E40: College Prep Solutions for Your Student, with Michael Gao

Episode Description

In this episode, we welcome Dewey Smart founder, Michael Gao, to the show to discuss how you can make college prep a breeze for you and your student! We also chat about Dewey Smart, deciding on a college, financial aid, and much more.


[00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you by our Friends at Advantages Digital Learning Solutions, where learning is reimagined. Hello there and welcome to Learning Reimagined. It has been a while. We took a little hiatus. Gosh, one of the greatest guests we’ve had. He is so informative, so wonderful, and I, I just can’t wait to introduce you to Michael.

And of course we have Sandy. Sandy, good morning. How are you? Good morning. I’m excited about this new school year. There’s something so refreshing about. The new school here, they real, they’re really, it feeds me. It gives me such energy. It’s like a brand new year for us. So it’s really exciting and to have this honorable guest today, I’m looking forward to talking to him.

So absolutely. It’s so timely. Today with us, we have Michael Gao. And Michael Gao is the founder of Dewey Smart, which he founded in 2018. He has graduated from Columbia University in 2022. I know those time, those numbers kind of seem a little odd, but yes, he started this company while he was in college. He is a remarkable young man, and I just, I can’t wait to learn a little bit more.

And it’s so timely as Dewey Smart is all about college prep solutions. So for our parents listening out there, your student is going into high school. This is the perfect podcast for you to listen to, to get to know. Some of the systems and some of the processes that you need to consider as your student is entering high school.

And if your student’s already in high [00:01:30] school, Michael can help there too. So, good morning Michael Gao and welcome to Learning Reimagined. Good morning. Good morning, Alison. Good morning, Sandy. Lots of pressure. That intro put on me. No, not at all. Michael, where are you located? I’m based in New York now, but I grew up in Dallas.

Excellent. There’s no twang to your voice. What happened? I say y’all. I say y’all. Oh, okay. When I go back to Texas, I think more of the twang comes out. Yeah, probably. Probably. And you know, Michael, you, you mentioned pressure. Michael got a perfect score, I believe, on the a c t. So he knows pressure, he handles it well.

He’s a, he’s brilliant. So tell. Start. Tell us, first of all, tell us about Dewey Smart. What is it? Where did the name come from and and how can it benefit your our families? So Dewey Smart. We’re an experiential college prep company. We work with high school students on everything from academic tutoring, SS A T A C T prep and help with the college admissions process.

Really everything a high school student needs from freshman year of high school to freshman year of college. One of the things that we’ve noticed, especially with the move towards test optional, is that families and students are, are looking for other ways to differentiate their application. And so we, we’ve also started offering a whole host of extracurricular programming.

So we have an internship match program, we have a research program, we have a passion project program, all with the goal of helping students [00:03:00] build up a portfolio of of work so that they are ready to stand out. When it comes time for their senior year to apply for college. Our coaches, they’re all current college students at top schools, and so we take a near peer model to mentorship.

Students already have parents, principals, teachers, counselors, and, and so I think it often is quite refreshing to have someone who just went through the process, who is in the trenches with the student counseling student. Students through this obviously, like very high pressure. Very, very difficult and stressful time.

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. In terms of the name, I get that question a lot. So, Dewey Smart the, the original name came from this educational philosopher named John Dewey. I. And I read him in high school and, and was very, very I guess moved by, by some of his thoughts. Mm-hmm. So his idea was it’s really important for learning and education to be active.

Mm-hmm. Not just passive. And so at the time, right before John Dewey came around, schools were all about rote memorization, flashcards, learning these different things, turning out students to be factory workers. Building cars build. Being, being, being in manufacturing. Mm-hmm. And I think especially now, times are changing where instead of.

Churning out people who can follow directions and follow items on a checklist. We need people who can write the checklist themselves, right. To solve really big global challenges. Mm-hmm. And so his idea of learning by [00:04:30] doing, being active, and having students actually engaged in their learning is something that we take to heart at Dewey Smart in all of our programs, but especially as we’re building out.

The new extracurricular offerings. Mm-hmm. That’s a super long answer to this short answer I idea That’s Fascinat Dewey decimal system. Fascinat. But, but I love it because when I was in my teacher prep programming to get my licensure, we learned all about John Dewey. And so I was really excited that it’s not truly based on the Dewey decimal system, that it was actually John Dewey that makes the educator in me, loves that answer.

So I appreciate, I appreciate the foundation of. Dewey Smart and I I love that your, your tag is college Prep for students and it’s a program that’s made, it’s for students by students. Yeah. Which I, I just think that is so relevant. You, you know, for, like, for my daughter, I wish I’d found you three years ago.

There’s still time. Yeah. No, there might be. Yeah. For, for grad school, I, we already talked about that for grad school for sure. But it, it just, it’s such a neat, you, you simplify it. Yeah, because at hearing your introduction, I was like, oh my gosh, my daughter didn’t do any research program. Oh my gosh, they didn’t do this.

So I know a lot of our listeners out there might be like, oh, for crying out loud, my kid’s not going to Harvard. I just want them to go to a good school. They don’t need to go to, you know, the top 10. And they might be overwhelmed. It might have already tuned us out. But it, it’s not just kids going to the, the Princetons and Harvards and the Yales.

There are many other colleges in the, in the [00:06:00] us besides those. And it looks like you guys really break it down for, for everybody, everyone can benefit from a service like yours. Yeah. And, and very few students do all of the above. Right. Right. And, and very few students should. Right. If you are someone who’s interested in research, do our research program.

Mm-hmm. If you don’t wanna go into academia and you’re ready to get a job, that’s why we have our internship program. And if you’re undecided and you don’t know what you wanna do, that’s why we have a passion project program and we help you figure out what your interests are and really explore and do something that you care about and you’re interested in.

We work with students who wanna go to their local state school. We’ve worked with students who want to go directly into the workforce. Mm-hmm. We’ve worked with students who wanna go to a community college and transfer into the uc if they’re in California. We work with a whole host of students, and I think that the lesson for all students of all types, whether it’s Ivy League students or students focused on getting scholarships, whatever it is, That it’s really important to get students involved in what they want to do in the future.

And so I think that’s the kind of core of our programming is let’s get students involved in something interesting, something they care about, what that is to the extent of their involvement. That can all depend, but, but let’s get students started. You know, Michael, I find it so impressive. I’ve dedicated my whole life to college admissions.

Prior to launching Advantages School International, I was in college admissions. I was a dean of enrollment management at several universities, and what you are [00:07:30] saying takes it to the next level, and I think that it’s in affirmative.

The, just the importance of how to approach this college search. Mm-hmm. And it’s just, I loved digging into your, your website. I was so impressed with how you’ve organized it, your team of, of just. That is, you’re able to really highlight, just as you mentioned, the different facets of this, this process.

It’s, there’s so much to it that not every student has to do it all. My, my junior, I have a junior, rising junior at U Chicago, and I remember what intrigued him most about going to University of Chicago was they have these. Wacky essays that are required Yeah. At the beginning. And, and so he found it a challenge to write to that particular essay, and it just grabbed him.

And I just found that fascinating because it’s, it just, again, it, it attracted something that, you know, other schools did for him. Mm-hmm. So it was just really insightful the way you have organized all your information. It’s very impressive. Yeah. I think there’s a school for everyone. Right? And there’s also schools that aren’t for you.

Right. And, and sometimes like the big name, the top tier schools, they might not be a good fit, right? Because that’s not what you’re looking for. They don’t have the programs you’re looking for. The academics aren’t what you as a student are looking for. And so when we were working [00:09:00] with students on their college list, we don’t look at rankings at all.

It starts with a really in-depth conversation about what students actually care about, what they wanna study, what they wanna, oh, that’s fantastic. But even outside of academics, right? Mm-hmm. It’s not four years at a school. It’s not like high school where you go back home and your mom cooks for you.

Right. It’s, it’s, you’re living there, you’re in dorms. Mm-hmm. You’re among classmates. You’re hanging out with them on weekends, on, on, on evenings, and so all of these other social cultural factors as well, I think are really important when figuring out what is a good school to go to. A kid who wants to go to UChicago is very, very different than someone who fits in.

At Harvard different than the kid who fits in at UT Austin, Texas a and m, different than a kid who fits in at NC State. And so just thinking through all those different factors, I think really important. Yeah. And the perspective that you come, come at it with is very, very different than a parent because, you know, with my kids, I didn’t think through, you know, I thought about the weather.

Yep. And, and, and I just, and I looked at the, like the niche rating. You know, and that’s pretty much what we went with. And until we actually visited a campus, did our kids get a feel for Yeah, this is a yes, this is a no. But we, most parents, you can’t, I mean, we visited a handful. We couldn’t visit everything on my kids’ lists.

I mean, it’s just, it’s so expensive. And the time commitment. And so to have a partner really kind of simplify it for us is, [00:10:30] would it just so helpful. So, Michael, did you have this system as you found your, your, ooh, your school? Like how, good question, how did this all come about? I mean, it’s a brilliant and needed service and one that takes it to the next level from what I’ve seen offered at other places.

So how did, how did it come about? Not at all for me. Not at all. I wish I had this too. I wish I. I, my, my parents are from China. They went to university in China, and so their biggest thing was prepare for the standardized exams. Get a’s, get good grades and you’ll be fine. And so they sent me to these weekend weekday ss a t bootcamps.

I got really good at filling in bubbles on a, on a piece of paper, paper until one day a teacher. Told me, no, this is not how it works here. This is not how it works in America. It’s not how it works with elite colleges. Here. You have to do extracurriculars. You have to develop your whole self, your whole person, your citizenship, your leadership, your ability to be a community member.

And when he told me that, I got involved in debate, I did volunteering, I did all these clubs at the schools, and that’s how I, I think I, I got into the school that I did. And now that administrator, that counselor. Don Gonzalez now works on our team as our VP of partner. I’m so excited. I was gonna ask, does he know how instrumental he was and he’s now part of your team?[00:12:00]

Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s insane. That’s awesome. That’s mind blowing. I love it. So then let’s get back to the fact that you started this company in 2018. Yeah. At the time, I believe you were a freshman in college. I started it even before then. Oh, seriously. Tell us. Yeah, so, so the story goes, I, I got into, I got into Columbia.

I sent the deposit there, and then I started freaking out because I lived in Dallas. My parents paid for everything. They drove me everywhere. I didn’t even have my own car. And I was like, huh, if I move to New York City, I feel like I’m have to spend a lot of money. And then I got the first tuition bill and I was like, oh wow.

This is a number I’ve never seen before in my life. So I put, I went on nextdoor, put a post and said, I’m tutoring. I just got into Columbia. I did debate. I can tutor S A T A C T prep, I can do anything. Follow me. If, if you contact me if you want tutoring. And so our first tutoring sessions were at a Starbucks down the road.

There was loud noise. There were people like ordering frappuccinos and the blender would be worrying in the background. I would walk there ’cause I didn’t have a car. It was like the summer, Texas summer, 105 degrees, 20 minute walk. I was sweating by the time I got there carrying these big s a t books. So that’s how it started really unglamorous.

But then I moved to Columbia. Things became virtual. But it was still, it was still something that [00:13:30] we were doing out of our dorm rooms. If we did in-person sessions, it like, if anybody’s from Columbia’s listening to this, tune this out. But I would use Columbia classrooms. I would like sneak kids into our dorms to do sessions.

I would hire my friends to be tutors. So, early days, it was very, very scrappy. And, and now we’re a little bit less scrappy, but I, I would still, I, I would say still pretty scrappy. Scrappy at heart. I love it. You, you really should write a book. I mean, it’s, oh, I, I would totally read it. Absolutely. Your, your story is, I mean, put that in your, your bucket list first.

First down the road a little bit when you’re less busy. But your story is, that’s fantastic. First gen doing something like this. It’s amazing. Yeah. And there’s a, the book recommendation I have for you, it’s very, very similar. It’s called Permission to Screw Up. Oh. And it’s about, she’s a college student.

It’s a very quick read. I’ve mentioned it on our podcast before. It’s she’s a college student and she wanted to buy, I think it was new jeans and her dad, she called her dad for money. ’cause that’s what you do. You know, you’re trained to call parents for money. And he said, absolutely not. If you want those jeans, you’ll figure out a way to get ’em.

And so she had to figure out what to do. And so she also, I believe it was Craigslist and she found a job cleaning the house and she made her a hundred bucks and she went and bought her jeans and she’s like, That was pretty cool. I’m gonna do that again. And so she kept, she started doing that a couple times, you know, when she needed extra cash and then she ended up starting her own company.

Wow. And the, the just, I, I love the grittiness [00:15:00] of it and, and the stories that go along with, you know, I, I give it to people when they start working for our company because I think it’s a great it’s just a great story on, on leadership and, and, and, you know, working for people, working with people. I, I love the, I love her story, just like I love your story.

It’s very similar. It’s similar. It’s a great story. Yeah. That’s pretty neat. And it’s something we try to do with our students, right? Is like, get them to start these projects. Start them as small as possible, right? Small side hustle, small little project, small community cleanup. And then, and then as time goes on and you get more into it and passionate about it, then it’ll grow, right?

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. So, so we, we, we do try to work with our students on that, but I love it. Yeah. Early days. Early days, wow. Yeah. On it is, is always fun. Yeah, absolutely. Now I did see, oh, sorry, Sandy, go ahead. No, go ahead. Go ahead. Well, I just, I saw that in, in some of this research about you, you said that 45% of students the current kids that are, or I think it was the kids of the class of college, class of 27 45% of those college kids included materials documenting their own past research.

Yeah. That’s nearly half one outta two, almost are doing research prior to going to college. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. I think the stat, I wonder my daughter didn’t get into Yale.

Thanks. I mean, but it makes sense, right? Is, is if you’re gonna say on your [00:16:30] application, I want to go to college to do research, there’s some expectation that you’ve done a little bit of research beforehand. Research doesn’t mean you’re in a lab curing cancer, though it can be many, many different forms. We have commun humanity students reading books and doing reviews of those books.

That’s research. We have staff students who can’t get access to a lab. They’re in a rural location. Professors won’t respond to their emails, so they read other professors. Papers and they do a literature review under the guidance of one of our coaches. So research doesn’t have to be a big, daunting thing.

Extracurriculars don’t have to be a big, daunting thing. You can start small and that difference really makes an impact because it’s just about showing that you actually are interested, that you actually do care. Mm-hmm. Just like jobs, right? Like if you say you want to. Be a customer support agent and you’ve never been a customer support agent.

Looks kind of weird, right? If you wanna apply to school as a math major, let’s do some math in high school. It’s really as, as simple as as that there’s no need to overcomplicate it, I think. Well, that’s the magic of your message though, is you’re able to simplify it because it’s extremely overwhelming.

I’m first gen, my parents didn’t know anything about the process so much like yourself.

Good. Good. So, I mean, I, I understand that, but there’s so much more, and I think having that guidance that you give the [00:18:00] structure and the options, it’s, it’s really transformed the trajectory of college admissions. Mm-hmm. And, and that’s coming from somebody who was in it from, you know, decades ago moving forward.

Sure. This had to take place. Your ability to pivot and, and bring this information forward is, is amazing. And I think it’ll be such a wonderful service for so many. This is such a daunting thing and, and very stressful for, for students. So being able to simplify. I think the whole process has changed even from when we were in, I mean not just our parents, but from when we went.

Well, not, not you Michael, but Sandy and me we’re a little bit, A little bit. Me too. I think she’s aging us, but that’s fine. But even from when our kids got in, I mean, my daughter’s a rising senior and in college and I have a rising junior in college, and I think Covid really changed trajectory landscape of the college admission scandal.

I think that that really affected things as well. I think all of us as parents and any parent right now with kids in middle school, high school, I think we all feel a little like. In the canoe without a paddle kind of a situation. Like, we don’t know because we don’t know. And so it’s daunting. So you look at something, you know, hearing you speak just a for a minute, you’re like, oh my gosh, volunteer work and, and passion projects.

And my [00:19:30] kids, I’m just happy that, you know, they’re passing geometry right now and I have to start thinking about all these other things and, but. It is, it’s kind of overwhelming. So then I could see a lot of parents just going, you’ll just go to the state school, or you’ll just go to a junior college and we’ll figure it out.

Or we rely on the college or the the college counselors within the high school, and I’ll tell you what, they’re so busy. They have, you know, thousands of kids that they’re trying to deal with. And it, it’s not, it, it’s not awesome. It’s not awesome. So as a parent, you know, we do need extra support. What about like, The biggest con question I think for a lot of parents is financial aid.

Do you guys help with scholarship, financial aid? Anything to give that, that, that, ’cause that is a huge heavy burden as well. Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s one of the most challenging parts of the process and I think people start to think about it too late. Right? They worry about applications and then they worry about paying for it.

Sure. In reality, in reality, these conversations need to start now. There’s a lot of big merit-based scholarships and small merit-based scholarships on the table. The Coca-Cola scholarship, gates Scholarship, QuestBridge Scholarship, those last two are are for first gen students, but there’s merit-based scholarships.

The Elks Lodge Foundation does a most valuable student scholarship. I got 2000 a year. Do dollars a year from them. There’re smaller ones. You can enter essay contests about why drunk driving is bad and and win $500, and those amounts start. To add [00:21:00] up. Mm-hmm. And they start to eat in to the big cost of college.

And so I, I think those conversations about how do I find merit-based scholarships need to begin as early as you’re finding colleges and building out your college list. And then when I think about need-based financial aid, it feels simple, right? You’re just filling out a form and you’re looking at not numbers, but it’s not, it’s really confusing.

It’s, it’s really confusing. And so we, we want help parents through that process of, of, of helping them. Figure out what questions are being asked, figure out what tax forms they need to look at. It’s so daunting. All of it. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And there there’s different nuances to the, the, the Student Fi, student aid.

Compared to what, you know, a parent loan. I have a, a friend of mine who is struggling with that right now, and as a parent, she only got X amount, which was not even a fraction. I mean, a very small fraction of what they needed for the student to go to the university where he was admitted and, but then for the student to get the student loan, I, I don’t know, there’s just so many different components to it that she’s had to hire a financial advisor because she’s like, I don’t know how to navigate all of this.

It is, it’s a lot. It’s so, so what Michael is saying out there listeners, is that there is hope and there is help for those muddy, muddy waters of the financial aspect of college. Exactly. So what about a student who, okay, ’cause you mentioned merit-based scholarships. What if a [00:22:30] student isn’t like in the top 10% of their, you know, their graduating class?

What if they are just, you know, an above average kid? Doing above average things, but not, you know, top 10% is, is there hope for them to go into, you know, these higher schools or is it, let, let, let’s just settle where, where you look at this, you know, realistically, and let’s go to a JC first, you know, what do you help with those types of guidance?

Totally. School there, there are, I think 4,000 plus institutions in the US alone. Hmm. There is a school. For everybody. Not everybody needs to go to the fancy brand name school, private school, flagship state school. I mean, they’re great schools, right? Mm-hmm. But you don’t need to get there. And so for, for students like that, we think a lot about fit and finding the.

Fit when it comes to your academic preferences, your social preferences, your cultural preferences. Mm-hmm. We think about merit-based aid above average students who have above average SATs and above average GPAs. There’s money sitting out there at a school maybe that you’ve never heard of, but will give you money just because of your s a t score.

Wow. And University Oklahoma will give you a a half ride scholarship if you get above a 1350, I think is the number. 1350 isn’t an easy score to get, but it’s doable. But it’s doable hard for, in a 1350, get a half ride to a pretty great school with a really great culture if you’re into sports.[00:24:00] And, and of course, even if you’re interested in, in going to some of the more elite schools, the harder schools to get into, I wouldn’t discount yourself either.

Right. Numbers aren’t the only part of the game, especially after things have gone test optional, especially. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Over covid, where schools are really trying to look at you as a person, your essays, your extracurriculars, your values, what you’ve done right. And what contribute to a college campus.

So don’t discount your experiences too. Right. Okay. If you got lower grades because you’re taking care of a sibling, if you couldn’t do extracurriculars because you were working a job to support your family, these are all things that you can write about and that will be impressive to college officers.

And do you, oh, sorry, I, Michael just has so much to share. I have so many questions. Do you also help with like the selection of like, let’s say you wanna go to this school, You probably shouldn’t put down this major as your top choice because it’s such an impact and you know, do you help with walk through those types of decisions as well?

There’s definitely some strategy to it. There’s definitely some strategy to it, I would say. The biggest question is how you as a student and your extracurriculars and your classes and your profile fit a major. Mm-hmm. A lot of people come to us and say, Hmm, nobody majors in Slavic literature. For instance, maybe I should just say, I want to study Slavic literature.

I. If I’m the only one I have to get in. Right. That doesn’t work because colleges can see that, Hmm, you’ve done a business club and entered a business plan [00:25:30] competition and maybe like right. Interned at your local accounting firm. Why do you wanna study Slavic literature? You’re not, you’re not Slavic either.

Right? And so I wouldn’t try to game the system too much. I would really look at your profile, see what your prof profile really matches and res resonates with. Mm-hmm. And pick that. Okay. And that’s why it all just comes down to, what do you wanna do? Do it in high school. Write about that on your college apps.

That is so insightful. What I.

I think having your voice in this, in this committee of poor student trying to pick a, a perfect college with the parents and there’s just so many voices that it’s nice to have the expert at the table. And help guide that. Just sharing my sister when she, this was, you know, decades ago, but she decided to apply to, you know, five schools back in the day.

And she didn’t go to her first choice or second choice, even though she got in. She went to her third choice because they offered her a full ride. It was an all women’s college on the other side of the country, but they were searching for somebody like her. And she wasn’t a top student, but she fit all the criteria that they wanted.

Interesting. And it was fascinating because had she not put that in the mix, She would’ve had, you know, a debt after she graduated, but she, she opted to go because they offered her a full ride. So it’s really managing [00:27:00] those options and keeping that perspective open as they go through and not being so rigid on your, your selection from the very beginning.

And I think your team does that. Absolutely. It sounds like they do. Yeah, I’ve spoken to a lot of college enrollment leaders over the past couple of months to just learn a little bit more about the college side of things and how college leaders and admissions officers are thinking about it, and they care a lot about diversity.

Mm-hmm. In all its shapes and forms, right? Like I, I think we think about racial diversity a lot, especially post affirmative action, but diversity means where you grew up. It means a city you were up in. It means if you were in a rural area, suburban area, and urban area, it means where your parents come from.

It means what you’re interested in studying. It means what your hobbies are. And college admissions leaders are trying to create a campus that looks and feels like America does. Like the world does. Mm-hmm. And so that’s why a lot of smaller schools, regional schools, are really prioritizing out of state recruitment because they want to create campuses that aren’t just confined to the ways of thinking and the culture of the 50 mile radius around that school.

They’re trying to create a campus. That looks and, and, and, and feels like America. And so if you are someone from across the country, these small regional schools want you. They really actively want you. They’ll give you money. They’ll fund you to go to that school because you [00:28:30] bring a lot of value. You bring diversity of thought, you bring a presence to that school they wouldn’t have otherwise.

And so, Absolutely don’t count any school out. Really start pretty broad as you’re thinking about your options, because you never know what might be a really great fit, and you also never know who might give you a lot of money for college. It’s true. Yeah. Yeah. That is, that’s crazy. So Mike, I don’t wanna keep you all day here, although we could.

What would be, as we’re coming into, you know, September, starting the school year, what would be your top three tips? For a parent listening to this podcast other than getting on the phone and calling you immediately, what would be the top three things that are tangible for our parents to do right now?

The first is don’t nag your students too much. I think they’re probably as stressed out as you, if not more, even if they’re not showing it. Okay. So be there to support them, be there to help them answer their questions, get them connected to the right resources. But there’s no need to ask them, how are your college apps going every hour of, of, of, of every day.

So that’s number one. Okay. Number two is your students are gonna be working on their common app, personal statements, and they’re almost certainly gonna be struggling with what to write about. And you as a parent probably have ideas and memories about the student and what they’ve achieved, what they’ve done.

What they’ve gone through that your students [00:30:00] themselves might not even remember or might not think is interesting and impressive. So I, we work with rural students who help their parents on the farm and do that before school, do that after school. And when they come to us and they’re like writing their college justice, they say, I have nothing to write about.

We say no, like write about the fact that before and after school, every single day for nine out of 12 months of the year, you’re out there in the fields working with your family. You’re on a tractor, right? You’re, you’re literally doing the things that many, many of the other applicants to, especially out-of-state colleges will not be doing.

And so as a parent, I think you have can have that a little bit of removed perspective to say what you’ve done already is really impressive student, and, and you should write about it. Mm-hmm. Okay. And maybe the third piece is, Colleges and college counselors will be sending a lot of different emails and students don’t check emails.

And so when there are opportunities to go apply for a fly-in program where a school will literally pay money for your student to go visit them. When, when there are opportunities to college fairs, virtual or otherwise, these are great ways for students to learn more about schools and really flesh out their college lists as well.

And so if your student isn’t checking their email, make sure that you’re checking. Your email and flagging all those different opportunities, scholarships, college visits, fly in programs that are being sent students ways every day. Now it’s, it’s that season where, where colleges are really [00:31:30] trying to get students activated and to get them to apply.

Fantastic. Those are great tips, but for the parents that do wanna jump in and give you a phone call, can you tell our listeners what is your website? We will post it on all of our socials, but for our listeners, Michael, why don’t you go ahead and tell us what the website is. Absolutely. And how the best way to get in touch with you.

The email the website is dewey smart.com, so d e w e y smart.com. There’s a contact us form that you can fill out and then you can also reach out to our email contact@deweysmart.com. It actually goes straight to me, so I’ll probably be the one replying to your questions and your concerns. So even if you don’t end up choosing us, feel free to reach out.

Obviously, this is a very daunting and confusing process. I’ve been through it at this point, doing this for, for five years now. Five years plus my own cycle. I’ve seen hundreds of students go through it and go through it successfully. So if you’re listening, you have a question, feel free to reach out. I love it.

And, and your website is a great resource for people too. So go check out the website, you can take a look around there. And Michael, we really, we just appreciate your time. We appreciate what you’re doing. I wish I’d met you five ago, but huge service. But I appreciate meeting you now. And before we wrap up, before we wrap, I do, we love to end with one question.

You so much of your, your, your passion, what do you fill cup. You’re very busy and you’re very young. [00:33:00] So what do you do to maintain this level of, of excellence on a day to day? I play a lot of pickleball. Do you? I know.

I love it. So you could be found on a pickleball court in New York. I love it. Come say hi. Come. Come play pickleball with. I just saw on the news this morning, Amazon, Amazon Prime now has the rights for to, to view or to broadcast all pickleball tournaments. Oh boy. Oh boy. Amazon Prime. Insane. I guess I have to sign up again for, for Amazon Prime.

I have to, you’re gonna have to so you can watch it all. It’s it do, do you have a favorite player? I don’t, I actually don’t watch it. I didn’t realize there were leagues. I knew I was serious, but I didn’t realize it got professional already. It’s, and, and like the people that are young professionals, they’re your age.

You know, it used to be, you know my age, an older kind of a thing. But now, like WME is one of my favorite pickleball players. Hashtag wami. I love you. And he’s 25 years old. Oh my gosh. And national championships and he’s just, he’s all over the place. It’s, that’s awesome. It’s really cool. It’s cool, but you guys are gonna all beat us and we’re gonna be limping off the court with Achilles issues and it’s so insightful to hear.

So thank you for sharing Michael. I think that’s really awesome. That is [00:34:30] great. That is great. It keeps relatable too to all the parents, so.

Alright, Michael G thank you so much listeners out there, please check out Dewey Smart. It’s a fabulous resource and. Following you and the success of Dewey Smart as as the school year continues. This is great. Thank you. Thanks guys. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening to Learning Reimagined. If you are enjoying this podcast, please help us spread the word by clicking the subscribe button or share your favorite episodes with families and friends, and leave us a five star review wherever you get your podcasts.