Founder’s Feature: November Edition


New this year is the Founder’s Feature. Throughout the academic year, Melinda Giampietro, Options Founder/President, will share some of her favourite things. Melinda loves reading, data, research, and following academic and adolescent news around the world.  

Melinda’s November TV Show:

Maid. I find it interesting how few options Alex, the main character, has due to her lack of formal education. I also appreciate how much she values education and sees it as her way to a better life.


Melinda’s November Featured Article #1:

Having followed UWO’s sexual assault crisis closely this fall, it is concerning how many Canadian universities fail to accurately track sexual violence on campus. I am hopeful the UWO situation will open this discussion across Canada and move toward changes in reporting. We need to quickly see increased conversation, recognition, and prevention education around this issue. Click here to read Maclean’s article.

Melinda’s November Featured Article #2:

On October 4th, Stats Can released its Youth and Education in Canada findings. Here are some interesting takeaways:

  • In 2019, an all-time high of 73% of Canadians aged 25 to 34 had earned a postsecondary qualification, compared with 59% in 2000.
  • Higher proportions of young women have a university degree as their highest level of education compared with young men.
  • Young Canadians with post-secondary education also have higher average annual earnings. For example, university graduates aged 25 to 34 earned an average of $18,868 more per year than similarly aged high school graduates.

Melinda’s November Music Pick:

One of my all-time favourite Vancouver memories was seeing Ed Sheeran at Ambleside Park. It made me a lifelong Ed fan. So, I was very excited when his new album = (Equals) was released last Friday.

= (Equals) by Ed Sheeran

Melinda’s Favourite Reading Material in November:

Our grade 12 US-bound students produced some AMAZING Common Application essays this fall. This genre of essay is unique to US applications, and our students, guided by their writing coaches, wrote incredible stories. Even after 28 years of Common Application essays, I still love them. It is super special to watch the growth students make as they work their way from brainstorming to final drafts, producing stories that uniquely represent them. 

Melinda’s November Cookbook and Recipe Pick:

Many, many years ago, a client gave me The Soup Sisters Cookbook as a holiday gift. It is perfect for this time of year. The best weeknight dinner is a warm bowl of soup with a side of beer bread.  This is my family’s favourite one: It is shockingly easy and so tasty. It makes great toast the next day, too.

The Soup Sisters Cookbook

We help you navigate the complex post-secondary selection process in Canada, the United States, the UK and abroad.

We construct progressive action plans for the future, based on each student’s individual strengths, values, and interests.