Hello! Cheers to the weekend!
I am very excited about what I have to share in this week’s post. A philanthropist named Susan Crown realized, like many others, that our current institutions designed to prepare children for successful adulthood were failing a large group of vulnerable adolescents. However, she took a different approach than many to solving these problems. She identified eight programs for vulnerable youth that had very high “success” with their youth transitioning into adulthood. These programs could not be more unique. One helps students write and perform in musicals about their traumatic pasts. Another teaches older teens how to build boats. Yet another asks kids to log positive actions in their schools. All of them, however, were studied by her organization. From that study, it was found that they are successful because they teach the following skills, which collectively are called social and emotional learning (SEL for short).
The reason that I am so excited to share about SEL is because I work for a program basically operating under this principle:
More than academic or technical knowledge, people need resilience and a sense of self-efficacy in order to “make it” in this world.
All of that to say, our program’s classes stress relationship building, healthy decision making, and communication just as much as hard skills such as GED and office technology classes.
Ms. Crown’s study compiled a guide for best practices in teaching these skills. So, this week’s suggestion of how you can change the world is to use this guide to identify a program near you implementing SEL. Then, use yourself to help them. One of the key pieces in teaching these skills is mentorship (it is one of the few things that all of the eight programs had in common). So, volunteer to help teach SEL. This won’t just help an individual, it will help society… and change the world.
For more information about the program for which I work, check out our Empowered Living Academy website.