One Life at a Time

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing my sister-in-law’s play, that she directed, at Lincoln Center.  At the After Party, sitting at our table were David Schwimmer, Chris Rock, Jeff Goldbloom, Bobbie Carnivale, to name a few.  But the most important person of the night was Jessica, our waitress.  She is a Hunter College graduate who just took her LSAT’s to go to law school.   I asked her if she wanted to be a lawyer, and she told me no.  “So, if you could do anything you wanted, what would you want to do.”  “Teach” she said.  So I spent the next few minutes letting her know that despite the difficulty in getting jobs, the hostility toward teachers (in the guise of hostility to the unions) by politicians and many in the media, and the trend toward corporatizing education, that there were few jobs (except maybe nursing) where you could change lives every day. I brought her to Eve, my wife, so she could describe her journey as a high school drop out who got her GED at age 48, then completed college and got her dream job as a teacher in an alternate school in Orange NJ.  Eve is my hero and she is doing God’s work.  I wanted Jessica to see her passion and love for what she was doing.   Just afterward, as I was leaving, I got a text from one of my former wrestlers who needed help with college expenses.  “Peace, Coach White” it started, asking me if I could help him with tuition for county college.  I found Jessica and showed her.  “This is what its all about” I told her, “making connections.”  Jessica, if you read this, comment what you thought and what you’re planning on doing.  I hope I changed one life that night….

Author: Scott White

I am a nationally recognized expert on college admissions, having worked in schools and colleges for 35 years. I have been regularly quoted in major publications including the NY Times, the LA Times, The Boston Globe, the Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly, Time Magazine and others. I am widely published on various aspects of the college admissions process and present at state and national conferences on a variety of college admissions related topics. I have worked in college admissions as well as independent day and boarding schools. The last 25 years I have worked in public schools, 14 as a school counselor and then as a Director of Guidance at elite, suburban public schools including Montclair High School, Westfield High School and Morristown High School. I am now an independent college counselor for SW College Consulting in Montclair. I can be contacted as or 973-919-6798.

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