Kids & Company Blog

Five tips for helping your child achieve success

This blog was exclusively written for Kids & Company by Dr. Cassandra Chapman. Dr. Chapman holds a PhD in Cognitive Science of Language and is an experienced instructor at Brain Power Enrichment Programs. She has experience mentoring high-potential learners, leading them to achieve their full academic potential. She is  a proud mom of a toddler and kindergartener, and knows the importance of preparing our children for success! 

University admissions may seem like a long time away when you are gazing at your toddler or even at your elementary-aged child. However, by middle school, your child can already be preparing themselves for future university admissions. As a parent, you can help! Admissions to university programs are becoming increasingly competitive so why not give your child the advantage from an early age? High academic standing is only one part of the puzzle. Our students need to be encouraged to be involved members of their community and start building their experiences so that they can speak to them on their university applications. It’s never too early to start building these experiences. 

What can you do? Here are five tips: 

1) Contribute to the community

The why: Universities are looking for engaged citizens who contribute to their community. This contribution can start anytime. 

Action: Encourage your child to start taking on leadership opportunities in their extra-curricular activities. They are already involved in these activities, so why not take on a leadership role as well? Taking on a leadership role simply shows that they are invested in the activity and willing to spend more of their own time ensuring its success. It’s important that students take on these leadership opportunities early on so that they can be involved for a longer period of time. Showing a commitment to leadership of more than a year shows the university admissions officers that they are dedicated and reliable. 

What are some innovative ways to show leadership?

  1. Find a new school club. Identify a need or a gap and make it happen!
  2. Join the Student Council. Be a local leader.
  3. Volunteer through causes that are meaningful to them. 
  4. Find an organization outside of school based on a cause that they are passionate about. This could lead to global impact! 

2) Commit to academics 

The why: Universities are looking for students who are committed to their learning. Earning high grades in school is important but it is also necessary to show that students are even more committed to their own learning. 

Action: Apply to extra-curricular and enriched programs led by universities in Canada and beyond. The perfect time to do so is over the summer months. An excellent example is SHAD but there are a lot of summer programs offered at various universities that will boost students’ university applications. 

3) Participate in competitions

The why: Accomplishments and accolades will only help students’ applications. They can be listed on their university applications as past successes and students can speak to the skills earned through these experiences. 

Action: Encourage your student to participate in as many competitions as they can. There are so many great opportunities to compete across a variety of disciplines, including business, STEM, math, writing, and so much more. In addition, some of these competitions are great opportunities to show that they are a team player and can work on a team, another skill they can speak to in their applications. They can also provide students with leadership skills. 

4) Build your network

The why: Networking is important, even from a very early age. It is never too early to build a network. You have probably heard the saying, “It’s all about who you know.” 

Action: Encourage your student to get out in the community and talk to everyone! In particular, encourage your child to pay close attention to their peers who are just ahead of them. Find out what they know. They will want to share their advice and strategies. Encourage your child to get to know those around them and to not be afraid to ask questions. Informational interviews with professionals are also a great way to gain more knowledge. Your child can contact professionals on LinkedIn and see if they are willing to share their experiences. 

5) Develop communication skills

The why: It is so important to develop excellent communication skills, which will serve students in all areas of their academic career and beyond. Strong communication skills need to be developed both in writing and speaking. Students need to learn how to present their ideas in a clear and sophisticated way. Their grades are very important, but they are only one piece of the puzzle. Students then need to impress the admissions officers with their ability to express themselves clearly and thoughtfully.

Action: Build public speaking and persuasion skills with experience. These are skills that take time and practice to develop. Encourage your child to take a workshop offered by Brain Power (Public Speaking, Mechanics of Writing) to build these skills. This can start as early as Grade 4! 

Encourage your child to build their toolkit for university admissions from an early age. Many of these activities involve them getting more involved in activities that already interest them. Becoming a leader in a club they are already involved in will simply enable them to speak to their experience as a leader and what they have learned. This will bolster their application to prestigious universities and help them achieve success! 

Do you want to learn more? 

Attend Kids & Company’s webinar with Brain Power instructors Dr. Karine Rashkovsky and Dr. Cassandra Chapman on February 28 at 1 pm. Register here!

If any Kids & Company families would like to book the 1:1 Pre-University Prep Consulting or Brain Power's Fall University Prep Workshop, you can receive 10% off if you book by March 30, 2023. Call Brain Power’s office at 905-303-5457 with code UniPrep2023 for a limited time!

To learn more about these programs, visit

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