Magazine article Success

Two Turnarounds: Texas Students Say the SUCCESS for Teens Program Rewrote Their Futures

Magazine article Success

Two Turnarounds: Texas Students Say the SUCCESS for Teens Program Rewrote Their Futures

Article excerpt

IN 2011, two teenage boys in Lake Dallas, Texas, died by their own hands less than five weeks apart, and a third attempted suicide shortly afterward. Administrators at Lake Dallas High School knew they had to intervene.

The SUCCESS Foundation offered its help. Headquartered near that suburban high school north of Dallas, the foundation has a SUCCESS for Teens program that helps kids hone important life skills and leadership qualities. The program centers on SUCCESS for Teens: Real Teens Talk About Using the Slight Edge, a book given to qualifying programs through the foundation website in print, audio and e-book form. Stories in SUCCESS for Teens--written by teens, for teens--are easy to read and lend themselves to follow-up discussions.

As part of its outreach in Lake Dallas, the foundation (SUCCESSFoundation.org) filmed a video that is now posted on YouTube. Lake Dallas students Patrick Patlan and Daisy Sandoval had starring roles.

Describing Patrick in the video, Lake Dallas Associate Principal Cory Halley said, "When I talked to him at the beginning of the year, he had a tremendous amount of problems. He was unmotivated." (Patrick agrees: "I had a lack of interest in almost everything I did.") After the program, Hailey said Patrick is "really taking this project to heart, and it's tremendous to see the change."

When we caught up with Patrick, the 18-year-old was working as a restaurant sous-chef shortly before graduation. Being in the video was "really cool because we're all able to help out and show others that stuff can be achievable if you try. …

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