How to Raise a Jojo: Introduction

Every time people hear what Jamil and I do for a living, they immediately exclaim, “Oh, she’s going to be set for applying to colleges!” And maybe in some ways they’re right. We do have unusually deep knowledge about how students make themselves stand out in the application process. We do understand what programs exist to boost student resumes and enrich their image. However, what people don’t anticipate is that, for many reasons, we’re simply not wrapped up in any of that. Here are a few:

  1. We work with some of the most successful, entrepreneurial people in the world, and hardly any of them went to an illustrious college.
  2. We know that this is an evolving process. Even if we did try to carve out a stellar path for Josephine, the chances are, they’d change the rules of the game just as we reached the finish line. There’s no sense in trying to control something that’s truly beyond our grasp.
  3. We don’t believe in engineering a human being’s resume. We want Jojo to dig deeply into her core and find her passions. We want her to do cool things because she loves them, not fabricated things because she wants to impress an admissions committee (that may or may not spend more than 20 seconds on her application). 

With those ideas in mind, we’ve come up with our own parenting plan, one that echoes our values and that we hope will enhance Josephine’s dynamism, so she can succeed in all aspects of life, regardless of what university winds up being her alma mater.

I decided to create this blog several years ago when I realized that we were doing things somewhat differently from other parents, and I’ve been accumulating content since Josephine was about six months old. What took so long, you ask? Well, first, I wanted a deep well of experiences to pull from to write interesting posts. Second, I felt like I had to verify that I would really stick to my guns and raise Jojo the way I said I intended to; after all, plans change! Third, I’ve been working like crazy since the day she was born to build a business, and in my spare time, I’ve been attending law school. But now, here we are, and How to Raise a Jojo is finally making its debut! I hope you enjoy it.

Author: Jessica Givens