May I tell you a great story?
This year, we began working with a partner organization in the Domincan Republic, called “Global Effect.” They exist to empower local residents to bring about sustainable transformation to their communities, addressing economic, social and physical needs in those communities. A few years ago, Global Effect identified a lack of character and leadership in young people of the La Vega region and how it was affecting their towns.
From early teen pregnancy, to disorderly and criminal behavior among students, to extremely high dropout rates—they knew they had to find a way to engage students via existing relationships with educators…and teach values-based leadership to kids.
Fortunately for us, at Growing Leaders, our paths crossed.
Habitudes® was the missing piece—as they discovered today’s students prefer to engage in conversations that are driven by images, relevant topics and fun experiences.
As of August, 2017, The Growing Leaders Initiative (our philanthropic arm) began partnering with Global Effect to implement Habitudes in 10 Public Schools in the La Vega Region, impacting over 5,000 students. Most of these students experience extreme poverty and would not have access to leadership curriculum without Global Effect and their partnership with The Growing Leaders Initiative.
The beauty of this partnership comes from the holistic approach. At Growing Leaders we know the key transaction to a successful Habitudes lesson is the facilitator: an adult who can facilitate an interactive and honest experience for students to engage with their peers around character, responsibility, integrity, self-care and more. So, last year our team traveled to the Dominican Republic to train 15 adult-facilitators to take Habitudes into the schools of this region.
The response from teens has been remarkable.
Just One Story
Let me relay the impact in just one student, Darling Jose Rosario Cruceta. Darling is 16-years old and sent a letter describing his story:
“Before Habitudes…I was considered a rebellious teen, hyperactive, rude, and disobedient. When I made decisions, I didn’t listen to anyone’s advice; instead, I’d go my own way. I challenged teachers, was disrespectful, and was constantly in fights. I couldn’t care less about school. In fact, I failed school and was repeating my last grade.
I was a delinquent. I would break the city’s water pipes and light meters. I had to go to the Principal’s office on a daily basis. In order to not be kicked out of school, I’d make promises that I’d fail to keep. I became antisocial and started losing friends. They would avoid me. When the Habitudes classes started, I remained disrespectful toward my teacher. I told her I was going to beat her up and yelled at her to leave the classroom.
But when I heard her speak of the Thermostats or Thermometers and about the Iceberg and other images, I started thinking about what she was saying. Over summer break, I reflected deeply on what she said. Her many good words and advice made me re-think my ways.
As this school year began, I asked my mom to come to school with me. We entered my teacher’s classroom and I asked her to forgive me. She forgave me and my life began to be transformed.
Currently, I am more dedicated than ever to school and to this program. My behavior in the classroom has changed for the better. Today, I thank God and this program for helping me become a different person. I see life in a whole new way. I can, honestly, say that my life has been transformed.”
Want to Help Teens Like This One?
Darling is just one of thousands we get to touch each year through Habitudes. We now work in 66 countries, and the courses have been translated into several languages. As 2018 ends, I’m committed to giving toward these conversations and experiences into leader’s hands so they can lead these conversations. Would you consider joining me?
- A $25 gift sponsors one student receiving Habitudes training for a year.
- A $500 gift sponsors a classroom full of students to receive training for a year.
- A $2,500 gifts adopts an entire school to be trained for a year.
You can give with a credit card HERE, or write a check to: The Growing Leaders Initiative. Generous donors are willing to match $30,000 in gifts.
Thanks for caring about the next generation.