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Last week, I presented Winning Strategies for the College Bound to a room filled with moms and daughters from the National Charity League (NCL), Ridgefield Chapter. With an emphasis on the exciting journey ahead, I spoke about a positive and proactive approach to minimize stress and maximize success…yes, with a large dose of fun along the way. My advice? Set your compass to include these strategies: understand your personal profile (academics, personality, activities); create a college criteria “wish list”; identify college matches based on profiles/criteria through search engines, resources, and websites; set up testing timelines (ACT, SAT, SAT Subject, AP); communicate with and visit colleges; develop application themes; convey heart, spirit, character in essays; choose recommendations wisely (teacher, mentor, coach); foster relationships with HS counselors and complete required documents ahead of the game. The end goal: matching your strengths and interests today with the right colleges and careers for tomorrow. For information about dates on additional DEC NETWORK speaking engagements and workshops, go to www.dec-network.com.