The student perspective

first_imgAfter five months at Harvard, here I was back at middle school. My mission this time: to inform eighth graders about Harvard and the college admissions process.I walked into a loud classroom of kids and immediately knew this was going to be a long hour. I had really forgotten how much energy middle-school kids have, a pure form of excitement that nothing can extinguish, not even authority.The teacher introduced me and I started to present, reading from a sheet of paper. Within seconds, I knew this was not going to hold their attention. So I started again. And that worked better.By the end of my presentation, the students had made goals they wanted to accomplish in high school, from joining the track team to trying a new activity every year to asking for help in dealing with a crack-addicted father. They went from saying “I just want to drop out of school now” to “I could see myself in college.” It’s amazing, the potential middle-school kids have, if you just meet them where they are and encourage their dreams.Over the January break I worked with the admissions office in an effort to recruit more minority students for Harvard. Although the College tries to recruit a diverse campus community, many underprivileged and minority students simply do not hear about Harvard as an option, or they are discouraged from applying because of misconceptions about the admission process and financial aid program.As a result, many students are convinced that they could not get in and, even if they could, that they could not afford it. Harvard to them is a mystery, an unachievable goal, an impossibility.To help change these perspectives, I went to 13 high schools and two middle schools in the San Francisco Bay area that have large minority populations.Many of the stories I heard throughout my trip were heartbreaking. I learned about abusive brothers, drug-addicted family members, evictions. Understandably, many of these students had given up. College was the last thing they were thinking of.But as I talked more about my experience going through the application process and attending Harvard, their blank faces began to engage. They started to realize there was a way out. And the questions began to change, from “What was your SAT score?” to “What is it like being a minority student on campus?,” from “Did your parents go to Harvard?” to “Do you feel the professors are accessible?” After I explained Harvard’s application process, which takes the whole person into account, and its generous financial aid packages, I could tell that it no longer seemed impossible. I could see hope on their faces.“Wow, I’m not saying I can get in, but I want to try.”“Harvard seems more like a possibility.”“I have new motivation to work hard.”The students’ comments at the end were the highlight of my trip, and made me realize that I was making an impact. Now, several weeks later, I am still getting emails from students asking for advice, saying thank you, and asking questions. I hope next fall when application season rolls around, I can continue to try to be a resource to these students.The undergraduate minority recruitment program is about more than just recruiting students who may feel that selective colleges are not for them; it’s also about continuing to mentor these students.On my visits, I tried to give the advice that I needed in high school. I tried to show the students that there are many paths that could lead them to Harvard, to other selective schools, or in new directions, and that what seemed out of reach could be in their grasp.last_img read more

Credit union profits up 8 percent for 2014

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Keith LeggettThe National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) reported that credit union profits were up 8 percent for 2014 to $8.8 billion.The return on average assets ratio stood at 80 basis points at the end of 2014, up two basis points higher than at the end of 2013. NCUA noted that higher net interest margins, lower operating expenses, and slightly higher non-operating income as a percent of average assets positively contributed to return on average assets. However, lower fee and other income and higher provisions for loan and lease losses as a percent of average assets negatively impacted return on average assets.Outstanding loan balances at federally insured credit unions grew 10.4 percent between the end of 2013 and the end of 2014 reaching $712.3 billion. This was the largest year-over-year percentage increase since the end of 2005. NCUA reported all major loan categories saw an increase.Overall, share and deposit accounts at federally insured credit unions were $951 billion at the end of 2014, compared to $910 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013.As a result of loans growing at a faster pace than shares, the loan-to-share ratio rose to 74.9 percent, the highest level since the end of 2009 continue reading »last_img read more

Why the battle over Dodd-Frank will never end

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Victoria FinkleFive years after its passage, the Dodd-Frank Act remains a political Rorschach test for the banking industry.Depending on who you ask, it is either a landmark law that reined in the biggest banks by heightening capital requirements, requiring stress tests, mandating living wills and giving regulators sweeping new powers, or an economy-crippling overreach that burdened small institutions and won’t prevent the next financial crisis.In the immediate aftermath of such a broad law, such a stark division is relatively common. What’s unusual is the way the divide has persisted five years later, and in many ways even hardened.“Dodd-Frank’s legacy would probably be in the eye of the beholder,” said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chairman of the Banking Committee, in an interview. “To the hard left in our political spectrum, they think Dodd-Frank is a wonderful piece of legislation. But to a lot of us, especially those that have had to pay the price of Dodd-Frank — which is ultimately the consumer — it was no panacea. It’s a nightmare.” continue reading »last_img read more

Pillar secures massive pre-let

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Gold Coast waterfront block fetches $2.2 million

first_img26-28 Karina Cres, Broadbeach Waters. 26-28 Karina Cres, Broadbeach Waters sold for $2.2 million.A DOUBLE block on a Gold Coast canal has sold for $2.2 million.The Broadbeach Waters property at 26-28 Karina Cres is 1556sq m with 23m of water frontage.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North11 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoEach block has own street access.The four-bedroom home features living and dining areas, high ceilings, two master bedrooms while outside there is a pool, tennis court, pontoon and boat ramp.Ray White Broadbeach agents Sam Guo and Julia Kuo negotiated the sale. 26-28 Karina Cres, Broadbeach Waters.last_img read more

Forget pretty, it’s the plain Janes you want in housing: Survey

first_imgComfy homes draw strongest attention. Homes that are a little outdated are the most popular with buyers.The finding comes one in five conveyancers, legal professionals and financial advisers in the survey said property prices had not reached unsustainable levels in the country.GlobalX CEO Peter Maloney said another one in five believed an adjustment was likely in six months, while 14.3 per cent couldn’t see any property bubble bursting for more than two years.“Clearly opinions differed,” he said, with a NSW survey respondent claiming “property in sought after locations will always fetch good prices” with just those on main roads or steep blocks feeling the pinch.“Your property is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it at the time, so many vendors are opting to wait.”A Queensland respondent believed it was not the case that one size fit all.“There might need to be an adjustment of prices – for instance in Sydney – but it is only one market. There are separate and independent markets across a broad range of areas and types of property.” 413 Oxley Road, Sherwood, has old world charm that saw it sell for $733,500.A NEW survey gives fresh hope to the “plain Janes” of the housing market and dashes the illusion that it’s all about looks with buyers.A survey of conveyancers, legal professionals and financial advisers conducted by GlobalX has found that the vast majority of buyers they dealt with were going for homes that were not decked out to the max.The most popular home purchase was “comfortable but a little outdated”, GlobalX respondents said, making up a massive 68 per cent of deals.Just about one in four were brand new homes, the survey found.But buyers were less willing to take on houses that were “projects” requiring major input, fixing up or in some cases complete overhauls, with less than 6 per cent keen on fixer-uppers.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus22 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market22 hours agoHomes don’t have to have all the latest gadgets and gizmos to sell.last_img read more

PFZW boosts engagement with annual statement overhaul

first_imgIn its opinion, the increased engagement was caused by more direct and less informal language.“The wording makes a big difference,” said Peter Borgdorff, the pension fund’s director. “We [will] try to fine-tune this further.”Since 2017, the healthcare scheme has also sent its participants a reminder, in case they had failed to follow up on the initial invitation to view the annual statements. This doubled the response, it said.PFZW also said that the increased interest in the UPOs also could have been caused by the increased number of participants who had indicated that they wanted to switch from paper to digital statements.No more than 130,000 of its 1.1m participants receive the UPO on paper.The pension fund said that its survey had revealed that the new approach had also scored well on its usefulness, clarity and comprehensibility of the pensions statement. Dutch healthcare scheme PFZW has increased member engagement significantly through carefully fine-tuning its digital annual pension statements.The €197bn pension fund – the third-largest in Europe – said it had boosted the percentage of participants actually reading their annual statements to 13% of those aged under 42, compared to just 0.5% in 2015.Of those aged over 55, 45% had read their statement in 2017, against 1.8% two years previously, according to the pension fund.It added that the appreciation of the statements – known as UPOs – had increased after it introduced a summary of the statement, offering participants additional information on a separate page.last_img read more

China releases annual human rights progress report

first_imgChina releases its annual white paper on the country’s human rights progress. Released by the Information Office of the State Council, the report says it wants all citizens to enjoy equal rights and opportunities. Now it says, it’s one step closer to achieving that goal. CCTV’s Tao Yuan reports Amnesty International releases report on global human rights Related UN human rights chief condemns Albino murders Uganda defends its human rights recordlast_img

Captains offer different styles

first_imgGREGORY DIXON/Herald photoCaptains of the UW women’s soccer team, seniors Ann Eshun and Katy Meuer, have contrasting styles. However, they each use their own personal strengths and leadership styles to work together in keeping the Badgers focused and competitive.”They are different kinds of leaders, and I think that is why they are successful as our captains,” junior forward Taylor Walsh said. “Ann is very levelheaded and thinks very objectively, so she voices her opinion in that way. Katy is the kind of leader that leads by example and works very hard day in and day out.”One thing the two do have in common is that they are both Madison natives. As a result, they often use their knowledge of Madison and UW history to help motivate their teammates.”They grew up here, and they know everything about the town,” junior forward Tricia Krombach said. “[Their knowledge] gives us a lot of tradition and pride within our team that we want to keep alive.”Although the team has struggled at times with its consistency, Eshun and Meuer have kept the Badgers moving in the right direction and have impressed head coach Paula Wilkins.”Ann and Katy have been great leaders,” Wilkins said. “Ann is very thoughtful with her leadership and obviously cares a lot. Katy is a little more fiery, and her passion comes out in her play. They have a great balance between the two of them because they are completely different in their styles.”Contributing to Meuer’s strength as a team leader has been her dedication to offseason conditioning. Meuer has the ability to motivate her teammates to keep up with what they need to do even when the team isn’t in season.”Katy, in the summers, has always pushed us to keep working out all summer and keep running,” Walsh said. “It is really important to her, and she is really good at making us all do it.”One of Eshun’s strengths has been her on-field communication with her teammates — especially as a defender. She does an excellent job of positioning the offensive players and making sure they are where they need to be.”Ann has really helped me with everything on the field,” Walsh said. “She has been my defender — when I have been playing up top — since we were 15 or 16 years old. She has always been the one telling me where to go and what to do, and she has helped me in that way.”Off the field, Eshun and Meuer are very close. They have known each other through soccer since they were young and have developed a strong, close relationship over the last four years.”We are roommates, so we are very close,” Eshun said. “We knew each other before college, but we have grown so much closer here. We spend almost every day together. Katy’s friendship is very special to me.”Meuer also notes that Eshun has helped her throughout their four years at Wisconsin, as they have grown closer.”Ann is a great friend and teammate,” Meuer said. “She has been there for me through everything on and off the field. I have a lot of respect for her.”In addition to growing close to each other, Eshun and Meuer have developed strong relationships with the other players on the team and the coaches throughout their time at Wisconsin.”The best part [of being a Badger] is the whole experience and the community,” Meuer said. “I love the players, the coaches, the team and the road trips — everything about it.””[I’m going to miss] the team and the relationships,” Eshun added. “These girls are probably the best friends that I have made.”The duo shared another special moment Sunday afternoon at the McClimon Soccer Complex. It was senior day for Wisconsin and marked the last time the two would play together for the cardinal and white.For Meuer, the loss was disappointing, as the moment made it all too clear that her time as a Badger was drawing to a close.”It is tough to lose the last game at home. I hope the others will learn from it and not have to go through this,” Meuer said. “I am definitely going to miss getting out on the field everyday and playing soccer with these girls.”While the reality of the situation set in for Meuer as the game ended, it was still a hard thing for Eshun to believe and accept.”It is kind of surreal,” Eshun said. “It is hard to believe that this is going to be my last time [playing] here. It doesn’t really feel like it yet. It’s sad, but it has been a great ride.”last_img read more

DreamHack partners with clean energy provider Fortum

first_imgDreamHack has announced its partnership with Fortum for the upcoming CORSAIR DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018 event.Fortum is a clean energy supplier who ‘provide CO2-free electricity to the Nordic market’. Fortum also offers a number of other services, including soil remediation and environmentally friendly construction services. Fortum provides this power from hydropower and nuclear power.Chief Product Officer, DreamHack, Michael Van Driel had this to say: “At DreamHack we are tremendously excited to welcome Fortum as a partner to CORSAIR DreamHack Masters. As electricity is one of the key unseen ingredients in making esports happen, it’s a perfect partnership, at the same time this is a huge step for esports for a non-endemic brand like Fortum to enter the space.”Fredrik Karlsson, Head of Communication, Fortum Sweden, added: “We are super excited to partner up with DreamHack Masters. It feels great to be a part of a sport that relies so definitely on electricity and to know that our product provides the means for this amazing concept. I am confident that DreamHack Masters in Stockholm is going to be a spectacular event.”The partnership is the first of its kind of this magnitude; Fortum is the first power company to invest in the esports industry and it seems like a perfect match. The partnership should be a first step in making esports greener.Esports Insider says: For DreamHack this seems like a perfect fit. In Fortum, you gain a local energy provider but keep the carbon footprint of esports lower. For Fortum, they get to make a big step into an industry that relies on the product they produce, electricity. DreamHack hosts a number of annual events in Sweden, so the move should lead to a much greener DreamHack in the coming years, which might lead other organisers to look to their energy and approach protecting the planet as a serious priority.last_img read more