#HigherEdHero — Meet Kristi Okerlund

While they might not scale tall buildings or catch villains, there are super heroes walking among us. These heroes use their powers to support and guide students and families through their high school and college years. They are creative, energetic, resilient, organized, empathetic, hard-working professionals who make a difference in the lives of those around them.  As an author and

Emotional about launching your college student? You are not alone!

When did it happen? When did our kids grow up? I went from college and my first “real” job to marriage and then babies, who grew from toddlers to teens in a nanosecond. A household where diapers, lullabies, and training wheels turned into thongs, indie rock, and driver’s ed. Who knew I’d long for the days of chicken nuggets with

Cha-Ching! Discussing Money With Your College Student

Parents, if you’re like me, you realize that many things about college have changed since your coed days. College is big business. It’s not like the old days. Back then, if you had a pulse and a checkbook, you were accepted. Today, college is much more competitive. And expensive. That’s true for tuition and room and board, but it’s also

Great Grad Gifts 3.0

Got a grad? Trying to find a gift they will use AND appreciate? Here are great gift ideas for the high school or college graduate. Ink + Volt Planner Your student (or recent college grad) will stay organized, goal-oriented and super-productive with this planner from Ink + Volt. These high quality, well-appointed planners contain calendars, weekly time-blocking pages, journaling prompts

Wear Sensible Shoes and Other Observations of College Graduation Day

Our oldest child graduated from college over the weekend. I wasn’t sure what to expect, which may sound silly since I’m a college graduate myself. I graduated several decades ago from a mid-sized public university in the era of Aqua Net and patent leather pumps. I remember the fashion, but honestly, I can barely remember the ceremony. It’s likely sandwiched

Great Grad Gift Idea

Looking for a fun and inspirational grad gift?  Look no further than Dr. Seuss! His books may be disguised as children’s books, but underneath the quirky rhymes, bold colors and whimsical stories, they are filled with valuable life lessons. Dr. Seuss has a lot to teach us about life and character qualities that matter. He addresses things like integrity, self-care,

Heading out of my comfort zone…again!

As I go out and speak on preparing to successfully launch our children, many people ask if I have any videos to share online. Up until now, I’ve had to say “no.” But thanks to a little thing called iMovie that came with my laptop, I can now say “yes.” Folks, this has stretched me! It is waaaay out of

Bringing home the GOLD!

When I clicked open my email, one subject line immediately caught my eye. It said YOU ARE A FINALIST! Those four words meant I was heading to St. Paul for the 27th Annual Midwest Book awards. I’d be joining other hard-working, passionate, word-loving authors to celebrate independent book publishing and vie for some bling. The celebration was last weekend and I’m thrilled to tell

How to prevent “summer melt” for your high school graduate? Give ’em a nudge!

Many of you know I’m currently a mom of a high school senior. My “baby” will graduate in two weeks and head off to college in the fall. A few months ago, our high school sent out a notice about a program called Summer Nudging. It is sponsored by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education designed to help college-bound students

A Lesson in Ink

Young people today are sprucing up body parts with ink and adding holes to their heads (and elsewhere), all in the name of individuality and expression. Please understand—I have no issue with tattoos per se. In fact, I find many of them very beautiful, and I love the stories they tell (unless the story includes a fifth of Jack Daniel’s