The powers that be will be in San Fran next month talking toys, brilliant ways children play today, and the direction that the toy industry is headed. If you are interested or involved in the toy industry, you will not be disappointed. I personally know Richard and he is such a dynamic force that this first World Congress of Play will be insightful, thought-provoking, and will change your definition of play.
Richard Gottlieb and Charles Albert Proudly Present the First Ever World Congress of Play – a conference that, for the first time, brings all the play industries together (Traditional Toys, Board Games, Video Games, Digital Play, Theme Parks and more) in one place at one time. The historic conference will take place at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco on September 9-11, 2013.
By bringing the diverse play industries together, we will foster new relationships, new ideas and new business so that we may all prosper in a rapidly changing play market. More importantly, we will move our institutions in a new direction that no longer sees each type of play as a separate silo but recognizes that all forms of play compete in the same marketplace for revenue and time.
We look forward to seeing you at the 2013 World Congress of Play!
University of Richmond (Richard Gottlieb)
Stanford University (Charles Albert)
This is a re-blog of a fabulous article I read. Being the progeny of a “halfer” I know the power of saving half of your money. You will definitely pick-up a few tips, even if you just do some of them it will really help! And with out further ado…
I have a confession to make.
When my sons were little, I would steal their birthday checks from friends and relatives.
Instead of taking the boys to the toy store, I cashed the checks and put the money in their college accounts. They never knew what they missed.
When they got older and started baby-sitting and mowing lawns, I confiscated half that money and put it in their 529 accounts.
And when they got part-time jobs in high school, I required them to put half their earnings in their college accounts. It was not negotiable.
That money, combined with scholarships, tax credits and money my husband and I saved through monthly automatic deposit, allowed them to graduate from state universities debt-free.
My boys are in the minority. An estimated two-thirds of the millennial generation is graduating with student loan debt. The average debt of a newly minted grad: $26,000.
Future grads are at risk of even higher debt. On July 1, the rate on subsidized Stafford loans doubled to 6.8 percent. By Friday, Congress was still working on a deal to lower the rate before the fall semester begins.
No matter the outcome, cash-strapped parents need their own plan to avoid their own college debt crisis.
Whether you’re newly pregnant or have a teen, here are a dozen old-fashioned mom-approved ways to beef up the college savings account to keep student loan debt to a minimum.
With our youngest just three years away from college, we’ll be taking our own advice one more time.
• It’s never too early to start saving – even before your baby is born. With exceptions for the crib and car seat, buy secondhand, borrow from friends and welcome those hand-me-downs. Take the money you’ve saved and earmark it for college.
• As soon as the Social Security number arrives, open a 529 college savings account and sign up to make automatic monthly contributions. In North Carolina, you can open an account with as little as $25. The minimum monthly contribution is also $25.
• When birthdays and holidays roll around, ask your loved ones to skip the toy aisle and write a check to your child’s 529 account. Make it easy for them by printing out several contribution forms to keep on hand. Write in the account number. If you get a luke-warm reception, ask for practical gifts such as clothes in specific sizes and a few well-chosen toys and books. Once again, the money you save on necessities can be directed to the college account.
• Once your children are old enough to realize they’re receiving money as gifts, allow them to keep a small portion of the cash and explain where the rest of the money is going. My kids were content with buying a small toy or treat and banking the rest. It was also a great opportunity to start an ongoing family conversation about college and the future.
• By age 11 or 12, most kids start asking about ways to make money and are eager to try their hand at pet-sitting, mowing lawns or baby-sitting. Don’t miss this opportunity to have your kids contribute to their own future. It’s astonishing how much money a 13- or 14-year-old can make and how quickly it can disappear if you don’t require them to save.
Regularly deposit their earnings into their college accounts. Share the statements with them so they can see their money grow.
• Be willing to be different. Despite what your kids might say, they don’t need a phone with a data plan. Use that $30 to $40 a month to put in your child’s college account. The same goes for the travel with sports teams, gym memberships and late-model cars that have become commonplace in the teen years.
• Once your child is 16, it’s time for a part-time job. Working weekends and summers will go a long way toward avoiding student loans. It also looks good on college applications.
• Encourage your child to take Advanced Placement courses in high school. Not only do they beef up the GPA, they can earn your child college credits, which can end up saving thousands of dollars in tuition.
• Talk to your kids early on – before they form a strong allegiance to a particular school – about the costs and benefits of public versus private colleges and universities. If your child has his heart set on a private school, encourage him to choose a public university as a backup choice. Early on we had a Duke fan who ended up a Tar Heel.
• Help your child apply for scholarships. Concentrate on school- and community-based awards. Check to see if your company or your child’s employer sponsors scholarships. Many fast-food chains offer their student workers college scholarships.
If you had a child graduate high school last month or if you have a current college student, there’s still time to save.
• A campus job builds character, teaches time management and helps with the extras. It’s not a good idea to add the price of Friday night pizzas to a student loan tab. My younger son stacked plates in the cafeteria for a year before landing a better job in the library. He hated that cafeteria job, but without it, he wouldn’t have had spending money.
• Ask your child periodically if he’s on track to graduate in four years. Barring illness or emergency, most college students should be able to complete a degree in four years. A fifth year of college dramatically raises the cost of a college degree. Take too long, and students are also charged a tuition penalty. In North Carolina, students pay a 50 percent tuition surcharge after 140 credit hours.
I asked my sons, now 25 and 22, about their debt-free college diplomas the other day.
It’s no surprise that as teenagers, they weren’t always happy to hand over half their pay checks. “Taking away half of my hard-earned money seemed patently unfair,” my 22-year-old said. “College seemed so far off and so foreign,” my oldest told me.
In hindsight, they’re grateful, of course. “It means I’m not entering adult life with a 10,000-pound weight on my back,” the eldest said.
The good news is they’re still talking to me.
Dunn: 919-829-4522 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Today’s guest post is by Monica Matthews of How to Win College Scholarships. Monica’s advice for parents and students is always helpful and timely. Her proven track record of winning scholarships for her own family and her “how-to” approach that helps other parents do the same, makes her an expert in the scholarship search process.
For students, summer vacation usually means sun, beaches, and fun. For parents of the college-bound, however, summer means one step closer to college tuition bills and students loans. There are a number of things students can do to get a jump-start in the college scholarship process during the summer, while at the same time saving time for fun in the sun.
- Volunteer – Helping others is a great way to explore career options, meet mentors, and rack up invaluable community service hours that scholarship providers look for in their applicants.
- Write – Scholarship essays are how judges get to know students on a deeper level. Students can find some early deadline scholarships and practice writing the required essays.
- Work – Having a part-time job is great experience and shows scholarship providers that the student is doing all he or she can to help save for college.
- Make Lists – Students will need lists of letter of recommendation writers, lists of their strengths and leadership skills, and lists of people who can help them in the college and scholarship application process.
- Start Searching – Checking out a few of the big scholarship listing books from the local library is a great way to see what is out there for college scholarships.
- Take a Class – Many community colleges offer summer classes that students can take for credit or just for fun. Either way, taking a class in the summer shows dedication to education and may help narrow down career choices.
- Create a Scholarship Resume – The scholarship resume should include community service details, part-time job experience, ACT/SAT scores, high school GPA, club involvement, leadership positions, and honors/awards won.
- Remember and Record – Any meaningful experiences that a student has had just might be the makings of a great scholarship essay, especially those having to do with overcoming difficult circumstances. Students should take a little time to jot down thoughts and feelings from these experiences and by the end of the summer will have a nice list to use when it comes time to write their essays.
- Organize – Parents and students can begin to find and organize award certificates, community service details (hours worked, contact information, leadership skills used), and any other pertinent piece of information that may be needed for college scholarship applications.
- Sign-up Online – There are tons of great online scholarship search websites that will deliver scholarship details right to a student’s email address. I suggest creating an email account (firstname.lastname@gmail, or something similar) used exclusively for these websites and also for any correspondence that will take place during the college scholarship process. Checking this email address will become vital and both parent and student should have access to the account.
These summer preparation tips are a great way to get students ready for the college scholarship process, no matter what level in school the student will be in the fall. You can find more scholarship tips at http://how2winscholarships.com.
College Highlight: (Monica Matthew’s Alma Mater’s)
California State University-Bakersfield
University of LaVerne
(both college photo’s courtesy of yelp.com)
I was honored to interview Leilani Lim-Villegas who is the Financial Education Coordinator for the Texas Department of Banking (www.dob.texas.gov/dss/fe.htm). Leilani gives talks and meets with people, especially young girls, to empower them to take control of their financial futures. I have followed Leilani on Linkedin and thought that what she had to say needed to be heard by a global audience. And now without further ado…
My name is: Leilani Lim-Villegas
My company is: Texas Department of Banking, a state government agency that watches Texas banks to make sure that they are operating safely and soundly.
My career is: Financial Education Coordinator
What I do everyday is: Help bankers and members of the community learn about making good choices about money like: credit cards, buying a home or car and saving for college and retirement.
Why I decided to become a: I enjoy working and teaching financial education because kids and adults can learn how to better manage their money by becoming savvy spenders and big savers for a better future.
Little girls should do what I do because: By helping and educating families about money, people are more knowledgeable about how to spend their hard-earned dollars. Financial literacy creates better communities, a smarter state and a more successful nation as a whole.
Now down to the important questions-
As a little girl I wanted to be: Dancing Choreographer or a Food Critic on Book Tour
My favorite color is: Red
My favorite food is: Filipino Cuisine, like Pancit (noodles) and Lumpia (eggrolls).
I have the most fun when: I play the piano, traveling and exploring new places and cooking different dishes and desserts from around the world for my family.
What languages do you speak: English, Spanish, Sign Language and Tagalog (Filipino)
Favorite Exercise: Salsa Dance, Zumba, Kickboxing, Yoga, Pilates, Cycling, Free Weights
Favorite Season: Autumn
Best advice for girls:
“No matter what your dreams are when you grow up, it’s not about how much money you make, but about how much money you save. You will be successful if you focus and stay in school. Remember, always think about your community and pay it forward every single chance you get.”
University of Texas
University of Nevada
I was lucky enough to interview author and entrepreneur Felecia Hatcher. She owns the fantastic gourmet popsicle company named Feverish Pops and is the author of C Students Rock. She is a woman you should know!
My company is: Feverish Pops and the author of The C Students Guide to Scholarships-A Creative Guide to finding scholarships when your grades suck and your parents are broke.
My company Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/CStudentsRock
My Twitter handle is: @FeleciaHatcher @Cstudentsrock
My career is: I am an entrepreneur and an author
What I do everyday is: I motivate people to be the rockstars they were born to be! I don’t have a typical day. I own a gourmet popsicle shop, I travel the world speaking about social entrepreneurship, marketing and turing your passion into profit.
Where I went to school: I went to LynnUniversity in Boca RatonFL
Why I decided to become a: I decided to become an entrepreneur because I loved working for myself and being creative. Most of all I love the freedom I have to work with others and work on the project that I am most passionate about. Right now my social mission is getting more kids into entrepreneurship and technology.
Little girls should do what I do because: Little girls should do what I do because they are stronger then they could ever imagine. I am living my dream and each and everyone of you can do the same. Don’t let anyone stand in your way.
Now down to the important questions-
As a little girl I wanted to be a teacher and I am. I travel all around the world speaking at college campuses, high schools, and organizations sharing what I have learned in business and in life.
My favorite color is: Hot Pink
I have a pet, whose name is: No pets
My favorite food is: Peanut Butter and Jelly
I have the most fun when I: Being myself and laughing with friends/family
Great interview about Felecia’s gourmet popsicle business.