At LEAP Foundation DC, we don’t just want our mentees to survive junior and senior high – we want them to celebrate success upon graduation and move forward with anticipation and excitement. We do this through valuable programming, effective collaborations and meaningful connections. We know that for today’s young men and women to be successful, several things must happen: They must develop confidence in their abilities, recognize the importance of education, possess the determination to overcome challenges and learn life skills that are most important for survival.
You can help cultivate a successful future for today’s generation, too. Read on to discover why the above four factors are so important and what you can do to help develop each of these critical areas.
CONFIDENCE – You can’t get where you want to be without confidence. It’s just not possible. When we lack confidence, we don’t look our best, our words are negative and we project an attitude that we don’t believe we are capable of achieving great things. So we don’t. It’s so important to develop positive self-talk habits that encourage young people to believe in their abilities, be proud of who they are and move forward with the confidence to do what it takes to succeed.
EDUCATION – When we aren’t connecting with a topic it can be difficult to appreciate the lesson. School can be tough for those with learning disabilities or who lack the desire to learn, but when learning becomes fun, valuable information is retained. Help your student understand the importance of education – even when it’s boring – by making learning exciting. Seek out school resources, take advantage of local educational opportunities, like museums, symposiums or workshops, and stress the importance of today’s choices leading to tomorrow’s dreams.
DETERMINATION – One thing successful individuals have in common is that they are determined to achieve great things. This means that when life throws a wrench in things, they find another route. Being determined means studying instead of going out, putting in the extra time on the track, field or the court, and setting big goals for the future.
LIFE SKILLS – All too often students are sent to college without ever being taught basic survival skills. This includes things like how to balance a bank account, how to cook a few healthy meals, and how to clean a house, as well as positive ways to deal with stress, how to communicate effectively and how to be assertive. These habits and abilities are best learned through example and hands-on activities. The local library can be a valuable resource, but simply hanging out together serves as a great opportunity to introduce things like cooking, stress reduction techniques and the importance of budgeting.