials. Attend courses like Organic Chemistry, African American Studies, Game Theory, and Modern Poetry.


WHY EVERY TEEN SHOULD BE MOOCING!! Does your student not know what they want to do in life? Do they want to explore a passion for a topic? Do they want to be challenged in an Ivy-League course? Do they want to earn college credit or industry certificates? Answer yes to any of the above questions, then a MOOC is for them! MOOC stands for "Massic Open Online Courses" that are hosted on a variety of platforms from businesses and higher education institutions all over the world. Students can explore topics like photography, business, molecular biology, chemistry, mathematics, and more- all from places like Google, Yale, Princeton, and MIT! Many MOOCs are free, others can be for a small cost. When finished, many offer coveted credentials, certificates, and even college credit. View the infographic to the left to find your teen's perfect match.

Educate Through our FREE Workshop and our one hour FREE consultation, you will learn about: 1. Financial Aid Process 2. Critical Aid Calculation 3. Cost of Attendance vs. Sticker Price 4. Expected Family Contribution

Evaluate We will analyzed your current income, expenses, assets, liabilities, taxes and cash flow to suggest improvements to positively affect your Financial Aid Calculation.

Execute Design and implement an integrated plan custom designed for you.


FLORIDA SUMMER PROGRAMS disney physics, technology, photo storytelling, personal branding, and more


SeA WORLD Marine science academy, animal care, aviculturists, animal training


ECKERD COLLEGE Marine science, leadership, sustainability, writers workshop


EMBRY-RIDDLE Aviation, mechanical engineering, NASA




FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY Lutgert College of Business, CEO Academy


FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY flight, engineering, advanced aviation, marine science & engineering, Girls in STEM



NASA INTERNSHIPS classic ham and parsley terrine, with knuckle of veal, white wine & tarragon

RINGLING ART & DESIGN Animation, sculpting, cartoons, graphic novels, etc

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA programming, biology, engineering

STETSON UNIVERSITY classic ham and parsley terrine, with knuckle of veal, white wine & tarragon

University of miami Summer Scholars Program- multiple tracks

UNIVERSITY OF south FLORIDA STEM, writers workshop, biomedical engineering, advertising

university of florida (multiple programs)

website website website website website website website website


Changes to Bright Futures will make it Tougher for Students to Receive For the last several years there have continually been changes to Florida's Bright Futures scholarship, where eligible students can earn either 75% or 100% of their college tuition paid at the public university cost (about $4,000-6,000 annually). Based on either on a static superscored ACT or SAT test scores and a recalculated GPA, the state legislation has been changing the eligibility to meet the growing number of students that are receiving the scores. This is partly due to the new SAT scoring that has happened in the last few years, and the growing number of students seeking additional test prep to meet the score. New Changes What is currently being proposed under Senate Bill 190 the SAT scores needed for the Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) award of 100% tuition Academic Scholars (FAS) award of 100% tuition

and $300 in books will rise from a 1290 to around 1330. For the second-tier Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) award which covers 75% of tuition and fees, the benchmark would climb from 1170 to about 1200. Why this is complicated is that the legislation is proposing a percentile rank, which will change every year. Proposed current legislation is 89th national percentile on the SAT or ACT for FAS and 75th national percentile for FMS. Some of the critics of Bright Futures state the new changes will disadvantage low-income, minority students who often do not have the same opportunity for the additional test prep, additional testing sessions, or qualified teachers to teach the necessary information. From the chart below, you can see that students who receive Bright Futures is disproportionate to the state's student population.





White %


Hispanic %

Asian %

American Indian %

Florida Bright Futures Disbursement History by Race/ Ethnicity

Other %



How Your Students Can Utilize Library Resources Did you know, Florida makes it easy for students enrolled in state colleges and universities to search for books, articles, and other content in college and university libraries across the state? If an item is not available at your institutions library, students can request it from another college or university library through the UBorrow system. To learn more about how students can access the UBorrow system visit

Visit to learn more about UBorrow!



Profile for UnMazed

Teen's Guide to Summer Programs in Florida (May 2019)  

UnMazed Magazine is a collaborative effort of high school to college experts to bring quality information and resources to Florida families....

Teen's Guide to Summer Programs in Florida (May 2019)  

UnMazed Magazine is a collaborative effort of high school to college experts to bring quality information and resources to Florida families....


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