“Donald has been so supportive throughout the college process with his girls. He’s ensuring they visit as many colleges as possible, completing paperwork, and so in tuned with their needs. Parenting two teenagers can’t be easy. He’s done so much to make sure they are as prepared as possible to get into the schools of their choice and be able to reach their goals for themselves.” – Jessica DaSilva-Fisher, Boston Navigator
My older daughter, Kathryn, is going to be 18 in June. The younger one, Hannah, is going to be 17 in July. They're 13 months apart. Both girls have done well. In Kathryn’s sophomore year, she didn't want to be the smart kid that was good at art anymore. Her grades slipped. But she overcame that. She took four AP classes this year. Hannah took two.
They’re very busy. They both work. Actually Hannah works here with me on the weekends, in community life. We keep them busy so they stay out of trouble.
College was an expectation on our part. It wasn’t an option for them to sit at home. Either college, or we wanted them to go in the military, or learn a trade. We spent a lot of time on school vacations visiting colleges for Kathryn. She was accepted to UMass Amherst, Bentley, Stonehill, and UNH. And she decided to go to UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management, which I think is a good choice. Now, Hannah’s in the process of figuring out what colleges she’s interested in, and we’re getting started with all that again.
As far as their college prep, I don't necessarily keep on top of every part of the curriculum that they go through in high school. But I keep an eye on their grades and attendance and all that stuff. It can be a little bit stressful, doing the financial forms especially. It would be helpful to have a checklist of things you need to do in October, November, December. I started off working with Arlene as my Navigator, and she was involved with Kathryn's college stuff. Now Jessica and I are figuring out how to work with Hannah, find scholarship opportunities for her, and hopefully make the process a little bit easier. Jessica will connect directly with Hannah, which might work better than her dad always asking her questions. She’s in a phase where she doesn’t want to talk to her parents that much.
The transition to college is going to be tough on us. I’m hoping they’ll step up to the plate. I think if you asked them right now, they’d say they think we’re horrible parents. But I think maybe someday, they'll realize we did all this stuff because we loved them, and we wanted them to do well.