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 Dec. 20, 2016, 3:03 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
gap guide

It takes a lot of hard work to get into college, and it’s a big financial commitment. Those are both good reasons to take the time to discover more about yourself and the world before diving back into academics. Download If you’re thinking of taking a gap year or semester, our 2017 Guide to Gap Year Programs is the perfect tool for exploring your options and planning your time, or finding an independent advisor who can help you. Research shows that college-bound students benefit enormously by taking a break between high school and college and that time out from academics ...

Posted July 7, 2016, 9:34 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Announcing TeenLife's 2016 Guide to Therapeutic Programs & Services

It’s a tough job to find help for a teenager with mental health or addiction issues. It can leave parents and even educators feeling isolated and overwhelmed. Just the numbers are staggering. One in five of children age 13 to 18 has or will have a serious mental illness; 11 percent have a mood disorder and 8 percent an anxiety disorder, according to data collected by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. That’s why we publish TeenLife’s Guide to Therapeutic Programs & Services. Whether you are dealing with a long-term problem or a sudden crisis, we can link you with ...

Posted May 3, 2016, 10:45 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Why Malia Obama’s Gap Year will Make a Big Difference

Why Malia Obama's Gap Year will make a Big Difference Dear Malia: It’s great that you’re going to Harvard but hearty congratulations on a more important long-term choice: your decision to take a gap year. While Harvard encourages freshmen to take a year off after high school, it’s not easy for most seniors to buck the typical American pattern of going straight to college. Gaps may be popular in the United Kingdom and other places but here in the United States we have yet to make it realistic for the vast majority of students. Your decision encourages us to talk ...

Posted April 22, 2016, 9 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
8 STEM Programs for Your Teen this Summer

8 STEM Programs for Your Teen this Summer The school year is ending and if your high school student loves STEM, you need to move quickly to nail a spot in a chemistry camp, high school summer medical program, game-design summer camp, or another science, technology, engineering or math summer program. How do you find the right STEM summer camp for teens? Consider the program’s focus, its mentors and teachers, cost and financial aid, and how its curriculum or activities might boost the STEM skills your teen needs. For instance, is the program focused in the lab or out in ...

Posted Jan. 23, 2015, 10 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
high school internship

This is the season when high school students like you are starting to think about what you want to do this summer. Chances are when people ask you "What are you doing this summer?" you will say "I want a job." If you're lucky, you live in a community where camps, retail stores, swim clubs or small businesses will hire you. In a city like Boston, which is full of college students, high school students have fewer options. So what is a high school student to do? It's impossible to just sit around the house and attending a summer program ...

Posted Sept. 27, 2014, 11 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
performing and visual arts colleges from teenlife

TeenLife is pleased to announce the publication of the fourth annual 2014 TeenLife Guide to Performing & Visual Arts Colleges in partnership with the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). With more than 350 colleges listed both alphabetically and geographically by region among its 100 pages, this handy guide is truly a “must-read” for all parents, students, and educators researching colleges that offer majors in performing and/or visual arts. The guide also provides a list of the 20 NACAC Performing & Visual Arts College Fairs taking place across the country from September to November. The guide is available in ...

Posted Aug. 18, 2014, 11 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Tips for an Emotional Day: Sending Your Child Off to College

Colleges are about to start. As campuses gear up for orientations, and college-bound students gear up for all the firsts of college life, parents of the college-bound too are gearing up. Perhaps they help purchase lamps and shower caddies. They balance out their needs for a few special moments with their rising college students with all the peer goodbyes. They wonder where that time went. If I am describing you, I’m sure it’s a moment of mixed emotions. I don’t think there is a magical formula to make the transition guaranteed to be smooth or easy. Marshall P. Duke, former ...

Posted April 9, 2014, 2:38 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
What You Should Know About Executive Functioning

Have you ever wondered exactly what executive functioning means? “Executive functioning” is a phrase you’ve probably heard. It’s a big one in the fields of education and psychology. Even if no educator or helping professional has ever mentioned this to you personally, you’ve probably overheard the phrase in one of those places where parents congregate, from the playground to the high school games’ bleachers. Philip David Zelazo of the University of Minnesota, a leading expert in executive functions, defines them as "the deliberate, goal-directed control of behavior." And to channel that behavior, in essence, it means a person must have ...

Posted April 9, 2014, 11 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Summer is a Time to Practice Aloneness and Reaching Out to Friends

Parents tend to think about how to nurture their children's ability to make friends and simultaneously, encourage their independence. We hope that our kids, left to their own devices, can manage time alone. We pay attention to sociability and independence, because it’s important to connect with others and to be comfortable by oneself. As kids get older, the routines of school, homework, and organized activities take over and we may stop thinking so much about how our teens navigate friendships and alone time. With cell phones and social media, we may think our teens are rarely alone, even when they ...

Posted April 5, 2014, 11 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Are Summer College Visits Worthwhile?

Most parents of high school juniors—or rising seniors—feel some pressure as this summer before senior year rolls around. The college application process looms. The essay topic remains a mystery. Then, there’s the biggest question: Where to apply? As a parent, you may see summer—when your child has no classes, no sports, no extracurricular activities, and perhaps you have some time off from work—as a good time to get a jump on college tours. Campuses in summer are generally sleepier, slow, and far emptier than during the academic year. So, is it worth your time—and your student’s—to take some tours? Here ...

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