Do-Gooder Consulting Homepage

Monday, April 14, 2014

Look for us in May and June

Here's where you can find us in the months of May and June. Call or text us at 872-222-8008 or e-mail us at  web@do-gooder.us if you have questions or would like to meet!



Urban Youth Network

May 1 (Thursday) , 2014 @9am. Join fellow youth workers for fellowship & growth.  May's meeting location is yet to be determined, but we will post an update when available. (You can also call/text 872-222-8008 or e-mail blog@do-gooder.us for an update.) 
Free breakfast (includes doughnuts and coffee) is provided.
For more info, contact Nick Rivera at 
nick@gripyouth.com or see the Urban Youth Network Facebook page

The June meeting (Thursday, June 5) is planed as a lunch meeting. We'll meet at Chinese Christian Union church's Impact Center (where we met in April). The approximate start time is 10:30am and will run through lunchtime, with catering from a local restaurant. 


Fleck's Coffee First Friday

Meet at Flecks Coffee for their First Friday networking event. See you at 343 E. 79th St., Chicago (South Side neighborhood of Chatham) on Friday, May 2 at 8am.

We have begun some great partnerships through these meetings.

Flecks is near 79th (#79 bus route) and King Drive (#3 bus), and short walk from the 79th stop of the Red Line, as well as the 79th street exit of the Dan Ryan (I-94, south side of Chicago).

From the event's Facebook page:
Jump Start Your New Year and Your Business at First Friday @ Flecks Cafe 79th & Calumet Friday May 2nd at 8:00am Sharp! Join the most high powered group of successful business owners and soon to be's for one-to-one networking and business building information exchange. Make It Your Business to Be Here! It Works, When We Work It! Let's Work It, TOGETHER! — at Flecks Coffee Company, Inc. hosted by Bruce Montgomery of Technology Access Television an. d Lyoness USA.

Chatham Business Association 

We'll see you at the next Chatham Business Association meeting on Tuesday, May 13 at the QBG Foundation Building, Meeting Room, 806 E. 78th St. Chicago, Il 60619 . The presenter is Patrice Daniels, Contract Compliance Administrator, Forest Preserves of Cook County on "Doing Business with the Forest Preserves of Cook County". This Monthly Membership Meeting held by Chatham Business Association, Small Business Development Inc. is held to inform current members and prospective members about issues and activities going on in Chatham and the City of Chicago.  You do not need to be a member to attend.  Breakfast is provided for a small fee.





Illinois College Access Network


The second Illinois College Access Network Meeting of 2014 be will meet on Wednesday, May 7th, at DeVry University (3300 N Campbell in Chicago, near the northwest corner of Belmont and Western). This is a new location from previous meetings, which have often been downtown. This meeting includes an update on recent Department of Education tools for the college search and financial assistance.(You can also call/text 872-222-8008 or e-mail blog@do-gooder.us for an update.) They hope to update the website at www.illinoiscan.org and they ask to please RSVP by sending an e-mail to  illinoiscollegeaccessnetwork@gmail.com     




College Changes Everything conference sponsored by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission on July 17, 2014 at the Tinley Park Convention Center.. More information when it becomes available.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Checklist for the 2015 Chicago Reload Conference

Whether you are going to the Reload conference in Chicago, or really any other gathering of professionals or other like-minded people, the following are some good tips to remember:


Reload is almost upon us here in Chicago. (Reload is a national gathering of urban youth ministry workers. They might be full time youth pastors, but they can also be simply volunteers who participate when they can).

Here are some things to have ready:

  • Money (there may be a few cash only items, but most vendors take credit cards)
  • Pens & scratch paper - in case you have to write a note. Yes, you COULD put it on your smartphone. But will you be smart enough to remember to review it? One other alternative is have your sound recorder or video camera readily available.  That might be another viable way for you to take verbal notes. But remember to review these notes either that night or a scheduled time the next day. 
  • Business Cards --- see our Bootleg Business Card blog entry for details
  • List of seminars - you can always change it on the spot, or just take the workshop time to have meaningful conversations & prayer times
  • Times where you are willing to SKIP.  The seminar, workshop or general speaker might be good, but there are times when one-on-one times are far more productive and memorable. A seasoned professional will understand this, and be OK with it. See our other blog entry for details.

Have a great time, and we hope to see you there.

At the conference, feel free to text us at 872-222-8008 to meet up.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Where we are in March and April 2014

Here's where you can find us in the months of March and April. Call or text us at 872-222-8008 or e-mail us at  web@do-gooder.us if you have questions or would like to meet!

Illinois College Access Network


The first Illinois College Access Network Meeting of 2014 will be on Tuesday, March 4, starting at 8am,  at Roosevelt University (2nd floor,
Congress Lounge) 430 S. Michigan Av,. The topic will focus on Understanding University Success - Developing
Non-Cognitive Factors in Your StudentsPlease RSVP by sending an e-mail to  illinoiscollegeaccessnetwork@gmail.com     Parking information is at:
http://www.roosevelt.edu/parking.  Discount validation for some locations
can be accomplished at the 425 S. Wabash entrance.




Urban Youth Network

March 6 (Thursday) , 2014 @9am. Join fellow youth workers for fellowship & growth.
Meeting location is Wells Community Academy (high school) at 940 N. Ashland.  Free breakfast (includes doughnuts and coffee)
For more info, contact Nick Rivera at 
nick@gripyouth.com or see the Urban Youth Network Facebook page


Fleck's Coffee First Friday

Meet at Flecks Coffee for their First Friday networking event. See you at 343 E. 79th St., Chicago (South Side neighborhood of Chatham) on Friday, March 7 at 8am.

Flecks is near 79th (#79 bus route) and King Drive (#3 bus), and short walk from the 79th stop of the Red Line, as well as the 79th street exit of the Dan Ryan (I-94, south side of Chicago).

From the event's Facebook page:
Jump Start Your New Year and Your Business at First Friday @ Flecks Cafe 79th & Calumet Friday March 7th at 8:00am Sharp! Join the most high powered group of successful business owners and soon to be's for one-to-one networking and business building information exchange. Make It Your Business to Be Here! It Works, When We Work It! Let's Work It, TOGETHER! — at Flecks Coffee Company, Inc. hosted by Bruce Montgomery of Technology Access Television and Lyoness USA.

 

Chicago RELOAD:Urban Youth Workers conference


For those who don't know, Reload has been going on for several years. It is a 1 day conference for Urban Youth workers, set in cities throughout the US and Canada.  It is sponsored nationally by the Urban Youth Workers Institute. Locally in Chicago, North Park University's Center for Youth Ministry Studies has been at the forefront of Reload.

If you have been touched by the KingdomWorks/CompassionWorks conferences that were annual events in Philadelphia and other cities in the 1990's, then you will appreciate Reload.

For more information go to northpark.edu/reload


.
I have personally been blessed by it. We will post more information next week.



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MAP Grant runs out on Feb 27!


The Illinois MAP (Monetary Assistance Program) grant is cutting off applications on February 27. This grants is for Illinois students who go to college in Illinois (undergraduate degree).

The way to apply for the MAP grant is to fill out  the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The website for filling out the FAFSA online is www.FAFSA.gov

You can read articles from Do-Gooder consulting on the FAFSA by clicking here.

A finished FAFSA (and you can estimate last year's income based on previous tax forms and financial statements), and an accepted college application will allow the financial aid office to process your financial aid request, and factor in the MAP grant if appropriate.
The original press release from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission is here --> http://www.isac.org/e-library/partner-e-messages-and-newsletters/counselor-e-messages/eLibrary_Counselor_2014_0225.html



The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is suspending the announcement of 2014-15 Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for all students whose initial 2014-15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is received by the Central Processing System (CPS) on or after Friday, February 28, 2014.

We are making you aware of the suspension of 2014-15 MAP awards to assist you as you counsel your college-bound seniors regarding financial assistance that may be available to them for the 2014-15 academic year.

High school seniors who plan to be enrolled in college for the 2014-15 academic year, but do not submit a FAFSA prior to February 28, should still be encouraged to do so as soon as possible at FAFSA on the Web. FAFSA results are used to determine eligibility for other forms of federal and state financial assistance. The suspension of 2014-15 MAP award announcements does not impact any other financial aid programs.

In addition, encourage your college-bound students (and their families) to visit the Students & Parents area at isac.org for information regarding the financial aid process.
You are receiving this message because you registered for ISAC's e-Messaging service through one or more subscription groups for Counselors.

If you have any questions regarding this e-Message, please contact ISAC's School Services Department by calling toll free at 866.247.2172 or sending an e-mail message to isac.schoolservices@isac.illinois.gov

Please fill out the FAFSA right NOW!

Monday, January 13, 2014

10 Facts about the FAFSA and other tips and insight

We at Do-Gooder Consulting wanted to share some wisdom regarding the FAFSA. We have also included some infographics that may feel free to share. They come from a slideshow were created for Oakdale Covenant Church's Academic Excellence Ministry.



  • FAFSA determines different kinds of financial aid, including federal and state aid, and possibly from the college itself.
  • You can't know how much financial aid you'll get if you don't fill out the FAFSA - and have an accepted college application. (A college won't offer you money if they don't think you can complete their program).
  • The FAFSA is free (as in Free Application for Federal Student Aid), so you should NOT pay to fill it out.
  • Even if you "only" get $500 in aid..what kind of job can you that is legal and ethical where can you earn $500 for an hour of work?
  • What you got (or didn't get) last year can change, so it's worth trying again. 
  • Financial Aid administrators have "professional judgment" and can override FAFSA results. (see below).
  • Documentation is the key to justifying any financial aid exceptions.
  • You might not trust the government with much, but you CAN trust a .GOV website, specifically FAFSA.GOV
  • "Officially" the deadline for the 3024-23015 FAFSA is June 30, 2015, but money runs out early. For example, the Illinois MAP Grant (worth up to $4700) ran out of money March 6, 2013. Before that, it ran out MArch 26, 2012. Just a few years prior, the money ran out in August.So fill it out as soon as you can after January 1.
  • You don't need to have taxes done (like the"old days" of your parents & mentors) to finish the FAFSA - do the estimated taxes, and update later.
  • File your taxes electronically (or have the preparer do so) --  then you can easily use the IRS Retrieval tool on the FAFSA to update your FAFSA.
See below for some other tips, and graphics you can share with friends.You can also search our blog for our other articles on the FAFSA and college financial aid.

Please leave a comment if you have a question about the FAFSA or the financial aid process.




Your name NEEDS to match what is on your Social Security card.
A different name can cause big problems.



Do NOT write off a college until AFTER you get that Financial Aid Award!







Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fill out the FAFSA THIS January 1st!


(The following article is (c) 2012 by J.P. Paulus. This may article may be reproduced ONLY with the permission of the author.)

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, is the backbone to getting federal and state financial aid for college. If you have a student going back to college, or starting for the first time next fall (or even thinking about it), then you as a family need to fill out the FAFSA, and do it as soon as you can right after January 1st.

A completed FAFSA puts you in line for financial aid, not just on the federal level, but also for states, and other resources. (Scholarships are different category, and need another type of application and a separate article.)

The FAFSA is a key form used by the US Department of Education, much in the same way the 1040 is the fundamental form for the IRS.  After you fill out the FAFSA, you will receive a number called the Expected Family Contribution, or EFC. But rather than the number that you should expect to pay, consider the EFC more like a credit score – a measurement of your financial need. An EFC of 0 (zero) would qualify you for the maximum amount of federal and state aid, if it is available through the school.

In order to fill out the FAFSA, you need to make sure that you go to www.FAFSA.GOV and NOT the FAFSA.COM website. You might not trust the government for many things, but you can trust a .gov website.  Also, there is no reason for you to pay money to fill out the FREE application for federal student aid (which FAFSA.com will do).

There are three items that are important to filling out the FAFSA:
1.       Social security cards
2.       W2 Forms
3.       Bank statements
The student needs the social security card, not just for the number, but also the correct spelling of the student’s name on the card. Any mistakes or variations (like a nickname) can cause serious problem. The parent, however, does not need a social security card or number, though it is helpful.

A driver’s license or state ID can also expedite the process.

W2 forms are needed from the parents (and the students, if available). Please note that providing this information does not obligate the parent to pay for any of their child’s education.  And if you (as a parent) feel you don’t make enough money to contribute anything to your child’s education – then you contribution to this section will actually help your child get more financial aid than perhaps if they filed as an independent student.

Bank statements also provide a snapshot of a family’s financial strength.

Parents who filled out the FAFSA back when they went to school need to make sure they have a shift in their mindset. In the “olden” days” of the FAFSA (back when our family filled out the FAFSA), the conventional wisdom was that you filled it out after taxes. The idea was that the paperwork was hard to update and very cumbersome, and you would need to send in copies of forms to “verify” any estimates, which would delay your financial aid. The time, and the opportunity for information to get lost, were very legitimate concerns back then.

With the modern wonders of the web, FAFSA now has a one-click tool where you can download your tax information, as long you filed electronically (such as TurboTax, or a professional service such as H&R Block).  And rather than calculate each student (and each update) by hand, the computer can easily calculate and update information, so financial aid officers actually embrace this method of estimating your FAFSA information.

Students can fill out the FAFSA anytime after January 1. So right after you say “Happy New Year!”, you can do it. Or, more likely, when you wake at 3pm in the afternoon.

This can also be a great event for churches after Sunday service. If you have access to a computer lab, one advisor can help several families through the FAFSA process.

Who should fill it out? Obviously, those going into college next year, but especially returning students, and even adults who are even just thinking about going to college. There’s no obligation to go to a specific college by filling out the form. You can easily change which colleges receive your information. And again, for parents, there is also no legal obligation to pay for the college education, even though you have given your information.


Another reason to fill out the FAFSA: colleges can not give you a financial aid package without the FAFSA being completed. You will also need to have been accepted at that college as well, because good colleges will not offer money to students they don't think will succeed at their school. 




We must emphasize once more, it is vital that students fill out the form as soon as possible, after January 1.

For example, in Illinois, the MAP grant is worth up to $4820. Again, in the “olden” days, the MAP grant money ran out by August (when most schools start their fall semester). In 2012, the money ran out March 23, which is a month before taxes are due (and usually done).

There is much more information that could be shared. But one last note to consider: the FAFSA is just a snapshot of a family’s financial situation. Colleges are aware that things happen. The key to getting exceptions to financial aid (called professional judgment) is documentation. The FAFSA is the prime example of it, but certainly not the limit. Contact your financial aid office if you think the EFC does not accurately reflect your family’s situation. 

Here are important links to see


Individuals who need help with financial aid issues should go to www.studentaid.gov or call 800-4-FED-AID (in Illinois, they can go to www.ISAC.org or call the Illinois Student Assistance Commission at 800-899-4722 ).

JP Paulus of Do-Gooder Consulting works with churches and nonprofits, and even businesses to help them integrate college access training into their programs. More information is available at www.do-gooder.us