Zealousness Collector's Edition First Issue - Fall 2015

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And then there is the high cost of a college education and the growing problem of college debt. College debt has become a major concern within families in the United States.. According to an analysis of government data the by financial- aid experts at Edvisors, the class of 2014 graduated with an average student loan debt of $33,000. This situation is real, and we cannot continue ignoring it. We need to start acting now , for students to be able to have the opportunity of getting a higher education and securing their future.

Why would these students make such a choice? They had judged that attending those prestigious universities—in the long term—would negatively impact them financially. Some of the students who had been given a partial or full scholarship had another reason for turning down their offers: They worried it would be too difficult to adapt to a system that was initially organized and built for an “elite” group.

How do we change this situation? How do we prepare our young kids to succeed and acquire the skills they need? How do we inspire them and Recently in the news, there have been give them a glimpse of what their stories about students who were ac- future could be? How do we make cepted into Ivy League schools but them feel it is worth the hard work who chose not to go. They turned to achieve a goal? And how will we down the offers and went to their help them pay for their education? local colleges or to less-renowned ones instead. WOW Education Rewards was

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designed to address these needs. WOW Education Rewards, helps students understand the importance of education, motivates them to achieve their goals, rewards them for working hard, and provides them with concrete information and financial assistance they can use in their education. So, what exactly is WOW Education Rewards? WOW Education Rewards is an incentive-based program created to promote, track, and award the educational achievements of pre-K through 12th grade students. The program makes use of a software program designed specifically for WOW Education Rewards by Proficient Pro, Inc. The software tracks individual academic achievements, attendance, and participation

WOW Education Rewards isn’t just another rewards program! By Grace Cruz What is the WOW Education Rewards?

future use, other programs in every field offer rewards for participation-from free shipping to free items to free vacations, based on number of WOW Education Rewards is an points or visits accrued. One store in incentive-based program created the Washington DC area even gave by iN, Education, Inc., to promote, its most loyal customers 30 seconds to track, and award the educational grab as much free stuff as possible achievements of pre-K through 12th (Entrepreneurs Get Creative with grade students. iN Education, Inc., Loyalty Rewards). realized that students should not only be recognized for their hard Early reward programs started work, but awarded for their success quite simply--redeeming a coupon as well. The program connects for a free sandwich or soda after under-achieving students to creative a requisite amount of visits. Other ways of learning that fosters and stores began to provide free items

“...students should not only be recognized for their hard work, but awarded for their success as well.” encourages learning. Through WOW Education Rewards, students will grow eager about becoming successful students and understand the importance of engaged learning. According to Inc. Magazine, the number of rewards programs American households belong to is average of 14 while actively participating in six of those. How to Start a Customer Rewards Program? Marketwatch reports average family participation in 18 programs (Six Programs Worth Your Loyalty). While American Airlines, back in the ‘80’s, was the first to promise miles for

so Incentive Solutions was able to tap into the power of the internet to provide millions of redemption options at up to 25% less cost than a warehouse vendor’s offerings. The platforms ease of use, extensive shopping catalog and dedicated Account Management teams quickly led to Incentive Solutions becoming a leader in online incentive niche.” In order to best understand the psychology of consumer habits, patterns of group/individual spending, and ways to best motivate the customer, a tremendous amount of information was needed. Incentive Solutions implemented a multi-pronged approach which “relied heavily on verifiable, third party research from respected sources to include The Incentive Research Foundation, The Aberdeen Group, and World At Work in addition to professional trade publications, Executive White Papers and industry conferences and seminars. These combined with our own data collected since 1977 has transformed the Incentive Solutions team from a rewards provider to a trusted incentive consultant throughout the incentive program’s business cycle.”

for redemption. Jerry Ryan, a senior executive at Incentive Solutions and a leader in this field, spoke about his company’s “aha moment” using the Internet to work with corporate clients to create large scale rewards programs. He noted that “Our CEO and founder, Steve Damerow, had the insight to radically change the way the industry fulfilled reward item redemptions. Instead of being limited to the confines of the traditional warehouse for outdated reward items, Steve tasked his IT team to develop from the ground up an on-line point’s platform that would be scalable to meet Rewards programs allow companies current and future incentive needs to increase revenue and personalize of our client partners. By doing lists of items to a customer’s interests.

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This encourages buyers to stay loyal to a brand, a product, a purpose-as it establishes a relationship with the customer. In an age of online shopping, this also provides a familiarity akin to shopping regularly in a store, as the consumer is recognized. Anecdotal evidence, while plentiful, isn’t enough. Hard data is what is needed. A program called Reward Trax allows Incentive Solutions to manage data for its customers. Specifically, Reward Trax “has over 60 real-time reports available 365/24/7 to the program administrators and managers covering the vast array of key performance indicators be it on the success of the individual promotions or the overall vitality of the incentive program. We also have the ability to respond to individual client partner’s custom reporting needs. In addition a dedicated Account Manager supported by a team of Account Coordinators and other professionals are available to complement the client’s reporting needs to include program reviews, data comparisons to other client’s programs as well as to industry standards.” When considering ways to incentivize student learning, questions about the efficacy of rewards come to the spot light Specifically, how rewards can improve successful student habits--such as attendance, grades, community service, and good behavior. When asked about the similarities to adult consumers, Mr. Ryan noted that “We all like to be recognized and rewarded for our efforts regardless of age! Our incentive and recognition efforts

are designed to complement iN Education’s efforts to increase grade point averages, attendance and community service and are scalable to include future needs as identified by iN Education. Our incentive offering is structured to reward the youngest student achiever to those getting ready to attend postsecondary studies.”

Indeed, there is much to correlate this to education now. In 2011, Governor Cuomo of New York launched the School District Improvement Program, tying budget increases to student performance. In the past, monies had been allocated through a formula based program (NYSED). Some school districts are even paying

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students for grades earned. According to Frances Wills, Superintendent of Briarcliff Schools, “Middle-class kids who get good report cards often receive a new toy or even $5 for each A. These students know that learning offers keys to a comfortable future. For other students, a cash incentive might be transformational. There’s a chance that success will breed motivation and further achievement. In time the monetary reward would become less important and recognition and affirmation would lead to intrinsic satisfaction and continued desire to learn. We have to start somewhere” (Merit Pay for Students: Should schools be “incentivizing” achievement?).

graduates (Merit Pay for Students: Should schools be “incentivizing” achievement?). In fact, according to one researcher “It’s not just money. Student information, encouragement from teachers, and a change in social norms were partially responsible for the success of Texas’s merit pay program. Perhaps one could have similar successes on these dimensions alone. Cash rewards may be the best way to achieve change along these dimensions, however. We believe more research needs to be done” (Merit Pay for Students: Should Schools be “incentivizing” Achievement?).

In much the same way states are striving to improve School districts in Texas are doing something similar, education, iN Education is taking this idea of rewards, and data has shown an 8% increase in college bound though not through merit pay, for a student’s academic

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Rolling Educational Rewards Program: One of the Answers to Reforming Education System in USA? By Nupur Srivastava, Ph.D.


ave you ever pondered as to how the students failing in school/colleges most of the time might feel? Do they lack confidence; self-esteem, or are un-motivated to a large extent? Every year more than 380,000 students fail out of college in the United States. The impact of college failure can cause

I have failed. Not lasting damage to self-esteem, and the consequences can influence an entire lifetime. Well-educated students are the foundation for a strong workforce, globally competitive businesses, and sustainable economic growth. Every student deserves a first-rate education that equips him, or her, with the tools and skills to compete and succeed in the global economy. Working together, we can fix elements of our education system that do not work, and strengthen our schools by embracing ideas that can prove successful. Don’t you think that we should help the youth, in not losing their hopes and dreams, in building their longcherished careers? Amidst all major and minor initiatives being taken by the US government, will introducing

the educational reward programs be helpful among these school students to come out with ‘flying colors’? Will it lead to an increase in graduation rates in their respective school districts?

external rewards may not be as effective as intrinsic motivation, principals do continue to use these incentives as a means to raise students’ initial motivation and in turn their test scores. Rudy Mendoza, principal of Gardena High school in Gardena, I think it would surely ‘motivate’ the California, finds that scores jumped students, if rewards are given for higher than any other year after instituting a gift card incentive program. The students view the rewards again, not again! program as an effective mechanism for enhancing motivation for those performance goals. People have who have under-performed and ula tendency to do things more effi- timately acquire knowledge derived ciently if they are being rewarded. from their participation in schoolTeachers typically use rewards like based tasks and/or completing their candy, stickers, small prizes, or ex- assignments. tra recess time. They use them to encourage student behaviors such New research being published on as completing assignments, produc- student motivation suggests that the ing good work, and so on. The ex- timing and format of several highternal rewards usually work. If you profile programs may explain some offer students an appealing reward, of their inconsistency. Test perforthe targeted behavior will generally mance can improve dramatically if increase (for reviews, see O’Leary students are offered rewards just and Drabman, 1971; Deci, Koestner, before they are given standardand Ryan, 1999). Educators may ized tests and if they receive the see small results from reward pro- incentive afterward, new research grams, but they are continuing to use at the University of Chicago shows. them. School administrators reward Educators have long debated the students with external rewards by value of financial and other rewards providing money raffles, cash give- as incentives, but a series of exaways, electronic gadgets and gift periments in Chicago-area schools cards for passing exams. Although showed that with the right kind of Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 13

rewards, students achievement improved by as much as six months beyond what would be expected. The research team that conducted the experiments used financial rewards to boost performance for older students and non-financial rewards, such as trophies, to improve performance among younger students. Dr. Sadoff, now an assistant professor at the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego, was part of a team that conducted a series of experiments involving 7,000 students in the Chicago Public Schools as well as in elementary and high school districts in south-suburban Chicago Heights. She worked along with John List, the Homer J. Livingston Professor in

mize the chances of the educational reward programs to be functional, the rewards should be desirable, certain and prompt. Ref. 2

age a reluctant student to become invested in completing school work and demonstrating appropriate behaviors (Akin-Little, Eckert, Lovett, & Little, 2004). However, once the reward stops, the students come back The teachers in school should likely to their original behavior. In order to know which rewards would appeal contemplate introducing educational to their students and which would reward programs in schools, I tried mean little to them. For example, to interview few educators in USA, rewarding students for mastery and presented their views as below: of a discrete task, skill, or subject, An educator Jordan Shapiro, at such as reading a book or solving a Temple University in Intellectual Heriproblem, works better than reward- tage Department, Philadelphia, and ing them for performance, such as who is also engrossed in EdTech and reaching a certain benchmark on game-based learning to humania test. Rewarding specific actions ties education at the university level, that students can control, such as opines about the external reward completing homework, yields better programs “I don’t have enough faresults than rewarding accomplish- miliarity with WOW to comment intelligently. But I’m generally One of the Answers to Reforming Education System in USA? opposed to extrinsic reward systems as eduEconomics and one of the nation’s ments that may seem beyond their cational motivation. I prefer to keep leading scholars of experimental reach or out of their control, such economic/commodity style rewards economics; Steven Levitt, the William as whether they earn an A grade. out of childrens’ school experience. B. Ogden Distinguished Service Pro- Rewards that are too large can be There is plenty of evidence that stufessor in Economics at University of counterproductive because students dents learn best when they are inChicago; and Susanne Neckermann, may feel pressured into taking part. trinsically motivated to learn for the a scholar at the Center for Europe- However, these reward programs sake of learning, not for prizes.” an Economic Research in Germany. enhances students’ proficiency and The students tested had low initial growth, which leads to reducing Being previously a teacher at West motivation to do well, and thus ben- achievement gaps and increasing Adams Preparatory High School in efited from the rewards, List said. He graduation rates (Background pa- Los Angeles, where she also served added that follow-up tests showed per 2 – Can money or other rewards as the Mathematics Department no negative impact from removing motivate students?). Chair and the School of Business the rewards in successive tests. The and Enterprise Lead Teacher, Rahila research helps teachers and school Things don’t always go smoothly. Munshi Simzar, is presently pursuing leaders better understand the role Some research maintains that ex- PhD in Educational Policy and Social of rewards in school performance: ternal rewards, such as stickers, toys Context, at Univesity of California, Ref. 1 and gold stars, truly have a substan- Irvine, with interests in learning, cogOn the whole, research shows that tial undermining effect on internal nition, and development. She says reward programs can have posi- motivation (Deci, Koestner & Ryan, “yes, I think it will motivate students, tive effects if they are implemented 2001). Some of the research says the but that it will motivate them in less thoughtfully, carefully, and within a use of external rewards can serve than ideal ways. My guess is that it set of guidelines. In order to maxi- as a temporary strategy to encour- would increase extrinsic motivation 14 | Zealousness Magazine Fall 2015

and the adoption of performance goals. While this might result in higher achievement outcomes in the short run, it is questionable whether it will result in other desirable outcomes as well. I would guess that many students would lessen their mastery goals and would experience dives in intrinsic beliefs. In line with the above hypothesis, I would say that these programs will not experience long term benefits due to the types of motivational beliefs they’d be encouraging in students. If students are driven to perform by the presence of a reward, it is hard to imagine that they would continue to contribute those levels of effort to their academic feats once the rewards are removed. Furthermore, as intrinsic motivation diminishes while extrinsic takes over, I would argue that even

the students who originally engaged in academics for the enjoyment and mastery of learning would no longer participate in the same levels as they might have if the rewards were never in place. For a short term goal (i.e. graduate rates), there might be more optimistic results. I would imagine that these rates might increase in the presence of rewards, especially if these rewards are set at benchmarks along the production function towards graduation. My main concern would be where students were left once the rewards were removed.” Previously the National Director of the Forum for Education and Democracy, Sam Chaltain, is at present, a national educator and organizational change consultant. The views

or the ongoing debate on external reward programs can be studied at Ref 3. The rationale is that students need short-term rewards to bridge the gap between challenging and seemingly meaningless school tasks and the long term rewards that achievement will bring. Some educators also argue that the external rewards make a connection for those students whose parents can’t afford the kinds of rewards that more affluent parents routinely give their children. Studies of extrinsic rewards program have produced mixed results, depending on which behaviors are rewarded and how the program is designed. Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer in a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, conducted one experiment in which students were paid if they improved their test scores (no impact), and another experiment in which primary grade students were paid to read books and take quizzes on them (dramatic increases in test scores). A key variable seemed to be whether students had control over what would produce learning gains. It was more effective to reward students for completing a specific task (read this book) than for a performance (such as reaching a benchmark on a test), and using books as rewards rather than money appeared to work better. “At the same time,” say Usher and Kober, “poorly designed programs can actually decrease motivation if they are targeted at the wrong students, or are implemented ineffectively.” The decision about rewarding should be based on knowledge regarding the person to be rewarded, the target or direction, and even the timing of the reward. Otherwise, for some

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individuals the rewards might produce an effect diametrically opposed to its intended purpose. I conducted an interview with the corporate executive working team at Incentive Solutions, Inc. http:// www.incentivesolutions.com/ who are working partners with iN Education Inc. http://ineducationonline. org/, and their views on continuing with these reward programs are as below: Do these external reward programs as giving cash to students, or rewarding them with some gifts, are really motivating the students? The concept of rewarding (Gold Star Stickers, Smiley Faces) and recognizing students (Honor Roll, Most Likely to Succeed) not to mention a parent or guardian rewarding a student for their achievements (Money for attaining an ‘A, B or C’ grade point average) has been around long before formal incentive companies were formed. DeAndre’ and the iN Education team http://ineducationonline.org/about/founderand-president have the foresight to take this concept to the next level by partnering with the Incentive Solutions team with this important initiative. Will these programs have long term benefits? Questions regarding this specific program are best directed to DeAndre’ and the iN Education team. From an incentive perspective studies have shown up to a 22% increase in productivity when participants are recognized and rewarded for their efforts. (The Incentive Research Foundation – www.theirf.org) We strongly believe that creating a habit of success and recognition will carry through with each student long after they have left school.

Will rewarding students would lead to increase in the graduation rates? DeAndre’ may have studies and/or consultant studies to provide empirical data to address this question. Once launched Incentive Solutions will be tracking this and other data to evaluate the success of the program and will make program recommendations to maximize the desired results. What happens when rewards stops? The program is being structured in a way to engage each student participant to adopt success habits that will persist long after the student has left the program to become a productive member of society. From this sense, the iN Education team is providing an equal opportunity for a lifetime of rewards beyond the scope of this program. The question still remains for us to decide, whether the external reward programs as WOW Educational Rewards Program, can be the source of motivation for the academic development or would provide longterm benefit to students? Will this lead to an increase in the graduation rate in districts? What is WOW Educational Rewards Program? In most of the American states there are failing school districts. In order to motivate the students to be a part of the workforce, the Founder and President of iN Education, Inc., http://ineducationonline.org/ DeAndre’ L. Nixon of Ohio has started this rewards program in education. The mission of the program would be, to motivate the failing students or failing school districts in achieving their best possible in the education and earn their rewards on their own. References: 1: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2012/06/26/immediate-rewards-good-scores-can-boost-student-performance. 2 http://www.aft.org/newspubs/periodicals/ae/winter0708/willingham.cfm#back4. 3. http://www.samchaltain.com/using-rewards-in-the-classroom-short-term-crutch-or-long-term-strategy http://www.nber.org/papers/w18165.pdf

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“Why should I care? I don’t have any kids!” Education Apathy in the U.S. An opinion piece by Tracci Morrissette

It’s a question that I have heard and read time and again. Whenever a debate over the funding of education is brought up, there is always an insolent voice pointing out “I don’t have kids- Why should I have to pay for your kids to go to school?” When my town had a push for a property levy to fund public schools, a veritable deluge of online comments followed voicing the question raised above and ones very similar to it. Each questioner expressed anger and claimed their entitlement to keep “their hard earned money.” They strongly felt they should not have to fund an education system they had no vested interest in. I personally try to avoid the online debates on these particular

could be your future doctor, your councilman (or woman, if I ever have a daughter), or even your mechanic. Even if my son follows a less glamorous career path, he could still very well have an impact on your life. Whether you want to admit it or not, you will want your cashiers, your customer service reps, your garbage collectors to be skilled in mathematics, communication, and how to handle modern technology. It is within the school system that my son, and other children, will learn to do that. The second consideration is on your own investment in your property and personal wealth. Property values and markets are impacted

“My son will have a powerful impact in your life” threads, usually to avoid raising my blood pressure rather than a lack of a response. However, if I could sit each of the individuals expressing such views in a room and explain to them why they should care, and why they should have buy in, I think I could make a rather compelling argument – as a mother, as a taxpaying citizen of the United States of America, and as a fan of author and all around brilliant education proponent, John Green. The first consideration is that even if my child is not your child, in twenty years-time, my child could directly impact your life. My child

by several factors, and having good schools in your area will only increase your property value. If you plan on retiring on the equity you have built into your home, and selling off your house for that fabulous beach condo, it’s only going to benefit you for all the schools in the surrounding area to be in the top ranks. That first-time home buying family with two kids and the dog are going to want to know their children will be in the vicinity of an excellent education system, not one that has been overwhelmed with budget cuts and increasing student enrollment. And bringing up economics – if you have invested in any American companies, believe Fall 2015

me, you want the best and brightest people working there. Chances are, you also want them to be American so that those citizens are putting money back into the economy and funding Social Security, Medicaid and the tax funded services that you will benefit from in the future. Even if right now you think you are never going to need the help of others in the future, you will be glad that if the catastrophic does occur that a well-educated adult is there to help you. To invoke John Green on this, “I pay for your schools because I want you to grow up and make my life better.” Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that the future of this country rests on those who we hand off control to. Even if right now, you are in your twenties, thirties, or older and feel spry and capable, we will eventually have to pass off the reins to someone. Again, to quote the author John Green: “ The reason I pay for taxes for schools even though I don’t have a kid in school is that I am better off in a welleducated world.” And so are the rest of us. Quotes from John Green: An Open Letter To Students Returning to School. References: http://johngreenbooks.com/an-open-letterto-students-returning-to-school/

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Creating an Early Love for Reading in your student


s early as kindergarten, young students are faced with various assignments to help develop their reading skills. Children become overwhelmed by the monotonous pattern of worksheet after worksheet, alphabet arcs, spelling packets, and thin reading circle books sent home from their teachers. Upon a little reflection, it comes as no surprise that some students openly admit that reading is not their favorite subject. arents can easily foster a love for reading in their children by using routine and some fun activities. Children can begin to see that reading is filled with endless hours of enjoyment and entertainment that will support strong writing skills and increase comprehension of text.


Read out loud to your child every day.


or young readers, proper modeling is absolutely key in the early stages of reading. By reading out loud to children each day, parents are able to convey the relationship between text and the spoken word (formally known as the alphabetic principle), a concept that can be difficult to grasp. Children are able to hear how the words are pronounced and gain valuable exposure to proper intonation, which will encourage a more natural fluency once children become better readers. Pick a time for this activity,

By Madeline Salazar like a story before bed or reading order to model proper reading. after a snack.

Take advantage of letter recognition opportunities



Make phoneme recognition a game

ractice making the different phoneme sounds often, but make it fun! If you see a letter, ask your child often what sound the letter makes. For example, at the grocery store when passing the strawberries, practice the /s/ sound. When ordering popcorn at the movies, have fun making the abrupt /p/ sound. Your enthusiasm can enhance the process and make children excited to learn about letters and sounds.

e sure to point out examples of text in every day environments that can relate back to what a young child is learning. For example, draw attention to the letter “M” in the McDonalds sign if the student’s name begins with an “M” or identify the word “The” at The Boston Market. There are many opportunities such as these, outside of the classroom, where children can put their teachers’ lessons into practice. Comic strips and coupon clippings are excellent opportunities for “word f parents frequently incorporate scavenger hunts” that can reinforce reading lessons and practice the recognition of the particular into everyday activities, then their letters that are being focused on in children can quickly develop an school. understanding of how text carries meaning. Worksheets and books Choose topics that excite read over and over will pale in your child comparison to real life examples any parents of young readers of letters and sounds. By following overlook this simple concept these tips, you can help your children that will instantly grab their child’s to love reading and learning about attention: whether your child is language, which will carry over into interested in cars, princesses, or becoming strong and passionate dinosaurs, be sure to get books about writers in the future. his or her favorite topics. Topics do not have to be limited to books alone. If your child is a dinosaur References: Rosado, Luis A. “Domain I.” Texes 191 expert, try taking him or her to the Generalist Ec-6. Second ed. Research & prehistoric exhibit at the museum. Education Association, 2013. Print. Take your time reading the names and descriptions of the dinosaurs, in



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Story of Life Smart Education By Patricia McBride- Demetriou

The children of Columbus aren’t especially different from kids anywhere else: they laugh, they play. They go to school, and hopefully they learn and grow. Unfortunately, too often they don’t get all of the support and advantages that they need to truly succeed. That’s where Patricia McBride-Demetriou and LifeSmart Education come in.

education while teaching English. “My life has been full of rich and diverse experiences, but if you had asked a young me if any of this was in my future, I would have answered with a resounding ‘no,’” she says.

Patricia McBride-Demetriou grew up in Columbus and lived a life very much like the children she seeks to help. “My parents were focused on the day-to-day struggle to put food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our backs. There wasn’t any time or attention paid to Patricia McBride - Demetriou, my grades, my homework, Founder or my future outside of the life we knew,” says McBride-Demetriou. “I saw some of my classmates strive for more, supported by parents

She wasn’t aware of the opportunities that lay before her, and in her gratitude for her life’s path she felt that she needed to lend a hand to others. “Far too many of our youth fail to realize their potential for the simple reason that they don’t know what’s possible,” says McBride-Demetriou. “That is why I founded LifeSmart Education.”

Patricia realized that she was the exception to the rule.

She went on to say that “LifeSmart Education has set forth as its mission to provide educational opportunities that are not just different but transformative. We strive to empower both young people and adults to realize their true potential, their roles as citizens of the world, and the limitless possibilities that lay before them while fostering an appreciation of the cultural similarities and

“Far too many of our youth fail to realize their potential for the simple reason that they don’t know what’s possible” who had more time or more resources.” Like many of the youth that she now helps, she fell behind and was placed in less advanced classes. Patricia soon realized her passion for the arts and began studying acting. She soon left Columbus and moved to Los Angeles to pursue her life long dream of becoming an actress. She has gone on to act on stage, TV, and film, and written a feature film. The woman who once struggled in school now has a master’s degree. The person who couldn’t think of life beyond Columbus has lived on three continents. While in Germany, she taught English and started an English language learning program. In China, Patricia produced a documentary film about Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 19

differences among us all.” Through initiatives such as their ARISE Life Management Skills Program, Professional Job Development Program, Oxfam Curriculum, Financial Literacy Program, and Washington, D.C. Study Tours, LifeSmart Education provides nontraditional educational resources to disadvantaged children and adults who otherwise would lack access to vital life management skills and opportunities. McBride-Demetriou is proud of her work. “As a part of these programs, we are fostering tomorrow’s leaders. These are the individuals who will be able to bridge cultural divides and facilitate dialogues between otherwise disparate communities. Our young people and adults will have the opportunity to gain a truly global understanding of their place in the world, and how to chart their path free of limitations imposed by others.” For her, the stakes are high. “To look in the eyes of a young person who sees no real future, no promise for tomorrow, and no hope, is to see true tragedy. The sad truth is that for many of the young people that LifeSmart Education engages, there is no other role model to show them the path that will lead them forward. They may not see themselves as one of the ‘smart kids.’ They likely don’t have money, and probably don’t have parents who care about how they do in school. If we don’t step up and show them what’s possible, they may never know.”

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E- learning By Jessica Sinha


e’re in a new era where practically everything is technology-based! It’s not surprising to find parents handing their children smart-phones or tablets to engage their sensory perceptions. My younger cousin takes his iPad to school to take chemistry notes on!! “The American Academy of Pediatrics […] and the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity […] discourage any amount or type of screen media and screen time for children under 2 years of age and recommend no more than one to two hours of total screen time per day for children older than 2 […].”[1] For preschoolers (ages 2-5), less than 1 hour is recommended for screen time within a childcare setting.[1] If you must engage your little one somehow, in addition to education programs on TV, you can try these educational tools online

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Here are some of the best websites for encouraging education, even while ONLINE! 1) ABC Mouse (www.abcmouse.com) • First month free; Subscription price $7.95/mo • Child-safe website: No pop-ups, advertising, or external links • Subjects: Reading, Math, Science, Arts & Colors, Music • Also in Spanish! • Six academic levels (Preschool, PreK, and Kindergarten) Beautifully made website, colorful and interactive. 2) • • •

Up To Ten (www.uptoten.com) Free membership! 1000+ games, cartoons, coloring, and other activities for up to 10-yr olds Premium membership has a fee, but comes with more enhanced activities, safe browsing, and features bilingual activites. Free 3-day trial. • Great gift for your child, niece/nephew, etc. 3) Starfall (www.starfall.com) • PreK-2nd Grade, suitable for special education, English language development, and homeschools • Focused on reading with phonics • Online games, really fun interactive stories of various genres • Download center includes many printout activities for students 4) • • •

PBSParents (www.pbs.org/parents/fun-and-games/online-games/) Educational games for ages up to 8 Activities as well as great ideas to foster a healthy appetite for science, reading, math, and music Contains online games, craft ideas, and printable worksheets

5) • • • •

Enchanted Learning (www.enchantedlearning.com) Printouts of various activities: games, rhymes, alphabets, languages, geography, history, science, and more! Online versions of certain activities provided Joining as a member for $20/yr, but most activities are available for free Educational resources also available for primary grades

6) • • •

ABCYa (www.abcya.com) FREE to use but there are some ads Numerous educational online games for K-5th grade Educational apps that are compatible with Apple products

7) • • • • •

GameClassroom (www.gameclassroom.com) K-6th Grade Excellent website with online games for math and language arts Wide variety of skills targeted: writing, vocabulary, technology, and higher-level math Worksheets and animated instructional videos for up to 6th grade Lesson plans provided with steps and contact information for questions or feedback

8) •

Lil Fingers (www.lil-fingers.com) Mostly engaging for PreK-Kindergarten ages.

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Storybooks (flash-based), games, and coloring worksheets • Learning about various holidays, supplemented with more worksheets and additional resources to read and learn • Really entertaining and fun alphabet videos!

Even though there are stimulating computer games and e-learning tools, don’t underestimate the value of a hard-copy book and a good old-fashioned pencil. There are things that digital tools simply cannot equal. Encourage children, and be encouraged too!: Read printed books (remembering that it benefits the authors). 9) Seussville (www.seussville.com/#games) Write in journals rather than type. Feel the tex• Completely Dr. Seuss-based, with tools for up to tures of the tools that create valuable information age 10 Engaging website with sound effects and and knowledge! character-based games Bring information to life! Engage in activities/sports/ games/experiments with children to reap the benefits 10) Time4Learning (www.time4learning.com/) of learning while doing. • PreK-8: $19.95/student/mo; High School: $30/ Encourage hands-on learning. For example, bring student/mo; 14-day money-back guarantee home some library books on science experiments that • Individual-based lessons and activities based on a you can do at home and try them out as you learn the home-school curriculum. Graded and scored reports science behind it! indicating progress. Use items around the house to making learning fun, progressive, and interactive. Some examples would 11) MathWay (www.mathway.com/) be using tennis balls and cars to learn physics, or do• Solves math problems!! ing math problems on a huge whiteboard or on the • WARNING: Use this as a way to learn, not to get driveway with chalk! homework done, and you’ll benefit greatly from it. Have you ever tried these fun websites? • Disney • Discovery Education: Free resources for teachers, parents, and students • How Stuff Work

References 1. National Association for the Education of Young Children: “Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8”, http:// www.naeyc.org/content/technology-and-youngchildren.

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Why is the sky blue? By Priyanka Verma

Have you ever wondered why is the sky blue? Why is it not any other color like red or yellow ? Voila ! Science has that answer. Let’s see how the sky is blue. ! ! When you look up into the sky, you are actually looking through the Earth’s atmosphere. There are billions of little oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the sky along with other molecules that make up the air we breathe. The light coming from the sun seems white even though it is made up of different colors.!

As the Sun’s light travels through the air to get to your eyes, many of the light waves hit molecules of oxygen and nitrogen in the air. These little molecules soak up the light energy. The blue light gets absorbed the most because it has shorter wavelength. Those little molecules shoot out that light energy in all different directions and it gets scattered all over the sky. That is how you see the sky blue.!!!

Want some extra handy information ?! The longer wavelengths of light - red, yellow, orange - don’t get absorbed so much and they make a straight line from the Sun to your eyes. That’s why the Sun looks yellow to you. Wh 24 | Zealousness Magazine Fall 2015

An increasing Cost of Higher Education Limiting the Yearn for Knowledge Are there any solutions?

By Nupur Srivastava A week ago I was interacting with one of my friends and we discussed our childrens’ futures in education. Presently her child is in sixth grade, and she is relaxed about the stress and affordability of education. However, she is alarmed by the fact: “How long will I be going to enjoy the same situation (calmness)?” One day or the other, one has to accept the lingering fact of the rising cost of higher education and its adverse influence on us and on our kids. The issue of skyrocketing cost of education leaves me perplexed and forces me to think about the reasons behind it. Will there be an end to this constant overpowering distress? Reasons for an astronomical increase in an education expense The first question which comes to mind for students and parents opting for college education: “how much is this going to cost?” In this section I

for four-year public institutions has risen by more than 60 percent in six states, more than 40 percent in 10 states, and more than 20 percent in 29 states. In Arizona, where tuition has been raised the most, tuition

$8,893, up 2.9 percent from the prior year; for private non-profit four-year colleges, the average published tuition and fees were $30,094, up 3.8 percent from the 2012-2013 school year; and

has jumped more than 80 percent – for public two-year colleges, the average published tuition and fees The average tuition for four-year public institutions has risen were $3,264, up 3.5 percent from by more than 60 percent in six states, more than 40 percent in the 2012-2013 school year.[1] 10 states, and more than 20 percent in 29 states. Over the last decade, the increases in published tuition and fees were will acquaint you with the reasons $4,493 per student, after inflation even greater—at four-year public why we are facing such a dreadful – since 2008. For the 2013-2014 colleges, the average published school year, the average published tuition and fees in inflation adjusted situation. Since 2008, the rises in tuition have tuition and fees for undergraduates dollars increased 51 percent; at been steep. The average tuition at public four-year colleges were private non-profit four-year colleges Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 25

the average published tuition and fees increased 25 percent; and at public two-year colleges, the average published tuition and fees rose 35 percent [2].

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, enrollment increased 11% between 1990 and 2000. Between 2000 and 2010, enrollment rose 37%. 2. Technological advances in The figure shown on p. 25 is proof education industry: Technological that the college tuition and fees have advances affect higher education startlingly increased as compared in many ways [3]. Just as a hospital to house prices, as well as average needs to keep buying the latest

Fig 2. Source: “Galloping inflation in American college fees”, The Economist, Sept. 2, 2010. http://www.economist.com/node/16960438

hourly wages for the average American family. The following are the main reasons for an alarmed increase in cost of higher education: 1. The rise in demand for higher education: As I mentioned in my earlier article --(http://www. woweducationrewards.org/a-newsto-rejoice-unemployment-nightmareof-the-graduates-coming-to-anend/) -- there is a growing gap in the wage and unemployment differentials by educational attainment. People believe, and it’s true that, a student with a college degree earns more and has higher employment rate than those with a lower level or no degree. Demand for a degree is also causing the price of higher education to skyrocket.

medical equipment to increase its quality of care for patients, universities must continually purchase the latest technology to increase the quality of education. Any university that decides to teach the same curriculum it did in the 1950s would appeal to a very small market niche. The service we provide today in higher education has undergone a profound evolution and is in many ways a very different service than the one we experienced a generation or more ago in college classrooms. In higher education the chalk, paper, pen, and testtube world has been replaced by wired buildings, laptops, high-tech classrooms, and pulsed laser systems in labs, together with the specialists needed to make the systems work

26 | Zealousness Magazine Fall 2015

(http://wmpeople.wm.edu/asset/ index/dhfeld/avoidingtunnelvision). 3. Best faculty appointments: With the rising demand of college education and increasing enrollment of students, a college has to hire more top-notch faculty; this translates into rising personnel costs for salaries and benefits. Improvement in utilities and providing the best student services The cost and maintenance of utilities such as heat, electricity, water and sewer systems keep on rising. In order to keep pace with the students’ demand in services, dining options, health and fitness centers, etc.— colleges offer these services to stay competitive, which in turn adds to the cost. 4. Ailing economy: The recent downturn in the economy has created significant problems for colleges—reductions in state and federal funding, and fewer private donations. Colleges try to make up for these losses through tuition hikes. 5. Student financial aid has fueled the demand for higher education. Scholarships offered by some colleges can also hike up the price. For example, merit-based awards are sometimes funded by tuition increases. That means when a student pays his or her tuition, they could be subsidizing the scholarships. Are there any sustainable solutions for minimizing the aforementioned crisis? The rising cost of education mostly affects lower-income students who ordinarily would not be able to afford college. According to Kevin Carey, the Director of Education Policy at the New America Foundation, major spending at universities includes infrastructure, administration, scholarships and sports teams -- but investing in

classrooms and professors, which could actually impact student learning, isn’t on this list. College is meant to be a great experience and should not be something students will later come to regret after incurring high levels of student loan debt. The Delta Cost Project at American Institutes for Research (AIR) makes a unique contribution to the dialogue by focusing on how colleges spend their money. The Delta Cost Project provides policymakers, higher education administrators, and the general public with analyses and resources to deepen understanding of what colleges do with their money. The following lists are a few solutions to overcome the crisis: 1. Dual enrollment programs: there exists a variety of options that can help lessen the financial burden of a college degree. Through programs such as Advanced Placement (AP) course work, College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and early college, high school students can begin to accumulate college credit while still in high school. Students who elect to participate in such programs spend less time taking basic courses in college and consequently, are able to graduate quicker and at a lower cost. 2. Online Education: Another solution could be online education. Many universities, including Arizona State University, already offer courses and even entire degrees online at a fraction of the cost of traditional degrees. Many companies also offer courses for free called “massive open online courses” (MOOCs). In most cases, students learn just as much, if not more, from online instruction without having to take out a single student loan. (http://www.ncpa.org/sub/

dpd/index.php?Article_ID=23616) One of the main benefits of using online courses is learning the ability to manage one’s time without faculty oversight, a crucial skill for students leaving high school and entering higher education. Online courses also allow for a more flexible schedule. On top of this flexibility is the option to take advanced and specialized classes that are often unavailable at many high schools. Lastly, online courses may enable students to discover subjects of interest (or disinterest) prior to arriving on campus, helping them avoid the delays that often accompany changing majors. 3. Offering three year bachelor’s degree: the costs are reduced benefitting students saving a fourth year of tuition and room and board, as well as starting a career or graduate school a year early [4]. 4. Housing options: Students should start living in a dorm rather than shifting to an independent home. The rent one has to pay would be more in independent rooms and also the utilities bills would add more burden. 5. Renting textbooks instead of purchasing new ones 6. Earning money while in school: One should try for part– time jobs while studying (work-study employment), or consider becoming a Resident Advisor (RA). Most schools pay their RAs and contribute to their room and board. Too stressful to work and go to classes at the same time? Students can work during summers vacations and use the money earned for tuition, books, or other expenses. Also try looking into cooperative education programs, which allows alternating between working full time and studying full time. This type

of employment program is not based on financial need, and one can earn as much as $7,000 per year. 7. Exploring all the financial aid options: Apply for scholarships and contact the financial aid departments in your college. One should also apply for merit based scholarships; In order to receive these, students should excel in their studies and/or extracurricular activities. More details can be found at [5] Concluding Remarks Do you think will there be an end of angst from not going to college just because of an abrupt rise in cost of higher education? Will the talented individuals/ students yearning for knowledge have to live in such a desperate situation for eternity? Email us your thoughts: zealousness@ineducationonline.org

References 1. College Board, Trends in College Pricing (2012) http://trends.collegeboard. org/college_pricing. (The College Board’s Trends in College Pricing does not have a comparable data set of tuition data for forprofit institutions) 2. College Board, Trends in College Pricing (2012) http://trends.collegeboard. org/college_pricing. 3. Archibald and Feldman (2011) Why Does College Cost So Much? ISBN: 9780199744503 4. The Buzz and Spin on 3 Year Degrees. 5 . ( h t t p : / / w w w . c e n t e r f o r c o l l e g e a f f o r d a b i l i t y. o r g / uploads/25Ways_to_Reduce_the_Cost_ of_College.pdf)

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Do YOU want to be a part of an ongoing discussion?

Complete the survey and send on your comments at info@ineducationonlline.org Your Full Name: ____________________________________ Your Occupation: ____________________________________ Your Employer/Institution name: ____________________________________ Did any time you feel that your choice of school/elective got affected with rising cost of education? [A] Yes [B] No According to you what percentage decrease in the school fees will make it more affordable? [A] 10% [B] 20% [C] 30% [D] >30% How many part-time jobs you have/had to take while enrolled in college? [A] 1 [B] 2 [C] >2 Do you think the online courses or Massive Open Online Courses (MOCC) one of the solution for reducing the cost of higher education? [A] Yes [B] No Even after struggling so hard during your college days, was obtaining a graduate degree enough for landing your dream job? [A] Yes [B] No Which options from below would be more suitable (in terms of reducing the cost of education)? [A] A four year college degree [B] A three year college degree [C] Enrolled in college programs while studying in high school

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Strengthening Employee Motivation and Performance through Rewards By Nupur Srivastava, Ph.D.


mployee motivation is one of the most essential parts in a company’s development and success. Therefore, the way people are treated increasingly determines whether an organization will prosper or even survive (Lawler, 2003). In this regard, many factors are available that change employees’ performance, such as, worker and employer relationship, working conditions, job security, training and opportunity for development, and overall rewarding policies of the company. The efficiency of employee performance increases, and reaches its maximum levels, when they are rewarded by their respective employers for their productive work. In my earlier article, I have mentioned how the educational rewards program motivates students, and helps the respective school districts to achieve their unexpected goals. In a similar way, organizations are under constant pressure to enhance and improve their performance or productivity, and are realizing that an interdependent relationship exists between employee performance and organizational profit. For reference purposes, there is a book, “1001 Ways to Reward Employees”, written by Bob Nelson, which emphasizes the strate-

gies companies should follow while considering the employee to be rewarded. . Excerpts can be found in the following link. mployees expect the organization to provide fair pay, safe working conditions, and fair treatment. There are a few basic need categories (see below) that helps a person to achieve employee satisfaction and performance (Beardwell & Claydon, 2007, p. 493). Physiological needs: are basic human needs such as food, water, air and comfort. The organization provides a financial reward by paying a salary and in this way helps to satisfy employees’ physiological needs. Safety needs: desire for security and stability which includes desire for steady employment, health insur-


ance and safe neighborhoods. Esteem needs: include the need for things that reflect on personal worth, self-respect and social recognition. Individuals’ need to attain a good reputation in a group or strive to increase their status in the eyes of others are driven by these needs. The organization can help to satisfy employees’ esteem needs by showing workers that their work is appreciated and recognized. Self-actualization needs: are the individual’s desire for self-fulfillment and the realization of doing what he or she has the potential of doing. Assigning tasks that challenge employees’ minds and encouraging their aptitude and training are examples on how the organization can help fulfill self-actualization needs.

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sought the opinion of a private consultant, Howard Risher, who also holds an MBA and PhD from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His career extends over 40 years and includes years managing consulting practices for two national firms. He recently became the editor of the journal Compensation and Benefits Review. According to him, “rewards are used throughout society and world -- the best Girl Scout cookie sales person is recognized and rewarded. Those gold stars in schools have been used for decades. Too often with non-cash rewards, supervisors do not think they are important and ignore them -- so those rewards are managed systematically across an organization. An advantage of cash is that it can be managed more systematically. However, it’s also too often true that both salary increases and bonuses are subject to bias and/or discrimination. In my opinion the key -- and the problem -- is not the cash, it’s the process used to identify those deserving of rewards.” He believes

“a well-managed financial reward policy will contribute to improved performance. People want to be recognized for their contribution and to work for a successful organization (or team). If anything, financial rewards are sometimes too powerful.” This seems to be very true, as when I discussed the rewards program with various employees working with different companies, they said rewards and recognition motivates them, however, if they are not recognized for the efforts and their performance, they get despondent towards their work and organization.


or organizations to address these expectations an understanding of employee motivation is required (Beer et al., 1984). A well-designed and functional reward system is an efficient way to increase employee work motivation. The studies conducted by Ali and Muhammad concluded that there is a statistically significant relationship between reward and recognition respectively, and motivation and satisfaction. The study revealed that if rewards or

recognition offered to employees were to be altered, then there would be a corresponding change in work motivation and satisfaction. This means that if more focus is placed on rewards and recognition, it could have a resultant positive impact on motivation and thus higher levels of job performance. According to JP Maroney, an American entrepreneur and CEO of Marocom Group, and earlier, Founder and CEO of People Builders, an international human development and professional training company specializing in management and employee development systems. Employees can also be motivated basing on these five steps: satisfaction, appreciation, recognition, inspiration and compensation. Among these five steps, providing compensation (in the form of raises, performance bonuses, commissions, profit sharing, or any number of “extra benefits” like, automobiles, vacations, or other tangible items purchased) can be used as rewards. However, not all employees respond to the same motivations. Each person has his or her own likes and dislikes, passions, interests and desires. The role of the successful manager is to learn how to identify what motivates each employee, and then help him, or her, in achieving or fulfilling those goals, which in turn would lead to a profitable and growing organization.”


owever, there are fierce debates going on regarding both the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of the employee and the functioning of the rewards. When employees are intrinsically motivated, they are more engrossed into the work (goal) itself, they find the work interesting

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and challenging. They would be more creative as they are generally be more curious, flexible, persistent and have an internal drive for optimizing the work process (Baer et al. 2003). While, the extrinsically motivated individuals/ employees would focus more on the desire to obtain some outcomes of the work, such as reward or status (Amabile, 1993). Extrinsic motivation can be beneficial in a number of situations: external rewards can induce interest and participation

capabilities and accomplishments can make them stand out.

2. Do you believe tangible (monetary) rewards increase employee motivation? Why or why he study conducted by Ajila and not? Abiola examined the influence of 3. Is there any difference berewards on workers’ performances. tween the motivation of employSubjects for the study consisted of ees who have been working for the one hundred workers of Central company for a long period of time Bank of Nigeria, Abuja. The selec- and those who have just started? tion of the subjects was done in such Reference: a way to include all categories of senior and junior workers. Data for 1. Amabile, T. M. (1993). Motivational the study was gathered through the synergy: Toward new conceptualizaadministration of a self-designed tions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation


“Employees can also be motivated basing on these five steps: satisfaction, appreciation, recognition, inspiration and compensation.” in something the individual had no initial interest in, used to motivate people to acquire new skills or knowledge, and once these initial skills have been acquired, people may then become more intrinsically motivated to pursue the activity. Extrinsic motivators should be avoided in situations where the individual already finds the activity intrinsically rewarding. Also, there might be some occupations where there would be little or no benefit in introducing these rewards. There are many trade, craft and labourer jobs, clerical/office support functions, facilities, storage and distribution, whose employees are independent of getting accustomed to such policies. However, we should not ignore the performance of the employees in these occupations. Financial and non-financial rewards to recognize accomplishments are always appropriate. The real value of establishing the rewards lies with knowledge jobs, where an individual’s professional knowledge,

questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised three parts or sections; section A-- collected demographic data such as age, sex, status, level of education etc., section B-- collected information about the relationship between extrinsic reward and workers performance, and section C-- gathered details on workers perception of intrinsic reward and its relationship to their performance. The results obtained from the analysis showed that there was a relationship between extrinsic rewards and the performance of workers, while no relationship existed between intrinsic rewards and workers performance.

in the workplace. Human Resource Management Review, 3(3), 185–201. 2. Baer, M., Oldham, G. R., and Cummings, A. (2003). Rewarding creativity: when does it really matter? The Leadership Quarterly, 14(4-5), 569–586.

3. Beardwell, J. and Claydon T. (2007). Human Resource Management: A contemporary approach. 5th ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall. 4. Beer, M., Spector, B., Lawrence, P.R., Mills, D.Q., and Walton, R.E. (1984). Managing human assets. New York: The Free Press. 5. Lawler, E.E. (2003). Treat people right. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc.

So what would be your opinion views for the following questions which I am posing here? 1. Which reward system do you believe the employees prefer and they really motivate them? Why? What are other rewards that could be more effective? Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 31

What’s your degree worth? The Insidious Path of Education By Swathi Thiruppathi A university education provides students with a degree, but it often straps them with massive debt as well. At present, U.S student loan debt stands at $1 trillion, with each graduate owning an average of $33,000 (Izzo, 2014). Such colossal debt takes a toll on graduates’ mental and physical health. A study by Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine found that blood pressure levels and the severity of depression among 24-32 year olds were higher in those who had more debt (Hoffman, Heavy Debt Wrecking Health of Young Americans, 2013). The prospect of high debt may also keep some students from pursuing their desired career path, as some jobs — mainly public service jobs — pay lower wages than others. And the student debt problem could actually harm the overall economy if it causes graduates to put off buying homes or goods and services. [This is an important point, which you mention later in the article. I think you should add it here in the introduction; rephrase as you see fit.] To help graduates cope with their student-loan debt and to encourage more students to take on public service careers like teaching and nursing, the Obama student loan forgiveness program was established.

give up their passion and choose a career path instead that is expedient. Jobs in the public service sector are among the occupations with the worst return on investment. The meager wages in that sector are a disincentive to some graduates in taking up those jobs: For example, the Health Resources and Services Administration projected that the demand for nurses in the United States would be 25% more than the supply of nurses by 2020 (Hoffman, Student Loan Forgiveness Plans Underused, 2013).

According to Salary.com, 8 college degrees with a good return on investment are mathematics, information technology, human resources, economics, biology, engineering, marketing, and English (Dugan, n.d). Conversely, 8 college degrees with a poor return on investment are sociology, fine arts, education, religious studies/theology, hospitality/ tourism, nutrition, psychology, and communications (Dugan, 8 College Degrees with the Worst Return on Investment, n.d). Moreover, the level of student debt has been increasing at a much higher rate than the median salary of graduates. From 2005 to 2012, mean student loan debt surged by 35%, while the median salary of graduates dipped by 2.2% (Izzo, Pressure versus passion Some graduates are forced by the 2014). possibility of high student debt to 32 | Zealousness Magazine Fall 2015

Despite the pressures of studentloan debt, a college degree is essential for boosting one’s employability. Furthermore, mean salary is greatly affected by one’s educational level. Although some majors pay better, almost all the industries pay more to college graduates than to their peers without a degree (Izzo, 2014).

To cope with the problem of rising student-loan debt, the student loan forgiveness program was introduced.

Student loan forgiveness program

President Obama refurbished the federal loan system that allows graduates to offset a portion of their student-loan debt as part of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. To qualify for loan forgiveness, borrowers must have made consistent payments on their federal student loan for 20 years (10 years for those in the public service sector). The student loan forgiveness program is available exclusively for federal loans and does not apply to private loans.

Some careers — like public school teachers and members of the armed forces — can get higher levels of loan forgiveness. The extra forgiveness is intended to attract more people to jobs in the public sector. Jobs classified within the public service sector by the U.S. Department of Education include teachers, soldiers, paramedics, social workers, government workers, and 501(c )(3) nonprofit employees (Student Loan Forgiveness, n.d). To qualify for public service loan forgiveness, a graduate has to make 120 “qualifying payments” during their employment in the public service sector (Student Loan Forgiveness, n.d). The Obama student loan forgiveness program also caps the interest rate on federal loans at 3.4%, which helps reduce graduates’ debt burden.

Student loan and economic growth

Helping graduates with their loan debt is crucial because they are the future foundation of the country’s economy. Leaving them encumbered with debt would lead to diminished consumer spending from their generation. Additionally, heavy debt would cause them to delay making big investments — like owning a house.

Before 2011, those with student loan debts actually had higher levels of homeownership than those without.

This might be because the studentdebt holders were typically those with higher levels of education. Their higher level of education would have boosted their income, which in turn would have made housing more affordable for them. But the picture has changed since then. There was a general decline in homeownership for both groups, and around 2011 the level of homeownership among those without debt surpassed that of those with debt. The general decline can be attributed to the recession. However, homeownership among graduates with debts did not rebound to its earlier level even after the recession. One likely reason homeownership remains depressed for this group is the increasing cost of education. Increasing educational costs translate into more student loan debt, and thus lesser savings. It also makes graduates less likely to take risks, which making a big purchase like a home involves. Moreover, the burden of debt also represses the number of new business ventures that young people will create as their willingness to take risks drops. This could dampen the economy further. Some have suggested that a low-cost or a free university education could solve the student-debt problem. But I believe not. The cost of education has increased because the demand for an education has increased. Besides, it’s impractical to transfer the full cost of education onto the state – like a welfare system. Giving a free or abnormally low-cost university education would mean diverting monetary resources from other sectors of the economy to the educational sector. While more resources need to be invested in education, it’s

not possible to totally neglect other sectors to support education. But while a zero-cost education is not likely to ever exist, programs like the student-loan forgiveness program can subsidize the cost by supporting graduates with their debt burden. References Dugan, D. (n.d). 8 College Degrees That Will Earn Your Money Back. Retrieved July 18, 2014, from Salary.com: http:// www.salary.com/8-college-degrees-thatwill-earn-your-money-back/ Dugan, D. (n.d). 8 College Degrees with the Worst Return on Investment. Retrieved July 18, 2014, from Salary.com: http:// www.salary.com/8-college-degrees-withthe-worst-return-on-investment/ Hoffman, C. V. (2013, August 23). Heavy debt wrecking health of young Americans. Retrieved July 18, 2014, from CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/heavydebt-wrecking-health-of-young-americans/ Hoffman, C. V. (2013, Aug 29). Student loan forgiveness plans underused. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/studentloan-forgiveness-plans-underused/ Izzo, P. (2014, May 16). Congratulations to Class of 2014, Most Indebted Ever. Retrieved July 18, 2014, from The Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/numbers/ congatulations-to-class-of-2014-the-mostindebted-ever-1368/ Student Loan Forgiveness. (n.d). Retrieved July 24, 2014, from Simple tuition: http:// www.simpletuition.com/student-loans/forgiveness/ http://blogs.wsj.com/numbers/congatulations-to-class-of-2014-the-most-indebtedever-1368/ http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2014/05/just-released-youngstudent-loan-borrowers-remained-on-thesidelines-of-the-housing-market-in-2013. html#.U9GlFfk7u-0

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Stress and Success By Annie Kokoyan


he clock is ticking. Stress. Fear. Anxiety. You have waited to apply to your dream school for years, and now the time has arrived to send your college application. The question is - Will the hard work you put into those four years finally pay off? To hopefully ease your stress these are what colleges are looking at: 1. Classes: What classes are you taking?

2. What are your grades? What is your class rank? Are you in the top tenth or top quarter?

HHave a high GPA! Aim for at least an unweighted grade point average of a 3.75 or better. Most of the top universities accept students with a high GPA, but there are exceptions because other factors contribute towards the decision making as well. But, based on Fall Although many people think that if you have a high GPA 2013, The College Board states that 94% of the freshcolleges will accept you that is not entirely true. Colleges men students admitted to the University of California: like to see stu- Los Angeles had a GPA of 3.75 or better (TheCollegdents who have eBoard, n.d). Therefore, GPA plays a big role in the c h a l l e n g e d decision making process. themselves by taking the hard courses offered at their school. Although getting straight A’s is good, it does not look great when you have taken all the easy courses. Therefore, take honors and AP classes, but do not overdo it. Honors and AP classes not only provide an immense amount of helpful information, but they help your GPA as well. Each challenging course that a student takes, will give an extra GPA point. Moreover, AP classes are very use- 3. SAT and ACT Scores ful because if you pass the AP exam with a score of 3 or better, many colleges accept the course as college SAT/ACT scores are as important as your GPA! The only credit. So not only do you save money, but you also save difference is that this test determines your overall skills time! and education with only one test, while your GPA has been developing over the years. But, there is no need to panic! The SAT can be taken three times! The best score you receive out of the three will be counted. But, some students feel that they can do better and the test is not right for them. Therefore, I recommend taking the SAT and ACT during your junior year to see which test suits you better. Then, you can study for that specific one because colleges only require an SAT or an ACT score. The SAT focuses on critical reading, math, and writing 34 | Zealousness Magazine Fall 2015

skills, while the ACT focuses more on science and math. in college readiness and college success — including the It is your choice! SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools (TheCollegeBoard, n.d). What you can do with College Board: Make a college plan Find Colleges Explore Majors Explore careers Get application advice Get help paying for college 4. Extracurricular Activities There are many resources at your school and community waiting to be found. The College Board is just one of Extracurricular activities help your college application them. Find and make use of them! Your dream school is by giving it an extra boost. They can range from volun- waiting. teering at a hospital to being the president of a club. Extracurricular activities show leadership, teamwork, and independence. Moreover, colleges love to see students who help their community and school. Although, it is great to particiDo not stress, pate in an extracurricular activity for a just learn and succeed! prolonged period of time, it is never too late to start. Virtual opportunities are available as well if transportation is an issue. References: Currently, I am an 11th grade high school student. I still College Search- University of California: Los Angeles-UCLA. have a year of hard work left before I send my ap- (n.d). Retrieved October 18, 2014, from The College Board. plications. But, my every week consists of calculating my https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-university-search/uniGPA and planning out what other extracurricular activi- versity-of-california-los-angeles http://www.faithmarietta.com/faithkorean/wp-content/upties to take on. Quickly, everything gets confusing be- loads/2013/03/computer-classes.jpg cause it can definitely be too much on my plate, yet it http://www.stjacademy.org/uploaded/photos/Beyond_The_Acadfeels like it is not enough. I am trying my best to balance emy/AP_Logo.JPG?1271272332314 out everything, but there is one tool that has been very https://www.sonoma.edu/advising/gpa/gpa.gif http://cardinaledu.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/sat-vs-act-2.jpg useful to me and that is the COLLEGE BOARD! The College Board is a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services

http://www.prepbeijing.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/extracurricular1.jpg College Search- University of California: Los Angeles-UCLA. (n.d). Retrieved October 18, 2014, from The College Board. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-university-search/university-of-california-los-angeles

Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 35

A News To Rejoice: “Unemployment”

nightmare of the

graduates coming to an end”

By Nupur Srivastava, Ph.D “I have completed my graduation and have been awarded with a prestigious degree. Yay!!!!! This is the time for celebration.” Overflowing with joy and pride, 25 years old Robert, with dream in his eyes, was excited being tagged as “graduate” in 2012. He believed, being an exemplary among her peers, nothing would stop him from working with big companies, he dreamt for the last 10-12 years. But he didn’t know that the bleak job market would not let him to fulfill his long cherished dreams. Like Robert, there are many recent graduates, who wonder if a college degree was worth all the effort and expense. This happens mostly when they start their careers amid recession or after. Reasons of not getting jobs for a “graduate”


over 300%. In the past year alone, aggregate student debt grew 10%. According to Bloomberg News, college tuition fees have increased a whopping 1,120% since records began in 1978, far outpacing the rate of inflation. The number of students who went into debt to get a bachelor’s degree has risen from 45% in 1993 to 94% in 2012. A 52% percent of college graduates strongly or somewhat agree student loan debt is hindering their career choices, which in turn, delaying them in their career progression 36 | Zealousness Magazine Fall 2015 The first and most important is the economic crisis and unpromising job market. Across the country, about two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loans. Figures released by the Federal Reserve of New York showed that aggregate student loans nationwide have continued to rise. At the end of 2003, American students and graduates owed just $253 billion in aggregate debt; by the end of 2013, American students’ debt had ballooned to a total of $1.08 trillion, an increase of

and further employment. Around 68 percent of 2012 graduates left school with more than just a diploma, (even though they could be qualified as “graduate” and have the requisite skills for getting into good jobs) because they can’t afford repaying the rising educational debt. According to the findings by Pew Research Center, college majors matter in making you professionally successful. Depending on the subject major the prospects of getting jobs is higher. Some subjects would lead you in landing better opportunities. Other than college degree, one should develop their “soft skills” (such as communication, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration) or internships or volunteer in respective field of work. Fetching great grades

in colleges is about acquiring knowledge, but making use of the knowledge in the dynamic work place outshines you from the group. A survey by the Workforce Solutions Group at St. Louis Community College found that new graduates are failing to impress employers, not because they lack the requisite qualifications or training but because they don’t have good enough interpersonal skills to integrate effectively into the office environment. Instead of spending money and time after degree programs, and college tuition support, it’s time to invest in occupational programs that result in jobs. We should reframe the approach towards education: skill training, not more degrees. The studies published by Natasha Clark, reveals a different approach towards getting jobs during/after graduation, the students are no longer concerned about their grades, but are mainly concentrating on developing their skills according to the present job market demands.

6% underemployed. A full 60% of those who were working received an Hopelessness and fear of hourly wage, averaging just $10.23 unemployment among the per hour. Although the unemployment graduates rate for those with a bachelor’s The bachelor’s degree seems to degree or higher declined in 2013, be declining in value, especially many recent college graduates are because of its commonality in the still struggling to find their desired face of an increasingly competitive jobs. job market and a declining economic environment. According to the “Earnings and unemployement reates College Board, it takes the average by educational attainment” data on college student who began college education categories reflect only the at age 18 until age 33 to repay highest level of education attained. his or her bachelor’s degree debt. They do not take into account Labor Department has reported completion of training programs that college tuition and fees have in the form of apprenticeships and increased by 184 percent during other on-the-job training, which the past 20 years, while salaries may also influence earnings and for college graduates have only unemployment rates. . Considering increased by nine percent during the latest employment report lists that time. However, compared to about 10.5 million are officially the earnings made by the students unemployed. Using U.S. Department with a high school diploma and of Labor data, Center for College no degree in 2012, the four year Affordability (CCA) says the overcollege degree students, aged 25 educated workforce included more to 32, have made nearly $17,500 than 323,000 waiters and waitresses more than those with lower level or with university degrees, as well as no degree. A 2012 Johns Hopkins more than 115,000 janitors, more survey of 450 recent graduates than 83,000 bartenders and 80,000 found that only 50% were employed truck drivers. full time, while 26% were working part time, 6% were unemployed and

An optimistic outlook for graduates in the near future

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said after the Fed meeting that “meaningful” progress in the jobs market led to the Fed’s decision “I think we have been aggressive to try and keep the economy growing, and we are seeing progress in the labor market,” Bernanke said. Millions of Americans have been out of work for unusually long periods of time. Many others have been forced to settle for low-wage positions, including millions of college graduates who aren’t Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 37

utilizing their skills and degrees. The decision made is 2014 may be the year the job market sees real improvement. According to a new survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) , college graduates this spring (2014) should have an easier time finding a job than last year’s class.

getting a job then.” The companies/ employers who participated in the survey showed a great interest in hiring the graduates who are involved more into business, accounting or computer sciences disciplines. Every simple thing in our world, including “Education” has both pros

Every simple thing in our world, including “Education” has both pros and cons with it “It shows some employer optimism in the job market,” said Dan Black, president of NACE and the Americas director of recruiting at EY (formerly Ernst & Young). The early outlook for the class of 2015 looks promising, according to the survey. Approximately 43 percent of employers say they expect to hire more 2015 grads during their fall 2014 recruiting season than they did in fall 2013. “Ninety-percent of recruiting happens in the fall season of a college student’s last year,” explained NACE’s President. “Graduates should really focus on

and cons with it completely depends on your decision as how you make your life lucrative. In the end I would like to conclude with “It’s always better to become a better you and me today, than yesterday. Aspire to develop and expand your skills along with acquiring knowledge and degree.” A powerful statement by The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics “The more you learn, the more you earn—and the less likely you are to be unemployed.”

38 | Zealousness Magazine Fall 2015

References: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/ opinion/dana-summers/os-studentloans-20120517,0,174931.photo http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/is-acollege-degree-still-worth-it http://college-education.procon.org/#proand-con-arguments http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/ current_issues/ci20-1.pdf h t t p : / / w w w. p e w r e s e a r c h . o r g / f a c t tank/2014/02/11/6-key-findings-aboutgoing-to-college/ http://graphicsweb.wsj.com/documents/ NILF1111/#term a link for best college majors for a breakthrough career h t t p : / / w w w. d a i l y m a i l . c o . u k / n e w s / article-2501702/The-REAL-reasonnew-college-grads-job-They-dont-goodinterpersonal-skills-say-bosses.html Read the interviews, http://www. theguardian.com/education/2014/feb/17/ first-class-degree-less-important-for-job. For more information on training, see: h t t p : / / w w w. b l s . g o v / e m p / e p _ t a b l e _ education_summary.htm and http://www. bls.gov/emp/ep_table_education_by_train. html. http://naceweb.com/about-us/press/newcollege-grad-hiring-increases.aspx

Are today’s children less creative? By Swathi Thiruppathi


oday’s children are intricately linked children are so intricately linked to their technological gadgets that they are often condemned for being less creative and imaginative than the kids from previous generations. It has been shown that creativity has indeed diminished among American children. Kyung Hee Kim, a creative researcher at the College of William and Mary, asserted that children have become less able to generate novel ideas and expand on them, less jocose and less imaginative (Rettner, 2011).

However, she also professed that creativity is an inborn ability of humans. Hence rather than saying “creativity has been lost” in an absolute sense, it is more apposite to say that the milieu which cultivates creativity has transmuted over time.

utilized in today’s educational institutions: The current system allows only one correct answer, curbing “out-of-box” thinking among children. The latter is buttressed by a Torrance test that evaluates a component of creativity known as “divergent thinking”. It has been Factors suppressing creativity revealed that the Torrance results are antithetic to the respondents’ today SAT scores: As a child’s scores from the Torrance test decreased, his/her Educational system SAT scores improved (Rettner, 2011). The rudimentary factor stifling This suggests that better exam scores creativity is the testing method need not necessarily be equated

Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 39

with enhanced creativity as one can simply “parrot” existing ideas and not generate new and novel ones. So should we relax today’s grading system to allow for multiple answers? Such a change would impose a new conundrum for tutors in terms of grading tests. What is right for one (child) need not be true for others (peer students/tutors). If the answer was so simple as to allow numerous solutions, we would have made that change decades earlier. At this point, one might wonder if there is no other alternative to nurture creativity. Hence, the need to transcend the problem to the next level becomes pertinent. Although the expedient choices we made in creating our education system snuffed creativity, we also paved the way to a new channel to be creative: the digital media space. A study revealed that today’s children are more imaginative in their playtime (Rettner, 2011). Moreover, our education system has also created a divide such that “non-conformist” students would not be accepted into the institution. Their creative personas does not amalgamate into the school system and hence they are branded as “under achievers” and might sometimes be contrived to be “drop outs”.

Changing the already established system (educational system) is improbable. Nevertheless, it is within our power to transmute our homeenvironments to instill ingenuity among children. We can bring them outside to interact with other children so that they can “exchange” their ideas and play together. While, our children are indeed creative in using their digital media, they are also becoming more reticent that they are unaware of their surroundings as they are glued to their devices. Hence there is no means to “communicate” their creative “thoughts”- it is just between them and their gadgets. By bringing them to a park or other places where they are given an opportunity to interact with others their age, their “creative thoughts” are exchanged. With that exchange, they receive their recognition, thus creating a positive atmosphere suitable for creativity. For instance, child A might have found an interesting way to clear a stage

Age While the above mentioned factor is a man-made factor, the other is purely natural: age. As we age, our creativity declines as we comprehend what is politically “right/wrong”. Thus, creativity should be extoled in childhood as it might ignite something ground-breaking in future.

Creativity in the digital space 40 | Zealousness Magazine Fall 2015

in a mobile game. He/she would be bestowed with a stage –park/ social places where he meets other children- to get himself recognized for his achievement in clearing the game. In conclusion, an environment conducive to creativity is one that allows communication and recognition, which are basic components in developing a positive atmosphere So, what are your thoughts about creativity in the modern era?

References: Rettner, R. (2011, August 11). Are Today’s Youth Less Creative & Imaginative? Retrieved Jan 1, 2015, from Live Science: http://www.livescience.com/15535children-creative.html Image courtesy: www.medicaldaily.com www.edutopia.org www.pixabay.com

Higher-Education Roadblock:

The high price of college tuition and can you By Christina Wells

control it?

Fact #1: For the 2010-2011 school year, the average price for one year of college tuition (including books and expenses) was approximately $22,261 for a public four-year university. Fact #2: For that same year, the median family income in the Untied States was $51,144. The cost of achieving a higher education is out of hand. More and more students, including me, have steered away from going to or finishing college due to the high cost of tuition and books. Graduates commonly refer to their diploma as not much more than the most expensive piece of paper they own, and there could be truth behind that for some. According to the Washington Post, in 2010 only 62% of those who achieved their bachelor’s degree actually worked in a career that required said degree, and only 27% of that same group obtained a job that correlated with their college major.3 These numbers are staggering, considering the cost of that piece of paper. What can you do about it? What is our government doing about it? What is our government doing about it? Not a lot, unless you meet a certain criteria. For example, in the case of a single working woman with what the government considers a well-paying job, there are basically no avenues of financial aid except to acquire student loan debt. Student loan debt is a crisis in America. According to Forbes, in 2012 student loan debt reached $1 trillion in the United States alone.4 If you weren’t set up for a college savings plan as a child, and your grades in high school were less than desirable, you are essentially stuck with student loan debt as your only option if you want to attain a higher education. This is all-too-common in America today. How terribly sad it is to think about the financial worry many college graduates face on graduation day, and that it may overshadow the sheer joy and pride that accompanies all the hard work it takes to achieve such a success.

Many factors contribute to the status of the economic condition for Americans today: the unemployment rate and lack of available jobs, low minimum wage, high tax rates, and an economy still recovering from a recession. This could have you asking, “How can I alleviate the high cost of tuition for myself?”

Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 41

Are you still in high school? If you are, or even just about to embark on your high school adventure, you’re in luck. There are countless efforts you can (and must) make. 1. Listen to the advisors who tell you to focus on your grades in high school. Albeit cliché, if you are studious and actually do well in high school, this can lighten the college tuition burden by way of scholarships and grants. Dedication and hard work will go a long way for you.

Plan your college education roadmap early, and be smart about it. 2. Seek aid as early as you can. Apply for any and all scholarships and grants you qualify for. Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) well in advance, and the earlier the better; this will put your name out there for federal aid you may be eligible for. Do your research and investigate alternative ways to help pay for tuition. WOW Education Rewards, created by iN Education Inc., a ground breaking nonprofit organization, rewards students nationally in preK through 12th grades for their educational efforts.5 3. Plan your college education roadmap early, and be smart about it. Seek advice from your high school counselors and teachers, and take dual-credit classes when you can. Going to your local community college for your basic courses will ensure the scholarships and aid you are awarded go much further. Are you going back to college? If you are moving in the same direction I have chosen and are going back to school to obtain your bachelor’s degree after years of dormancy, there are still avenues to assist with college tuition pains. • Does your employer offer tuition reimbursement? Oftentimes, larger companies will offer this relief if your degree aligns with the company’s line of business. • Do you have children or qualify for governmental aid based on other criteria? The government provides certain aid if you are a single parent, recently laid-off, or if your yearly income is less than a 42 | Zealousness Magazine Fall 2015

certain amount. • Did you know? All out-of-pocket tuition fees paid, plus the amount you spent on books, are tax deductible. Just save all your receipts for tax filing time. • Do your research on student loans. Submit your FAFSA form early, and weigh all your options before making a decision. The FAFSA application is quick and easy, and can be done online in about 30 minutes. • Finish as many courses as possible at your local community college, where tuition is considerably cheaper and credits can be transferrable (visit with an advisor to ensure you enroll in courses that do transfer). In closing. Don’t let college tuition get you down or prevent you from achieving your bachelor’s degree. No matter what phase of your college career you are in, take the necessary steps to dwindle your college tuition costs. Research is key, and can mean the difference in the amount of debt you take with you at graduation. Don’t let your college diploma be the most expensive piece of paper you own, but rather an avenue to help you achieve your career dreams. References: http://www.statisticbrain.com/average-cost-of-collegetuition/ http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/acsbr11-02.pdf http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/ wp/2013/05/20/only-27-percent-of-college-gradshave-a-job-related-to-their-major/ h t t p : / / w w w. f o r b e s . c o m / s i t e s / s h e r y l n a n c e nash/2012/03/22/student-loan-debt-1-trillion-andcounting/ www.ineducationonline.org

Hip-Hop and academic success By Ameera Khawaja


usic has played a big role in opening peoples’ strengthen their academic ability thereby building up minds, and hip-hop has played an even bigger their confidence and self-esteem. role in peoples’ lives. Whether it’s the lyr-ics, the artith today’s technological resources, it is easiist, the video or even the beat, it’s always been in a er to bring people together and really league of it’s own. Hip-Hop Scholars is proving exactly the boundaries of education in that — celebrating the ac-complishments of hip-hop as p u s h schools all over the world. Hip-Hop a culture, and exploring the academic value in the music. Scholars was established to help students use these resources to enhance their comhe teachers at Hip-Hop Scholmunication skills, aptitude, and the ardor to excel in ars use hip-hop music as a life. Pamela Mitchell has been both an educator and resource to promote criticoach to the kids of Hip-Hop Scholars, and believes cal thinking, diversification schools should allow “device friendly classrooms.” As the and also examine its culturyouth spends more time using the Internet and being onal significance. “We teach line, it makes sense to have classes take place over softthe youth to use everything ware applications like Skype, Google and other portals. around them as re-source, esKids can be in the comfort of their homes, log in and pecially music” says Founder get tutoring sessions from an excep-tionally qualified Pamela Mitchell. With hip-hop teacher, which one parent says is “extremely effective gurus like Dr Dre, Notorious B.I.G since children love using technology and constantly use and Jay-Z to look up to, students a r e computers.” excited about the study group and the



annual competition that Hip-Hop Scholars holds. Instructors help the youth in better understanding tech-nology and culture and the relation the two have in today’s media. By connecting academics and the ingenious culture of hip-hop, students are provided skills that are then utilized in classrooms. “The way to learn is through fun activities,” says Ms Mitchell, and HipHop Scholars is offer-ing just that through their 21st century methods. “Hip-Hop Scholars is an American and is encouraging students to be and creative in school” adds Ms. ell. The aim is to improve students’


amela Mitchell’s ambition towards education and the youth started early in her life when she was conducting youth workshops for the Freestyle Union in Washington DC. Fusing her passion for music and the media brought about the first draft for “Media and Me” in 2003, a model Hip-Hop Scholars is using even today. Along with starting Hip-Hop Scholars, she also started a supplemental private tutoring business called In-Class Solutions, which focuses on common core academic sup-port and virtual enrichment.

sport s m a r t Mitchskills and

I’m there to prove that you can be socially challenged and still receive a great education,” explains Ms. Mitchell. Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 43

Students don’t partici-pate in class enough as they feel their friends might deride them, but Hip-Hop Scholars encourages researching, studying and presenting information, and most importantly, making it fun. Hip-Hop is a world wide cultural movement, which can be misinterpreted and distorted by some people. Students are therefore encouraged to study the culture, present how they perceive it and analyze what it means to them. By researching their favorite hip-hop artists, students are also gaining knowledge on black history in America. “We have a responsibility to insure our youth know this history,” says Ms Mitchell, as people only associate negativity with hip-hop. Students not only explore the past, political groups are quick to blame rap music for viopresent and future of hip-hop, but also explore the lyr- lence amongst youth, but Hip-Hop Scholars is changing ics, videos and what the artist is repre-senting. This leads that. to a better understanding of life, encouraging students to make decisions and better judgments of their own, all ip-Hop Scholars also holds competitions every year while promoting critical thinking. called “The Hip-Hop Scholars Competition,” that


How Hip-Hop Scholars is encouraging students to study

A Recent example of how hip-hop can influence and be a sign of positivity is in Kendrick Lamar’s song ‘Alright’. The video shows the state of everything and what people are going through in the world. It also shows how one man can spread optimism through the chaos and let everyone know that everything’s going to be “alright.”


he students aren’t taught anything they don’t already know — the mentors and tutors at Hip-Hop Scholars are reinforcing the concepts that they learn at school. For example, the approach to interpret a video or lyrics comes from subjects like literature, or a humanities class. Strengthening what the students have already learnt in school is also promoting the best practices by the school and students. The students use what they study in school, by exploring their minds and talents, which gives them the ability to seek what they are good at. Controversy has always surrounded hip-hop and rap music from the hype of West-East Coast rivalry to glorifying drugs, violence and misogyny. Media and 44 | Zealousness Magazine Fall 2015

brings students together from all over the country to Washington DC. Students are provided the content and subject outline, and it is the students’ job to study the data with their coach so that they may be prepared for the competition, as the winner takes home the grand prize. This competition not only tests the students’ skills, but also addresses their need for academic guidance, through tu-toring, teaching and test taking. “This is the opportunity for students to showcase their art and education,” Ms. Mitchell says. For many kids the competition is the motivating factor, as it lets them show everyone what they’ve got. As Snoop Dogg explains many a time to people, “Hip-Hop is what makes the world go around.” Everyone can participate and com-pete in the competition, all the while encouraging students to “study and win” with the first place winner taking home the trophy and grand prize. Students are required to conduct themselves according to the “The New Swag” doctrine, which has been redefined as academic success, abstaining from unlawful things, taking a positive initiative, and over all leading a healthy and positive life style. HipHop Scholars encourages this doc-trine to be followed and the person who follows it the most, is awarded at

the end of the year.

fication, and examined the significance of the culture to the community. As Ms. Mitchell asserts, “one thing I feel The success of Hip-Hop Scholars can be seen in is very important is to put creativity back in education.” the numbers, not only has there been an increase in attendance, but there has also been academic ims. Mitchell acknowledges that without the help of provement in schools that have participated. In 2010, her team, partnerships with organizers, teachers the Howard University Department of Adolescence Be- and schools, she wouldn’t have succeeded in her goal. havioral Studies sent a student to research the Hip-Hop Students aren’t the only ones who can take part; the Scholars. The student Felicia Gangloff-Bailey saw the adults often have the information the youth needs, which results supported her hypotheses — students were mo- is why Hip-Hop Scholars appeals to everyone in the tivated through interest in hip-hop, and studied more community. Building a plat-form for schools and organiso that they would succeed academically. Her findings zations, Hip-Hop Scholars helps motivate students, and proved that the strategy used by Hip-Hop Scholars was is looking forward to popping up in over 300 classrooms working and was beneficial for the pro-motion of learn- next year. ing and success. As mentioned before, the program did promote critical thinking; it helped in welcoming diversi-


Learn more about Hip-Hop Scholars http://www.hhscompetitions.info/

Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 45

How to Create a Love of Math Early in Your Child By Madeline Salazar


he mere mention of common math terms like long division or inverse operations can send chills down the spines of many adults today, despite the fact that their math class days are far behind them. Children too, may fall victim to thinking that success with their math is limited, if their first exposures to the subject are negative ones. It is no secret that the world of mathematics is often perceived as the most difficult core subject, with its confusing jargon and relentlessly long equations. However, if children receive proper nurturing early to help support their endeavors in mathematics, they will soon realize that the world of math can be exciting and even fun. By following a few steps, children can easily be primed for developing an early love for the subject.

meaning through their experiences. A recent study has linked “math talk” in the home to mathematical gains in school and asserts that children will benefit greatly from the support they receive at home. To encourage “math talk” at home, allow children to help in simple household chores that can mimic the problems they will encounter in school. Discuss the different measurements of dry and wet ingredients in cooking or baking and always ask questions along the way to check for comprehension. Have the little ones take charge in doing the laundry by matching socks together or at the grocery store by meeting your budget for older students. Additionally, there

Do not limit math to just homework! Mathematics is everywhere, whether it is in the totaling of a receipt at the grocery store, mixing ingredients for a recipe, or dividing up the finished product amongst family members. The sooner the children realize that math is not limited to the problems printed on their worksheets, the sooner their comprehension of mathematical concepts will improve overall since they are able to create their own 46 | Zealousness Magazine Fall 2015

are many toys that help support mathematics comprehension. Geoboards, Tangrams, Cuisenaire rods, and Pattern blocks are all wonderful options available on Amazon that will help spice up your child’s playroom.

Surround your child with children at their math level A study of Latino American children found that children who were in childcare centers or early development programs had a higher level of math literacy than children who were at home care. If a parent is not able to stay at home with a child, exposing

your child to peers similar to their development level will encourage math literacy as they engage in activities where they can teach one another through play. The guidance of a teacher in early development programs can also greatly benefit a child, regardless of age. Teachers in childcare centers and similar programs must have a certain number of training hours from mandatory classes, with the number of hours varying by state. At the classes, teachers are instructed on how to encourage mathematical comprehension early, as well as other core subjects. A meeting with a center’s director or child’s teacher can help enlighten a parent as to what their child is learning and how best the parent may help to support such knowledge.

Eliminate math anxiety with computers Many young elementary students have already had previous negative experiences with math and may tense up or freeze when exposed to math drills or questions. Evidence from South Africa found that the use of “brain-computer interfaces” could alleviate math anxiety for some children. To mimic the comfort given through the sophisticated “BCIs”, encourage your child to play math games on devices like computers or tablets. While this time should absolutely not replace authentic math exercises in the home or proper school instruction, the confidence gained by children as they excel in their math games could positively impact any anxiety they may have over their homework. For younger children, there are many electronic math toys that will prompt the child

with math problems in a fun and following such steps improve low-pressure manner, which can also math performance, but it will also be found at Amazon. strengthen the bond between the child and the parent as they work as Make sure children get great a unit towards better math literacy overall. rest! While sleep may seem like a given, many children and families are guilty of having less than regular sleeping hours and routines. A study recently found that sleep efficiency was associated with math and language grades. To help children with their quality of sleep, ensure that they are following a routine bedtime schedule and that their rooms are free of distractions that interrupt sleep, like tablets, computers, or televisions. With an emphasis placed on the quality of sleep instead of the duration, children will be able to tackle difficult problems in class with a better focus level. The subject of math can easily become a favorite of any child if they are primed to receive their lessons properly and if they have been exposed to similar concepts from an early age. Not only will

References 1) Erin Bumgarner, Jeanne BrooksGunn, The associatiown between early care arrangements, quality, and emergent bilingual Latino American children’s math and literacy skills in English, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Volume 30, Part A, 1st Quarter 2015, Pages 32-44, ISSN 0885-2006, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j. ecresq.2014.08.002. 2) Silas Formunyuy Verkijika, Lizette De Wet, Using a brain-computer interface (BCI) in reducing math anxiety: Evidence from South Africa, Computers & Education, Volume 81, February 2015, Pages 113122, ISSN 0360-1315, http://dx.doi. org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.10.002. 3) Reut Gruber, Gail Somerville, Paul Enros, Soukaina Paquin, Myra Kestler, Elizabeth Gillies-Poitras, Sleep efficiency (but not sleep duration) of healthy schoolage children is associated with grades in math and languages, Sleep Medicine, Volume 15, Issue 12, December 2014, Pages 1517-1525, ISSN 1389-9457, http:// dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2014.08.009. pic : www.betterfetter.com

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Students who play sports at college, what do they actually accomplish? Are they able to facilitate their skills after graduation if they don’t go pro? By Swathi Thiruppathi


e always look at the inherent value of something and forget the value-added benefits we reap off it. The latter not only applies to physical things but also for any activity we engage ourselves with. Playing sports at college is not simply about whether you can go pro and make a career out of it. It is also about the other salutary lessons/ skills we pick off from playing the sport: Healthy lifestyle, team work, goal setting, time manageability, an appreciation for diversity, enhanced learning, leadership

opportunity, exposure, reduced stress and identity/character building. Nevertheless, there have been vilifications that college sport detracts students from academics and overworks the players. It has also been cen-sured of putting immense competitive pressure on the players. To negate the latter opprobrium, different levels of competitiveness have been introduced in college athletics: intercollegiate/varsity sports and intramural sports. Varsity sports are played between col-

leges while intramural sports are played between teams from the same college. Intramural sports provide an opportunity for students who are unable to make it into the varsity teams or who are not com-fortable with the intensity and pressure inherent in varsity level competitions to compete, have fun and stay fit (Playing Sports in College: Your Options, n.d). In my opinion, certain level of competitive-ness is necessary to enhance learning and to aid in the development of a resilient character. However, despite the criticisms, let us not forget the “value-added� skills/lessons picked up by playing sports in college and how those skills aid our students even after graduation.

Healthy lifestyle TThe US is plagued with obesity problem that it can be considered as a nationwide epidemic (McGrath, n.d). The American College Health Association unveiled that the percentage of overweight and obese college students has increased from 27.4% in 2006 to 29.2% in 2011 (Carter, 2013). In 48 | Zealousness Magazine Fall 2015

an independent study, 1/3rd of the surveyed students were found to be sedentary with lesser than 30 minutes of physical exercise per day (LiveScience, 2007). Physical inactivity engenders metabolic syndrome - which constitutes of 5 factors: “abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high blood fatty acids and low levels of good cholesterol (HDL)” (LiveScience, 2007). Metabolic syndrome in turn escalates the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes (LiveScience, 2007). Thus to promote a healthi-er lifestyle, sports can be seen as an alternative. Ms Mcgrath asserted that people would be more im-pelled to exercise when they are participating in an “organized program” like sports rather than follow-ing an immutable personal

fitness agenda (McGrath, n.d). Regardless of whether one goes on to become a professional player,engagement in sports can be uti-lized even after graduation to keep oneself fit.

are essential employability skills. A study as-sessing the graduate employability ranked teamwork and adaptability and flexibility among the quali-ties sought out by employers to hire someone. (Lees, 2002). Ergo, playing sports helps students to learn the soft skills that Team work assist them in their job hunt after Playing sports edifies about graduation. teamwork because all players have to get along with one another to Enhanced learning achieve a common shared goal. They also have to work together as a team Physical activity invigorates a to draft out strategies for winning person and begets ameliorated the game. Furthermore, if one player concentration levels, attention spans digressed from the strategy, another and classroom behavior (How Does has to compen-sate by adapting Physical Activity Affect Academic swiftly to the changed circumstances. Performance?, n.d). In spite of that, The soft skills learnt by playing a it still has been condemned for game – team-work, adaptability to siphoning student’s time away from situations and drafting strategies- their academics. However, intramu-

Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 49

ral sports organizations in colleges are pliable and allow breaks for students from their sports practice nearing exam periods (McGrath, n.d). Furthermore, I believe most (if not all) colleges envision their graduates to be salubrious and excel in both their academics as well as in their other extracurricular activities. It is irrefutable that sports practice takes up more time than other clubs/ societies since col-leges make huge investments on their varsity sports team. The heavy investment on sports might be because college sports (E.g.: college football) have become its own enclave and serves as an emblem for colleges. In some circumstances, it is not the sports that is deviating the students’ attention off studies but the students’ personal interest. Some students develop a lopsided-interest to sports and neglect their academics. Nevertheless, it is teaching the one crucial thing for the students when they enter the cor-porate world: Time-manageability. Time manageability is also one of the qualities coveted by employ-ers (Lees, 2002). Sometimes certain jobs that we detest doing might pop up in our workplace and time still has to be allotted to complete the task. For instance, I have heard friends who cavil that they hate doing paper-work although it is one subcomponent of their job. I feel sports create a quandary for students to di-vide their time between sports and academics. Likewise, in an office, one has to juggle multiple tasks within a timeframe.

Leadership and ownership

Sports allow each player to take the initiative to lead the game. Yes, there is the captain to head the team. However, it is not only the captain who learns about leadership and takes ownership in the game. I believe that each player – not just the captain- is equally significant for the success of the game and develops a sense of pride and ownership in their game and thus, in the process learns about leadership themselves. The sense of pride and ownership nurtures the players to develop the initiative to perform/suggest certain strategies. Extrapolating the aforementioned abilities to the workforce would mean that the graduate has the maturity to take initiative on his job and is more likely succeed in the corporate world. National Longitudinal Survey of the youth revealed that men in their early 30s, who participated in highschool/college sports, were paid 31% more remuneration than those who didn’t (Psychological and Social Benefits of Playing True Sport, n.d). Albeit, the study results can be manifesto of other ex-ternal factors, I believe that one of the reasons is due to the competitive advantage that playing sports had provided for those achievers. Furthermore, initiative is also one of the desirable qualities that an employer seeks from an employee (Lees, 2002).

Exposure, socialization, communication Participating in intramural/varsity sports at college exposes students to many competitions and im-parts interaction with competing teams as well as their own team members. The social interaction in-volved

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while playing the sport involves different races and personalities (Psychological and Social Ben-efits of Playing True Sport, n.d). Thus, players learn about dependability & reliability. They not only de-pend and rely on their team mates, but they also evolve to be a dependable and reliable person themselves. In amalgamation, they also learn to better communicate with their teammates. Corporate environment is homologous to sports- it also has myriad personalities and races interacting together. Henceforth, qualities like dependability, reliability, socialization skills and communication skills would assist the students to adapt well into the working environment.

Reduced stress In college, it is common for students to be inundated with their curriculum. Thus, sports can be used as an outlet to elude from being stressed. Some contend that playing sports could ease stress and aid a student academically (McGrath, n.d). Nonetheless, the competitive pressure and the bellicose quality existent in the nature of sport itself might cause stress, trepidation and belligerent behavior in some players (Psychological and Social Benefits of Playing True Sport, n.d). In my opinion, it is all comes down to an individual and how he copes with pressure. A sport is one way to train an individual to better cope with pressure. However, if playing sports itself is giving mental strain to some, they might opt for other better guides or approaches. One approach would be to participate in leisure sports and not competitive

sports - varsity/intramural sports. After graduation, if a player does not go pro, he can still play the sport for leisure with his friends. Thus, he can perform better at work without succumbing to pressure from work. Coping with pressure is also among the qualities an employer seeks out in an employee (Lees, 2002).

Identity/character development College-age students are still developing their identity (McGrath, n.d). They yearn to be part of a group and sports satisfy their feelings (McGrath, n.d). Furthermore, researchers disclosed that organi-zational activity like sports “release hormone oxytocin, which helps in teambonding” (McGrath, n.d). Some recreational sports, having little pressure associated with it, help in the development of positive character like self-control and positive image (McGrath, n.d). However, sometimes the aggressive nature of some sports – which involves immense competitive pressure and “win-at all-cost” attitude - might encourage players to become pugnacious and violent (McGrath, n.d). To counter the latter phe-nomena, intramural sports can be taken up by students who can’t handle the varsity level competi-tion. Sports have also been accused for the cause of other negative behaviors among its players: alco-hol abuse, substance abuse, delinquency and so on. However, I believe sports are not to blame. There are also other external stimuli that affects how one develops – austere coaches, environment, urban settings, peer pressure (Psychological and Social Benefits of Playing True Sport, n.d). Nevertheless, Sport involvement is also consonant with other extracurricular activities and community involvement. It also revitalizes an individual’s confidence levels.

outdoor activity and participating in vigorous physical activity. In recapitulation, the skills that employers desire is given below in order of rank. As it can be seen, most of the soft skills that can be cultivated through sports are enumerated on the list (Lees, 2002). References: Carter, S. (2013, Aug 20). College students’ weighty choices, lack of healthy habits, bring obesity to forefront. Retrieved June 3, 2014, from KentWired.com: http://www.kentwired.com/latest_ updates/article_44ea6710-84c6-5f29-a58c-ccd098666373.html How Does Physical Activity Affect Academic Performance? (n.d). Retrieved Jun 3, 2014, from Spark: http://www.sparkpe. org/blog/how-physical-activity-affects-academic-performance/ Lees, D. D. (2002, Oct). Graduate Employability - Literature Review. Retrieved Jun 4, 2014, from Quality Research International: http://qualityresearchinternational.com/esecttools/ esectpubs/leeslitreview.pdf LiveScience. (2007, May 14). College Students: Hip, fly ... and Fat. Retrieved Jun 3, 2014, from NBC News: http://www. nbcnews.com/id/18659047/ns/health-livescience/t/collegestudents-hip-fly-fat/#.U46XQ_k7u-0 McGrath, J. (n.d). What are the pros of playing intramural sports? Retrieved June 3, 2014, from HowStuffWorks: http:// entertainment.howstuffworks.com/what-are-the-pros-of-playingintramural-sports1.htm Playing Sports in College: Your Options. (n.d). Retrieved June 3, 2014, from Big Futute: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/findcolleges/campus-life/playing-sports-in-college-your-options Psychological and Social Benefits of Playing True Sport. (n.d). Retrieved Jun 3, 2014, from True Sport: http://truesport. org/resources/publications/reports/psychological-and-socialbenefits-of-playing-true-sport/

Conclusion Having all of the aforementioned qualities through sports participation is quintessential. It is not nec-essary that all players in the sport demonstrate all the qualities mentioned. This is due to the fact that there are also other external factors dictating how one develops (like the environment and peer pres-sure). In the end, it all trickles down to personal interest, passion and motivation towards a certain sport. Some are just not inclined toward Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 51

High Cost of NOT Earning That College Degree By Patricia Henderson


ollege tuition: that strange and frightening world of financial aid, Pell grants, subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Do you qualify for assistance? Do your parents earn enough to help assist you? At the end of the day, all of the talk about achieving a higher education, and the cost to do so, rings like ten thousand alarm bells going off in your head. Inevitably you find yourself asking “is it worth it?” For most people the answer is yes. However, there is a group of adamant “no way, Jose, am I going to college” high schoolers. They make the choice right out of high school; They enjoy and love the new found freedoms that come with working and being an adult. The thought of college may enter their minds, but it’s quickly erased, expunged for years while they pursue the rigors of a nine-to-five life. The thought will return, and it will once again become a real-life question: Should I go for it? Going to college in your thirties, or older, comes with its own set of challenges, some of which are still financial. Theresa Cardamone is one such person. At fifty-five she joined the ranks of other freshman students attending their first year of college.

She made the decision when finally, after decades of work, she was no longer a strong candidate for any position specifically because of her lack of a college degree: I’d been business manager/outreach coordinator for a prominent children’s theatre, developed and managed a world-class Arabian horse farm, been heavily endorsed as a candidate for the Seattle School Board, lobbied the Washington State legislature on education issues, and ridden across the USA on the Bicentennial Wagon Train. I could drive a semi, clean a stall and/or entertain a sitting President of the United States. But only one year ago, I could not secure a minimum wage job. I was being screened out because I had no degree. I It’s a bitter reality to one day wake up and no longer be a vital asset for any company. To experience this in the middle of your life is even harder. Ms. Cardamone succeeded in college, and was paid handsomely with several scholarships to continue her education. The job security she now has, along with the income potential, could have been hers all

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along. You have to wonder; how would she be positioned, financially, if she had come to this realization in her twenties. It is, without question, a financial burden to go to college. But, it is a burden that pays dividends to those who wish to pursue it. Studies show that college graduates can expect their income to increase respective of the degree they earn. Having only a high school degree, people can generally expect their income to decrease, or as in the case of Ms. Cardamone, to flatten over time. There are some people who believe college is not the only avenue to a better income potential. In an article published on Businessweek. com, Tony Brummel makes the argument in favor of forgoing that college degree: “Being successful in business is absolutely not contingent on having a bachelor’s degree [...] a do-or-die work ethic, passion, unwavering persistence, and vision mean more than anything that can be taught in a classroom.”[1] He would know, as he is a successful business owner and record producer. However, it’s fair to say that a large

majority of people do not desire to be an entrepreneur. They want to be successful, but without the trial-by-fire and fly-by-the-seat-ofyour-pants approach Mr. Brummel espouses. In addition, his argument has one glaring issue. Mr. Brummel further states: “If you have a brand that people care about and loyal, hard-working employees, coupled with a robust network of smart financial advisers [...] and good legal backup, you will excel.”[1] And where do the “financial advisers”

must learn and contend with every day. There is also the new social order of company hierarchy and politics to learn and adjust to. But, none of these things become deeply rooted in who you are as a person. Once your employment ends with a particular company, you shed that skin and prepare to take on another role within another company. It is helpful to be educated, be knowledgeable, understand your history, and be exposed to new ideas -- some of which will enlighten

Obtaining a college education is not a privilege or a right, it is a choice which many of you will face in your life. and “legal backup” come from? Higher institutions of learning. To follow Mr. Brummel’s path of success at some point you will need the support of people who are collegeeducated in their field in order to build and sustain that success. The cost of college is a hurdle you must overcome when planning your academic career. As well it should be, as the investment is substantial. There is another dividend that comes from a college education: it is the rich reward of being educated. The value this brings to your life cannot be understated. Dictionary.com defines “stewardship” as “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” What is this “something” that is entrusted to your care? It is a depth of understanding that comes with knowledge that we are made stewards of. In the adult world of professional careers you’re asked to grasp and understand many things. There are practical applications you

you, some of which you will dismiss. All of this becomes grounded in who you are, in what you value, and what you bring into your life. All of this is the “something” you become a steward of. It is the reward of a good education, and it can’t be measured in dollars and cents. Obtaining a college education is not a privilege or a right, it is a choice which many of you will face in your life. Arguably, to a certain measure, you can succeed without one. Many have shown it is possible. It can’t be overstated enough, that a college education has high costs in money and time. For every argument against pursuing a college education there are tenfold in favor of it. Study after study shows that a college education opens doors, not just financially, but professionally and socially as well. Your fellow students will remain lifelong connections. The bonds forged are strong and deeply rooted, created at a time in your life when you at your most open, are

discovering the world, and yourself. You gain friends, advisors, mentors, and advocates. It can’t be stated enough: a college education offers many rewards. Chief among them is the income potential, which will continue to grow overtime. In addition, a college education will stretch you and cause you to grow in your ideals and in your social circles. It opens doors. It creates lifelong bonds. It gives you access to a wealth of knowledge and appreciation for things which will replenish itself throughout the course of your life. If you’ve ever lived on the other side, looking at life through the lens of only a high school education you will understand all too well why it’s imperative that a person make room in their life for a college education. The experience of being middle aged and training a college graduate who makes more than you is humbling, to say the least. To understand the feeling of watching the road ahead go from a four-lane highway, to a two-lane avenue, to a one-lane stretch can be discouraging. The earlier in your life that you earn a college degree, the better off you will be financially, professionally and socially. It’s a choice, but it’s one everyone must consider. References 1. Business Week: “College Is Worth the Cost” http://www.businessweek.com/ debateroom/archives/2010/03/college_is_ worth_the_cost.html 2. Dictionary.com: http://dictionary. reference.com/browse/stewardship

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Home school Success How Two Young Entrepreneurs are Making their Futures Beautiful By Madeline Salazar


he high level of discipline and persistence required of skilled entrepreneurs is often the deciding factor in the successful or failure of any startup project. Due to this demand, starting a business is not for the faint of heart or for those who view their business ventures as a game. However, two young entrepreneurs are making financial success look like child’s play with their own line of natural skin products. Dejah and JuLonnah Nixon started NuNi products in 2012 as a homeschooling project, and upon seeing how their products positively impacted their friends and family, they decided to market their products nationally. NuNi has now grown from a single lotion to eight different beauty products that use natural ingredients such as pure essential oils.

sisters, it became apparent that the girls’ endeavors have elevated them to a role model status to any young student with a dream.

Through trial and error we created our first lotion, Raspberry Vanilla lotion. MS: Why did you want to create beauty products?

Madeline Salazar: I understand that your business stemmed from a home In a time in which many students schooling project. Could you please NP: We really don’t like call it beauty have trouble planning past high share the care products, it’s more of a skin school graduation, Dejah and care product. And the reason why JuLonnah are prime examples of story behind creating your first we make skin care products is for the the success a valued education product as a result of the project? purpose of keeping everyone’s skin can bring. Additionally, their story healthy, which enhances the beauty illustrates how a nurturing school Nuni Products: After lots of research of your skin. environment, whether at a home or on formulas for lotion and studying not, can expose the vast potential of different natural indigents we MS: What some of your favorite students. After speaking with the two sat down and tried it for our own. ingredients to use and what new 54 | Zealousness Magazine Fall 2015

products can we expect from NuNi in the future?

DeJah’s top priority is accounting.

MS: What obstacles have you faced NP: All the products we use at NuNi with building NuNi so far? are amazing, but we all agree that Shea Butter is superb. NP: NuNi loves obstacles and welcomes them with open arms. MS: Who do you see using your The reason for this is because after beauty products and why? obstacles there is always a reward or a lesson learned. NP: Everyone should use our product because everyone’s skin is important MS: Where do you see NuNi in five and has to be taken care of., Aat years? NuNi we do just that make products that keep your skin healthy. NP: In five years, I see NuNi nationally known and continuously MS: What are each of your roles in expanding. We would even like to NuNi? have our own NuNi Boutique. NP: We hold down all major roles from marketing, to producing and MS: What do your peers think of advertisement, but the main one your success at such a young age? I keep on top of is marketing and NP: Our peers are really supportive

of our business and they inspired us to continue on. ZM: What are your favorite things about being young entrepreneurs? NP: My sister and I both agree that the best part of being an entrepreneur is the freedom. We are free to explore and try new things. MS: What advice would you give to other young people attempting to achieve success like you two? NP: The message we want to give to other young entrepreneurs is that if there a will there is a way. Success comes when you jump at every opportunity.

Learn more about Nuni Products and visit http://nuniproducts.com/ Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 55

Why does ice float on water? By Jessica Sinha


et’s start with density. Density is the amount of mass per unit of volume. When two substances are mixed together, the substance that is denser (or has more mass per unit of volume) will sink. For example, if you throw rocks in water, the rocks will sink. In return, the water rises – this means the rocks displaced the volume of the water. Most substances become denser as they go from a liquid state to a solid state. But water is different. As water becomes colder, it actually becomes less dense. This is because of the hydrogen bonding. A water molecule has two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Each water molecule is attracted to other water molecules by the weak bonds between the positive hydrogens of one molecule and the negative oxygens of another. When temperature drops, these bonds adjust to keep the negatively charged oxygens apart, because as you may know, like charges REPEL (and unlike/opposite charges ATTRACT). When oxygens are held apart, a crystal structure is produced, which we call “ice.” In liquid form, water molecules are floating much closer together; in solid form, or “ice”, they are farther apart. Now, if we put ice and water together, ice floats on water. This is because of the atomic structure of the molecules in ice - the crystal structure that’s produced makes ice less dense than water! Hence, ice floats.


1. Measure out equal amounts of vegetable oil, water, and honey, and pour them into a tall glass. 2. Wait and watch the liquids separate. 3. Now, rank the three in order of lowest to highest density.

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Do we just have to have a degree and “good paid jobs”

OR Do we want to enjoy our work? By Swathi Thiruppatthi


oday studying has become a fuzzy domain, with each of us having our own ulterior motive pursuing it. We are no longer educating ourselves for the sheer joy of learning. Instead we follow a premeditated path, calculating what degree courses we should take in order to secure a high-paying job in future. However, with the latter intention, can we be able to enjoy our work when we get it?

Embrace/reject/love your work Some are lucky to find a job that they love doing, regardless of their field of study. However, many others learn to embrace their work upon graduation or reject it. According to an interview by a Forbes reporter, a dentist she met was eager for retirement although he still had 2-3 decades more for his official retirement (Warrell, 2014). Moreover, a report by Gallup organization suggested that a mere 13% of the people worldwide are satisfied with their jobs and close to 2 million go to work detesting their jobs. So should we choose to study a degree in the field of our interest so as to be satisfied with our jobs in future? However, our choice of study is not only determined by our interest. There are other factors impacting our choice of study: like our economic circum-

stances and our own immaturity on what course to take. Hence, many believe that they can learn to “fall in love” with their future job in an effort to assuage their own internal trepidations. But can we “learn to like” something?

work. A study by The Energy Project unveiled that employees who feel valued are 13 times more likely to stay in the organization and also 67% more engaged/active in their work. The latter suggests that appreciation motivates workers to take pride in their work and also makes the workplace more pleasant for Reasons people hate their jobs them. 1. Their preconceived mindset of When people feel that they are undervalued, they should approach their work Not many jobs show the direct con- their supervisor to address their nection between the nature of the concerns (Warrell, 2014). Neverwork and the impact it has on oth- theless, if one is still unable to find ers. Hence, people find “little to no happiness, he/she might want to find meaning in their work” (Warrell, a different organization that might 2014). However, people have to un- value his/her work better. derstand that every job has its own sublime value and should view their 3. Lack of opportunities to leverjob in a more positive light instead age on their strengths of with rancor. Our attitude changes Sometimes employees feel that their everything. Like Ms. Warrell said in work does not allow them to work her report, “It’s not just what you do with their strengths. Moreover, the that makes a difference, but how long hours of doing the work that you do it.” By taking pride in our they feel they are unapt for might work, we can make the workplace leave them desiccated at the end of the day. Ms. Warrell suggests that more tolerable for us. people should try to find creative solutions to do those activities—that 2. Lack of appreciation We expect recognition to motivate they do best and which they enjoy us to perform better. When we fail to doing—sporadically over the day/ receive such acknowledgement from week (Warrell, 2014). Nevertheour higher management—which is less, if you find that your efforts common in today’s workplace due to are in vain with opening up a new the enormity of each organization— opportunity to progress into “more we become nonchalant towards our rewarding work,” try sourcing for Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 57

a new role—either within the company or outside it thing? Should we take a particular course of study (Warrell, 2014). You could also pull out to pursue a in hope of learning to like it? I believe not. While completely different path like studying. the aforementioned reasons are found in all jobs, the emotional turmoil is much greater if it is a career 4. Being washed out at work field you hate. To perform better at work, one should have time to Sometimes, as students, we are unaware of what recharge both physically and mentally. Research by course to choose due to the many options available. The Energy Project revealed that people who do not This is where networking comes in. By talking to take a break during the day/get off from work after working adults and professors, a student would be hours are unable to sustain their performance levels able to gain a clearer view of the different career as those who do. Similarly, managers who encourage paths to help determine his interest. their teams to get off work at reasonable times/allow regular breaks for their team members have a better References performing team than those who don’t. Thus, have a Warrell, M. (2014, July 16). Unhappy At Work? Either break once in a while! Change What You Do Or Change How You Do It. Retrieved Conclusion With the top reasons for hating work identified, we are back to square 1: can we “learn to like” some-

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Dec 10, 2014, from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/margiewarrell/2014/07/16/unhappy-at-work-either-change-whatyou-do-or-change-how-you-do-it/

Introducing Chameleon Entertainment by Shweta Roy

Camille M. Francis is the Founder and President of Chameleon Entertainment, LLC. This has been her lifelong goal. She has always aspired to do something bigger than herself by giving back to others. Chameleon Entertainment helps to develop and promote events, which consists mainly of concerts, national conferences, fundraisers, and everyday events to name a few. She is a motivational speaker as well as an identifier of talent and opportunity, with a focus on Youth Educational Programs. Passionate about NonProfit organizations, she enjoys her collaboration with IN Education Inc. and Life Smart Education because both companies strive to empower life of the youth across the country.

didn’t happen overnight. Born and raised in Columbus, OH, young Camille was more allured to music. She had a group of friends with whom she acted in plays, participated in dance performances, and sang in church choirs. As a kid, she took part in event planning while spending her time at Boys & Girls Club. Looking back at her early years, Camille discovered that she was doing a lot of duties as entrepreneurs do without even realizing it. During Camille’s education in college there were times she wanted to give up; the curriculum was difficult and she had to persevere, that’s how she was able to accomplish her associate’s degree at Columbus state.

This quality helps her to keep going in business when she feels there is too much work. Working at Chase for 10+ years was vital because she was able to learn the importance of financial education and banking practices. In working with her current employer Henkel’s and McCoy, she could use her entrepreneurial gift as a vocational instructor teaching computer literacy to adults. She continues to enhance her teaching and speaking skills and always pushes herself to become even better. The feeling inside her to leave a legacy is what inspired her to take action and do something significant and big in this world to help make changes and to inspire, doing simi-

Starting a business came naturally to her and she finds it to be enjoyable. It gives her an opportunity to do business with people across the country. However, Camille’s success Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 59

lar things like she did as a young lady. She is now just doing them on a larger scale. She started to connect with people who do similar things and collaborate; started to read a lot of books, take risks and step out on faith that she could make these dreams come true. She just kept learning, growing, and moving forward to where she is today. She tells herself to turn her inner power on and work on being the best Camille she can be. Embracing the love of continuous education, Camille is currently pursuing her studies in communications at the Ohio State University and balances both her worlds as an entrepreneur and as a student. With a strong motivation and willpower, she has managed to cut out all the barriers to be an entrepreneur. Prioritizing her goals, managing her schedule, thinking outside of the box, Camille - the unstoppable woman, aims to proceed and shine with her company. With the headquarters of Chameleon Entertainment in Columbus, Ohio, she plans to continue to expand her 10-year-old company to multiple states and cities. Starting from branding her Power-ON events as she intends to make her company a big time production & marketing company and take many other companies under her wings. Chameleon Entertainment had organized past events in Georgia, Virginia, and Texas. She gives three dynamic motivational words to follow and motivate our magazine readers:

“Power-on, Change your life and Live your dreams�.

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Education in India By Jessica Sinha


ith a population of about 1.25 billion (2013) and a standing literacy rate of 88% in male youth and 74% in female youth (UNICEF India 2009-2013 Statistics), Indians face competition with each other to succeed. The country is experiencing a growing literacy rate and progressively ambitious standards. In order to obtain successively higher paying jobs, there is a huge focus on excelling in Math and Science from a very young age. This culture focuses greatly on academic excellence in the journey to competing for secure high-paying jobs.

(games), dance, or music, students then travel to separate rooms equipped specifically for those activities. This usually means one set of students share the same curriculum and schedule. All students generally follow a common core curriculum and usually develop fluency in a minimum of two to three languages, usually English, Hindi, and/or their regional language.


he most common curriculum is called CBSE where the standards are set nationally for grades 9 through 12. The Indian government is constitutionally committed ost schools have a uniform policy that allows stu- to providing mandatory free education up to age 14. dents to be identified with the school they attend. The breakdown of the educational classes are primary, The concept of having uniforms encourages uniformity middle, and secondary: among all students in a school setting. From Kindergarten to 12th grade (or “standard” as it is called in InPrimary: Ages 6 to 11 (grades 1-5) dia), students usually carry a backpack that contains their Middle: Ages 11-14 (grades 6-8) textbooks, notebooks, and any stationary needed for the Secondary: Ages 14-16 (grades 9-10) day. These bags can get fairly heavy with the number Higher Secondary: Ages 16-18 (grades 11-12) of books students have to carry, so students are usually grouped in one classroom or a homeroom. Here students Students are strongly encouraged by 9-10th grade to have assigned seating and set their backpacks down by begin thinking about the field of study in their seats to stay in this room as their teachers rotate in which they would like to pursue higher education (colfor subjects like Math, Science, English, or other languag- lege) or vocational fluency. Standard es. For subjects like art, gym exams, similar to the SAT or ACT, are given to students in 10th or 12th grade by the CBSE. While there a plethora of public schools in India, private schools are also present. They are not supported by the government and rely on funding from a trust or individuals owning the institution. Private schools are usually more expensive and are debated to have better quality of education. Sometimes the more affluent subsets of Indians may opt to enroll their children in private institutions. Children of non-resident Indians (NRIs) or Indians that travel much for work or live abroad also have private “international” school options. These schools have students from diverse backgrounds and may allow for better cultural understanding and global integration.


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India’s large population, rich history, and colorful diversity has given leverage to certain levels of discrimination. The concept of affirmative action takes place in the Indian education system under the term “reservations.” In order to equally represent minorities or groups discriminated against, this system reserves a portion of the available seats for underprivileged applicants. This percentage varies somewhat from state to state based on their respective demographic makeup. Every culture has its own take on education and there is a universally understood importance for it. India’s one such country that strongly supports education for social, cultural, and economical growth.

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Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the experiences of the writer, supplemented with some research. It is by no means a complete and comprehensive discussion about the Indian education system. References UNICEF India GNU.org StudyGuideIndia.com Wikipedia: Reservation in India

Practical Ways for parents/ guardians to support their children By Jennifer Hinton


any factors contribute to the educational well-being and success of children as they journey through their primary and secondary education years. Unfortunately, some uncontrollable factors, such as socioeconomics, can make attaining a quality education incredibly difficult. Nonetheless, one of the largest determinants of success is the amount of support the child receives from his parent(s) or guardian(s). According to the National Education Association, parental support produces a wide variety of benefits for children as they grow. Simply put, children with supportive parents, “regardless of family income or background,” tend to retain a greater interest in learning, develop better socially, finish high school and seek out postsecondary education.

survey, a great number (about 53%) of American moms and dads find it difficult to achieve a decent balance between work and family. This of course can affect the level of parental support parents can give in regard to their child’s education. Nonetheless, there are a few simple things parents can do to help support their children:

hindered in the way of being able to tend to their child’s needs. If a parent needs help in some way whether it is financial, mental, or physical, then it is important for them to reach out. There are many government and charitable resources available for these purposes.

Parents must set the example. Children learn more by what they Parents must take care of their own see versus what their parents tell needs first. The instructions for oxygen them to see. If a child sees a love of masks on airplanes instruct parents learning through the attitudes and to place a mask on themselves first actions of her parents, then she is before placing a mask on their child. more likely to appreciate learning In life it should be no different. A herself. parent who is overstressed mentally and/or physically is going to be Set aside time each day specifically

Schools play a significant role as well in cultivating parental support. When parents are provided with opportunities to participate in their child’s learning, in the classrooms for example, and when quality communication is emphasized between educators and the parents, parental involvement can be greatly enhanced. Based on a 2012 Pew Research Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 63

for learning. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, parents and their children could greatly benefit from sitting together and doing something educational. One of the best activities would be reading. Educational success depends greatly on reading and reading comprehension skills.

There are many factors that may be outside of a child’s control when it comes to attaining a quality education. However, if parents take steps like the ones indicated above, those steps could go a long way in promoting the educational and overall well-being of children.

Show an abundance of love and be forgiving. Of course References: it should go without saying, but children who feel loved 1. www.huffingtonpost.com are more likely to maintain a healthy self-esteem that motivates them to persevere in their educational journey. Also, a lot of learning occurs through trial and error. Mistakes are an inevitable part of the learning process. Parents can help their children by approaching mistakes as opportunities to enhance learning, making learning light-hearted and fun.

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My Everyday List Name: __________________ Every morning I wake up and I:

After I get back from school and I:

• • • • • • • • •

• Eat my afternoon snack • Study with my friend • Do my homework • Do my daily chores • Play and relax • ____________________ • ____________________ • ____________________

Wash up Make up my bed Get dressed Have healthy a breakfast Brush my teeth Pack lunch and backpack _____________________ _____________________ _____________________

Before I go to bed I: • Eat my dinner • Find my clothes for next morning • Brush my teeth • Read my favorite story • Write in my journal • ___________________ • ___________________ • ___________________ Fall 2015 Zealousness Magazine | 65

2015 National Educa

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ational Infographics

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