How students measure success

How did students measure success?

Some answers might have surprised you.

During a recent group discussion with students at our Sparks Out Of School program, I posed the question, “How do you measure success?” Each of the kids got sticky notes and a sharpie. Then I said, “Imagine that you are 25 years old and are now successful. How would you define what has made you a success? Write those things on sticky notes and post them on the board.” Some answers were what you might expect: money, job, house, and car. Other answers might have surprised you: in my Bible, college graduate, good marriage. After receiving around thirty responses, the kids voted on whether each of the answers given were true indicators of success. They decided that having money or a nice car did not necessarily define success. They all agreed that education, good relationships, and being in the Word are much better indicators.

You can make a difference. You can change a generation. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (NIV) Our youth will pursue what they believe will lead them to success. They get their definition by observing us (adults). You have the opportunity to show them what success is in your daily life and through your prayer and support of Glenhaven. Mentoring, modeling, correction, and teaching are all ways we expose these students to truth, including the real meaning of success.

As each student puts into practice the principles they learn, they see for the first time a clear picture of what really works. Your prayer and support help instill truth into their lives. Truth always bears fruit. They begin to make progress in school. Their relationships improve. They experience peace in the midst of their sometimes chaotic lives. They experience the joy of accomplishment.

During that group discussion, the kids learned to define what is important in life and what is fleeting. They identified that to reach their goals they will have to make sacrifices. They showed that they can plan for success. Now we guide them, reminding them of what they have learned, encouraging them to stay the course, admonishing them in their shortcomings, and celebrating their successes. Through this small but meaningful exercise, they began a journey toward realizing true success in their life, in no small part because of you!

John Cunningham
Executive Director