Book by: Laura Schroff & Alex Tresniowski
Review by: Atiya Jackson
Mathematics and Statistics Academic Advisor
University of South Florida

The power of making connections can have the most meaningful and long-term effects on an individual’s life. The book, An Invisible Thread, by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski, proves to be a valuable resource in utilizing the art of connectivity.  

The book is about a profound relationship between two people, Ms. Schroff and Maurice. Ms. Schroff was an executive who felt called to help a young panhandler, Maurice, by offering him a meal to eat. The two individuals came from two different socio-economic backgrounds, but found commonalties within each other that produces a friendship built on mentorship, respect, and encouragement.

The book An Invisible Thread can be an effective guide to help academic advisors be open to the invisible thread that can connect us to students. Today, students have lives that are much more than the classroom experience, and advisors must take into account all of the challenges and advantages each student brings with them. As an academic advisor, this book is also a great guide to help support and direct students to become self-directed learners who are invested in their education. Advisors need to believe that their students are capable of this sort of growth. Advisors should assist students in mapping out a curriculum that not only prepares students for their future careers, but also develops their character upon graduation.

Laura Schroff saw the impending talent in Maurice and helped to assist him in reaching his goals. “He consider his childhood a gift, Maurice once told her. It happened to her so she could learn the right way to raise her children” (p. 224).  Advisors, can firmly believe in helping students to find their contribution to the world by maximizing their potential. Maya Angelou stated, “She believe that every person is born with talent.”  This book truly makes the reader think about making intentional connections, beyond just advising. In addition, it challenges advisors to think the about commonalities that help students remove barriers that impede success, by guiding them through the transition into college and their educational endeavors.

An invisible thread: The true story of an 11-year-old panhandler, a busy sales executive, and an unlikely meeting with destiny (2011). Book by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski. Review by Atiya Jackson, Nashville, Tenn, Howard Books, 272 pp., $15.99, (paperback) ISBN #978-1-4516-4897-3

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