About Jean O'Toole

July 31, 2019 0 Comments

Jean O’Toole grew up in Western Massachusetts in a family focused on “money missions”. Her dedicated parents taught her the value of working hard and that, when necessary, second and third jobs were an opportunity and not a hardship. Her father’s words, “Much can be accomplished, if you are willing to work hard for it” became a mantra that she still carries with her today.

As a recipient of an academic college scholarship as well as several outside scholarships she was able to attend Wagner College and graduated with a B.S. in Arts Administration in 1997. Although her scholarship was generous, it still required her and her family to pay for the remainder of her education with student loans. Knowing that the debt would need to be paid off after receiving her degree, she was focused on positioning herself for immediate employment upon graduation. Her “money mission” focus motivated her to completing six internships while in college and also work multiple part time jobs. She witnessed student after student expecting their parents, college counselors and professors to open doors of opportunity for them, when in fact it was the student’s life not the parent’s life. She welcomed and was grateful for any “help” along the way, but embraced her philosophy, “If it is to be, it is up to me”.

Post college, her professional life did in fact have an incredible jump start. Within a few years she was touring the United States as a presenter and motivator for large groups of students and parents. In 2003 she began the research for “Scholarship Strategies- Finding and Winning the Money You Need” as it became clear that students and parents were most concerned about the rising cost of college. In her research she learned that there had been so much more scholarship opportunities than she had been aware of while she was in high school or college. She recognized that if more students and parents knew more about outside scholarships, than financial obstacles could be removed. She learned that, although there are no guarantees of winning scholarships, that a personal commitment to applying for as many as possible can obviously improve chances.

In 2005 she was accepted into the prestigious Monster’s Making It Count student speaker program, which helped her fine tune her communication skills for audiences of 1000+ students and parents. She will be forever grateful for the tools she learned through their training which helped her connect and empower students to take action in their lives.

In 2008 she joined Connections 101 in New York City, a company dedicated to helping students overcome obstacles to craft paths of accomplishment. With their incredible support, her scholarship strategy program has become a staple for many high schools. “Scholarship Strategies – Finding and Winning the Money You Need” has enabled thousands of students to start money missions.

Smart Edition Media understands that many students in need of test prep materials will want to take advantage of scholarship opportunities along the way. We want to encourage everyone to make the most out of their educational endeavors, which is why we are happy to be sharing Miss O'Toole's work.