#127 Showcasing Your Teen’s Character & Curiosity to Colleges with Liz Krider

In this episode, Lisa and Liz discuss:

  • How your teen can showcase their character and curiosity to stand out to colleges and universities.
  • How to evaluate your teen’s comfort zone bandwidth. 
  • Steps for expanding your teen’s comfort zone.
  • Practical strategies for identifying problems that matter to your teen and turning them into a passion project.


Key Takeaways: 

  • The two values colleges most seek in students are character and curiosity. These encompass traits such as resilience, personal growth, integrity, and responsibility.
  • Colleges will tell your student what they’re looking for on their website. It may not be as clear as a GPA or test score number, but the questions they ask on the application give you insight into what they’re seeking. 
  • Learning from failure is a good thing in the eyes of college admissions officers. It demonstrates character growth and the pursuit of open-ended endeavors. 
  • When your teen embarks on an open-ended project, that can be the catalyst for your student’s character growth.


My advice to students in trying to think about evidence of their character and curiosity is to really practice uncertainty.” – Liz Krider


About Liz Krider:

Known affectionately as “Dr. Liz,” she is founder of Passion Progress, a boutique consulting firm that helps high school and college students find purpose through projects. She is nationally recognized for her work on projects, which have become the “differentiator” for college admissions for high school students and for internship placements for undergraduates. She is the creator of the Impact Symposium, an in-person, live event where high school students present their community impact and research projects through TED-style talks. Dr. Liz has mentored hundreds of high school and college students over the past 20 years both inside and outside of the classroom. Her students have matriculated to the following universities:  Stanford, Yale, Cornell, Brown, Georgetown, Duke, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Johns Hopkins University, Rice, Tufts, University of Notre Dame, NYU, Purdue, and many other top 75 colleges. 


She holds a PhD in Chemistry from Caltech and has extensive experience in academic research for pre-college/college students, science policy, mentorship, and STEM education. Her career began in academic research and science policy at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) where she distinguished herself as an asset to research institutions wanting to translate their value to elected officials, policymakers, and donors. Author of scientific publications, teacher, and community volunteer, Dr. Liz is the recipient of numerous awards for her scientific, teaching, and advocacy work.


Get Lisa’s Free on-demand video: How-to guide for your teen to choose the right major, college, & career…(without painting themselves into a corner, missing crucial deadlines, or risking choices you both regret). 



Connect with Liz Krider:

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-krider-ph-d 

Website: passionprojects.net 


Connect with Lisa:

Website: flourishcoachingco.com

YouTube: youtube.com/@flourishcoachingco

Instagram: instagram.com/flourishcoachingco

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/flourish-coaching-co

Access the episode transcript here