Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots

May 2014
by Lorraine
Decker, CLU, ChFC, MSFS


Financial Mentors leadership made a strategic move to put the high school Game of Real Life on the back burner while patiently  waiting for the Texas State Board of Education and Texas school districts to digest the implementation and implications of House Bill 5.  HB5, as it is called in the education community, overhauled the graduation requirements for Texas students.  While FMA waits, we have shifted direction and are actively planning to bring a second curriculum, Connect The Dots to middle school students.

Because of HB5, Connect The Dots is more relevant and important than it was in July 2012 when I first analyzed the data from Real Life graduates and decided that they could have greatly benefited from an earlier intervention.   HB5 requires students to make elections as to which of 5 possible endorsements they will take in high school.  Each endorsement consist of a series of courses, designed to prepare the student to graduate career and college ready. To optimize their graduation plan, students need to know by 8th grade which high school they will attend, what endorsement they will pursue, and which AP and dual credit courses they will take while in high school.  They need a plan.  That plan should be influenced by the interests they have, the careers they may pursue and the post secondary education they will need to be career ready.  Connect The Dots allows the students the time and information to make informed decisions and enter high school with an “exit strategy.”

This is our new direction.  If you wish to help make it happen, call me at 713-256-8643 or email me at


connecting dots