Monday, January 11, 2010

Leading to Grad School

So I get an email from someone I don't know (a John Bradley) about the NYU Reynolds Fellowship for $50,000 in Social Entrepreneurship. I have been toying with the idea of going to Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU for about 4 years now. And last year went to an information session about the Masters program and the Reynolds Fellowship.

Here I am, at the height of an amazing professional overhaul and I feel pulled to go back to school. Not due to the economy. Not due to any NEED to have NYU on my resume. But strictly because I want to focus my energy on fowarding my vision of being the forerunner for Dream Managers in all public schools.

I want it to be as expected as a guidance counselor or nurse. I want there to be a focus on "manifestation, not regurgitation" (as my girl Risha says). I want to transform the educational landscape with a focus on guiding youth through the process of conception to actualization of any and all dreams, goals, or aspirations.

There has been an unbelievable spike in high school drop out rates in recent years. In big cities all over the country you will find non-profits and programs springing up, geared to change that scary reality. However, I am clear that the minute that sports, visual and performance art, music, debate, yearbook, etc were removed, the youth felt there was no reason to remain in school. Telling young people - in a time where you can be come a Youtube star almost overnight - that going to math class will be a plus in some future life isn't enough to keep them coming back day after day. It is our job, as educators, to keep the imagination alive!

How many people have crayons, and paint, and graph paper, and canvas, and string, and chalk, and fabric, and video editing equipment, and blocks, and rubber bands, and chart paper, and paper clips, and paint brushes, and scissors, and windows, and dirt, and ribbon, and mixing bowls... I can go on and on. I did.

My mom is a child development consultant. So we had a beach closet (with shovels, kites, beach blankets, buckets, and other sandcastle making tools), arts & crafts closet, a game board section in the big hallway closet, and age-based toy/book shelving (i.e. 1-3 yr old age appropriate toys and books were on the bottom shelves, 12+ yr old age appropriate toys and books were on the top shelves). When people ask me how I'm always coming up with new ideas I don't know how to answer that without sounding like an ass. What I want to say every time is: "You aren't awaken from dreams with new ideas? Your conversations with new friends don't drift into the next big idea?!"

I digress... So, I am about to embark on a new 90 Challenge with the Fastgirls Group that is focused on aligning your personal and professional purpose. I realize that I'd love to go back to school and read all there is to read about professional and personal development, the exponential growth of self-help, beliefs around 2012 and the shifting global conciousness, etc. What better way to forward my vision toward what I believe will be my legacy than to go where there is an abundance of resources? NYU.