Researching your career revisited: Wisdom from a STEM professor at my HBCU

I originally published this piece on the Examiner back in January of 2013. It discussed some simple, but valuable career advice a professor from my undergraduate institution gave me and my classmates. If followed, this advice would likely save the student, their family and their schools money, time, and heartache.

* * *

Though the importance is questioned by some today, there are advantages to attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Two big advantages are small class sizes and the personal relationships that can be developed with the faculty. These two factors were integral to my success at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU).

It isn’t just the close relationships with the faculty that are advantageous, but also the “tell it like is” mentality with which they taught us. The instructors felt as though they had to be hard on us students in order to make us competitive, to help us reach our potential, and ultimately, to achieve our dreams. Some students rejected this approach, while others embraced the guidance and the coaching.

Many students who major in the biological sciences do so with hopes of going to medical school and becoming a physician. Not only is being a medical doctor a well-respected profession, but it is also believed to lead to a life of wealth and prosperity; something many doctors and the author of The Millionaire Next Door, Dr. Thomas Stanley, would debate.

During my first year at JCSU, a very simple but important piece of advice was passed along to the students in our Concepts of Modern Biology class. That advice was simply that we students should take some time to research our careers of interest. Again it was simple but very powerful advice.

“You all keep saying that you want to go to medical school, but you don’t have the slightest idea as to what it takes to get into medical school, or what’s going to happen once you get there,” our professor, a Ph.D. of Cell Biology, passionately said to us. She was small in stature but was a very tough-minded professor.

“What you all need to do is to go to the library, pull out a book on the healthcare professions and read up on what it will take to become a medical doctor,” she further advised us. She’d often say, “the slots are limited,” meaning that it was very competitive to get into medical school and they would only take the best of the best. A couple of driven, motivated and talented students from JCSU in that era did in fact go on to medical school to pursue their dreams.

It was debated quite a bit at the time whether or not students from a small HBCU like JCSU could get into medical school. The students who made it in proved that it could be done, but again they were some of the best and brightest that our Natural Sciences Department had to offer.

* * *

I took my professor’s advice and investigated the path towards becoming a medical doctor. In between semesters, I visited Buffalo’s downtown public library and pulled out a book on the healthcare professions. Some of what I discovered in my research, I’d heard before; applicants needing a competitive score on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), a competitive grade point average (GPA) particularly in the sciences, letters of recommendation, and scientific research or volunteer experience in a clinic or hospital.

What I read next though were the real eye openers. Financially, many medical students offset their tuition with loans and graduated with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. Medical school graduates are required to complete something called a “Residency” which usually involved them getting little sleep over long periods of time, depending on their specialization. They further had to be willing to move to often remote and undesirable locations in some instances initially. Finally, most don’t start making significant money until long after they’ve graduated or completed their training.

After doing the research, I decided that I didn’t want to go to medical school to be a physician. I stayed in science but decided to go into research which itself had its own notable challenges and struggles, though ultimately quite a few rewards. See my post on that.

The point of this story is not to discourage anyone from going to medical school, especially if treating and caring for patients is a student’s underlying motivation, dream and passion. A career is a personal choice and must be decided by the individual. That being said, it’s important to do the research, study the process and figure out all that will be involved when pursuing a particular career path.

At one point, being a medical doctor may have been a very lucrative profession to pursue, but as with most areas of life, things seldom stay the same. Significant factors that medical doctors have to contend with today that they didn’t worry about as much in years past, is the impact of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) on the degree of care patients can receive, and the threat of malpractice lawsuits.

“You want to do something that you’re going to enjoy doing every day. If you’re doing something just for the money, it’s not a good thing,” a mentor advised me. In general, careers should be pursued not simply for the money, but based upon what a student is passionate about and has a natural talent for.

Furthermore, the cost of seeking a professional education such as attending medical, dental or law school, for example, should be strongly considered before pursuing a given career. Specifically, the amount of debt that will have to be repaid should be one of the major considerations as it will impact an individual’s lifestyle for a potentially significant amount of time.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy:

The story of how I earned my STEM degree
A look at STEM: What are the Basic Sciences and Basic Research?
A look at STEM: What is Regulatory Science?
The transferrable skills from a doctoral degree in the basic sciences
A look at STEM: What is Pharmacology?
A look at STEM: What is Toxicology?

If you’ve found value here and think it would benefit others, please share it and/or leave a comment. To receive all of the most up to date content from the Big Words Blog Site, subscribe using the subscription box in the right-hand column in this post and throughout the site, or add my RSS feed to your feedreader. You can follow me on the Big Words Blog Site Facebook page, and Twitter at @BWArePowerful. Lastly, you can follow me on Instagram at @anwaryusef76. While my main areas of focus are Education, STEM and Financial Literacy, there are other blogs/sites I endorse which can be found on that particular page of my site.

A Teaching Moment: Boosting Your Career In Education

Two focuses of my blog are Career Discussions and General Education. While very important and rewarding, a career in education can be very, very challenging at times. Some teachers burn out and leave the field altogether, while others ascend into administration. No matter what your aspirations are as an educator, it’s important to think about your career in depth and set yourself up to succeed. The following contributed post is therefore entitled, A Teaching Moment: Boosting Your Career In Education.

* * *

If you’ve chosen a career in the development and education of young minds; you’ll understand how rewarding a job in teaching can be. However, education also brings its challenges, and sometimes, you’ll have to deal with stressful situations. If you’re keen to work through the various highs and lows of your job role; you have longevity in teaching and enjoy your career until retirement. Some people find themselves wondering how to boost their career further, due to job dissatisfaction and lack of prospects. There are ways to push ahead with your career in education; you just have to know where to look and what to do. The following are some tips and ideas for those who want to give their job role a helping hand for a long and rewarding career in the educational field.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-notes-meeting-team-7095/

More Learning

The more adept you are to handle your class; the better you’ll be able to gain their respect and influence their educational choices, and you’ll be an appealing candidate for an academic recruitment firm. Therefore, if you’re feeling a little stagnant in your teaching role; consider furthering your qualifications, utilizing those skills, and start the next step in your job journey. Take a look at the information available online to understand how specialized courses and qualifications will help to open all sorts of career doors for you. The more strings to your bow you obtain; the better chance you have at a promotion or a fresh job placement altogether.

Perhaps there are certain areas of your job that you do not feel as strong as you’d like to; research into courses you can complete and all the avenues that are in place aimed to strengthen those elements of your career. You’ll be able to walk into the classroom with confidence, and your head held high, knowing that you’ve worked hard to get where you are and to have the knowledge and expertise that will benefit your class of students.

New Methods

If you’re struggling with your current teaching methods, and the information isn’t sinking in with your class; don’t be afraid to try something new. As long as you are teaching the required lesson, and sticking to school guidelines; you should experiment with tried and tested techniques that may seem unconventional. Do your research so that you can look for some innovative ways to teach kids, and get some inspiration to take into your own classroom. Everything from role play, to playing classical music during lessons has been utilized in the education of young minds; so be the teacher that people remember and start seeing the improvements to your pupil’s education and grades that can happen as a result.

Social Connections

If you’re struggling with one particular individual, that doesn’t seem to want to learn or be there; it’s worth investigating into their life outside the classroom. Look for significant behavioral changes and issues that may have arisen that has led to difficulties, and let them know that you’re a friendly ear if they need help, or simply to talk. The more time you put into your lessons and the welfare of your students, the better your relationship with them will be, and the quicker they’ll learn what’s needed.

Applying School To The “Real World”: Turning Subject Knowledge Into A Career

The first principal of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success, and two of its focuses are General Education and Career Discussions. Sometimes early on in school we wonder about how our classes will be useful in the real world. The further we progress it likewise becomes important to know where can apply what we’ve learned in a practical way. The following contributed post is thus entitled; Applying School To The “Real World”: Turning Subject Knowledge Into A Career.

* * *

Picture Source

As kids, we all remember complaining about school. And those complaints often extended beyond a mere dislike of homework. Often, children ask themselves why they’re bothering to learn certain things. “When will this help me in real life?” That’s a question many students ask, even when studying technical subjects such as mathematics. Unless you want to become a teacher, the knowledge isn’t important. Right? And technology has made human talents redundant. Spell checkers remove the need for grammatical skills, and calculators remove the need for numerical skills. And, in fact, any piece of knowledge can be gained online. But this is too cynical an approach. There are more ways to apply school to the real world than you might realize. Whether you’re a recent graduate or somebody who’s rethinking their job role, here’s how to turn your subject knowledge into a career.

Science
STEM subjects are valued very highly in the job world, so you probably feel quite confident that there are plenty of career opportunities for somebody with scientific subject knowledge. However, you can use your qualifications for more than obvious options. You don’t have to become an academic researcher in medicine or marine biology. You’ve gained more skills than you realize if you’ve studied for a scientific subject. You’ve learned to critically think, problem solve, organize multiple projects, and adapt on a continuous basis. Those skills could suit you well in the business world if that was a route which interested you.

You could start your own business or become a consultant for other businesses. Science is an incredibly vast field, so your subject knowledge doesn’t limit you to a select few career options. You can take alternatives to the traditional route. Even a student of medicine doesn’t have to become a doctor or a surgeon. Your knowledge is valuable in the “real world”, so don’t dismiss the importance of your qualifications. If you’re not interested in the traditional career routes related to the subject you’ve studied then do some research to gain an understanding of the other options out there. You might just find something totally unexpected that fits your personality perfectly.

Geography
A geographical understanding in the modern world is also highly valuable. There’s more to this subject than knowing where places are on a globe, as you well know. Otherwise, geographical studies would be made obsolete by Google Maps. You can use your degree for more than simply teaching geography to the next generation. If you’ve studied in geographical information science then you could even consider pursuing a career in surveyance. You might want to look into land surveying jobs in your area if that type of career route appeals to you. It could be an exciting opportunity to make a difference in your community with your subject knowledge. A qualification in geography can lead to plenty of vital professions, so don’t diminish the technical weight of your subject knowledge.

History
Much like the other subjects we’ve discussed, history is a topic which is often pigeonholed into a very limited range of career options. You would probably imagine that a history graduate either has to become a teacher or a historian. But research and education aren’t career routes that appeal to everyone. Luckily, you can do more with a history degree than you might think. You could even consider a career in politics. Historical knowledge is incredibly valuable because it outlines mistakes of the past. By working in government, you could advise as to how we could avoid repeating those mistakes again. You could also look into media-related jobs. This is worthwhile subject knowledge for many career routes.

Staying Relevant in the Workplace: The Tips To Help

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success, and two of its focuses are Career Discussions and General Education. Even after completing school and entering the workforce, it’s important to think about where your career and your field are going. This involves several steps and points to consider. The following contributed post is thus entitled, Staying Relevant in the Workplace: The Tips To Help.

* * *

In a job market that is as competitive as ever, employers are likely to have higher standards than ever for their employees. So in order to stay competitive and stay marketable, you need to make sure that you are relevant and up to date. By checking that you are doing things to improve yourself and your career, as well as seeing how you are doing with things, it can help you to ensure that you are not coming up short. If you’re not too sure about how you can stay relevant in the workforce, then here are some steps to help you get there. Keep going on and on, and you’ll be able to stay relevant in your career. Then you can keep your career going and achieving the things that you want to.

image

Check Your Training

No doubt you will have the main qualifications to be doing the job that you do. But there are can be plenty of new technology to learn and understand, as well as software or certain operating systems. But if you don’t get up to speed, then you are going to struggle in your everyday job, as well as struggle to stay relevant. If it is kind of implied that you should know how to do something, then now is the time to learn what you need to learn, so that you can execute your work well and show your employer that you know what you are doing.

Trade Shows

It will depend on what industry you are in. But if your industry is related to an industry that works with (or in) trade shows, then it is a good idea to get yourself there. It can be something to suggest to your employer if you are not already doing it, as well as going and arranging to go of your own accord. It gives you a good chance to network, as well as a good chance to see the latest in your industry, or how other industries could be impacting the one that you work in.

If you work in quite a niche industry, or plan to in the future, then it can be a good idea to attend trade shows to get ideas, as well as seeing what is happening in similar industries.

Get Social

Social media is a great way to get in touch with others in the industry, or it can be used as a great way to read up on latest news or blog posts about what is going on in your world of work. Being online on social channels in a professional way can be a good idea to help you to stay on top of all that is going on. Not to mention that there are plenty of HR influencers online, especially social sites like Twitter. They can be sharing useful updates and relevant content, to help you to stay up to date and stay relevant in your career.

Perfect Your Skills or Specialize

If you look at people in the medical profession, for example, the ones that are earning the most are the ones that are a doctor with a specialism, rather than just a general practice doctor. Being a ‘jack of all trades’ isn’t always the best thing for your career. It can be a really good thing to specialize and to choose one route to go down. You will be staying relevant as you will be much more marketable to that specific career area than if you just kept things quite general. So if you can, look for ways to train in something more specific, but still relevant and in-demand.

Follow Competitors

Whatever walk of life we are in, there will always be competitors. Have a look at them to see what they are doing and what they do so well. If they are having more success, then follow them to see what it is that they are doing differently to you. If people in the same niche are having more success than you, then it shows that there is market for what you are doing. You just need to be the one that people want to come to. So mimicking a strategy or style can help to boost your success, and it adds value to what you are doing, and keeps your role relevant.

As you can see, these are all pretty straightforward things to be doing. But it just takes some time to plan so that you can really focus on your career goals and staying competitive and relevant within that.

Common Mistakes Made While Choosing A Career

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success, and two of its key focuses are Education and Career Discussions. Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions one can make in life. Unfortunately many students aren’t always guided properly in this area, and have poor career prospects on the back end of their education. The following contributed post is thus entitled; Common Mistakes Made While Choosing A Career.

* * *

https://pixabay.com/en/doors-choices-choose-open-decision-1767564/

When choosing a career, there are so many different factors that need to be considered. Of course, you want to make sure you end up with the perfect career for you. However, this is much easier said than done. How do you know if a job is right for you until you start doing it? Well, a good place to start is by avoiding some of the common mistakes that people have made before you. With that in mind, continue reading to discover more about the common mistakes you need to avoid when choosing a career.

Taking a job with limit growth prospects – The first mistake that a lot of people make when it comes to choosing a career is going for a job that does not offer anything in terms of career prospects and growth. One of the main reasons people get frustrated with their jobs is because they feel like they have hit a brick wall and they can’t go anywhere.

Choosing money before anything else – There is no denying that money is important when choosing a career. After all, we all need money to pay the bills and to buy the things we want in life. However, you have no doubt heard the saying that money cannot bring happiness. You are going to spend most of your life working, so it is important to love what you do.

Failing to map out your route – Choosing a career is one thing, but how are you going to get there? You need to understand what is going to be expected of you and what qualifications you need. Are you going to be able to achieve these? Let’s say you want to work for a trucking firm. Do a search of trucking companies near me online so you can find out what they look from when it comes to their drivers. This is the only way you will be able to plot out how you can make it to the career you want and determine whether or not this is really for you.

Ignoring the signs of industry decline – Last but not least, another mistake you need to avoid is ignoring the signs of industry decline. Industries come and go – they aren’t around forever. Sign painters used to get a lot of business. However, that industry was replaced with vinyl and large-scale printing. When choosing a career, you not only need to consider your passions and what you are good at but you need to think about the state of the industry too.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of some of the most common mistakes that people tend to make when they are selecting a career. This should give you a better understanding of what you should and should not do regarding your professional future. But if you do make a mistake, don’t fret about it! Lots of people end up changing their mind regarding what they want from a job.

Father’s Day 2018: Dad’s doctor and his lawyer, and a discussion on careers

Your brother is going to be my Doctor, and you’re going to be my Lawyer!”

Happy Father’s Day. My 2017 Father’s Day blog post talked about some of my father’s life and money lessons, and there were many. I wrote some more about us in my second essay submitted to A Voice For Men entitled: Two very well-behaved boys left to figure things out on their own: Reflections on growing up ‘Blue Pill’, which discussed how my brother and I had to figure out several aspects of manhood on our own. There weren’t a lot of men around growing up, and there were limitations in what we were taught by the men we did know.

For this 2018 post, I’m going to go in a different direction and will discuss what Dad wanted both me and my brother to be career-wise, versus what we actually became. This piece isn’t an “ode to fathers” per se, but instead a set of thoughts and ideas based upon something my father said to us as children, which will serve as a jumping off point for things me and those in my circle regularly discuss today as adults – things that have impacted our family dynamics as the years have gone by. As described in my piece Challenging stereotypes and misconceptions in academic achievement, Dad’s fatherly guidance helped me reach my academic potential. He also stimulated me to start thinking about potential careers at an early age.

* * *

“Your brother is going to be my Doctor, and you’re going to be my Lawyer!” Dad said on one of our summer visits in the mid-1980s. The three of us were crossing a street in downtown Schenectady, NY and he turned and gave his proclamation to the both of us – communicating with one of his hands – his signature style. Like many parents, Dad had his own plans for what we should be. Somewhere alo4ng the line, he determined that it should be a Medical Doctor and a Lawyer, and as with everything Dad said, he said it with lots of authority, pretty much commanding us.

Not having either in my immediate family circle on either my mother’s or father’s side, I didn’t know much about what lawyers did. I had some idea of what medical doctors did because I had gone to see them on numerous occasions as a child. One of Dad’s first cousins was in fact a medical doctor, but we didn’t see him enough to be able to ask him about his career. In elementary school it hadn’t occurred to me what I wanted to be career-wise, though I got the inkling that it would be something scientific after really enjoying “Life Science” in the seventh grade – essentially beginner’s Biology. My brother had begun showing signs of being both artistic and creative.

But what made my father so enamored with medical doctors and lawyers in terms of careers for his sons? Dad was always one for stability which is why he became a junior high science teacher. Neither of his parents had gone to college, so he was a first-generation college graduate. From what I can see, some parents naturally want their children to do better than them. In the mid-1980s, the conventional wisdom was that medicine and law were two very high-profile professions which would lead to affluent and comfortable careers/lifestyles.

“I know that your grandfather would be very proud of you being a doctor and all,” Dad said on several occasions regarding my Ph.D. years later. He didn’t necessarily understand what my doctorate stood for or the skills it represented, but the title of ‘Doctor’ meant a lot to him – something I witnessed in the coming years both positively and negatively. Coincidentally, I think he initially discouraged me from pursuing a doctorate – potentially because he only knew Ph.D.s in the context of the school system, and not the ‘Research’ and ‘Regulatory’ worlds.

With one of the principles of my blog being “Critical Thought”, I believe it’s important to look at things in their entirety. So, while Dad wanted these two prestigious careers for us, what would it have taken for us to get into these two professions? The answer is it would’ve taken lots and lots of school for the both us and then, most likely, considerable debt to pay back. This is something very important to consider for parents and students looking to attend college to pursue ‘White-Collar’ careers.

In terms of higher education, thinking out the entire plan long-term is critical – considering the cost of the degree, how to get a quality degree for the least amount of money possible, what the expected salary will be on back end, and finally how much debt will need to be paid back. According to a 2014 article in Forbes, the average amount of debt for Law School graduates ranged from $84,000 to $122,158. Also, according to a recent 2018 article by Credit Donkey, the average medical school graduate finishes with $192,000 of debt.

Keep in mind that these are on top of however much debt was accrued during one’s undergraduate studies. The numbers probably weren’t as high thirty years ago, but it’s important to be mindful of blindly chasing certain careers based upon titles and prestige. If it’s something a student really wants to do, that’s different, but the costs still ought to be considered.

If you run the numbers and your prospects aren’t good, I would recommend not going into debt for that particular degree. A mentor recently taught me that the economy actually dictates the need for specific careers at a given time. I don’t know what the prospects were like for lawyers in the mid-1980s when Dad announced his wish for me, but as I progressed in my education, I heard more and more stories about the market being ‘saturated’ with them. I likewise heard that the landscape for medicine had changed, and in some ways, it wasn’t as lucrative a career as it once was.

In terms of my career, I figured it out as I went along. I had an interest in the Biological Sciences and thus followed that path. I pondered going to Medical School at one point, but decided against it after a professor at Johnson C. Smith University encouraged me and some of my classmates to study up on what it entailed – the demands, the lifestyle, and the backend costs.

It’s also important for students and parents to keep in mind what the student is good at, and where their gift/passion lies. While I turned out to be the son that was interested in the Biology, my brother’s gifts were completely different. He turned out to be a ‘design and build’ –type of guy. He had the gift for designing things, constructing things, taking them apart, and he was quite formidable with tools and devices. He started studying Architecture in college but didn’t finish, but in hindsight, he may have also been well suited for one of the ‘Skill Trades’ – something that didn’t come up as a child as college and ‘White-Collar’ careers were emphasized as opposed to ‘Blue-Collar’ careers.

Speaking of the trades, since finishing my own education, I’ve realized that there is power in learning one or more of the skill trades. There will always be the need to build and fix things. That includes: the electricity and plumbing in your home, airplanes we travel on, the public transportation vehicles we ride to work on every day, and so much more. If your refrigerator breaks down as mine did recently, for example, you either have to buy a new one or hire someone to come and fix it – unless you can do it yourself.

Unfortunately, our society looks down on the Blue-Collar careers in some ways, though they pay very, very well and don’t require the schooling doctors and lawyers need – the same is true for the debt required to train for the latter two careers. In my opinion, individuals who are proficient in the trades people are willing to pay for; and those who also have some business training, stand to make lots of money as they can do things like start their own companies and hire other people.

My brother never finished college and has become a bit of an inventor/entrepreneur which actually is the route that our technology giants like: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg took. There may have been some luck involved for each of them, but these men are reminders that in some instances, ideas and skills are more powerful than the degrees themselves. Today for example, there are quite a few individuals making significant incomes without being ‘degreed’ – those who can write code for Blockchain Technology applications for example. Also, while my brother isn’t degreed, he’s also not saddled with a significant debt payment of any kind – a tremendous advantage.

As for me, depending on your belief system, I got lucky. I pursued a Ph.D. in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field at a time when the economy rewarded individuals with such degrees. What’s even more significant is that I finished only with a little bit of debt from my undergraduate studies. Because I pursued a STEM degree, I didn’t pay for any of my graduate studies so I didn’t have a hefty loan to pay back for those five to six years of graduate school. This brings me to my closing point. It wasn’t until I finished that phase of my science training that I realized that I was missing something very, very important – something some kids are given early, and something others stumble upon later in life if at all.

Regardless of whether or not you get a college degree, a trade or some sort of entrepreneurship, the critical piece is understanding money. Something not discussed much in our younger years was wealth-building – something that is possible for everyone, and independent of one’s career choice as it involves a specific set of behaviors that I’ve written about in my Net Worth and Debt Snowball pieces. Understanding the concepts of Wealth-Building: budgeting, living within one’s means, delaying gratification, investments, and ‘Compound Interest‘ – these are the keys to a great and bountiful life, not necessarily the careers and titles themselves, contrary to what many people think.

Prestige and titles are nice, but if you read Dr. Thomas Stanley’s The Millionaire Next Door, you’ll see that there are many high-income professionals who look the part, but who are actually struggling. In my blog post about the Tax Reform and Jobst Act, I referenced a 2016 article in the Washington Post entitled: The shocking number of Americans who can’t cover a $400 expense which showed that even some individuals making over six figures, surprisingly couldn’t cover such an emergency.

I never wanted to be one of those people. I may be different from most, but I’d rather secretly live nice and comfortable with a simple outward appearance, as opposed to looking wealthy and struggling behind closed doors. That’s a personal choice however – one which everyone must make for themselves.

* * *

In closing, our parents sometimes have dreams of what they want us to be. Some kids actually go ahead and fulfill their parents’ dreams while others go their own way. In some instances, our parents can discourage us from what we really want to do based upon what they know and feel from their lives.

There is thus a complex set of decisions to be made based upon: what one really wants to do, their unique gifts, what they’re passionate about, and how they’ll be able to earn a living on the back end. In the end, the economy dictates what’s needed at that particular time – it will determine who gets hired and how much they will be paid. Lastly, no matter what path is chosen, the critical piece is understanding money. Once again, Happy Father’s Day.

Thank you for taking the time out to read this blog post. If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:

Two very well-behaved boys left to figure things out on their own: reflections on growing up ‘Blue Pill’
Father’s Day 2017: reflections on some of Dad’s money and life lessons
Mother’s Day 2018: Memories of my grandmothers
Mother’s Day 2017: one of my mother’s greatest gifts, getting engaged, and avoiding my own personal fiscal cliff
Challenging stereotypes and misconceptions in academic achievement
The benefits and challenges of using articulate speech

If you’ve found value here and think it would benefit others, please share it and or leave a comment. To receive all of the most up to date content from the Big Words Blog Site, subscribe using the subscription box in the right hand column in this post and throughout the site. Lastly follow me on Twitter at @BWArePowerful, on Instagram at @anwaryusef76, and at the Big Words Blog Site Facebook page. While my main areas of focus are Education, STEM and Financial Literacy, there are other blogs/sites I endorse which can be found on that particular page of my site.