Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

‘Adult prom’ to give Olean area residents a chance to relive their youth

ALLEGANY — Husband and wife Alex and Elida Green wish they could have been each other’s prom dates.

Elida, an Archbishop Walsh Academy Class of 2000 graduate, and Alex, a 2004 Portville High School graduate, didn’t meet until years after their respective senior proms.

“He’d always say things like, ‘I wish I knew you in high school. We could have gone to prom together,’” Elida said.

Now the Greens will be two of up to 250 local adults who will get a do-over of prom night in several weeks, as the couple has turned their wedding anniversary into an “adult prom” and fundraiser. The night of food, music, photos and nostalgia is currently set for 7 to 10 p.m. April 14 at the Fourth and Maple Street Complex, the site of the former Allegany High School.

While the theme is “I Love the ’90s” and some attendees plan to wear dresses and tuxedos from that era, the event is open to any high school graduate over the age of 21.

“I have people that are older than my parents that want to come,” Elida Green said.

The event has gotten quite the social media reaction since Elida Green, who lives in Olean, announced it on her personal Facebook page about two weeks ago. The post got more than 80 likes and nearly 30 shares, in addition to the dozens of private messages Elida Green said she’s been bombarded with from those eager to attend.

She printed off 250 non-transferable, $25 tickets last week. Now there’s only 125 left.

Elida admits she wasn’t expecting the event to get such a reaction. She chalks some of it up to nostalgia, and thinks some want to relive their great prom experience or get a second chance to do prom right.

“Some people when they went to high school were loners or outcasts or whatever, or maybe they didn’t have the money to afford to go to prom,” she said.

Around this time last year they were looking for a “fun and funny” celebration for their wedding anniversary, which is St. Patrick’s Day.

That’s when they first came up with the idea to throw an adult prom, which has become a popular event across the country. However, they planned for it to be “very small scale” with just a few close friends.

“Then when we’d talk to our friends about it, they thought it was hilarious,” Elida recalled. “All these people were like, ‘Can we come? Can we come?’ Well, so many people had asked us about it we thought, ‘Well, why don’t we make it even bigger and donate the funds?’”

When they finally got around to planning the adult prom for this year’s anniversary, the couple chose the ReHabilitation Foundation, the fundraising arm of the Olean ReHabilitation Center.

The foundation provided the Greens’ home with a fence and shatterproof windows for their 5-year-old son, who has autism.

“The Rehab Center has been absolutely phenomenal to our son, so we just wanted to give it back one way or another,” said Elida, adding the adult prom is not a ReHabilitation Center event. “Our goal is if it’s a big hit, we’d like to do this annually and just pick a different charity every year.”

The prom will be held in the former Allegany High School’s gymnasium and cafeteria, the latter of which was renovated into a banquet room years ago and will house the food and drinks April 14. Music, from RJ Pauly, will be in the gym. Dinner tables will be themed for different local high schools.

The ticket price includes catered appetizers from Main Street Sweets, soda, water and photos from UpSide Downs Photography. Organizers are still waiting on approval of a liquor license. If the license is approved, the ticket will also include an open bar of beer and wine.

Decorations and planning is being done by Two Ladies and a Party, while the balloon decor and decorations is being handled by Lisa Zlockie of Balloon Lady Designs. The space at the Fourth and Maple Street Complex is being provided by the Allegany Parks and Recreation Department.

Those interested in purchasing a ticket can contact Elida via Facebook or by calling or texting her at 790-0976.

“We want everyone to come and have a good time and enjoy themselves,” she said.

(Contact reporter Tom Dinki at Follow him on Twitter, @tomdinki)

Article source:

Northwell launching LI’s first adult liver transplant program

February 20, 2018

Gets preliminary approval

div {
clear: both;
margin: auto;
#subscribe-small .wide {
border:0px solid
#subscribe-small .narrow {
border:1px solid
@media only screen and (min-width: 769px) {
#subscribe_div {width: 500px;}
#subscribe-large {display: block;}
#subscribe-small {display: none;}

@media only screen and (max-width: 769px) {
#subscribe_div {width: 280px;}
#subscribe-large {display: none;}
#subscribe-small {display: block;}

Digital Mobile Only

1 Year

Digital Mobile Only

1 Year

Enter your user name and password in the fields above to gain access to the subscriber content on this site.

Your subscription includes one set of login credentials for your exclusive use. Security features have been integrated on this site: If someone signs in with your credentials while you are logged in, the site will automatically close your ongoing login and you will lose access at that time.

To inquire about group subscriptions for your organization, contact Joe Owens.

If you feel your login credentials are being used by a second party, contact customer service at 877-615-9536 for assistance in changing your password.

Already a paid subscriber but not registered for online access yet? For instructions on how to get premium web access, click here.

Forgot your password?

liver transplant Northwell Health 1:10 pm Tue, February 20, 2018
Long Island Business News

Article source:

Long Branch shooting: Prosecutor seeks adult trial – Asbury Park Press


During a vigil in West Long Branch, Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider recalls his personal relationships with members of the Kologi family and Mary Schulz who were killed in a New Year’s Eve shooting by a 16-year-old boy.

FREEHOLD – Scott Kologi, the 16-year-old accused in the New Year’s Eve shooting deaths of his father, mother, sister and a family friend, might face trial as an adult. Prosecutors indicated there was an effort underway to have the case moved.

The case “remains under investigation and is pending waiver to adult court,” the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office recently told the Asbury Park Press in an official letter denying access to government records. Scroll to the bottom of this story to see the full letter.

Kologi is currently in family court, which handles juvenile and other matters. A judge there has gagged all lawyers from talking about the case. The Press was denied entry to cover the juvenile hearing, which is normally closed to the public.

Kologi is facing four counts of murder and a weapon charge in the killings of his parents, 42-year-old Steven and 44-year-old Linda Kologi; his 18-year-old sister, Brittany Kologi; and a family friend, 70-year-old Mary Schulz. The Press sought access, under the state’s Open Public Records Act, to the 911 phone calls and police dashcam videos related to the shooting. In her denial letter to the Press, Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer A. Lipp explained that part of the basis for the denial was that the case may move to adult court.

LONG BRANCH SHOOTING: Victims were ‘Best people in the world’

LONG BRANCH SHOOTING: Family, friends in disbelief

“The juvenile is subject to waiver from juvenile court to adult court,” and he might face decades of prison time, Lipp wrote.

“The intense media interest in this case, including numerous written articles and news broadcasts, necessitates that our office take every possible step to ensure that this juvenile receives fair treatment in both Family and Criminal courts and has the benefit of an impartial jury pool,” Lipp wrote.

In addition to being a minor, Kologi is said to be on the autism spectrum, but it is unclear what effect, if any, that would have on a decision to move his case to adult court.

Funding review: how much might it cost and who might gain most …

As another review of higher education funding in England is launched, two questions loom large: how much will the potential reforms cost and who will benefit most from them?

Some early answers to these questions are provided by modelling conducted by the consultancy firm London Economics. It estimates that the current cost to the Treasury of England’s higher education system stands at £8.5 billion per cohort, consisting of £4.5 billion of tuition fee loans that are never repaid, £2.7 billion in maintenance support and £1.3 billion in teaching grants.

Under the existing system, higher education institutions receive £10 billion in fee income and £1.3 billion in teaching grant, which is offset by expenditure of £191 million on bursaries. Average debt on graduation stands at £46,000 but the proportion of student loans that the government does not expect to be repaid (the resource and accounting budgeting, or RAB, charge) stands at 45.1 per cent: average loan repayments are estimated to be £37,700 for men and £16,200 for women.

These figures could change significantly under funding reforms that could be considered by the government review.

Abolish tuition fees: £4.6 billion per cohort, higher-earning graduates benefit most
Assuming that higher education institutions are fully compensated for the loss of £9.8 billion in net tuition fee income, this would cost the Treasury £4.6 billion. This is driven by the reduced volume of loans issued (maintenance loans only) and a subsequent reduction in the RAB charge to 25.7 per cent. The average debt per student on graduation would reduce to £19,200 and total repayments would fall by £20,000 for male graduates and £6,800 for female graduates. Higher-earning university leavers would be most positively impacted. 

Reduce fees to £6,000: £1.2 billion per cohort, only higher-earning graduates benefit
If higher education institutions are not compensated for lost fee income, they would be £3.3 billion worse off. However, the Treasury would recoup £2.4 billion as a result of reduced loan write-offs, with the RAB charge dropping to 40.8 per cent. If universities are compensated in full, the cost of the reform to taxpayers stands at £1.2 billion. Average debt on graduation would fall by £9,600, to £36,600, but total repayments would be unchanged for students in the bottom five deciles by income.

Reintroduce maintenance grants: £360 million per cohort, only higher-earning graduates benefit
The cost of reintroducing maintenance grants at 2015-16 levels is estimated at £1.6 billion, but reduced loan write-offs would save the Treasury £1.3 billion and the RAB charge would fall to 42.7 per cent. This leaves a net cost of £360 million. Average debt on graduation would stand at £39,800, but again total repayments are unchanged for students in the bottom five deciles. Wealthier graduates’ repayments decline, but not by as much as under the £6,000 fees scenario.

Charge loan interest at retail price index: £1.6 billion per cohort, only higher-earning graduates benefit
This would cost the government an additional £962 million in fee loans and £619 million in maintenance loans that would never be repaid. Average debt on graduation would reduce to £43,900 and average repayments would reduce by £6,600 for men and £2,100 for women. However, for men in the bottom four deciles, and women in the bottom eight, total repayments would be unchanged.

Reduce loan repayment period to 25 years: £1.5 billion per cohort, middle- and high-earning graduates benefit most
This would cost the government an additional £904 million in tuition fee loan write-offs and £611 million in maintenance loans, increasing the RAB charge to 53 per cent. Average repayments would decline by approximately £5,300 for men and £4,300 for women, with middle-income male graduates and high-earning females benefiting most.

Increase the loan repayment threshold to £30,000: £2.2 billion per cohort, middle- and high-earning graduates benefit most
Presuming interest rate thresholds would be increased by the same amount, this would increase the RAB charge to 58.7 per cent, with the result that 87 per cent of graduates would never fully repay their loans. Average repayments would fall by £6,400 for men and £6,200 for women. Again, middle-income male graduates and high-earning females gain most.

Article source:

We need to rethink higher education funding

I was the first person in my family to have the chance to go to university.

I know how much it transformed my prospects and, in many ways, my life, so, for me, like so many others, making sure that the system works for the students in it now really matters.

Of course, understanding the higher education funding system that we have in our country is like taking a degree in itself; it’s pretty complicated.

Many people will confess that they don’t really understand how it works; yet the debate over tuition fees and the taxpayer loans that students need to fund them has been one of the most controversial political issues of our time.

Let’s start with how the system currently works. Overwhelmingly, all degrees cost students £9,000 per year in fees, and that fee money is provided up front by the taxpayer and then is owed back to the taxpayer as a loan paid by the student.

Most students also have to have another loan of cash from the taxpayer to fund living costs – that’s called the maintenance loan. It used to be a grant.

Not all students need a loan to pay the fees and living costs. Some families are wealthy enough to simply cover the fees (not many), but many more better-off families understandably help out with living costs for their children at university.

So students from more disadvantaged backgrounds who don’t have parents who can help out with living costs often end up leaving university with more debt than their better-off peers, which isn’t good for equality of opportunity.

The more complicated bit is how students then pay back the money they’ve borrowed from the taxpayer.

The way it works is that graduates have an extra “graduate contribution” that is taken out of their pay to pay off the taxpayer loan, but in order to be affordable they start paying it only when they’re earning above a certain income threshold (£25,000 from April) and then pay 9 per cent of the extra earnings above the threshold.

It’s like an extra surcharge on top of income tax and national insurance and is collected at the same time by HMRC to pay off their taxpayer “loan”. Most graduates won’t pay enough “graduate contribution” over 30 years to pay off their loan. The taxpayer writes off the rest.

And amid the complexity it has meant proper, sustained funding for our world-class universities and real investment in high-quality degree courses, which is why the OECD has praised our system.

Crucially it’s meant that, unlike Scotland, we have been able to remove any cap on student numbers. Now, if you get the grades, you can go to university. That is a huge boost for social mobility, and we’ve seen record numbers of disadvantaged young people now getting to university for the first time.

But that doesn’t mean that our system can’t be improved, and it doesn’t mean that we should just assume that it will continue to deliver more opportunities for more students, for ever. As fees have risen, the level of debt has grown. While the gap has narrowed between the proportion of disadvantaged young people going to university and their better-off peers, it still remains wide.

In announcing a major review of student finance, the government has at least opened up the possibility of looking at what a better approach might be.

Search our database of more than 3,000 global university jobs

Resolving this issue matters if we are to become a country where there is equality of opportunity, and it is far too important to continue to be kicked around like a political football by Westminster parties. Young people deserve better, and universities, often major employers in their local communities, need certainty.

In practice, you can mend the current system, perhaps by reintroducing maintenance grants and tackling punitive interest rates, or make more fundamental changes. For this, ideally there needs to be a broad consensus.

A Higher Education Fund reform

A broader reform could bring real sustainability to higher education financing if the government is prepared to think for the long term. It would involve reworking the parts of the current system that don’t work, but also keeping the sensible elements that do work.

First, maintenance grants should be reintroduced. To remove them was regressive, and this mistake should be rectified.

Under the current maintenance loan approach, students from lower-income families less able to help them with living costs come out with more debt, like for like, than their better-off peers. That’s unfair and cannot be allowed to continue.

Second, the “graduate contribution” should stop paying off a “loan” and instead be paid into a Higher Education Fund (akin to national insurance funding the NHS/pensions).

All graduates should pay for the full time period, not just the lower-earning 70 to 80 per cent. That would mean that fairly, the graduates who earn the most from having a degree would pay the most into the Higher Education Fund. As a higher proportion of adults in the future are likely graduates, Higher Education Fund costs could be spread more thinly across more graduates.

Graduates should fund the higher education system they benefit from, rather than those people who don’t. Most students do feel there is an issue of fairness about this; that their peers who do not go to university should not have to pay for those that do, especially when graduates are likely to do better in future earnings as a result of having a degree. I think that’s right – broadly, those who benefit from university degrees should pay for them.

Employers could also contribute to the Higher Education Fund for degrees that are critical to their organisations, for example, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees. Bursary strategy could fit into the Higher Education Fund. A reform of the apprenticeship levy to become a wider skills levy could be a way to effectively channel extra funding and incentives to plug the skills gap and give employers some of the flexibility that they are asking for in the apprenticeship levy. It would require looking at the levy rate.

The impact of this would be a reformed system with a Higher Education Fund that:

  • is progressive, not regressive: graduate contributions go to a Higher Education Fund, financing current students to get the same opportunities to go to university that graduates have had. This is the exact opposite of the unfair proposal by Labour at the last general election to scrap tuition fees and have university funding paid for by general taxpayers – it was hugely regressive
  • tackles debt aversion: a graduate contribution-based system means no annual interest statement with a loan and interest rate. Potentially more than £100 million annually saved by not having the Student Loan Company calculating, preparing and sending out those annual loan statements
  • means better decisions for young people considering university: Not “are my (extra) future earnings worth taking out this student debt for?” which most won’t pay off anyway – but instead “are my future extra earnings only possible if I have a degree?”

These reforms mean that those graduates from disadvantaged or from better-off backgrounds who want to go into public service or socially valuable but relatively lower paid roles per se, will not do so with an impossible debt hanging over them. Likewise, those who do the best financially from their degree – again, irrespective of background, will contribute the most into the Higher Education Fund to continue to finance a world-class higher education system for current students.

Finally, and optionally, universities could be funded for the actual costs of delivering the course rather than the present flat £9,000 fee. The Higher Education Teaching Grant already bands different degrees on costings, recognising that some, such as STEM degrees, require extra money to cover higher costs. Universities themselves cross-subsidise from lower-cost degrees to higher-cost degrees.The taxpayer has no sight of this.

Instead, doing this at the national level with a banding system (similar to the teaching grant system that already exists for the teaching grant to top up STEM degree costs) would also give taxpayers a better driver for ensuring value for money of the same sort of course at different universities and also in relation to the differing career and earning outcomes for graduates.

The major review into higher education finance is an opportunity to take a fresh look. It should be guided above all by changes that are fair so that those who benefit the most, pay the most, and that help deliver equality of opportunity. After that, value for money and a system that works with the grain of delivering what the UK economy needs are also important.

I hope that those conducting the review take this opportunity.

Justine Greening is the Conservative MP for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields. She was education secretary from July 2016 until January 2018. This piece is taken, with permission, from Ms Greening’s personal blog.

Article source:

A group of Texas lawmakers wants to fix higher education funding …

After lawmakers last year failed to overhaul how the state funds its public colleges and universities, a special committee on Wednesday will begin a new attempt to review the complicated higher education finance system in Texas. 

Complaints have crescendoed about eroding government support for higher education. But at stake in the coming months isn’t how much money Texas pumps into its colleges and universities; it’s whether the state’s method of disbursing nearly $3 billion per year to those schools through formulas and direct appropriations is due for a comprehensive makeover.

“The way we fund higher education in Texas is overdue for a close, detailed look and consideration of substantial changes,” said state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, one of the committee’s co-chairs. 

The Joint Interim Committee on Higher Education Formula Funding was convened out of a compromise at the end of the 2017 legislative session following an unsuccessful bid by Senate leadership to overhaul the higher education finance system entirely. The Senate’s efforts panicked college leaders and were rejected by powerful members of the House, who have generally called for modifications to be made in lieu of wholesale changes.

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Stymied, lawmakers agreed to preserve the current system for the next biennium but directed an interim committee to study it and issue recommendations by April 2018.

The committee is made up of five representatives tapped by Republican House Speaker Joe Straus and five senators appointed by Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, none of whom serve on the upper chamber’s higher education committee. Though the panel has leeway to reshape the system, they’d have to overcome numerous political hurdles — and inertia — to do so. It’s unknown who will take the helm of the House in 2019 — Straus is not running for re-election — and the competing interests of legislators and schools make consensus difficult.

“I’m not sure that overhauling higher education finance is something that can be done with two meetings in February and a report due in April,” said state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, one of the committee members. “However, I am hopeful that a focused discussion of how higher education financing methods have impacted institutional behavior will reveal some insights before next session.”

Special items

There are two main components to the state’s current method of funding higher-education: “special items” earmarked for specific projects and a per-credit allocation disbursed using a formula. 

The “special items” are funds allocated outside the normal formulas to give schools cash infusions to start up new programs or pay for initiatives not always within their academic mission. But state Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin, one of the committee’s co-chairs, said they’d caused “some heartburn for members,” and they’re set to be the focus of a separate hearing later this month.

In the previous biennium, the 362 special items ranged in cost from a $31,500 research initiative at Sul Ross State University to a $61,397,900 allocation for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s School of Medicine. Some schools receive what amounts to a supplement through the “special items” allocation process that they use to hire more professors and staff.

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.

But the “special items” funding stream has drawn ire from lawmakers who say it’s grown too large and is duplicative of the per-student allotment. Critics have also argued that the items are distributed unevenly among universities and that state budget writers usually don’t go back and evaluate whether they should be kept in subsequent budgets. 

“Special items were intended to support research, startup costs and other initiatives, not to remain as never-ending line items in the state budget,” state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, the Senate’s lead budget writer, said last year.

“The sky really is going to fall if you pass this bill.”

— John Sharp , Texas AM University System Chancellor, about a 2017 effort to eliminate special items

Last session, some senators tried to zero out the $1.1 billion in funding meant for “special items,” offering to mitigate the effects of the cut with a $700 million infusion to the per-credit pot. The move agitated university leaders, who protested that “special items” frequently pay for entire programs or medical schools. “The sky really is going to fall if you pass this bill,” Texas AM University System Chancellor John Sharp said at the time.

Some universities argue that money removed from the “special items” stream could not be easily replaced. Even if the items were eliminated and the money were reallocated, it would be diffused into the per-credit stream, critics say. That might mean some important projects designated to receive specific money — like the McDonald Observatory in the University of Texas at Austin budget — might be harmed financially.

Formula funding

The per-credit funding mechanism has critics, too, but is less frequently in lawmakers’ crosshairs. Much of it is calculated using a formula that largely hinges on how many students an institution has and what discipline those students are studying. Data from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board shows engineering students cost more to educate than their liberal arts peers, so the formula gives a greater weight to engineering when calculating how much money universities should be paid.

Schools also receive funding for infrastructure costs through this stream, but under a different formula based on square feet and utility rates.

Detractors argue the formulas aren’t a good proxy for what universities’ costs are and don’t accurately account for part-time or other nontraditional students. Colleges with rapidly swelling student populations also complain of budgetary shortfalls, since the per-student funding is based on past years’ enrollment data.

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Ashby said that “in most cases, our formulas are in place for good reason.” But he added he was “hopeful that we can agree on some concepts to promote efficiency and equity at all of our institutions.”

Outcomes-based funding

Though it may prove politically impossible, the committee has license to recommend an overhaul of how higher education in the state is financed. Its charge says lawmakers can consider realigning or eliminating “special items” and improving the per-credit allocation.

Rather than basing it on the number of students in each discipline, lawmakers could tie a school’s funding to how well their students perform. Hancock said the committee should “absolutely see what lessons can be learned from states that successfully implemented outcomes-based funding at four-year institutions,” and the possibility is slated to be discussed during at least one panel Wednesday.

The state’s community and technical colleges already receive their funding through a formula that factors in students’ performance. At the Texas State Technical College System — appropriations for which have been tied to graduates’ earnings for the past few years — the switch has “worked in a big way,” said Chancellor Mike Reeser.

What happened, Reeser said, is administrators’ “obsession” with maximizing class-time was “replaced with an obsession with making sure kids got jobs and making sure they got the training they needed to get good salaries.” Graduation rates there increased 42 percent over a six-year period, and graduates’ salaries went up 83 percent. 

“Our mission is to create a skilled workforce, so using student employment outcomes was a very natural thing to do,” Reeser said — but he added that institutions with broader goals, like four-year universities, would need to be evaluated using different metrics.

Ashby similarly said the outcomes-oriented model has been “critical to driving completion and promoting skilled degrees” there but that the “mission of a larger flagship university or a four-year regional institution is much different.”

As an alternative to replacing the formula based on headcount with one based on students’ performance, some university officials say lawmakers could add a sort of outcomes-based supplement — a bonus for schools where students perform well. 

“Having some type of performance funding tied to each institution’s mission, in addition to a consistent and stable model for funding would benefit Texas students and our economy,” said UT-Arlington President Vistasp Karbhari.

Sul Ross State University, the Texas AM University System, the University of Texas at Austin, the Texas State Technical College System Board of Regents and Mike Reeser have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

Read related Tribune coverage:

  • In the Texas Capitol this year, university leaders’ worst fears never materialized

  • Texas universities forced to trim their budgets, even with big state cuts averted

  • Kevin Eltife joined the UT System as an outspoken critic. Now he might reshape it.

Article source:

Career education in early primary school could reduce pressure on teens

A call for primary school children as young as eight to receive career education has been met with broad national support, with claims it could alleviate pressure on teenagers during the stressful final years of high school.

As part of a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into career advice activities, the Career Education Association of Victoria (CEAV) proposed that career learning should be brought forward to Grade 3 classrooms.

While many children seem to dream of astronauts and movie stars and little else, research has shown some do start thinking more practically about their future careers as early as Grade 3.

This has raised questions around Australia’s current focus on career development during the final years of secondary school – which the CEAV suggested was “too late”.

‘Will alleviate pressure on teens’

Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA)’s Rebecca Fraser said career development should be embedded into curriculum much earlier.

Career education should start much earlier than it does now, some suggest. Photo: Getty

Career education at primary schools would not necessarily involve one-on-one discussions with a careers counsellor, as seen in high schools, but instead open a child’s mind to the breadth of job options and to link those to their own skills and interests, she said.

“Fairytales talk about stories of ‘careers’ and we read these to children from an early age – and what eight-year-old boy has not considered his career as a policeman or racing car driver?” Ms Fraser told The New Daily.

“This identifies that there is an opportunity to start having a conversation around the future world of work and broadening that to look beyond, considering the opportunity to even own the racing car team or being a mechanic to align to realistic vocational interests.”

Ms Fraser said she has met eight-year-olds who have already chosen what they want to achieve in life – and has seen them follow through. But she has also met children this age whose next great adventure is climbing the tree next door.

“Both of these are fine,” she told The New Daily.

“At the age of eight we want the kids to be kids but by embedding career development into primary school education, we are building a stronger foundation for them to make the right decision at a time that is right for them.

“Improved career development embedded into the curriculum has been evidenced to alleviate a lot of the pressure teenagers have in deciding their career path due to what is expected of them.”

‘School dropouts need this’

Suzanne Rice, a University of Melbourne associate professor in education policy, said the argument for career education at primary schools was not about rushing kids.

“Those in the highest risk of dropping out are usually disengaged in school by Year 7 and sometimes that’s because they can’t connect what they’re learning to the real world,” she told The New Daily.

“We need a stronger focus in primary schools to broaden their knowledge about career possibilities.

“There are more jobs in the health industry than simply a doctor, nurse or cleaner at a hospital – there’s also physios, medical imaging people and many others.

“It’s also about helping children build greater awareness of themselves and what they enjoy.”

Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino commissioned the review into careers education late last year to examine how this curriculum could be embedded earlier on during a child’s schooling.

“There is a great variance in the quality of careers education in our schools, from excellent engagement with students to careers advice that is no different to when I was a student in the 1980s – we can do better,” he said.

“It is expected to be finalised in coming months.”

Article source:

Shiza Shahid shares her journey, advice with students

Before the journey of life comes to an end, some want to be remembered for the memoir they wrote, the Grammy they won or the legacy they left. 

But Shiza Shahid (pronounced Shi-za Shah-id), wants to be remembered as a kind person, who did something good in the world. 

Shahid grew up in Islamabad, Pakistan, where she began volunteering anywhere she could get her foot in the door. 

The then 13-year-old grew up as a social justice activist, who spent a majority of her time volunteering at a women’s prison and in relief camps. It was there Shahid began a life of constant curiosity — something she encouraged students to pursue during her Tuesday night talk in Pruis Hall. 

“What I learned in these situations and these interactions, I would never had come to understand had I not set out to understand the world beyond the life I was born into,” Shahid said. “But these interactions in my youth were the beginning of the life of constant curiosity, openness and empathy and how I tried to interact with the world today.”

After spending her teenage years volunteering, Shahid applied to and attended Stanford University in Stanford, California. Despite being in a different country, she often still thought of Pakistan. 

And while she spent every night with her phone on maximum volume, waiting for a phone call from home with bad news, it was the female education ban in 2009 that brought Shahid back to Pakistan for the summer. 

“I remember sitting in my dorm room thinking, ‘Here I am at Stanford surrounded by all of this access and influence and girls 300 miles from where I grew up being told they cannot go to school.’ I figured there had to be something I could do,” Shahid said. 

So, she did something. 

That summer, Shahid went back to Pakistan and started a secret camp for 26 girls from the Swat Valley. 

At the camp was 12-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who later became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. 

“But what I could have never imagined back then is that one of the little girls I created the summer camp for would go on six years later to become the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner and one of the most powerful voices for change in the entire world. That I could not have predicted,” she said. 

But it wasn’t until 2012 that the pair would reunite. 

In October 2012, 15-year-old Yousafzai was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban due to her speaking up for female education rights. 

When Shahid received the news, she immediately left work to be with Malala and her father. It was there Shahid decided to quit her job and help create the Malala Fund — a fund that strives to create a world where every girl can learn and lead without fear, according to its website. 

“I knew that it was now or never,” Shahid said. “So, I quit my job at 22 and stayed with Malala and I have to say it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I believe that in our lives, in our careers, in our relationships, in our values there are certain moments where we have to decide who we are. In those moments, I urge you to listen to your heart and to be bold.” 

Shahid spent the next two-and-half years helping Yousafzai and her father tell her story and the story of the 130 million girls who are denied education, but after she knew Malala was safe and the fund was growing, she left to pursue her next journey: Now Ventures. 

“I knew we had shattered stereotypes about what power looks like, what courage looks like and what girls can achieve if they are just given an education,” Shahid said. “I always knew with Malala safe and healthy and the Malala fund growing in impact, that it was time for me once again to get out of my comfort zone.”

Now, Shahid’s focus is helping mission-driven start-ups like Lucy — a company that wants to make a workplace for working parents.

While the organization might have changed, the mission for Shahid is still the same as it was when she was 13:  show up with passion and start helping. 

Contact Mary Freda with comments at or on Twitter at @Mary_Freda1.

Article source:

Careers advice in schools must not curb imagination

This is not inconsistent with the timeless, inherent wisdom of that IBM chief; a range of things is crucial to a rounded and valuable education. These include literacy, numeracy, imagination, resilience and socialisation.

There is a risk that an unduly premature focus on career can be counterproductive. Dr Charlotte Keating, a Melbourne-based psychologist and neuroscientist, warned the inquiry: “Kids spend enough time in their VCE years worrying about career, and the reality is, until you get out there and experience what life has to offer, you won’t really know if it’s for you.”

Getting the modern balance right is particularly important and difficult because of the rapid pace of change. The smartphone, one of the most revolutionary inventions ever, is only a decade old. Young people have a life expectancy of decades longer than those currently formulating laws and policies, and are likely to have several careers. There is a valid argument for including a measure of career counselling in secondary education – and perhaps primary.

But it needs to be of high quality and should not be too prescriptive. Our education system is currently too slanted towards exam results; we need more discussion about the real world.

But, above all, we must emphasise the importance of a broad education that opens young minds to the exploding possibilities created by technology and creativity. The future does not just happen. It first needs to be imagined. Advice to students: check, mate, the inspiring panoply of options life can offer.

Article source:

Driver charged after toddler killed, adult wounded in hit-and-run

Despite a challenging year, RedZone Ministries is pushing forward in hopes of changing the lives of young people in the Orange Mound community. 

Article source: