Yesterday, I received an amazing email from the parent of a Green Ivy student who comes to our Los Altos office:
I wanted to let you know that Mignote did a great job getting [our son] ready to take the ACT. He scored a 31 composite (97th percentile), 34 on reading, 31 math, 28 on science. The was a great improvement over his SAT of 1700 and his previous practice attempts on the ACT (19 was his highest ACT practice test score).
This has opened up an entire new range of college possibilities for him. He was beaming when he told me his score!
Again, please express my thanks to Mignote and thank you, Ana, for creating great learning environment that cares about kids.
~ Father of a Mountain View HS Junior, April 29, 2014
Most people would probably look at the email and think, cool, the son improved his ACT scores A LOT. And I agree, it’s so incredibly impressive. But to me, what was more exciting was how this father got to see his son “beaming” with personal confidence. And the fact that this father recognized how hard everyone at Green Ivy works to “create a learning environment that cares about kids” reminded me of why I started doing this work so many years ago.
I was just twenty-two years old when I started Green Ivy Educational Consulting in 2001. I had barely missed 9/11 and had severe appendicitis (and surgery) within weeks of each other, and upon reflection came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to work as an investment banking analyst dealing with Excel sheets and Powerpoint presentations (my Excel skills leave a lot to be desired). I love working with young people (and people of all ages, really) and I love seeing the beaming face that comes from an accomplishment achieved or a personal desire fulfilled, so at twenty-two years old, I set out to make it a part of my daily work.
We each have different things in life that make us beam. For some, it could be receiving recognition, or accomplishing something that once seemed arduous and impossible. For others, it could be seeing our children do something with enthusiasm or having a fun experience with friends and loved ones. Each time I witness someone else moving closer to who they are meant to be, and who they want to become, I beam. When people feel better about themselves and their possibilities, I beam. And when I am able to make another’s day easier, I beam.
So I encourage you to think about and talk with your kids about the following:
- What is something they have accomplished over the last year that they are personally proud of? It could be school related – or not. It could be learning to bake bread or play the drums or run a mile in under 8/7/6/5 minutes (my mile time is ahem, on the more leisurely side)… whatever it is, have them reflect on how they felt.
- What kind of time and effort went into achieving what they are proud of in Question 1? Typically the time and effort doesn’t seem as much once we are on the other side.
- Is there something for this upcoming summer/school year that you would like to work on? The key is having your children think about what is important to them, rather than what they think they should want to do.
We all have something that intrinsically motivates us. That young man who improved his scores so dramatically wanted to improve his options at playing lacrosse in college. He worked really diligently with us over nine months, and didn’t give up when things were stressful. And he was able to get results beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. And he beamed.
What makes you beam with enthusiasm?