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My parents, like most parents, decided they knew what was best for me, and plopped me right in the class. I was quite peeved to say the least. Every Thursday I would have to go and talk about some ridiculous goal related material. Not only that, but it came fully equipped with homework! I must have gone to three classes thinking it was an absurd waste of time for the entire hour.

One Thursday night, though, I took it seriously. I listened and gave it a chance to make an impact on me. Other than the fact that it changed my entire outlook on life, it was not really useful. As a kid, I was mostly focused on me, my stuff, getting more stuff, and how awful things were because I did not have everything I wanted. Listening for one day, everything changed. Not only did the glass go from half empty to half full, but I would also go as far as to get up and fill it up the rest of the way myself. I was taught the power of the mind to take any undesirable situation and make it not only tolerable, but enjoyable.

Moreover, I was taught to set high expectations and be disappointed when things did not turn out as well as they could have, rather than expecting things to go poorly and being surprised when they do not. Now, of course this is not to say that I have never been pessimistic or cynical since, it is to say that without that class, I just would not be a happy person. I would not take risks, I would not get the rewards; I would just survive. Making movies would not matter to me, developing websites would not matter, because, quite honestly, without the motivation from my goal setting class, I would have just given up when I had to learn a new code or figure out how to use complicated editing software.

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Unlike my first two stories which tell about my desires to create multimedia and entertain, this one tells why I act how I do. It was 8th grade. My good friend Bobby’s parents had just recently started a business venture, and were trying to get on their feet. I did not know much about it. They did seminars and taught leadership or something. Nothing I was interested in for sure. Much to my dismay, however, my parents were interested. One of the services they provided was a class on goal setting.  

Youth Development

Enabling youth to make positive life choices

The Rising Stars Process is designed to help today's youth

develop their personal leadership skills and begin to set goals

and directions for their lives beginning at an earlier age.

Leadership is essential in enabling youth to develop character,

confidence, and values that promote the understanding of

healthy behavior.

The Rising Stars Development Process – A Formula For Success

Rising Stars is an innovative and unique inside-out self-development process. This research-based approach focuses on three critical elements that promote personal leadership, healthy behaviors, and the skills employers identify as essential. These elements are developed, applied, and reinforced throughout the process and through a follow-up process to strengthen and perpetuate successful behaviors.

Some of the many positive outcomes of Rising Stars Participants:

  • Participant successfully applies skills from their assessment

  • Seeks out options from diverse alternatives

  • Able to make goal-oriented informed decisions

  • Communicates effectively in diverse situations (socially confident)

  • Demonstrates leadership in various situations

    • Team-player and/or leader

    • Provides a vision and purpose to a cause

    • Uses influence to obtain planned outcomes

  • Outcomes of the pilot participants:

    • Graduates had a 40% grade point increase

    • Graduates had a 56% reduction in school disciplinary/truancy incidents

    • College attendance within one pilot site increased from 5% to 75%