Author encourages children to consider college

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Jamie Campisano (’07) is on a mission. She wants to instill in children, beginning at a very young age, the importance of going to college. Her new children’s book, “ ‘C’ is for College,” introduces children to college from A (for academics and athletics) to Z (for showing zeal and enthusiasm for education).

A native of Louisville, Ky., Campisano earned certificates in broadcast journalism and documentary film from the New York Film Academy and works for Ridley Scott Associates, a film and commercial production company, in New York City.

What is your book about?

“ ‘C’ is for College” (Evanston Publishing: 2012) is an ABC kind of book that encourages children to see themselves as college material and helps to embed the idea that college is the normal progression after high school. The book familiarizes kids with a college vocabulary and helps give them confidence to know they are college worthy, college going, and college bound.

I am using the word “college” a little loosely. What the book stresses is post-secondary education. I think going into the trades is great and definitely needed — being a carpenter, a plumber, an electrician, etc. Those jobs also require some post-secondary schooling. Read more about ” ‘C’ is for college.”

Why did you write this book?

I became increasingly troubled about the education crisis and wanted to do something, however small, to help. I have always been a believer in the concept “the me I see, is the me I’ll be.” So, I decided to write a couple of children’s books, and my first one is “ ‘C’ is for College.” My books aren’t going to save any lives, but I am hoping they might save some livelihoods.

My book tries to send a clear message to our youth. You are going to need some post-secondary education and you are going to need to get a degree – a college degree, a trade certificate or something. We need encouragers for our youth at all levels. Kids aren’t born winners or losers, they are born choosers. We need to find ways to help them value and choose education.

I understand that you are donating some of the proceeds from your book to student aid at Wake Forest; why?

I think it is important to have diverse socio-economic students on campus. I had some friends at Wake who were on huge financial aid packages. We all grew personally and professionally being amongst the economic diversity. I appreciate what Wake did for me and want to give back.

Read more about Jamie Campisano.
Watch a television interview with Campisano.

How did Wake Forest prepare you for your career and writing this book?

There are a lot of professors who made a huge difference in shaping the person I have become, and I am forever grateful. Wake Forest offers an education that is up close and personal. I loved the small classes; they were all very lively with everyone engaged, lots of lively debate. I think that environment helped develop my ability to communicate effectively, my self-confidence in speaking out with a differing opinion, my creativity, so many things.

Attending Wake opened up the door to some great internships also. Everyone in the workplace respects the University. It has a fabulous brand. I interned at NBC, National Geographic and NPR. All of those wonderful opportunities were available in part because I attended Wake. I feel so very honored to call it my alma mater.

What is your next book about?

My next book is called “If you Educate a Mermaid…” . It speaks to all of the wonderful things that result from education. If you educate a mermaid, she will want to learn other languages, she will want to travel and see other oceans, she will never judge another fish by the color of his scales. All of the same things that hold true if you educate a child. I have always liked mermaids and thought it would be a fun book.


About the Author

Senior Editor Kerry M. King (’85) got his start writing about Wake Forest as sports editor and editor of the Old Gold & Black. Since returning to Wake Forest in 1989, he’s written stories on hundreds of alumni. He received Wake Forest’s Employee of the Year Award in 2004 when he worked in the Public Affairs office. His wife, Heather Barnes King (MA ’97), is a high school math teacher. She received the Marcellus E. Waddill Excellence in Teaching Award for Wake Forest alumni in 2011. They have two furry children, Shetland sheepdogs Brady and Dexter.

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