TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Marie Schwartz

Marie Schwartz is the CEO and Founder of TeenLife Media. Marie launched TeenLife in 2007 after moving to Boston with her husband and two middle school sons and discovering that there were no information resources for families with older children. Today, TeenLife's award-winning website lists thousands of summer and gap year programs, schools, college admission resources and volunteer opportunities for teens around the world.

Posted June 7, 2021, 1:52 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
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As the world of education goes increasingly virtual, events and fairs are too. This is great news for families with teens because there is no travel involved - and most of these virtual events are free to attend by parents and students. Our team at TeenLife is on the lookout and will share the most interesting fairs, panel discussions, webinars that are taking place in the weeks and months ahead in this blog. Be sure to bookmark this post! We will also share a link in our monthly newsletter, so sign up if you are not already on our email ...

Posted Nov. 16, 2020, 2:20 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Volunteer Opportunities for Teens

Teenage community service is more than something that your mom insists will look good on your high school resume. It can point you to new interests, new friends, and if you’re really lucky, maybe even a lifelong career. And yeah, okay, it’ll also look good on your resume. But beyond all of that, community service instills a lifelong habit of helping others. It encourages you to look to the needs of your community and use your resources to pass on good to those who need it the most. Whether it’s a service that is well-known and carries prestige or small ...

Posted Nov. 4, 2020, 2:07 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
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November 4, 2020. TeenLife Media and the Gap Year Association are pleased to announce a two-year partnership agreement which began on October 1, 2020! Our joint mission in this effort is to increase the visibility of gap year opportunities among families with high school students, as well as the college counselors and independent consultants who work with them. TeenLife has been a recognized resource in the high school space since 2008 and is known for building greater awareness of all sorts of meaningful experiential learning opportunities for students before they enter college. The GYA is likewise excited to connect with ...

Posted Nov. 3, 2020, 2:55 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Career Key and TeenLife Media Announce Partnership

November 3, 2020 Career Key and TeenLife Media are excited to announce a new partnership! As the industry leaders in career decision making and teen academic/enrichment experiences, we have teamed up to help students learn more about themselves via the Career Key Discovery Personality Assessment for Students, so they can find "best-fit" summer, school year, and gap experiences that prepare them for success in college and life beyond school. What TeenLife and Career Key Hope to Achieve Together Juliet Jones-Vlasceanu, CEO of Career Key, says: Experiential learning is a cornerstone of clarifying career interests in preparation for college and beyond. ...

Posted July 31, 2019, 8 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
9 Things Counselors Want Parents to Know About High School

A new school year is like the first page of a new notebook: fresh and ready for a great story. Your high school student is likely to be both excited and trepidatious about how this school year’s plot might turn out. But you and your student have at least one common goal - that this story has a happy ending no matter what obstacles lie ahead. To help you out, we’ve collected advice from high school counselors and independent educational advisors on what really helps a student to succeed. Talk about it with your high school student and work together ...

Posted April 25, 2019, 11:30 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Listening parent

Labels for different parenting styles have come and gone for just about as long as there have been parents. Since the college admissions scandal made headlines last month, there has been a lot of talk about the perils of “snowplow parenting” -- clearing a path for children by shoving obstacles to the side. Like the tiger mothers and helicopter parents who came before, snowplowers are highly involved parents who take a proactive and often authoritative role in their children’s lives. Any parent can understand the desire to do everything in their power to make their kids’ lives better. And, with ...

Posted April 16, 2019, 2 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Gap Year Program Guide

After spending 12 years working toward high school graduation, perhaps the thought of heading back into the classroom for another four years has you feeling a bit restless. Maybe you’d like a break from books, teachers, and homework assignments, a chance to explore the world outside the classroom. A gap year -- a year between high school and college dedicated to work, travel, or service -- might be what you’re looking for. And to help you explore the possibilities a gap year can offer, we are proud to announce TeenLife’s 2019 Guide to Gap Year Programs, newly updated with even ...

Posted Jan. 29, 2019, 8 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Why A Gap Year is Important Before College

Do you yearn to be in the real world and discover life beyond a classroom? Consider a gap year before college. Whether you spend it volunteering, traveling, interning, or working, a gap year is the kind of experiential learning that gives young people the grit, resilience, and focus they’ll need to be successful once they get to college – and later in life. What is a gap year? Some people call a gap a year “off” because it’s usually spent outside a traditional classroom. But it’s really a year “on” for travel, community service, interning, research or field experience, language ...

Posted Jan. 25, 2019, 9 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
How to Promote Positive Teenage Behavior and Independence

The trials and tribulations of being a parent of a teen are regularly covered in the media. The message is the generally the same -- it's hard and getting harder. Whether it's college application time, dealing with accidents, drug addiction, or news of a suicide without warning signs -- it can all seem incredibly sad and difficult. In her book All Joy and No Fun, Jennifer Senior argues that changes in the last 50 years have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers. Children today are sheltered for long stretches of time and require much more schooling to ...

Posted Jan. 9, 2019, 8 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Diverse group of four teenagers sitting on porch of summer camp cabin

There are so many things teenagers need to learn that will not come from come from books or a classroom teacher or even sports: How to be a good friend. How to have confidence. How to take positive risks. How to pay attention to the present. How to ignore ridicule. How to advocate for yourself. How to have empathy for others. It’s nice think that parents teach many of those “soft” skills. But, as parents we are often painfully aware that we are the last people on earth our teens want to hear from now. So where can middle- and ...

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