A lot of people talk about writing a book, but Jill (Pincus) Madenberg, CCAS ’91, actually wrote one. The book was so good, a publisher picked it up. Love the Journey to College, Guidance from an Admissions Consultant and Her Daughter is currently scheduled for release by Post Hill Press on August 1, 2017.
“The book was [my daughter] Amanda’s idea,” says Jill. “Because I am a private guidance counselor, we’ve been visiting colleges for most of Amanda’s life.” Jill had often wished there were an affordable way for more families around the country to get access to her college advice. “When Amanda approached me with the idea to write a book and provide comments in a back-and-forth manner, I knew it would be appealing to both parents and teens.”
Jill credits her time at GW with preparing her to be a guidance counselor—particularly one that works with groups. “One of my favorite things to do is talk to groups of families about the college process,” she says. “Typically, they walk into one of my workshops nervous and overwhelmed, and they walk out feeling excited and ready to embrace what lies ahead. It was my training in psychology and speech communications at GW that helped pave the way for me to help families.”
So what are some takeaways from Jill and Amanda’s book? Mostly, that the college process should be fun—a journey of self-exploration and growth. But beyond that, the advice gets fairly specific. (Note to helicopter parents: You get ONE hour per week to bug your child about college applications. One hour. That’s it.) The mother and daughter team also encourages prospective students to visit colleges that aren’t necessarily top choices. “Before you get too invested in favorite colleges, visit just to visit,” Jill says. “Think of it like window shopping. You won’t buy, you’ll just browse and learn what’s available.”
“Visiting schools with my mom helped me realize that there are so many amazing colleges,” says Amanda. “I had no problem filling up a list of 15 schools I would love, with a nice balance of ‘Likelies,’ ‘Targets,’ and ‘Reaches.’”
Apparently, the advice in Journey to College was spot on. Amanda applied early decision to Cornell University and looks forward to returning as a sophomore this fall. —Mary Follin
For more information about Jill Madenberg or her book, please visit her website.