Today I registered and I and my too college-bound 7-year-old daughter accompanied my son to the ACT Prep University kickoff at the University of Memphis, which is a collaboration amongst the U of M, Shelby County Schools, the Memphis Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Mastery Prep, and the Peer Power Foundation

There was a recital of The Scholar’s Creed:

I am here today because I want to make my future ten times better. I must first master mathematics, reading, writing and speaking skills.

I must always work harder than others.

Life is a competitive sport.

…I want to be somebody, someday!!!

There were varied motivational speakers, including Peer Power’s Keela Jones and Shelby County Schools’ Brian Stockton, who elaborated on the ACT Prep University program and it’s spectacular benefits, including transportation provisions for students requiring it, ACT prep booklets (a total of three, including The Official ACT Prep Guide 2016-2017, and ACT Essentials Math and Science 2016-17 Edition & ACT Essentials English and Reading 2016-17 Edition, which I could not find online), snacks, and “Swag Bags.”

The Swag Bags or customized ACT Prep promotional drawstring book bags, included the ACT prep booklets, a customized ACT Prep University pencil, and an equally impressive ACT Prep University scholar t-shirt.

Parents like me who’ll carry our children to the ACT Prep sessions received parking permits for all seven days of the program. Parking would otherwise be $3.00 per hour or $15.00 per day. Parking during the kick-off event was additionally free.

…There were also raffles and games… Student participants and their parents were issued tickets at the door, red for students and blue for parents. Winning tickets received items like Apple TVs, books, a waffle maker, et cetera.

The event was held in the University Center Ballroom, which was filled to capacity with probably more supporters of the conservative number of participating students. This was likely due in part to the fact that ACT Prep University online sign-up was locked prior to filling of slots.

It was feasible to manually register on the day of the event at the U of M, however, something that likely many were not aware of. My son was apparently the only student from his school to participate, and there were few to no responses when others in the audience were called upon to represent their schools.

It was a bit of a challenge to get my son out of bed on a Saturday morning for something of this nature. His argument was that he spends enough time at school and shouldn’t be made to acquire any additional schooling external of that. My argument was that this was and is an excellent opportunity to learn more about what will be on and to improve his prospective score on the ACT…

Every parent should realize that they play a vital role in their children’s post secondary education. Parents should nudge their children regarding higher education in the same manner that they nudge them during primary and secondary education, and take the lead in terms of making certain that they attend programs like ACT Prep. Parents should ask the necessary questions and complete the applications when necessary, and if they are perhaps more uneasy about this than their children might be. We should all want our children to be successful and take the necessary steps to help them achieve success.

Post the event we were approached by Mr. Brian Stockton, who asked my son to consider attending his own alma mater, Washington D.C.’s Howard University. My response, of course, was only if I and his sister could go with him, at which my son sighed and said “Mom, you’re not following me to whatever college I attend.”

Maybe I am a bit overprotective of my children. Even if I don’t follow my children to their colleges, best believe that I’ll be involved in every component of their education, and while continuing my own.

In summation and conclusion, ACT Prep is an excellent program that is free of cost, while the price tag for this manner of program would otherwise be quite substantial. Though more extensive programs of this sort should exist on all high school campuses, a program of the sort on a college campus makes college feel all the more tangible for its participants…