Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fellowship Opportunity

The Pedro Zamora Public Policy Fellowship

Long before there was The Jersey Shore, The Hills, or The Bad Girls Club, there was The Real World.  MTV's The Real World is said to have opened the doors for every other reality show that picks strangers to live in a house together and capture what happens on tape.

I was glued to Season 3 of the Real World which was filmed in San Fransico. Like many others, I had the pleasure of getting to know and love Pedro Zamora. Pedro won the hearts of his housemates--well most of them, save the unpredictable Puck-- and the world all while fighting for his life.

As a person living with AIDS, Pedro fought tirelessly to educate young people about the disease. Pedro Zamora died on November 11, 1994 at just 22 years old.

AIDS United has created this fellowship opportunity located in Washington, D.C. to honor Pedro's life and his fight. This is a paid opportunity, and anyone over 18 can apply. There is no age maximum.

So if your dream has always been to help put an end to this terrible disease, this may be the opportunity for you. Click the link at the top for more information, or pass it along if you know of someone who would love to apply. KP

Monday, April 25, 2011

Anything Is Possible

There are metaphors for the journey I am on--we are all on-- everywhere. Encouragement can be found when we least expect it.

Anthony Robbins posted a link on Twitter to this video of  Ueli Steck-- a world record speed climber-- climbing a massive mountain. The second the video came on I saw myself. This is not to say that I am now, or ever will be, capable of climbing a mountain!

What I am saying is that in life we face many mountains. With courage, determination, and faith in ourselves we can make it to the top of the mountain no matter how steep or slippery the climb!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The One Page Business Plan

The One Page Business Plan
Jim Horan
The One Page Business Plan Company, 2009. 80pp. 34.95

A lot of people often dream about starting their own business, but do not know where to start. Whether you want to be a self-employed accountant, interior designer, hair stylist, freelance writer, or any number of other things, The One Page Business Plan is a book that can put you on the right track.
Crafting a winning business plan can be daunting. Some people fear tackling what they feel will be a big hurdle.
With just 76 pages, the book takes you step by step through the process of writing a business plan from the vision statement to the action plan. The book uses language that is very easy to understand. It also comes with fill in the blank models that will completely take all of the intimidation out of creating a professional plan.
In addition to the fill in the blanks, the book also comes with a desktop planning cd filled with templates, exercises, budget worksheets and more. This is a useful book that anyone from the new business owner, to someone who has been consulting for years can benefit from. 
Jim Horan, the author of The One Page Business Plan has over 16 years of experience coaching business owners. Now all of his expertise is written in this small, but powerful book.
I personally have worked through this book. It was so much easier than I would have ever imagined assembling a business plan.  Seeing the vision and goals I have for my business in writing really helped give me the confidence to get started.  KP

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Higher Education Bubble

How important is obtaining a college education to you? Do you believe that a college degree is necessary to attain your goals and dreams? If someone were to offer you 100,000 to bypass college and create your own business instead, would you take it?
This is exactly what Peter Theil the co- founder of PayPal is proposing to do. He plans to offer 20 people $100,000 to launch their own business instead of going to college.  In the article “Peter Theil Warns of America’s Higher Education Bubble,” the idea of higher education being overrated is explored.
If you could receive $100,000 to create your own business right away, what kind of business would it be?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Great Place to Start

Going to college for the first time isn’t just for 18-year-olds anymore.  When I finally earned my bachelor’s degree in English I was 31.  A lot has changed since I was 18 and there are so many options available to anyone looking to earn a degree. 
 I started attending college back in 1995, but didn’t finish until 2008. You, however, don’t have to take as long as I did.  I started and stopped attending school a lot of times along the way, for various reasons.   Finally serious about finishing my degree, in 2003 I started attending my local community college, Columbus State.  
Attending a community college is a great way to begin your academic career if you are a non-traditional student.  A non-traditional student usually is over the age of 25 when they begin or go back to college.  Community colleges offer evening, weekend, and online classes where adults can earn an associate degree, career and technical degree, or professional certification in areas such as: early childhood education, real estate, web design, accounting, and much more. This makes it easy for adults who are working full-time jobs to fit school into their schedules, and accomplish career goals.
The cost of attendance at community colleges is much cheaper than 4-year institutions. For example, Columbus State Community College  costs an average of $2,844 for the 2011-2012 school year. While Ohio State University  costs an average of $9,420. If you are interested in earning a bachelor’s degree, by attending a community college for the first two years you will save a lot of money.   After the first two years, you can transfer credits to a four-year school. Just be sure to meet with an academic advisor to find out what courses will transfer.
Going back to school is easier than ever before. It’s time to earn the degree you have always wanted.  What are you waiting for? Contact the community college in your area for more information.

Have you had any good or bad experiences with community colleges? Please share.

A Dream Deferred

A Dream Deferred
By Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Growing up, I was the dreamer of all dreamers.  I was the one who went around teaching my peers how to dream.  My dream of an arts filled future was a spiritual experience.  I never felt closer to God than when I was dreaming, or working towards what I knew to be my destiny.
 I was on the right track.  I went to a high school for the performing arts for half of each school day.  My program of study was Radio and Television production.  In this class I felt as if I could finally breathe, as if all of my dreaming had led me to that point.  At Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center for the first time in my life I felt like an artist at work.  In my class we worked on radio broadcasts, music videos, news broadcasts and short films.  I worked after school as a production assistant for an educational television network. I interned with television and film based companies. I was on my way…and then life happened.
 After graduation I headed straight to New York City (my hometown) expecting producers to take one look at me and see my passion and hire me right on the spot.  I would take any job, but the offers didn’t come as quickly as I thought they would.  At the time I was staying with a relative who suggested that I go back to Ohio and work a “normal” job.
I see this moment when I decided to leave New York City, as one of the biggest mistakes of my life.  Something changed.  After getting back to Ohio, I learned that I was accepted for an internship in NYC, but I didn’t have the money to get back there.  
 I started working regular  9-5 jobs.  First I was a janitor, but that was okay because while I was mopping bathroom floors I would take dance breaks, and work through monologues in the mirror.  I would have full-fledged productions running through my mind.  Then the office jobs came. I begrudgingly worked them.  I tried to hold onto my dreams, like I would a dear friend who was slipping away, but with each let down my dreams got more cloudy until they all but disappeared. 
The ache, however, for fulfillment did not leave me.  It glowed and hummed beneath the surface like a crystal in Superman's house buried beneath mounds of snow. 
Growing up I was very familiar with Langston Hughes’s poem, but I did not understand it until my own dreams were deferred.  I’ve found that dreams really do  "sag like a heavy load," and on many occasions I thought it would explode…  
What were your dreams?  What advice do you have for those of us whose dreams have been deferred? 

It Is Never Too Late

"It’s never too late to be who you might have been”- George Elliott
Welcome to Second Chance. If you are looking for a second chance to fulfill a dream, complete a college degree, earn a GED, start your own business, become who you always knew you could be, or help others along in their journey, then this is the place for you.  Age in our case is nothing but a number. This blog will feature:
-- Inspiring stories about people of all ages turning their lives around. 
-- Tips for going to college at any age.
--Financial aid and scholarship information.
--Information, and resources for taking and passing the GED exam.  
-- Reviews of books and films that speak to the idea of second chances. 
--And so much more!
Here we will share dreams, goals, and victories. Whether you are 16 or 91 this is the place for you.  We recognize that dreams are not only for the young. So here’s to dusting off those old dreams. The ones you have buried in your heart and nearly forgotten about.  Now is the time to dig them up, and let them inspire and motivate you again.
 With faith and hard work anything is possible.  As George Elliott said, “It is never too late to be who you might have been.”  Let’s get started on this journey together.  K.P.