'Pandemic' Graduates & Their Families
The book, The First Thirty (and its expanded version, The Silhouette Man) tell the story of a young person whose life seems to be going according to plan -- until he encounters an unexpected roadblock during his last semester of high school & his seemingly set future becomes much less certain. He eventually overcomes the obstacle, makes it to college & earns his degree -- but his college experience doesn't end as he envisioned, either. Despite earning his degree, he doesn't 'cross the stage' at an in-person college graduation like he always dreamed. In the days that follow, he must decide whether he will be defined by those disappointing chapters of his life - or - by how he responds to them. SCROLL DOWN
The books &/or the true story upon which they are based have been featured by media like College Bound, College News, Newsweek Kaplan College Guide and The Washington Post. For many years, families have ordered the books for their kids & grandkids graduating from middle school, high school, college or graduate school. Students who graduate from a school or program during the pandemic can relate to the story in a way few others can.
Theresa Taylor, Middle School Assistant Principal, Texas: "[The First Thirty] demonstrates the power within each of us to spark positive change... helps middle schoolers view the world from a different perspective."
College News: "[The First Thirty is] a remarkable story of strength filled with lessons that will take every student through the college years and beyond."
Amy Pszczolkowski, now at Princeton University, former First Year Experience professor, Asnuntuck Community College: "[The First Thirty is] a great story of redemption and determination... a virtual case study for First Year Experience program... a blueprint for new college students."
Ana Oprisan, Program Manager, Council of Europe: "The Silhouette Man... shows who we can be and what we can do -- against all disappointments, against all odds, within the limitations of our power and resources..."
David J, college student from Texas: "The Silhouette Man has been a great read... It reminds me to be kind, curious and to never give up on an educational, civic or business dream..."
Note: In some pictures, it appears people are holding a copy of The First Thirty with a cover that features a young kid in a helmet. That is the old edition of the book. The current version (the 15th anniversary edition of The First Thirty) has a new cover (young person looking out the window)