My Quest To Teach

April 21, 2016

What Do You Do Before High School Graduation??

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What Do You Do Before High School Graduation?
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
@wmjackson #MyQuestToTeach

Dynamic scholarship information
at your finger tips.
@prepforcollege (Twitter) #CollegeChat,

These suggestions are to help parents, grandparents
and guardians as graduation for their children
becomes a reality for high school seniors.
Graduation is a great accomplishment and
the end to an educational journey from Day Care
to High School. Before this momentous occasion
parents need to make sure all the i’s are dotted
and t’s crossed to make a smooth closure to a
continuing journey. These are just a few suggestions
from my experiences as a parent and teacher in
elementary education and higher education.

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1. Make sure you obtain the most recent high
school “official” transcript(s) to mail to colleges
or potential employers. Many organizations and
schools require a transcript to see if
academically students are “qualified” to be
eligible. If an “official” one is not ready ask for
an “unofficial” transcript until the “official”
one can be sent.

2. Make sure you have current and up to date
medical and dental records. Even after graduating
from high school students are still dependent
on their parents for certain medical information.
Parents must understand “their” graduate is not
an adult yet, they are still maturing, learning
and growing. There is some information and
documentation only parents can obtain until
children are 21.

3. Make sure there are boundaries and expectations
on behaviors, actions, and even chores in the
home for the soon to be graduates. There should
be mutual understanding on everyone’s duties and
responsibilities and always respect. Stop telling
your child they are “grown” until they are out
of your house.

4. Talk to your child’s teacher(s) about consistent
communication so projects, homework and assignments
are kept current and get completed. Do not take the
words, “I got this,” as being responsible and accountable
by your child. Remember your personal urgency and
priority is not a priority for everyone else if you miss
deadlines and due dates.

5. Make any hair, nail or beauty appointments
months ahead to avoid the rush and chaos.
Have your monies available and get receipts
for all services and jobs.

6. Remind your child of the two institutions that
want their attendance:
Correctional (Prison) and Instructional (Higher
Education) and to make wise decisions.

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7. Check your child’s academic (Cumulative) folder
for items that may delay graduation or entrance
into college, trade school or the military. You
have a right to see their records and ask questions
and if not provided seek an attorney for help as a
last resort.
Check for discipline referrals, changed grades,
teacher notes, etc. All documentation is important.

8. Make sure all deposits and fees are paid in
full before graduation. Check for lost books, needed
forms and other items that should be completed.
Do not trust your child unless they show they
are responsible and then consider the source!!!

9. Know what your child’s GPA is, weighted or
unweighted and if they have all their credits.

10. Make sure your child takes the SAT and the ACT
several times. Many schools only require one, but
better safe than sorry. If your child is attending
and HBCU check about further tests they will
have to take the week before school starts.

11. Check on Bright Futures scholarship information.
This can contribute to monies for school

12. Many HBCU’s accept ACT scores and SAT. Use whichever
gives you a better chance of getting into college
and this may affect monies.

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13. Work on your child’s Marketable skills to
help them network and build their Brand.

14. Set Academic, Professional, Monetary and Career
goals now so your child will have a flexible plan.

15. Have your child volunteer consistently, stay
involved in your community, and church. Volunteer
hours can still help with networking and build
marketable skills to use later.

16. Search online and inquire with local
businesses about summer internships paid and
unpaid. Your time is valuable so unpaid is
important also.

17. Join local business organizations like
Chamber of Commerce to gain
marketable skills and get a jump on career goals.

18. Participate in church events and activities
helps build your resume or CV curriculum vitae.

19. Take college tours over the summer, visiting
schools to make sure you are familiar
with college or even the military.

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20. Social Media entries; post positive content,
pictures, text and video. Your
e-Reputation and e-Personalities tell a story
about you. Social Media content will define you
and may be your first representation of you
to others.

21. Register with LinkedIn to start networking
and connecting. There is an NEW LinkedIn for

22. Continue to research educational options
and inquire even now about Masters and
Doctorial programs.

23. Make sure you and your child understand
what type of diploma they will have. It is
painful to expect a High School Diploma and
receive a Certificate of Attendance,
an ESE Diploma or others.

24. On Social Media unfriend and even block
those that are openly using drugs, weapons
and involved in criminal actions.
You may be “guilty by association” with them.

25. Have a “real” Social Security card, and
Birth Certificate, and if necessary a
Visa to travel abroad.

26. Check with your local police department
to make sure there are no records of
mistaken criminal activity from someone
impersonating you or looks like you.

27. Financial Aid and Scholarship
Information can be found online.
@prepforcollege (Twitter) #CollegeChat,

27. Google and Hashtag yourself to
“see” what is online about yourself to be
prepared for questions.

Be careful with unprotected sex, illegal
drugs and last minute booty calls,
drug binges and other stuff that can
cost you a scholarship or your life.
There are too many young people that
almost “made it” and have died or
been arrested by bad decisions at the
last minute.



September 18, 2015

Mental Health A Celebration of Life for AAMHI

AAMHI African American Mental Health Initiative, Inc.
Hosting a Mental Health Symposium
“Mental Illness Can Mask Who We Are”
is the topic of discussion.
Saturday, September 19th 2015

The symposium is an open dialogue on mental illness by providing
“consistent” education, support, and workshops, featuring individuals,
agencies, counselors, clergy, etc. in the mental health field; as well as
other various initiatives “aimed” at providing culturally diverse solutions
for the individual, their families and/or caregivers!!!

Professional Speakers
Dr. Richmond D. Wynn – PhD, LMHC, NCC
Assistant Professor & Director, Clinical Mental Health Counseling
University of North Florida

Dr. Mia R. Wilson – EdD, LMHC, CAP
Owner – Private Practice
Sankofa Behavioral Health Services –

Ceandar Baker – BA Psycology, MBA Project Management
“The Activist”
CEO & Founder of Inspire for Purpose
CFO & Executive Director of Extended Hands Worldwide Ministries

Anthony Landrum – Montford Point Marine
First Sergeant
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Mary Durham Anderson, Writer
“Generational Curse” – Bipolar

For more details call (904) 479-6741
(904) 899-2614

A light lunch will be served immediately after
this event and networking

We are seeking professional medical agencies that
would like to sign up as a vendor for future meetings

Share this event on Facebook and Twitter
We hope you can make it!

African American Mental Health Initiative (AAMHI)
Mental Health A Celebration of Life for AAMHI


The acronym “AAMHI” contains more than letters that spell out a
need to become excited and aiming high to overcome a challenge.
It represents the desire to educate, empower, encourage and
eradicate the misconceptions of mental illness.

Even though the governmental bodies of this state (Florida) and
nationally have chosen to turn a blind eye to stable funding and
recognizing that mental illness cannot be cured or treated by jail
cells, bus tickets to send those afflicted with challenges to
other communities and even seen on news media where law enforcement
harass and even use violence to intimidate community members that
are suffering from mental illness, it is quite clear that the true
resources and personnel are not funded like they should be to be
proactive and treating those challenged with mental afflictions.

There are day to day challenges that cause stress, aggravation,
agitation, anger, doubt, mental discomfort and even depression,
so professionals that are trained and qualified are needed more
than ever nationally. The media reports of shootings, violence,
criminal activity and suicides are an indication that the brain that
controls the body is in trouble and needs help.

Mental health is vital to perform living functions in day to day
responsibilities associated with family, employment, accomplishing
tasks that may seem mundane, but require their completion to live.

There is not an instruction manual nor a schematic that diagrams
how life should go and no amount of planning can create a mental
utopia of complete calm and lack of stress, life can be and is
at times stressful and even painful. Mental illness is real when
those in the limelight of entertainment from singers, dancers, actors,
and other performers take their lives. This shows that money is not
the cure for total happiness and fame and fortune does not leave
people immune.

To this end it should not be an embarrassment or depressive
nature to not seek assistance in coping and over-coming challenges
that arise in life.  Sometimes there needs to be counseling, a shoulder
to cry on and even the potential for medication. Family support,
responsibility and even accountability  is important in supporting
not condemning or ostracizing family members when they hit mental
bumps in life. “AAMHI” is dedicated to providing a positive platform
for supporting, encouraging, counseling, blessing and guiding those
who are afflicted with mental illness.

A letter from the CEO of “AAMHI”shows that there is a need for the
resources of “AAMHI” in Jacksonville, Florida.

Letter from CEO and President Ann Marlow

Greetings to Everyone!!!

I am sure that most of you have either read or heard of the tragedies
that have occurred over the past year throughout the world; shootings
at major Universities; major retail chains, and most notably the downing
of a plane over the French Alps that claimed the lives of 149 people.
More recently, there have been several shootings in movie theatres, schools,
college campuses and just a few days ago, a news reporter and photographer

Every time I hear of these tragedies, it is a constant reminder there is
still a lot of work to be done to BREAK the SILENCE concerning an illness
that is quickly rising to EPIDEMIC proportions!!!

For this reason, I felt the need to launch “African American Mental Health
Initiative — AAMHI, Inc. (pronounced AIM-HI).
This initiative would focus “specifically” on our local communities in greater
Jacksonville and the surrounding counties.

The “Mission” of AAMHI is to “SOW S.E.E.D.S!”  SEEDS of Support, Education,
Empowerment, Dedication, and Strength to reap a “harvest” on mental HEALTH!!!!
AAMHI’s  “Vision” is to change the way African Americans “think and perceive”
mental illness by providing “consistent” education and support via monthly
symposiums and workshops, featuring individuals, agencies, counselors, clergy,
etc. in the mental health field; as well as other various initiatives “aimed”
at providing culturally diverse solutions for the individual, their families
and/or caregivers!!!

Although we understand that the challenge is great, we are counting on YOU and
would like to leave you with a thought-provoking prayer:

God grant me the serenity to “accept” the things I CANNOT change,
The “courage” to change the things that I CAN,
And the “wisdom” to know the DIFFERENCE.

AAMHI will be hosting a Mental Health Symposium
“Mental Illness Can Mask Who We Are”
on Saturday, September 19th 2015 from 10:00am-12:00pm
Community Rehabilitation Center (CRC)
623 Beechwood
Jacksonville, Fl 32206

Light lunch being served immediately after the event.
The Jacksonville, Florida and surrounding communities are
invited to this free event.

Ann Marlow
African American Mental Health Initiative, Inc.  (AAMHI)
(904) 479-6741

August 29, 2015

African American Parents Empower Your Child with Reading

African American Parents Empower Your Child with Reading
William Jackson, M.Edu – Edward Waters College

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs
to the people who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X

The school year brings new opportunities for academic success and
excellence. Each year provides 180 days of learning that can build a
student each year in preparation for higher education, vocational
school, military service or other educational opportunities.
Public education is a foundation for greater learning and the
development of a child’s mind in critical and higher order thinking.

Having over 25 years of public educational service and higher
educational teaching I have seen the power of education expanding
opportunities for African Americans if there is consistent parental
involvement, the travesty and truth is too many parents are not
encouraging their children in reading and literacy. When are more
African American parents going to grow tired of hearing that African
American children are the lowest readers, struggle with literacy and
have low comprehension skills? There must be a point where parents
grow sick and tired of being at the bottom and creeping up and down.
Education can empower children for dynamic and successful
careers or the lack of education can place a child as unemployable,
under employed or not employable.

There are developing careers that will allow a child to witness the
genetic structure of the human DNA and research cures for cancers
or birth defects, the future ability to travel to Mars and planets beyond,
explore the deepest oceans, live and work in the international space
station, develop cures for illnesses that have killed millions globally,
feed people in desserts and other careers in STEM, STEAM, STREAM
just to name a few.

As I have blogged previously: “the engagement of technology allows
African American children and children of color to expand their intellectual
and creative abilities beyond sports, entertainment and the stereotypical
elements that society deems appropriate for African American children.”
Parents must set the stage to encourage reading and literacy to grow
and strengthen comprehension.

The world has embraced technology to a point that toddlers are attracted
to the shiny screens of tablets and Smartphones. This is an automatic
affinity to the engagement of technology and empowerment that
technology can provide; every opportunity parents should incorporate
reading and comprehension skills. Games are for entertainment, fun and
enjoyment, learning can have an awesome effect if parents would direct
their children to educational sites online instead of foolery.

“My alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the
rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.” Malcolm X
More African American youth, teens and young adults need to
have this philosophy and thirst for knowledge. Parents set the
educational platforms at infancy by reading to their children,
introducing them to books and learning materials.
The critical part of any successful educational endeavor is
the involvement of parents. Critical to valuing education, the
empowerment of learning and the direction of continued
educational success are from parents and their collaboration
with teachers and schools. Technology has opened up a new
period of educational and social evolution. Parents must be
willing to be involved and put their children in situations
of academic and technical growth.
Parents need to understand their part and get involved in
their child’s education. If they do not more cities will close
schools just as in Philadelphia, Chicago and other cities of the
past years.

Many schools closed will be in African American neighborhoods
where parents are not involved, seem to not care about working with
teachers and allow their children’s educational opportunities to
be destroyed. If African Americans are silent about their educational
thirst they will be ignored and moved from sight, allowed to wither
away by intellectual dehydration, a slow death of unemployment,
lack of community re-investments, dying economic opportunities.

The words by Malcolm X ring true even in the 21st century,
“People don’t realize how a man’s (woman’s) whole life can
be changed by one book.” Malcolm X

Encouraging your child to read is not always a game, it needs to
be planned, engaged and active in the home.

Reading Resources
Photo Listing of African American Nonfiction Books

January 29, 2014

Stop Bullying Before It Starts

Stop Bullying Before It Starts

“What if the kid you bullied at school,
grew up, and turned out to be the only
surgeon who could save your life?” Lynette Mather

The Bullying workshop at Northside Church of Christ in Jacksonville, Florida
was an opportunity for this community based church to share important
information on how to prevent bullying before it starts.
The young people in attendance from elementary, middle and high school
understand the seriousness of Bullying, along with Cyberbullying and the
threat of potential suicides related to continuous actions of bullying and
The discussions during the workshop at Northside Church of Christ with
the youth and teens centered an understanding and defining of bullying
so there was a better perception of and identification of bullying and
cyberbullying related actions.
Many youth and teens have their own understanding and definition that
must be modified to include behaviors and actions that make youth think
first about each situation that could be a potential situation of bullying.
Personal responsibility is required and building self esteem is important in
helping youth, teens and young adults see their individual gifts and talents.
The presentation “I Will Survive Bullying” (William Jackson)
workshop shared information from an interactive perspective where
the youth and teens are involved by role playing, creating skits that act
out bullying situations that have to be resolved by non-violence and even
integrating videos to guide further discussion.
The elements of critical thinking and higher order thinking skill sets are
used to get students involved in dialogue that empowers and educates
where it carries outside of the classroom and school, extending to the
community and even in churches.

“Be sure of yourself, don’t let anyone
bully you, be a strong and
independent girl or boy.” Nicole Polizzi

The National Center for Educational Statistics
(NCES) reports data that more bullying and
cyberbullying professional development is needed
for school age children not for educators.
There is more bullying in middle school
(grades 6, 7, and 8) than in
senior high school, cyberbullying for middle grade levels it greater
as youth and teens use more social media platforms and learn how to
integrate the tools of diverse communication.
“Beat Bullying” shows that bullying is not just a problem for minority
children; it is a widespread problem that can affect the culture and
climate of any whole school.
Churches are a conduit to empower youth to prevent bullying through
education, raising personal self esteem, and helping youth to understand
accountability for their behavior and actions. Through ministry, counseling,
peer discussion and other methods churches can play a key role in lowering
The discussion about bullying and cyberbullying must grow and involve
youth and teens, not to be silenced, pushed aside nor ignored. The
ramifications are the dangers of suicide and continued violence.
More needs to done to provide workshops, seminars, lectures and
interactive events to help youth, teens and young adults to prevent
bullying before it starts. Education is the key, but on a level that youth,
teens and young adults can see relevance and apply learned skills to
real life.

“Children should be able to
live a life free from bullying and
and it is time that we all took a stand
against this.” Katherine Jenkins

One of the churches greatest missions
is too save souls and lives, bullying
threatens both through harassment,
lowering self esteem, creating an
environment of fear and mistrust. Foundational and consistant work needs
to be done to prevent bullying not just to treat the results which stretch
from childhood to adulthood. Many adults that have passed their youthful
years are still suffering from the results of harassment, physical punishment,
verbal assaults, emotional turmoil and the lowering of personal self-esteem.

The media reports of attempted suicides, suicides, retaliatory violence and
mental illness from depression, fear, mistrust and other diminutive actions
plague millions of adults that were once youth in our schools and even
The work of prevention is needed to stop the cycle and growing season of
bullying plaguing millions of children.

Bullying is A Choice
Make Sure You Choose Smart
Educating and Empowering
Prevention of Bullying and Cyberbullying

Would you like a Bullying workshop for a school,
youth organization, church or community organization.


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