15 Mar Do The Right Thing
Do The Right Thing
In light of all the media focused on the so-called Independent Educational Consultant (IEC) William Rick Singer out of Newport Beach and his company Edge College & Career Network, also known as The Key, I felt the need to write!
I have been in the education world for over 25 year as a credentialed educator, coach, mentor and now as an IEC. I love my job! I got into the business of education years ago because I care about students and I passionately believe every child can be successful if given the tools and skill-set to do so. There are NO shortcuts…
All of this media on the unscrupulous dealings of this man and the entourage of people that were associated with him (business partners, testing proctors, coaches, parents, etc…) has broken my heart and caused me to lose sleep.
Let’s be clear that I and the all of the colleagues I work with hold ourselves to a standard of ethics governed by various college and counseling organizations (NACAC, Affiliate ACAC’s, HECA, and IECA). I and my colleagues are in the business of working with students and their families with the student’s best interest being first and foremost.
Let’s also be clear that in every profession there will be the “Dirty Johns” of that profession. I am married to a physician and many of his (our) friends are in the same profession with impeccable reputations! That doesn’t mean that all physicians hold themselves to the same standards or are in the profession solely for patient care (case in point Larry Nassar)… this isn’t and shouldn’t stop us from seeing a physician when we are ill or injured. When we need legal advice we seek the advice of our attorney to assist us in navigating and understanding the legal process of a particular situation, but again not all attorneys are in the profession solely for the protection of others (case in point Michael Cohen) this isn’t and shouldn’t stop us from seeking legal advice when needed. We have an amazing personal financial advisor that we entrust our money and investments for us and our children but once again, not all financial advisors are in the profession solely to protect you, your money and to give you sound advice (case in point Bernie Madoff) this isn’t and shouldn’t stop us from seeking the advice of our financial advisors that are experts in their field. There will always be the people who are in it for themselves, looking for the fastest route to the “good life”, and will do so with corruption and deceit.
This man consciously chose a path to be a criminal knowing full well what he was doing. These coaches, test proctors, and parents that paid and accepted money also made conscious decisions to employ this man knowing exactly what services they were paying for and what they were accepting money for. This man no where on his website or in any news article is mentioned as affiliated, associated or a member of any governing agency that held him to a standard code of ethics. This man to date is charged with one count each of money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, racketeering conspiracy, and obstruction of justice. The parents, test proctors, and coaches involved with him are also charged with similar crimes. Unfortunately, we live in a world where money can and does have the ability to make things happen. As long as there are people who lack the integrity to do the right thing, feel privileged and above the law, and people willing to associate themselves all in the name of prestige, financial gain, or… “fill in the blank” this corruption in all professions will exist forever.
Those who are left in the aftermath of these events and those who have yet to surface are the ethical universities and their employees that hold high standards to their admissions process that now will be subjected to greater scrutiny in their admissions process and decisions. The IEC’s that are hardworking individuals working with students and families to ensure their child is happy, successful and in a place to thrive, and belong to the various governing organizations that hold their members (and to which they hold themselves) to ethical standards of conduct. Most importantly the students (whether they were aware or not is inconsequential) as the message is NO different… they were told “I don’t believe in you”, “I don’t have confidence in your abilities”, “I don’t think that you are capable”… this is what these parents and so called adults that were helping them along their college admissions process ultimately were conveying!
How did we get here?
When did being proud of your children for their abilities become insufficient?
When did blindly justifying a means to an end become the example a parent demonstrates for their child?
When did “at any cost” become the norm?
I left the classroom because I wasn’t able to help parents and administrators understand that failure is ok… it is part of the process of learning and growth! If you don’t ever make a mistake how will you ever know that you did it right? I wasn’t able to manage the demanding and unreasonable requests that came both from parents and administrators who wanted students to succeed at any cost without regard to what message was being sent to the student due to the increasing fear and competitive nature of the college admissions process.
I wish that I had been the counselor to the students who will be forever haunted by these events. Helping them discover their self-worth and talent and to be confident in those abilities leading them down a path that was meant for them to walk! Rather than the one their parents chose and paved for them.
This gives the rest of us in professions (education, medicine, law, finance, etc) the charge to bring to light the ethical individuals in those professions that have chosen to do the right thing. As humans we all innately know the difference between right and wrong… it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to know the difference. Again, there is NO shortcut for hard work, determination, and integrity… good old fashion GRIT…it will never fail you.
Do the right thing!
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Meet Nagla Orlando, M.Ed.
Nagla Orlando, KnowledgeWorx founder, has worked with a diverse group of students, assisting each in confidently engaging in the college application process. Nagla approaches the college application process as a 25-year veteran California credentialed educator in Science (Biology, AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology). In addition to teaching Nagla mentored thousands of students in interpersonal growth and leadership skills outside of the classroom. Nagla built KnowledgeWorx around her passion for helping students gain exposure to higher education and finding the best fit for students’ unique interests, abilities, personalities and goals.
With a singular focus, an engaging personality, and an intuitive ability to relate to students and parents, Nagla has the expertise to understand the individual, their needs and passions giving her the unique insight to objectively see each students strengths and potential. Nagla helps you see yourself objectively rather than merely as a test score, GPA, or letter grade. When you are able to perceive yourself in this light you are able to communicate these attributes in your college application allowing an admissions officer to get a glimpse of your intellectual curiosity, tenacity, evidence of personal growth and excellence
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