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SIP - Unique Summer Research Opportunity Through SkoolMentor

By 9 October, 2019

SIP - Unique Summer Research Opportunity Through SkoolMentor

I was thrilled when I got selected for the 2019 research program at Science Internship Program - SIP (one of the best Research Internship programs for high school students). For me, SIP was a life-changing opportunity. My research internship introduced me to Genomics, the field of computationally accelerating genome sequencing. Its applications, such as identifying what genes are mutated in cancer patients and recommending them the appropriate treatment, helped me understand that genomics has the power to radically alter the medical industry, leading to safer and more effective medicine. Through my work, I was able to understand the significant challenges involved in effective genome sequencing. My work involved using Python to build computer algorithms for a hardware accelerator that can drastically increase the speed and accuracy of genome sequencing. At the end of the program, my fellow intern and I presented our findings to our fellow interns and mentors from across the SIP Program, and UCSC staff. My UCSC SIP internship helped me understand the importance of computer science to our society. It inspired me to continue exploring its many facets during college through captivating classes and innovative research. During the eight-weeks of the SIP internship program, besides working on this fantastic research project, I also got an opportunity to build connections with my fabulous mentors, fellow interns, and many high-schoolers from the area. All SIP mentors were fantastic. They were eager and passionate about exposing the high-school youths to the world of science research by allowing them to contribute to their formal research project, educate them through additional educational seminars and talks or lunchtime chats. The very energetic SIP staff made sure that the interns also have a pleasant time at the beautiful USCS campus by organizing fun activities such as offsite at the beach boardwalk with other fellow interns. Overall, it was an intellectual, informative, fun-filled 8 weeks of my life at the SIP internship. I thank SkoolMentor for introducing me to this excellent Research Opportunity. SkoolMentor's wonderful mentors have provided me guidance throughout my high-school years for SATs, ACTs, high-school course selections, and excellent research opportunities to consider for summer. SkoolMentor lists various research opportunities on their site. I highly recommend students to use SkoolMentor service and also visit the SkoolMentor website & Facebook page for more information on these excellent opportunities!
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SIP Experience through SkoolMentor

By Kanavmittal 22 September, 2019

SIP Experience through SkoolMentor

This past summer, I participated in the Science Internship Program (SIP) at UC Santa Cruz. It was an amazing program where I had the unique opportunity to work in an actual biomolecular engineering research lab setting alongside graduate and undergraduate students. From reading past literature to conducting experiments and helping to write a paper, I gained valuable experience with the research process. My specific project was very computational-based, so there was a pretty steep learning curve while I learned how to use the various programs needed. My mentors, though, guided me through every step of the process and answered all of my questions about the project, both the computational and biological aspects of it. They even spent extra time guiding the other intern and me through lab procedures like gel electrophoresis or PCR just so that we could learn how to do it. Through the eight-week SIP experience, not only did I build connections with my fabulous mentors and fellow intern but also became friends with many high-schoolers from the area. Living in the same dorms, traveling by the same buses, and going to the same exciting activities organized by the awesome SIP staff (like spending an afternoon at the boardwalk) helped me create some wonderful friendships. By the end of the experience, my fellow intern and I had finished our bioinformatics project and shared a brief, professional presentation of our work. SkoolMentor introduced me to the SIP program. Without SkoolMentor’s guidance, I would never have had the chance to experience such an extraordinary program. SkoolMentor often has many other opportunities listed on its webpage or in emails – I highly recommend you check them out! I guarantee that through these opportunities, you will learn a lot and have lots of fun! Image credit: ucsc-sip.org
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10 Things to Remember When Going Away for College

By Aalfo5 3 September, 2019

10 Things to Remember When Going Away for College

1. You have likely heard this time and time again, but these will be some of the best years of your life. Savor the moment. Appreciate every moment and take advantage of every opportunity. 2. Focus on school. Many freshmen can place less emphasis on their studies and more emphasis on a social life during their first year of college. Although a social life is important, freshman year classes tend to be the easiest courses. Take advantage of this and ensure you are putting forth maximum effort to guarantee a high GPA from the beginning. 3. Don’t forget about a social life. On the other hand, although academics are important so is establishing a healthy balance between work and play. Work to find that balance and enjoy your first years of freedom. 4. Don’t overpack. From personal experience, it can be very easy to think you need way more than you actually do. Pack lightly and schedule the majority of items for pick up at your school's local bed bath and beyond or target. If you’re missing anything after, there’s always amazon. 5. Join clubs! Clubs are a great and easy way to make friends who share the same interests as you. Before going on campus, look at the clubs your school offers and find out when they’re having meetings! They usually take place during the first few weeks of school. 6. Beware the dining halls. Living a healthy lifestyle in college can be incredibly challenging, especially when it comes to your food options. Try not to eat those pizza slices or cheeseburgers every day. Freshman 15 is real. Try opting for a salad or sandwich some days instead. 7. Don’t worry about your major. Your freshman year provides a lot of room to try new things, take different courses, and explore different interests. Don’t worry if you’re not entirely sure what you want to do in the future. There are plenty of opportunities to explore different majors or career paths. Just make sure you take advantage of those opportunities. 8. Study Abroad! If study abroad is something you’re interested in doing, start looking into it. Research the programs your school offers and when the best time for you to study abroad would be. For most people, this takes place during junior year. 9. Don’t forget to call your parents. Believe it or not, your parents are back home worrying about you every second you’re gone. Take the time to call them at least once a week and let them know how you’re doing. Let them live vicariously through your amazing college experiences and allow yourself to stay grounded and remember where you came from. 10. Finally, and most importantly, enjoy! These are the best 4 years of your life. Don’t stress the little things and enjoy every moment as much as possible. These 4 years pass by in the blink of an eye and before you know it you’ll be starting your first job. So, take it all in and reach for the stars!
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Self-Care

By Mduong 5 May, 2019

Self-Care

School, regardless of what level you are at, is stressful. Every year, colleges up the ante on what a competitive student looks like and leave us scrambling to find ways to strengthen our applications. But once we’re in college, we’re still scrambling to keep up with the fast pace of classes while finding internships or lab positions to build our resumes. There’s always a push for us to do well and stand out, but at what cost? Mental health is rarely, if not ever, mentioned in school, yet it is a factor in how well we do. It’s important that as we get older and our workload gets more intense that we set aside time to care for ourselves. Self-care doesn’t have to be an elaborate sabbatical. It can be as simple as taking a walk at the park or watching a movie with your friends. Figure out what makes you happy and try to fit that into your everyday, or weekly, life. The point of self-care is that you are doing things that help you de-stress and relax. Built up stress is never healthy, and in today’s demand for competitive applicants for jobs, internships, and schools, it’s important that you are not overwhelmed and get burnt-out. Time management and studying skills are important to hone and bring to college with you, but knowing how to care for your mental health is also crucial in succeeding in college. It’s also crucial in succeeding all aspects of your life. School is important, but so is your mental health.
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Skool Mentor as a Helpful Resource

By Neeraja S 28 February, 2019

Skool Mentor as a Helpful Resource

I first started using Skool Mentor right before ninth grade. I was very nervous about going to my new school, since it was a public school and I had gone to a private school for my entire life. I was worried about finding friends, maintaining good grades, and joining the correct extracurriculars. Luckily, I was able to connect with my mentor, Meghali, during the months before high school. She told me about her high school experience and answered the many questions I had about the social, academic, and extracurricular aspects of high school. She gave me valuable advice on how to manage my time in high school and how to keep my grades up. She also told me what to expect from different classes and clubs I was interested in. Additionally, Meghali also talked to me about how to find my passions and choose the proper extracurriculars based on these passions. Even after I started high school, Skool Mentor still proved to be a valuable resource for me. I was doing a research project in my STEM research class, and I was very confused about some of the more difficult concepts that I needed to learn for the project. Some of the topics in the project required a lot of deep research, which I was unsure how to do. Luckily, Meghali helped me with these topics. She answered many of questions and helped me through the process of choosing a project to do. She gave me useful databases which I then used to find research, and she also gave me important insight about what types of projects were more feasible. Once I had chosen a project, she answered all the random questions I would have about the project. For example, she helped me find out how to measure the strength of an antioxidant, something I was very confused on how to do. Additionally, she never gave me the answers; she simply gave me the resources I needed to figure them out myself. If you are a high school or middle school student, I definitely recommend Skool Mentor for you. It is a very valuable resource, and you can learn a lot about college and high school from it. All your questions about classes, college admissions, and everything else will be answered, and you will also be able to make a personal connection with your mentor. Don't hesitate to ask your mentor any questions that are not related to school, because they will be happy to answer them. Thanks to Skool Mentor, I have the resources I need to succeed, and I can get valuable advice about high school, college admissions process, and college itself.
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SkoolMentor for Transitioning to High School

By Kanavmittal 24 February, 2019

SkoolMentor for Transitioning to High School

I had my first SkoolMentor session when I had just finished eighth grade. I was entering ninth grade at a new school, and since I was in the private school system, not many people from my middle school were attending my high school. I, therefore, was not just a confused rising freshman but instead, I was a doubly confused rising freshman abounding with questions: what classes should I take, what clubs should I join, just overall what should I do? My first SkoolMentor session answered all of these for me. I was able to connect with a mentor who had attended my private high school and had accomplished so much during her high school career. She gave me so much advice on how to succeed in high school, and best of all, her recommendations were personalized to my school. For example, she told me some of the most exciting classes at my school. With her assistance, I went into high school much more informed and eager! Since my first session, I have had more sessions with this mentor and others. As I wrapped up my freshman year of high school, I needed to pick classes for my upcoming sophomore year. Again SkoolMentor helped me create an optimal list of classes – balanced with AP and honors and personalized for me. I also was able to use SkoolMentor for summer programs. Mentors helped me craft my applications for summer programs and in the end, decide which program was the best for me. SkoolMentor made that summer my best ever! SkoolMentor has benefitted me so much as a high school student, so if you are a freshman or sophomore new to the platform, here’s what I would recommend. Start with searching for a mentor. Try to connect with a mentor who has attended the same school as you, if possible, and if not, try to find a mentor who went to a nearby high school or a mentor who has similar interests. Your mentors then will be able to give you more customized advice. Once you have connected with a mentor, be sure to draft some questions you would like to ask your mentor about high school. High school is obviously a tough challenge, and the more informed you are, the easier it will be. This applies especially if you are a freshman transitioning into high school. Some generic questions could be how many honors classes should I take this year? How can I balance my time effectively between clubs, sports, volunteering, etc. and schoolwork? Of course, the answers to these questions depend on the person, but your mentor will discuss them with you to help you figure out the answer. Overall, though SkoolMentor is mainly dedicated to helping high school students with the college process, it also greatly helps students succeed in high school itself. Empowered with the advice of knowledgeable and empathetic mentors, you can not only excel in classes but also in extracurricular activities, all throughout high school! image: Freepik.com
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Creating Your College List

By Clairekiren 26 January, 2019

Creating Your College List

Applying to college was a super exciting time for me, but I know that is not the case for everyone. My biggest piece of advice would be to consider all the factors that a school has to offer and to not only think about college rankings. I absolutely love my school, but I realized that a big thing I never considered was campus life and the clubs and organizations that all the schools had to offer. I would recommend imagining your ideal college experience. Think about what you want to study, if you enjoy meeting new people or having a closer, but smaller group of friends more, if you want a full city experience or more of a tight-knit community, and what kind of academic environment you want to be in as well. If you don’t know what you want to study yet, I would also recommend applying to schools that have a wide variety of your interests. I went into college certain I wanted to become an engineer, but within one month I had changed my major three times, and then fell in love with neuroscience. Here is how I created my college list: The first step I took was narrowing down my interests. I knew I was interested in engineering, computer science and pre-med programs. So, the first thing I did was look up which schools had the best programs in all these fields. I then created a spreadsheet with a long list of all the colleges I thought I may be interested in. I then created columns of other factors that would impact my decisions. I knew I wanted to find a school in a big city that had a closed campus. I did not care as much about class size, but I did not want to go to a super small school. I also made a column for the majors I was interested in. This allowed me to see which schools would allow me to explore and which may have limited me. If a school did not meet enough of these criteria, it got deleted. After narrowing down the list from hundreds of schools to around thirty, I began to consider how these schools were ranked, and their acceptance rates. I googled their average ACT and SAT scores, as well as their average GPAs to see how I compared. This helped me separate some of the schools into reach, target and safety categories. I found around 10 colleges that I absolutely loved and thought I could get into, and after going on college visits, I narrowed my target list down to: Boston College, UCLA, Carnegie Mellon, Northeastern, University of Rochester, Tufts, University of Michigan and UC Berkeley My reach school list included Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Yale. My safety school list included SUNY Stony Brook, UPitt, Tulane, Case Western and Emory. My college visits cemented my belief that Johns Hopkins was the place for me, so I ended up applying early decision. I also applied early action to SUNY stony brook and the University of Michigan. I finally ended up at Johns Hopkins. I had gotten accepted into Stony Brook and deferred from Michigan, and then had to withdraw the rest of my applications.
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Support Network

By Diana.mgarcia 24 January, 2019

Support Network

It's not a surprise that college inevitably comes with stress and doubt. It's the people we surround ourselves with that can really make the difference. College becomes your home away from home so it is important that you have a strong support system, someone to rely on, for the moments of stress. Know that you always can rely on your mentor from Skoolmentor, on tips to relieve stress and dealing with homesickness. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress can come in many forms; playing a sport, joining a club, or even having some personal alone time. Research clubs or organizations that might interest you. Your university might provide organizations tailored for you, specifically if you are first generation etc... Plan Ahead... Beat the Stress!!
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HIGHSCHOOL OPPORTUNITIES

By Diana.mgarcia 9 October, 2018

HIGHSCHOOL OPPORTUNITIES

Most of the top colleges today are looking for students who can demonstrate their passion for learning - just getting great grades is no longer enough. To help High school students and their families, SkoolMentor.com has partnered with organizations and experts to offer unique internship and other learning opportunities for high school students so they can showcase their passion for learning and be able to stand out in college applications. These opportunities also help High school students discover their talents and build confidence. It is very difficult to find such opportunities for High school students because most of them are available only for college students. High school students are advised to start availing any such opportunities as early as their freshman year so they have enough time to delve deeper into the work during the course of their high school career. Here are 2 outstanding opportunities: 1. Civic Leadership (PAID opportunity/flexible timings) Looking for interns who are good computer skills & internet/online research experience in Nov & Dec, around 8 hours a week, 4 hr/day, two days a week either in our partner's San Jose office or off-site at intern's home/library. Tasks are flexible in location & time with a small stipend. Interviews start in November. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in Political Science, Law, Public Policy and any such civic leadership related work. 2. Technology - Blockchain We want to provide an easy to follow walkthrough style of teaching so that students of this class can enter without any prior experience or exposure and come out of the class with a workable understanding of the why and the how of blockchain technology, using the Ethereum blockchain as a platform. We will dig deep into Ethereum and lightly touch on the many alternatives that have surfaced since Ethereum's launch. We will discuss the pros and cons of each so that students have enough information to be able to make their own decisions about blockchain projects they encounter/build in the future. Why Take This Class: 1. Learn about the history of money and governance, in other words, how did our current system get here, and why is / how can blockchain be the next step in the evolution? 2. Learn by working with their hands - students will get guidance in setting up their computers to get used to using existing Decentralized Applications on the web. We will then break down line by line, what the smart contracts involved in these applications are actually doing. 3. Collaboratively complete and deploy some simplified versions of professionally made decentralized applications to expose students to the currently known substantial use cases, and give them the ability the get up and running on their own, should they choose to. 4. Each student will exit the class with a fun final project, where they will code their own smart contracts and launch it to a Testnet. Who Should Take This Class: 1. Anyone with a general curiosity not necessarily just for blockchain but sociology, economics, politics, history, medicine, and technology. 2. Anyone looking to gain some experience to intern at a blockchain company in the future. 3. Anyone not looking to get left behind in the next generation of the internet. Duration 2 hours per week for approx. 3 months (Flexible to some extent based on students’ schedule) Location Online with an expert. Pair programming encouraged - bring a friend! Cost Email support@skoolmentor.com.
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College Fair

By Diana.mgarcia 5 October, 2018

College Fair

Not sure which college is right for you or even which colleges are out there? Ask your college counselor about any upcoming college fairs at your high school or in the district. Explore as many college admission representatives as you can. Think about what makes their campus unique and the resources the college has available for undergraduate students. If you are interested in a specific school ask about their requirements for your intended major? When thinking about which college to choose think about: location, majors available, sports, student clubs, student government etc. Another important thing to consider is the percent of financial award that is awarded? If you take a liking toward a specific school ask if they have any admission workshops in the area or via online? Lastly, if you are seriously considering a college make the time to visit on a regular school day to get a feel of the environment on campus.
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Skoolmentor Benefits

By Jenny Ke 27 July, 2018

Skoolmentor Benefits

Skool Mentor is a very easy to use and straightforward platform that allows high school students to connect with college students. The benefit of using Skoolmentor is that you are able to choose who you wish to chat with and as a result, this increases effectiveness as you are able to tailor the mentoring to your desired field of study and your desired college as well. The mentors on Skoolmentor include a wide range of schools and majors, so you have a lot of great options! From signing up to scheduling sessions with your mentor, the process is very smooth and easy. Communicating with your mentor is a simple process. Skool mentor’s notifications and reminders are helpful in making sure you don’t forget to set an appointment. Setting up a day and time for the session is also easy. Skoolmentor offers helpful resources, such as Mentor and mentee timelines, tracking, guides, and sample questions. The resources that SkoolMentor offers to mentors and mentees greatly assists them and helps them prepare better for the session. SkoolMentor’s mentors have a lot to offer, including advice and their own experiences. As a mentee, you get to learn about their own first-hand experiences with high school, college applications, and also college life, so you get a better understanding of the whole process.
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Working With Dan

By Lisha 2 July, 2018

Working With Dan

I have never really had any access to college resources besides my college counselor at my high school. With SkoolMentor, I was able to finally have my first ever mentor to work with me on my college journey. I'm a rising senior at a small high school with a class size of 90 seniors. The lack of resources and small student population has caused my school to not be able to prepare students for very competitive colleges. For example, only one A.P. course is offered to juniors. At my school, students rarely apply to top-tier colleges and if they do it is even more rare for them to get into these colleges. Because of this, my college counselor doesn't really have much experience with helping students who want to go to a top-tier college, especially in the long run. My SkoolMentor, Dan, was able to work with me. For example, she gave me feedback on my uncompleted college statements, recommended for me to take SAT Subject Tests, and in a way motivated me that I can get a place at these colleges. This was especially important because I was slowly losing hope about going to a top-tier college and was even considering going to state schools or my local community college. So.. thank you Dan for everything, even though you may think you haven't helped me that much!!!
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