MOMS TALK: How to Embrace Your College Selection

Good advice for last night's Dunham Scholarship finalists and winner MIHS senior Suzanne Gaber by MIHS 2003 grad Jessica Lind-Diamond.

How important is picking the "right" college? We spend a lot of time in the the college application process — testing, tutoring, AP classes, essays, resume building . . .

We act as if our child's whole future depends on where they spend the next four years.

A refreshing perspective was offered by 2003 Mercer Island High School graduate, Jessica Lind-Diamond, who spoke at a reception honoring the Stanley Ann Dunham scholarship applicants Tuesday night, May 15. Lind-Diamond said she was miserable her freshman year in college, and had many tearful phone conversations with her dad trying to decide whether to transfer. She decided to stick it out and changed her approach.

That next year Lind-Diamond took more challenging classes and got involved in political groups. As she put it, she "found her people." She credits her approach to school as what made the experience a positive growth experience, not the school itself. Let's remind our kids that their attitude and actions can have more of an impact on their college experience that the school they choose.

Seniors soon to head off to college, should shed the disappointment of not getting into a more selective school — fit is more important than admission statistics. In my experience, the kids who return from the first year in college the happiest, are those who got involved, those who "found their people."

Lind-Diamond now works as Development Manager for YES! Magazine, produced on Bainbridge Island. Her connection to Stanley Ann Dunham? She's heard stories of Dunham's work at the Ford Foundation from YES! Executive Director, Fran Korten, who worked alongside Dunham in Jakarta.

Who's Stanley Ann Dunham? President Obama's mother, who graduated from in 1960. This is the 3rd year the "Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship Fund" has awarded a $5000 scholarship to a female graduate of Mercer Island High School.

Last night's award went to Senior Suzanne Gaber, who plans to attend American University in Washington, D.C. this Fall.


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