This week, we shared our Back to School Newsletter with our clients and colleagues. Among the announcements for fall college fairs and recent stories in the media, I wanted to include some thoughts on how all of us can make the most of the new school year.

As the summer winds down and students prepare to return to school, I always try to find some inspiring words to share with clients to help make the start of the new year a little easier, less intimidating, and more encouraging. This year, I didn’t have to work hard to find those words.

Late last week, a friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook of our 5th-grade class, all 6 of us, from our small private elementary school in Pittsburgh. Fortunately, we have stayed in touch with each other and several of our teachers. It was wonderful to see all of us commenting on the photo- my classmates and my 2nd, 4th, and 5th-grade teachers. To be honest, reconnecting with everyone was fantastic. In fact, it was the highlight of my week.

As high school families know, life is busy, very busy. It is so easy for all of us to get swept up in our school and work routines, sports practices, and extracurricular club meetings that we forget, quickly and easily, what really matters.

Over time, classes will change and so will homework assignments. Jobs and job assignments will come and go too. What can remain if we are committed enough to making sure it remains is our community. The word “community” is loosely defined, but to me, community is the group we build of people in our lives who we hold dear- family, friends, neighbors, classmates, coaches, mentors, etc.

Many times when students start off the school year, we remind them to work hard. Yes, they should work hard, but not just at getting good grades. It is just as important and perhaps more important to make sure that students understand the value early on of working hard to build a life and not just a career. The time and energy invested in building or repairing a valued relationship is priceless as that relationship has the potential to inspire and nourish us indefinitely. Without a community, the distance that we can go in our academic and professional careers is limited at best.

There will always be classes to enroll in, papers to write, and books to read.  As students begin a new school year, my hope for them, and for all of us, is to remember that the best things in life are not graded and cannot be bought or easily replaced.

Good luck and best wishes to all of our clients and colleagues for a successful and fulfilling school year!

Warm Regards,

Mindy Popp
Founder & Principal Consultant

Schechter Photo 2

I am the first student on the left.

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