Legal, ethical ways to help your children through the college admissions process

Every few years a scandal involving cheating around tests and privilege and college admissions comes to light. This time the scandal touches our local area and continues to underscore the insanity around the obsession our society has with name-brand universities.

Even the extraordinarily wealthy and famous believe they can’t legally influence the admissions office, and that’s actually a good thing. There are certain groups of people who receive a small advantage in the admissions process, including children of alumni (legacy admits), athletes and development admits (those who are donating large sums, usually more than $5 million, which go to helping all students). However, the advantage these students receive is smaller than one thinks – for example, even two-thirds of Stanford University legacy applicants are denied.

Emergency powers: A ticking time bomb that's still necessary

A swine flu epidemic in 2009. Hurricane Katrina. The onset of the Civil War.

No more child trafficking

During my visits to India, I have seen young children working in restaurants cleaning tables, selling stuff in the streets, begging on street corners or at traffic lights, doing agricultural labor or working in factories. Before I began my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I thought that child trafficking happened only in India. When I researched this subject, I was in disbelief to learn that child trafficking happens in the Bay Area, too.

According to UNICEF, child trafficking is the act of harboring, recruiting, transporting, transferring or receiving a person by means of fraud, force or coercion for the purpose of exploitation. Trafficked victims can be boys and girls.

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