When a high school or college student finds their path to success, it not only helps that student but it helps the local economy and the health of our Country. A student who is on the right path, as defined by being on a path that aligns with their strengths, interests, and passions, tends to perform at a much higher level both in their learning and in their ability to apply what they learned. In other words, they leave college much more prepared to be a contributing member of the workforce. This translates to more job opportunities, better paying jobs, and companies reap the benefits of a well-prepared worker.
How do students find their paths to success? That was the driving question when Smart Ambitions was originally created. When we talk about a path to success, it can’t be a path that is good for 60% of students, leaving the other 40% lost. It needed to be an individualized and personalized path for every student; because every student has unique talents, passions, and interests. Awareness, Focus, and Affordability are the three fundamental components of the Smart Ambitions path to success that allows for individualization.
Any path has to have a starting point. It is amazing how many people lurch out into the world without knowing who they are, what they’re good at, and what interest they have. They may be led by pressure, the desire for money, or whatever is easiest. Paths that start from those areas almost certainly fail or remain unfulfilled. The Awareness section of the Smart Ambitions program gives each student a powerful, research-based assessment that helps them understand who they are and where they are most likely to be successful. It is an objective but individualized body of information that indicates the beginning of the students path to success.
The Focus section of the Smart Ambitions program helps a student identify where they would like to be in the future. This is called their career area. It represents the part of the workforce that aligns with the student’s talents, interests, and passions. In all likelihood, a student who graduates from college with the credentials to enter this career area will have a high likelihood of finding success and happiness. The Awareness section was about defining the starting place and the Focus section is about identifying the target of the path to success. The only thing left is to identify are the resources and steps necessary to get from the beginning to the destination: this is called the Affordability section.
A student can know who they are and where they want to go, but unless they have the resources to get there, they will fall short. The financial aid process in the United States is an extremely complex set of rules that are very often misinterpreted when families attempt to understand them alone. Also causing confusion are the literally thousands of majors that exist in thousands of colleges and universities around the country. Without assistance, a student can easily drown in a sea of information. The Affordability section of Smart Ambitions provides the assistance of a coach and advanced tools to make sure that the student knows how to get from their starting point to their target without making sacrifices that will yield a lot of hardship in the future. Awareness, Focus, and Affordability, the components needed for a student to find and effectively navigate their path to success.