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iDrive Student Advisory Board: Teen Suicide Prevention Week 9/10-16

iDrive Student Advisory Board: Teen Suicide Prevention Week 9/10-16

Coming up, September 10-16, is Teen Suicide Prevention Week. Teen suicide is, tragically, an immense and growing issue, and in recent years, it has entered the public eye. However, more can always be done to prevent teen suicide and to recognize signs of depression before anything drastic is done. That’s why the iDrive Student Advisory Board is launching this awareness campaign:

Click or tap on the image above to download and save it to your computer or device. Share this image on social media to raise awareness. Add #TeenSuicidePreventionWeek and tag us @idrive_live.

U are part of US is a social media campaign that addresses teen hopelessness, depression and the feeling of isolation that drives young people to make an irreversible decision. The mission of this campaign takes a positive approach by reminding teens that they are valuable, irreplaceable and unique. Most importantly, they are reminded of the friends, family members and classmates that care about them. Our vision is to prevent teen suicide by bringing hope, light and a sense of belonging to teens all around the world through the power of social media.

Related Article: iDrive Agents | How to Be a Social Media Champion

A Special Message from the iDrive Editor

I myself have witnessed two teen suicides during my time in school, and both of them were of two people who came off as cheerful and outgoing people; no one suspected anything. Depression is not always easy to detect. Research show that four out of five teens who attempt suicide have shown clear warning signs, but those surrounding this person either did not notice the signs or did not take action (CDC, 2015). The more we raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health among our friends, at school and in the public, the more lives can be saved.

Teens may not have all the power in the world, but many are fluent with social media. Put your social media fluency to use. Follow iDrive on social media to join our campaign to prevent teen suicide. Together we will reach out to our friends, send messages of hope and encourage others to not be dismissive about mental health. Share this campaign with your loved ones at home, at school and in your local community, too. Your participation on social media during Teen Suicide Prevention week is an important aspect of the iDrive mission and your role as an Agent and changemaker. A simple retweet or post share takes seconds, but this action can quickly reach around the world–starting with you.

You are a part of us,

iDrive Editor

P.S. If you haven’t yet read our article How to Be a Social Media Champion, I encourage you to do so. It is has lots of tips on how you can use Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to be an Agent of positive change in the world.

iDrive wants to hear from you!

Want to start your own iDrive campaign or have a topic that you want iDrive to address? Send us a direct message on social media or send an e-mail at advisoryboard@isafe.org

Want to contribute social media content to future iDrive campaigns? Submit your application to join the iDrive Student Advisory Board here: http://www.idrivetvonline.com/get-involved/student-advisory-board-member

Are you reading this article, but you’re not yet an iDrive Agent? Sign up here: http://www.idrivetvonline.com/get-involved/become-an-agent

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iDrive Agents: How to Be a Social Media Champion

iDrive Agents: How to Be a Social Media Champion

In our article College Readiness: What You Need to Know About College Admissions, we talked about the importance of building a positive social media presence. As an iDrive Agent, your participation in social media campaigns and initiatives not only helps raise awareness of important issues, it helps you to build the type of positive online presence that colleges seek. We’ve talked to teens across the nation about the issues that matter to them most. Top issues include teen suicide prevention, (not) texting while driving, gender equality and respect for people from all walks of life–ethnicity, race, religion and orientation. We’ve included some easy ways for you to participate in iDrive campaigns and some tips to building a social media campaign as an iDrive Agent. What can you do as an iDrive Agent? Become a Social Media Champion!

What is a Social Media Champion?

Social media champions are the face of a movement or organization. A true champion interacts with the people in their social circles; to watch and listen for the issues and challenges that they are experiencing in this digital generation. Figuratively speaking, social media champions keep their ear to the ground and use the power of social media to spread awareness, educate others and bring solutions to real-world problems. Social media unites people together, amplifying their voices to be heard around the world. As an iDrive champion, you are the bridge between your real-world community and the social networks that you have established online; you are the face of a movement. As you build and maintain positive relationships, you develop a reputation as a changemaker–starting with the friends that you already know–the friends in your social networks.

You don’t have to be a viral sensation with a hundred thousand followers to make a positive impact in the world. You can use social media to raise awareness about issues that matter to you with the people that you already know like your friends, family and acquaintances ages 13-18…with the click of a button.

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College Ready: What You Need to Know About College Admissions

Published on September 2, 2017 by in Blog, Newsletter

Featured Article | College Ready: What You Need to Know About College Admissions

High school seniors are embarking on the 2017-2018 school year with the finish line in sight. For some seniors, this means that they are in the home stretch whereas other students may feel like they are frantically sprinting to make multiple deadlines by writing essays, submitting college applications and applying for scholarships. High school juniors may also feel the time crunch this school year as they aim to raise their GPA and ramp up on their well-roundedness by signing up for extracurricular activities. College admissions exams such as the SAT and ACT may trigger test anxiety in students–especially those that have tremendous pressure on themselves to reach ambitious goals and expectations. Take a deep breath. College admissions boards look at more than numbers. They want to get the whole picture of you from your academic readiness to your all-around character qualities exemplified in athletics, awards, community service and by partnering with organizations like iDrive. They not only look at the “hard factors” like exam scores and grade point averages (GPAs), they consider “soft factors” such as the essays, course enrollment and the types of extracurricular activities that listed on your application.

What does social media have to do with college readiness? One important aspect of college preparation that students do not always consider is building and managing a social media presence. According to an annual survey published by Kaplan Test Prep, college admissions officers are increasingly using social media to get a 360 degree perspective of who you are beyond the college applications that you submit to them (Schaffer, 2017). In other words, your social media presence just might be a determining factor as to whether you are accepted into your dream college…or not. Take a look at the Related Stories below and click on the links to see how grades, test scores, essays and extracurricular activities factor into your college acceptance–paying close attention to the ways that social media can either help or hurt your post secondary plans.

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References:

Schaffer, Russell. February 10, 2017. “Kaplan Test Prep Survey: College Admissions Officers Say Social Media Increasingly Affects Applicants’ Chances.” Kaplan Test Prep. NY. Retrieved from: https://goo.gl/uu9NdH

Schaffer, Russell. January 13, 2016. “Kaplan Test Prep Survey: Percentage of College Admissions Officers Who Check Out Applicants’ Social Media Profiles Hits New High; Triggers Include Special Talents, Competitive Sabotage” Kaplan Test Prep. NY. Retrieved from: https://goo.gl/CL57WD

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How to Be a Social Media Champion – Amplify Your Voice

How to Be a Social Media Champion – Amplify Your Voice

We, at iDrive, understand that everyone can make a difference, and social media is a great way to get started as a changemaker. Are you already on social media? Start by following iDrive on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Like and comment to show support for iDrive campaigns. Help make the movement to go viral. Share posts with the followers that you’ve already established in your social network. Insider Tip: when you share a post with your friends, write your own personalized message. Your followers will be more likely to join the movement by sharing the post with others–especially since it’s coming from you.

How to Be an iDrive Social Media Champion

Here’s a breakdown of how you can raise your voice with us across multiple social media platforms:

  1. Follow iDrive on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.
  2. Like, comment and share iDrive’s posts with your own social network.
  3. Tag iDrive in your posts that show how you are affecting positive change.
  4. Invite your friends to join iDrive on social media.
  5. Share iDrive campaign posts on one platform (like Instagram) to another (such as Twitter or Facebook).

iDrive Agent Tips: Creating Social Media Campaigns

Hey, social media champion! Want some inside tips on creating viral content?

  1. Attention-grabbing graphics. Not many people want to read a block of text or pay attention to a short text tweet. Create a graphic with a campaign slogan and design theme.
  2. Emotional appeal. People are interested in things that make them feel something. Include an images and “word pictures” that evoke surprise, empathy, sense of solidarity–something that triggers a sense of shared identity.
  3. Statistics. Consider beginning your post with statistics that captures the attention of your audience and raises concerned about your issue.
  4. Hashtags. Hashtags are your friend! Check which ones are trending and choose ones that are relevant to your topic and incorporate them into your post. Hashtags increase the chances that people — especially those with lots of followers — who don’t yet follow your social media campaign will see and share your posts.
  5. Call to action. Now that someone has read your post, what can they do to help further your cause? Perhaps it is making their own post, sharing your post, or simply following iDrive on social media to stay informed of current events and initiatives that matter to us as teens living in a technology-based society.

As a social media champion, iDrive wants to hear from you!

Want to start your own iDrive campaign or have a topic that you want iDrive to address? Send us a direct message on social media or send an e-mail at advisoryboard@isafe.org

Want to contribute social media content to future iDrive campaigns? Submit your application to join the iDrive Student Advisory Board here: http://www.idrivetvonline.com/get-involved/student-advisory-board-member

Are you reading this article, but you’re not yet an iDrive Agent? Sign up here: http://www.idrivetvonline.com/get-involved/become-an-agent

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College Ready: What You Need to Know – Academic Grades

College Ready: What You Need to Know – Academic Grades

How are colleges using academic records to reach their decisions? Your GPA is one of those “hard factors” that colleges consider; grades and course enrollment. Four year universities often prefer that you have at least a GPA of 3.0 or B average. For some, this means hard work whereas for others, this is a relief. Of course, high grades are often equated with entrance into prestigious universities and success in higher education. High school students in honors and AP programs earn as much as 5 points on the 4 point GPA scale thereby resulting in a GPA exceeding a 4.0. However, grades reveal more than a number. Participation in rigorous courses and passing AP exams shows determination and the willingness to take on a challenge; aspects for consideration into honors programs at distinguished universities. Nevertheless, person with a 4.3 is not necessarily guaranteed to get into the college over another candidate with a lower GPA. The best approach is to continually challenge yourself, master the knowledge and skills that you learn in school instead of solely focusing on a GPA number. In short, keeping your grades as high as possible can give you an advantage, yet your GPA is only one piece of the whole picture.

Taking into account all of the “hard factors” and “soft factors,” preparing for college is a tremendous endeavor. After studying and preparing for the college admission exam, loading up your schedule with advanced courses, writing amazing essays rounding out your identity as a desirable candidate with athletics, the arts, club participation and community service, the college board or scholarship committee may turn to social media to get a full picture of the person that they are reading about in the college application.

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College Ready: What You Need to Know – College Admissions Exams

Published on September 2, 2017 by in Blog, Newsletter

College Ready: What You Need to Know – College Admissions Exams

High exam scores can improve your chances of getting into your dream school. Even if you are not planning on attending an elite four-year university, a strong score can open doors of opportunity. Test prep is your best friend. In fact, with the new education law into effect called the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, states that require high school students to take SAT and ACT tests are becoming more common (Kapelke-Dale, 2017). One upside to this is that students have an opportunity to practice taking lengthy and rigorous exams as early as ninth grade. Another benefit is that students may even be able to test and attend test prep workshops for free if the school in their state mandates SAT or ACTs.

Source:https://magoosh.com/hs/act/2017/states-that-require-the-act-or-sat

Not everyone fares so well on exam day, but this is no reason to panic. First of all, test prep is available online and may even be offered in your school. Secondly, the SAT and ACT can be retaken. Moreover, these scores are not always the main deciding point: admissions officers also consider “soft factors” when reviewing your application. College applicants with scores in the lower percentile for the SAT or ACT might still be accepted into a well-known college due to a strong application essay, well-roundedness with multiple extracurricular activities and a good GPA.

Taking into account all of the “hard factors” and “soft factors,” preparing for college is a tremendous endeavor. After studying and preparing for the college admission exam, loading up your schedule with advanced courses, writing amazing essays rounding out your identity as a desirable candidate with athletics, the arts, club participation and community service, the college board or scholarship committee may turn to social media to get a full picture of the person that they are reading about in the college application.

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References:

Kapelke-Dale, Rachel. May 15, 2017. “States that Require the SAT or ACT.” Magoosh. Retrieved from: https://magoosh.com/hs/act/2017/states-that-require-the-act-or-sat

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College Ready: What You Need to Know – Essays and Extracurriculars

College Ready: What You Need to Know – Essays and Extracurriculars

During the school year, teachers often assign essays–to the dread of many an English Language Arts student. Understatement alert! During college application season, writing skills really come in handy. College and scholarship essay prompts may ask you to “discuss a special attribute or accomplishment that sets you apart” or to “describe a struggle that you overcame, and how you grew as a result” (Hadad, 2009). The point of the essay is for you to stand out from the ocean of essays written by thousands of other applicants. Before you let the trepidation or false sense of inadequacy thwart you, hone in on something that is unique to you. Here are some examples: An essay prompt from Stanford asked applicants “What matters to you, and why?” (deHahn, 2017). (Sound familiar? Hint: iDrive has asked teens the same question!) In response, one applicant, an activist, included a bold statement about a viral movement over 100 times in his essay. This approach may not have worked for everyone, but it worked for Ahmed. The actions of this Bangladeshi-American evidenced his passion and involvement to do something about the issue. Ahmed has a long and impressive history of volunteerism, outreach and partnership with an advocacy organization, and he even took his cause to Washington, D.C. Another noteworthy example: the unconventional essay from a different college applicant resulted in acceptance letters from five Ivy League colleges. The high school student from Delaware responded to a common prompt that asked prospective students to write about an aspect of their lives that was so significant that they would feel “incomplete without it.” The aspect that the teen so eloquently described? A wholesale club. Brittany built a whole metaphor around the shopping experience inside of the store. Read the full essay here: Essays are an opportunity to disclose the inner workings of your mind; to expose what truly matters to you in support of your extracurricular activities. In your essay, reveal the best of you.

Extracurriculars are evidence of your actions that spring from your interests and character qualities. Visit the admissions page of college websites and you will come to see that applications are viewed “holistically.” In fact, the undergraduate admission website University of Southern California explains that applications “paint a picture of you” (USC, 2017). How you spend time outside of your classes speaks volumes. Student government, debate teams, school clubs, volunteer work, community service, internships, student publications, part-time jobs and athletics are some examples of extracurricular activities that colleges want to see in an application. Note that colleges can tell when you are cramming in a bunch of activities at the last minute to “look good.” Why not choose something that you enjoy or that you are passionate about and stick to it? This advice applies to all other things you do. Make sure you show colleges that you are able to put your mind on something, stay dedicated, and make a real impact on the world.

Keep in mind that when you contribute your talents and interests to the iDrive community as a Student Advisory Board member, you may be eligible to add your participation on a college application.

Taking into account all of the “hard factors” and “soft factors,” preparing for college is a tremendous endeavor. After studying and preparing for the college admission exam, loading up your schedule with advanced courses, writing amazing essays rounding out your identity as a desirable candidate with athletics, the arts, club participation and community service, the college board or scholarship committee may turn to social media to get a full picture of the person that they are reading about in the college application.

Related Stories:

References:

Close, Kerry. April 7, 2016. “Teen’s Fascination with costco Helped Her Get into 5 Ivy League Colleges.” TIME Money. Retrieved from: http://time.com/money/4285289/costco-college-essay-ivy-league/

deHahn, Patrick. April 4, 2017. “This teen wrote #BlackLivesMatter over and over on his Stanford application — and got in” USA Today. Retrieved from: http://college.usatoday.com/2017/04/04/this-teen-wrote-blacklivesmatter-over-and-over-on-his-stanford-application-and-got-in/

Hadad, Roxana. March 9, 2009.“Sample Essay Questions for College.” Fastweb. Retrieved from: https://www.fastweb.com/college-search/articles/sample-essay-questions-for-college-apps

Jackson, Abby. April 1, 2016. “This essay got a high-school senior into 5 Ivy League schools and Stanford.” Business Insider. http://www.businessinsider.com/high-school-senior-who-got-into-5-ivy-league-schools-shares-her-admissions-essay-2016-4

N.d., “The Admission Process: Ready To Join a Tradition of Excellence?” Undergraduate Admissions. USC. Retrieved from: http://admission.usc.edu/firstyear/prospective/adminprocess.html

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College Ready: What You Need to Know – Social Media & College Admission

College Ready: What You Need to Know – Social Media & College Admission

Admissions officers looking beyond test scores, GPA and extracurriculars when they turn to the Web and social media to get a more detailed portrait of you. Keep in mind that social media profiles and Web search results may reveal evidence that either ensures or sabotages your acceptance into college. Imagine spending years preparing for SATs or ACTs, getting high grades in honors classes, spending the bulk of your free time participating in extracurriculars, and pouring yourself into researching and applying for scholarships and colleges only to be undermined by your own online actions. Conversely, you can use the same powerful technology to boost your reputation and showcase all that you have done. Let the best side of you shine online.

According to an annual survey by Kaplan Test Prep:

“Of the 35% of admissions officers who say they check social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn more about applicants, 47% say that what they found has had a positive impact on prospective students — up from 37% last year. On the flip side, 42% say that what they found had a negative impact, up from 37% last year.” (Kaplan, 2017)

The good news is that almost half of the college admissions officers say that they are finding positive social media content about college applicants that actually helps their chances. What type of content might that be, you ask? In a nutshell, any evidence of the information that you would put into your application that supports the image that you have portrayed in writing with concrete evidence boosts your chances, namely, leadership roles and community service (Kaplan, 2016). On the other hand, admissions officers have reported finding content in applicant’s social media presence that closes the door to acceptance. Examples of negative discoveries include criminal offenses, photos of drug or alcohol use, racial prejudice or inappropriate behavior (Kaplan, 2016).

Here are the top four reasons that colleges to search for applicants on social media:

  • Candidate’s talents: Applicants may mention that they are musicians, writers, artists, and poets. Social media profiles may serve as a gallery or portfolio.
  • Verification of awards: Applicants may mention that they have received awards, and the Web may prove or disprove otherwise; some officers have stated that they found awards that candidates have received in addition to what was in their application. (Bonus!)
  • Criminal records or questionable behavior: A Web search or an online persona shows affiliation with crime, disregard for laws, and inappropriate behaviors that cause the college to retract their decision.
  • Anonymous tips: A college board may receive leading information regarding inappropriate behavior of a candidate that may be evidenced in a social media profile. (Note: Profanity, discrimination, online rants, and careless comments do not work in students’ favor.)

Source: Kaplan Test Prep, 2016

Social networking profiles are a means of self-expression and communication; an everyday aspect of the average teen life. Although these sites and apps are connected to the world, most teens consider their friends as their primary audience. With this social context in mind, the ways that teens communicate and present themselves are usually based on how they interact with their peers. What some teens may not consider is that online social interactions leave digital footprints behind; traces of information that form a vivid picture of an individual’s personality, interests, activities, and social connections. These footprints form a persona, and the persona leads to a reputation.

Remember that colleges are looking for a “holistic” portrait of you, so conduct a digital checkup. Google yourself. Clean up all of our social media profiles and make sure that you document all of your noteworthy qualities and achievements. Yariv Alpher, executive director of research, Kaplan Test Prep says that

“What you post online can and may be used in your favor or against you, so it’s important to think about what you share. When in doubt, the best strategy may be to keep it to yourself” (2017).

Is your social media presence College Ready?

Below are some ideas that you can use to build a positive social media presence:

  • Photos or mentions of you receiving awards, honors or other achievements
  • Photos of you engaging in extracurriculars like sports, band, art, debate, etc.
  • Photos or videos that showcase your athletic abilities
  • Written work that demonstrates your intellectual ability such as blog posts and student journalism publications
  • A creative portfolio or gallery of photographs, videos, artwork, graphic designs
  • Photos of you in professional or formal attire (prom photo or winter formal)
  • Photos or videos of you engaged in community service or charity work
  • Photos with team mates showing collaboration and camaraderie
  • Evidence of your work as a mentor to younger children (with parent permission)
  • Photos that evidence leadership such as your participation in clubs or as a student body representative
  • Participation and development of iDrive social media campaigns

Taking into account all of the “hard factors” and “soft factors,” preparing for college is a tremendous endeavor. After studying and preparing for the college admission exam, loading up your schedule with advanced courses, writing amazing essays rounding out your identity as a desirable candidate with athletics, the arts, club participation and community service, the college board or scholarship committee may turn to social media to get a full picture of the person that they are reading about in the college application.

Related Stories:

References:

Schaffer, Russell. February 10, 2017. “Kaplan Test Prep Survey: College Admissions Officers Say Social Media Increasingly Affects Applicants’ Chances.” Kaplan Test Prep. NY. Retrieved from: https://goo.gl/uu9NdH

Schaffer, Russell. January 13, 2016. “Kaplan Test Prep Survey: Percentage of College Admissions Officers Who Check Out Applicants’ Social Media Profiles Hits New High; Triggers Include Special Talents, Competitive Sabotage” Kaplan Test Prep. NY. Retrieved from: https://goo.gl/CL57WD

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How to Be a Social Media Champion – Gain Visibility on Instagram

How to Be a Social Media Champion – Gain Visibility on Instagram

Are you already on Instagram? Follow iDrive on Instagram @idrive_live to keep in the loop with current events, discoveries and issues related to life in our digital generation. Although you may not feel like you are doing much when you like and comment on posts, these actions are great ways to show support of the iDrive movement. Every interaction with iDrive social media content makes the post more visible to others. Sharing iDrive posts with friends through DM (Direct Message) is even more powerful! Send the campaign posts to your friends and ask them to share on social media, too!

iDrive Agent Insider Alert! Did you know that Teens Suicide Prevention Week is in September? If this strikes a chord with you, be sure to follow iDrive on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Invite your friends to raise awareness of this important issue. Send this “Save the Date” post to your friends to get more people involved.

Related Article: iDrive Student Advisory Board | Teen Suicide Prevention Week 9/10-16

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How to Be a Social Media Champion – Expand the Facebook Community

How to Be a Social Media Champion – Expand the Facebook Community

Facebook is the easiest place to help the iDrive movement grow. By liking, commenting and sharing iDrive posts about topics you are interest in or that relate to your cause, you show support and raise awareness of the issues that matter to you. Make an even bigger impact by inviting your friends to join the iDrive movement.You can easily request everyone ages 13-18 on your Facebook friends list to join the iDrive community on Facebook with the click of a button!

Here’s how to invite friends to like the iDrive Facebook page on mobile:

  • Like the iDrive Facebook Page
  • Click the Share icon to see the drop-down menu.
  • Click on Invite Friends to Like This Page.
  • Select all of the friends that you want to invite.
  • Click the send icon.
3 hours ago

Many #students stress about their grade point average (GPA) not being a certain number to get into their dream #school. To add to this stress most four-year #universities have set a minimum requirement of 3.0 GPA for admission. However, participating in more rigorous classes like Advanced Placement (AP) courses can increase your GPA to be greater than the traditional 4.0. That is because some ... See more

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