About Amy LaGrasta

Amy LaGrasta

Amy LaGrasta, School Counseling Manager, helps students make informed decisions about courses, career and college options, and the study habits needed for online success. Prior to joining FLVS, she served as the guidance director at Estero High School in Lee County, FL where she was honored with the Teacher of Distinction award.

November is National Scholarship Month

By on November 12th, 2015

National Scholarship MonthIt’s never too early to start thinking about how to pay for college.

Paying for college is a costly endeavor.  Figuring out how to pay for college can be confusing and difficult.  While student loans must be paid back, scholarship money can pay for tuition and fees directly and does not have to be paid back.  A scholarship reduces the amount of loans and out-of-pocket expenses you must pay.  Therefore, scholarships are the best answer for many students.

The good news is that scholarships are easier than ever to find and apply for thanks to online tools that can connect students to billions of dollars’ worth of funds.  There are scholarships out there for everyone!  You can find scholarships for being left handed, good at soccer, art, or just for being tall!  Continue reading


National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

By on October 30th, 2015

National Bullying Prevention MonthAt one point, bullying was simply considered a rite of passage in childhood.

Today, research shows that bullying has a significant impact on one’s education, health, and safety.

Bullying can negatively impact a child’s education.  It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Research shows 15 percent of all school absenteeism is directly related to fears of being bullied at school.

One out of every 10 students who drops out of school does so because of repeated bullying. Continue reading


Red Ribbon Week 2015

By on October 26th, 2015

Red Ribbon Week 2015Don’t Wait to Talk to Your Child About Drugs!

While it may seem difficult or feel awkward, it is important that parents have these conversations and keep the lines of communication open. Research shows that talking to your child early and often is key.

According to the National Family Partnership, children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42 percent less likely to use drugs than those who don’t, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.

Almost 90 percent of youth reported that their parents would strongly disapprove of their trying marijuana once or twice. Among these youths, only 5.1 percent had used marijuana in the past month. However,  Continue reading


Preparing for College: Start Early, Be Consistent, Finish Strong

By on July 3rd, 2015

college prep
Many students fall into the trap of thinking college is something they need to start considering their senior year.

Students who wait until then, however, will be much more than a day late and a dollar short (more like four years too late and thousands of dollars short).

The fact is the time to start thinking about college is when you are selecting your freshman courses. It can be argued that it begins much earlier than this even – through the development of soft skills like time management, study habits, and a growth mindset for example, but that is a different post. Continue reading


Got Balance?

By on June 8th, 2015

balanceDo you ever stop and think about how much you juggle to find balance on a daily basis?

First, there’s the never-ending work or school/life balance.  Then, there’s the healthy/non-healthy balance. How much and what we eat needs to be considered along with and how much we sleep and exercise.  The balance between saving and spending is also part of that struggle.  Balancing family, friends, and personal time can also be a battle.  You name it, we’re trying to balance it!

Finding our balance might seem like a small thing, but it has a profound impact on our daily function. Finding and maintaining balance is something we usually don’t think about, until we lose it. Continue reading


Don’t Procrastinate, Motivate!

By on May 26th, 2015

Great things
Motivation is literally a desire to do things.

It is crucial to attaining goals.

Motivation is the difference between getting up and doing something or being a couch potato all day.

Whether you want to motivate yourself, colleagues, classmates, or children…here are some proven methods to improve your motivation and to motivate those around you. From setting goals to persevering through difficult challenges, these tips will help you accomplish all kinds of great things!

Continue reading


Social Media Use Could Come With A Price!

By on May 15th, 2015

teens-social-mediaFacebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine, Instagram, and Pinterest are all ways teens stay connected.

Social media allows us to connect with those near and far and opens doors to a variety of opportunities. According to the Pew Research Internet Project, 73 percent of Americans use social networking sites as of September 2013. Pew Research also shows that 95 percent of all teens ages 12-17 are now online.

While connecting and expressing one’s self on a global scale may be something we’re all entitled to, exercise caution. Posting inappropriate, vulgar, or disrespectful content comes with a price. Not only can you lose your admission to college and/or your scholarship, but you could also lose your job. Continue reading


10 Tried and True Test Taking Tips

By on April 15th, 2015

Exam
Number two pencils are not the only thing you need for test day!

Reporting to a test prepared both physically and mentally can help you succeed on test day. Whether you’re taking a simple quiz, an EOC exam, or a standardized test like the SAT or ACT, here are 10 things to remember about test day!

Looking for more tips and study skills?

Be sure to join an upcoming test-taking webinar or watch one of our recordings here. Continue reading


Happiness Starts with YOU!

By on February 4th, 2015

happinessAttitude is Everything.

Have you ever thought about it? It’s true. In 2014, I read The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. You should read it too! It has really helped to change my mood and shape a new way of positive thinking. In the book, Achor posits that daily affirmation of three happy or good things, no matter how big or small, will help your mind re-focus on the positive.

I have really worked hard to exercise the “three good things daily” practice. My team also shares positive things in their world regularly, creating a positive team and work environment (And if you know anything about counselors, we deal with some pretty tough stuff!) Overall, this daily habit creates a mindset focused on being grateful. It has positively affected my attitude at home with my family and at work with customers and colleagues. Continue reading


Battling the Holiday Blues

By on December 17th, 2014

holiday_blues
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” “Joy to the world!” and “Tis the season to be jolly” …

These popular holiday song lyrics explain how we all feel during the holiday season, right? Not so.

For many the holidays can be filled with anxiety, sadness, and loneliness.  There are a variety of reasons why people may feel the holiday blues.

Whatever the reason may be, there are ways to help plan ahead and get through the holiday season. Continue reading