News & Story Ideas
The nation’s top colleges and universities reject hundreds of thousands of students who have top grades and test scores. Elizabeth Dankoski, founder and CEO of The Dream School Project, shares the secret that is getting kids accepted to Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, Columbia and other top colleges and universities.
From her 15 years mentoring high achieving students, Elizabeth explains how focusing on “perfect” grades and test scores can sabotage students’ efforts to get into a top college of their choice.
Elizabeth works with students to help them discover what interests, excites and inspires them, and what problems they want to help solve – questions kids are rarely asked in school. She explains how finding these answers is the key for students getting into the school — and life — of their dreams.
With the cost of college astronomical and continuing to skyrocket, families want to make sure their investment pays off for their students, yet many college graduates still struggle to find a job. Elizabeth shares tips from The Dream School Project to help.
One of the most common comments Elizabeth hears from parents is “kids don’t listen to their parents," which makes it difficult for parents to know exactly how they can help their kids succeed in high school and prepare for college. Elizabeth explains how a mentor can step in and take the pressure of the parents, which in turn allows the students to thrive.
After growing up in an extremely confining existence in a Christian cult and convent, Elizabeth enrolled in The Davis Program at Wellesley College, a program for students 24 and older, and later earned a Master’s degree in creative nonfiction from Bennington College. She shares how her life experiences taught her to love and value education and inspire the best in her students.
Too many students focus on achieving perfect grades and test scores rather than on what makes them different from every other high-achieving student. Elizabeth explains why rebels who refuse to follow the perfection game are more likely to get into the school of their dreams.
As the parent of a 3-year-old daughter, Elizabeth is determined to instill her with a love of learning that’s not bound by the rigidity of traditional education. She discusses how parents can identify and encourage their child’s unique interests, gifts and talents.
The old way of working a 9 to 5 job, getting a yearly raise and keeping your head down is fast disappearing and increasingly irrelevant. Resourcefulness and creativity are the top attributes students need to succeed in what Elizabeth calls the Innovation Era. She explains how students can develop a clear sense of who they are and what they are capable of achieving.
Elizabeth shares the secrets students should remember, starting with number 1: It’s hard to mess this up if you start with an understanding of your unique gifts.
Ever since U.S. News and World Report started publishing rankings of schools in the 1980s, many top schools have been competing to show how many students they can turn away and thus how exclusive they are. Yet these rankings have little to do with the quality of education students receive, Elizabeth says. She shares what families should look for instead.
One of Elizabeth’s students was given just a 50 percent chance of graduating high school because she had a learning disability. The student went on to create a nonprofit to help low-income students study and enroll in a law enforcement training program and is now working to take it to a national level. Elizabeth explains that though “it often doesn’t take a lot to make a difference in young person’s life, it takes something radically different from what we're doing in our schools.”
Elizabeth shares a checklist and helpful advice for completing a powerful set of applications by the Nov. 1 deadline for college admissions.
From a girl who wants to be a K-Pop star to a boy working to bring an ice rink to his town, Elizabeth’s students are already making their mark, even though some of them are only in grade 8. She shares stories that may inspire other young people to discover what they have to offer the world.
Elizabeth and her husband live a non-traditional life, raising their daughter in the Appalachian Mountains and finding joy in creative expression from hiking to writing to dancing Argentine Tango. She tells how, after growing up in a cult and leaving her entire family behind to pursue her education, she created a “beautiful, glorious life” of freedom and creativity for herself.