Team Effort: The Success Foundation Forms Alliances with Top Youth Organizations
Lee, David, Success
The great thing about setting goals is that when you reach them, you get to set new ones.
Just one year after its launch, the SUCCESS Foundation, created by SUCCESS magazine's owner Stuart Johnson, has distributed more than 1 million free copies of SUCCESS for Teens[TM] in print and audio through its partnerships with schools, churches and nonprofit youth-development organizations. The book is filled with inspirational stories written from teens' perspectives that encourage young people to set goals, pursue their dreams and understand how the choices they make on a daily basis can affect their lives. Distributing the book, as well as an abridged audio version in CD and MP3 formats, is the foundation's first initiative.
The eight principles described in SUCCESS for Teens are based on author Jeff Olson's book The Slight Edge[R], which demonstrates how small, daily, positive choices add up to create a significant difference over time. A SUCCESS for Teens Facilitator's Guide is also available.
John Fleming, executive director of the SUCCESS Foundation, says that while skills such as goal-setting, dream-building and time management may be basic, they are not taught enough.
"The principles and values often associated with what we refer to as personal development are not typically taught in the traditional educational system," Fleming says. "This book can make a difference. It can say what a teacher may not be able to say or what a parent might not be able to articulate."
Tammy Oehlke, a high-school career preparation teacher in Garland, Texas, agrees. She teaches her students the life and career skills they need to succeed after high school, and she recently introduced her classes and other teachers in her school district to SUCCESS for Teens.
"It seems so many students today are not taught the essential skills needed for personal success, first from their parents and second by teachers," Oehlke says. "I wish all high-school students could have the opportunity to read SUCCESS for Teens in order to set goals and reach them, to develop character, to believe in themselves and to be successful people. SUCCESS for Teens is helping reinforce lessons I teach students in goal-setting, self-esteem, time management and several other key points."
Now, the SUCCESS Foundation is building on its momentum by forming alliances with several key organizations to help get more books into the hands of thousands more teens. The foundation is developing partnerships with youth-focused organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, America's Promise Alliance, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Boys and Girls Clubs, Just Say Yes and Optimist International.
"These alliances add so much value to our efforts and reinforce our commitment to support leading organizations that are already working with youth through well-respected programs," Fleming says. "Through organizations such as these, we reach a great number of teens who are already in some type of structured program."
Big Brothers Big Sisters is the nation's largest donor-based volunteer network of mentors for youth, working with some 250,000 young people annually. The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to enrich, encourage and empower children to reach their highest potential through safe, positive, one-to-one mentoring relationships.
'Together, we [the SUCCESS Foundation and BBBS] are changing what it means to grow up in America," says Todd Bristow, North Texas director of resource development for BBBS. "The gift of literacy is the most valuable gift that can be transferred to a person of any age. During these times, our children urgently require the skills, tools and sustained encouragement that will guide them through a range of needs. …