Category: Featured

Raising puppies to change a life

Raising puppies to change a life

For one Fort Worth group, puppies are more than playful creatures.

The group, which works with Guide Dogs for the Blind, trains labradors and retrievers by socializing and nurturing them.

They go to church, they go to the grocery store, they go to restaurants. Anywhere you can go, your puppy in training can go,” said Becky Clark, who leads the Fort Worth Lone Star Guide Dog Raisers in 2014. It’s affiliated with the Lone Star Guide Dog Raisers.

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(Photos courtesy of the Fort Worth Lone Star Guide Dog Raisers.)

Founded in 1942, Guide Dogs for the Blind is a nationally recognized service dog training school.

Puppy raisers nurture and train service dogs from eight weeks old to when they are around 18 months old.

Service dogs play an essential role in assisting and improving the lives of those in need. These dogs are highly trained, well-mannered, and have an amazing impact on all of the lives they touch.

Clark, who has raised three puppies, said raising a service dog is an around the clock responsibility.

There are even back-up trainers who step in if regular trainer has a conflict.

Vicki Whistler, an office coordinator for TCU’s Department of Strategic Communication, is a part-time sitter. These sitters ensure that the puppies continue their training regime and offer more people the chance to get involved in the guide dog program.

The main goal is to prepare the dog for further training in California and its eventual role as a guide dog for the blind. In addition to getting them used to various social settings, the puppies are taught basic obedience (stop, sit, heel, etc.).

The Fort Worth club regularly takes the puppies on outing to prepare them for anything and everything before they move on to formal training, Clark said.

She said the dogs and the puppy raisers take trips ranging from the local elementary school to cross-country plane rides. “The more places they go the more experiences they get and the more well-rounded the dog becomes to prepare them for their formal training.”

Even though they training the dogs, a connection is established the puppies and their raisers.

“It is hard to give them up, a little piece of your heart goes with the puppy,” Clark said.  “But you know when you go into this that your goal is to serve someone else.

New SAT hopes to remove barriers

New SAT hopes to remove barriers

by Shreya Sahdev

With the new SAT in place, officials with Princeton Review and the College Board said there are now steps that all students can take to be successful.

The SAT assesses a  student’s performance in evidence-based writing, reading, and mathematics to determine if he or she is capable of handling college freshman level courses. In years past, companies such as Kaplan and Princeton Review offered students various types of tutoring, resources, and practice tests. But the cost was a barrier for some students.

The new test has a redesigned format and scoring system, as well as a free online tutorial.

Here are some tips on preparing for the new SAT:

Reading Section

Don’t worry about underlining words or phrases in the passages. Instead, summarize. It becomes tedious to underline everything. Summarizing in your head, preferably keeping small notes with some underlining will help you answer questions with more clarity.

Understanding the question – slow down and carefully read the dark and bold introduction to the passages.

When approaching a new question, read it thoroughly, cover the question with your hand and paraphrase it to yourself to make sure you understand it.

Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to write out and illustrate answers. Drawing small pictures or diagrams will help to answer questions without having to always refer back to lines in the text.

In the Writing section, students must understand where to appropriately use commas, full stops, colons and semicolons. It may seem like an “easy” task, however when given the option to change or replace a word, which could already be placed appropriately – can again lead to over thinking.

In both the Reading and Writing sections, there are more rules that can be handy to answer questions. When looking at a text for the first time, it is very important to pay attention to the text type, style, tone and mood. Tone and mood will ensure you are looking at the text with the right mindset of the main character, and their relationship with the other characters. The mood will provide details about them and their emotions.

Math Section

Practice and memorise: Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction.(PEMDAS). This order of operations is very useful when solving some algebraic questions, and also comes under the basics of Algebra II. These types of questions are an easy grab for points. The tougher questions, that require input of digits, will include questions on volume, area and circumference. These are the Geometry questions. Last, but not least, the calculator. The calculator is a wonderful device that aids to answer long questions and to check calculations. On the SAT, students should use the calculator minimally. Mental math should be your strength, and leave the calculator for checking answers. Mental maths is much more efficient and quicker, and student can better identify errors in his or her methods.

The new SAT is difficult, but not impossible.

The challenge of investing

The challenge of investing

For students who participated in TCU’s Investment Challenge, the six-day camp was only the beginning.

This year, 40 high schools participated in the Neeley School of Business camp. Each built a $100,000 virtual investment portfolio. They are expected to track the portfolio, investing, trading or selling as needed, through 3 p.m. March 31, 2017.  

“I came into this class not knowing very much,” John Truett Pittman.  “I learned how to look at their finance status to determine if it’s a fair price on the value. I still have no idea how to do trends at this point, but that’s something that’s going to come with experience.”

The program is tied to the TCU Educational Investment fund which is managing a real money portfolio for the Neeley School.

“There is some help there so it gets them interested in the aspect of a potential career so it helps them,” said Barbara Wood, program coordinator. “I think on a personal level at some point, they are going to have to invest money because they are going to earn some money and need to save for retirement.”

The students took classes in economics, presentations and accounting – to learn how to wisely invest in the virtual stock market. They also managed a practice portfolio. They bought specific stock, but also had their freedom to choose others.

I tried to do stuff in different industries to apply the whole diversification theory to where you don’t have everything in technology and everything in consumer items,” Abigel Chaves said.

The challenge spans eight months and students are expected to create a stock report at the end of each month tracking their investments.

I’m going to make a stock report for the stock that I am wanting to invest in or what I’ve already invested in,” Kiana Abrigana said. “I’ll just be keeping an eye out for things that sound interesting that I might want to invest in or that I should probably sell.

TCU offers the students a chance to live in college dorms and spend a week on campus so they know what it is like going to college. It’s also an opportunity for the students to become familiar with TCU.

Barbara Wood, program coordinator, said one student, who attended the camp last year, settled on TCU after going through the program.

“He had said that he was going to go to USC for college and after our banquet in April, he changed his mind and he is coming to TCU,” Wood said.