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My College Planning Team Social Distancing Guidelines

MCPT is committed to following or exceeding CDC protocols as we slowly begin to resume in-person meetings with our clients and prospective clients.  Beginning June 1, 2020, in-person meetings between our clients and financial advisors may be held in the conference rooms at our Naperville office — if both the client and financial advisor are comfortable meeting in person. Alternatively, phone appointments remain an option.  All meetings between clients and our client service managers or other professionals on our team will…

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Social Media

Make Social Media Work for You!

There are many tips and articles on what you should not post on social media and the Internet, but let’s consider some ways that social media can be used in a positive way. LinkedIn LinkedIn is not only for your parents. This social media tool is an excellent way for you to promote yourself. More and more students are using this site to share their work experience, their successes, and resources as well as finding a job. Start connecting with…

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Recommended Gap Year Reads

For hundreds of years, tales have been spun about the adventures of travelers in distant lands. Memoirs of these travels serve to inform – and inspire- its readers. The following list compiles travelogues written in the 20th century by authors as famous as Che Guevara to former 30 Rock producer Steve Hely. They range from serious to hilarious, but they all describe challenging yourself in a foreign location. Even if that location is our own Appalachian Trail! These books just may help you decide where…

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Navigating Senior Year: 5 Things to Know

Giddy with excitement and feeling pretty amazing, your child is in their senior year. You are left standing at the curb while they are on top of their world. The next several months are all about parties, prom and their 25 best friends. For parents navigating senior year, you may feel as if your relationship has changed, and this can leave even the most confident parent feeling a bit uneasy. The process of breaking away that begins during senior year is…

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Is My Teenager Depressed? Recognizing the Symptoms of Depression in Teens

“I can’t tell if my teenager is just moody or if he is depressed. What’s the difference?”

In my private psychotherapy practice I get asked this question a lot by worried parents wondering about the dividing line between usual adolescent moodiness and clinical depression. It’s a good question.

College-Teenager-Depression

Teenagers can be very moody. They can also sometimes be downright surly. The pendulum swing between the emotional polarities of happy to sad may fluctuate rapidly. It’s only when the pendulum gets “stuck “ on sadness, and your teen’s feelings of hopelessness and helplessness interfere with his ability to succeed in school, enjoy family and friends, engage in life, that your teen may need some help in getting his pendulum moving again.

During their teenage years adolescents experience a good deal of mental and physical growth. According to researchers, the developing teen brain makes as many new connections as a newborn infant’s. We all know how much physical change occurs during the teen years. This growth of brain and body can be physically exhausting for teens. In fact, the average teen requires more sleep than a newborn baby. Emotional and psychological maturation also occur. All this growth and change helps the adolescent develop their sense of self, an identity.

It can be difficult for parents to see their “sweet little child” suddenly turn into a person they no longer recognize. Well, guess what, your child may not recognize herself either. It’s no wonder that your teenager may sit in her room alone for hours feeling confused and scared by her changing self. Add to this mix outside stressors such as grades, college, changing peer relationships, and leaving home. For the majority of adolescents, this too shall pass. However, if your child is among the 11% of teens experiencing symptoms of depression here are some signs to look for.

Sadness is the number one sign of depression. Along with sadness, notice any changing behavior in your teen. I found this helpful video on Be Smart Be Well.com, a health and wellness website, in which Ken Duckworth, MD, Medical Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness lists five symptoms to look for in your teen. Have your child’s sleeping patterns changed; is your child no longer interested in interacting with friends; is your child using drugs or alcohol; does your child experience physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomachaches; is your child talking about harming himself?

Most importantly it’s crucial to keep in mind, as Dr. Duckworth points out in his video, depression in teens is real, and it is treatable.

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Meet Ken Johnson

Ken Johnson is an attorney with a varied legal and business background. He received his J.D. from The John Marshall School of Law and also earned his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Ken was also an adjunct professor at IIT Kent College of Law in the LLM program and taught such courses as Finance, Broker Dealer Regulation, Venture Capital for Lawyers, Investment Banking, Electronic Markets and Exchanges and Mergers and Acquisitions. Ken has gained extensive experience…

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Meet Bob Proctor

Bob is the owner of Shamrock Financial Planning located in Naperville, IL. Shamrock offers comprehensive financial planning along with securities and advisory services. He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) with over 25 years in the financial services business. Bob is a member of numerous industry organizations and has served on numerous Boards of Directors, including the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Bob has been an attender, teacher (grades 3 through…

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Meet Jim Novak

Jim has been in the financial services business for over 25 years, helping families and returning veterans with retirement planning.  He understands college funding and has helped many clients reduce their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and increase their financial awards.  Jim is also a Certified Senior Advisor, helping the “sandwich generation” (those who have children at home and also need to take care of their elderly parents) manage their resources. Jim studied at the University of St. Thomas and the…

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Meet Jim Kraiss

Jim Kraiss has been a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) for over 29 years. He has taught financial planning at several area colleges, written multiple financial planning articles, and authored five books on the subject. His latest book, Living the Tax Free Life, has received rave reviews from readers and other financial advisors. With his expertise in designing non-assessable financial instruments for college funding and his previous long-term experience as a Series 7 and Series 63 securities advisor, he has been able…

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Meet Jack Schacht

Jack has over 40 years in marketing, management, career development and business leadership.  His first business, Career Counselors, launched the careers of hundreds of college graduate at major companies throughout the Chicago area. In 2006, Jack sold his most recent business (The Illinois Trade Association) which became the largest commercial barter exchange in the United States.  While at Illinois Trade Associate he and his team mentored hundreds of business owners on creative financial strategies to reduce expenses, improve cash flow…

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