NORTH STAR: A CANADIAN VOLUNTEER BRINGS SUCCESS FOR TEENS TO A NEW AUDIENCE--THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED.

Author:Sullivan, Jeff
Position:SUCCESS FOUNDATION
 
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Since SUCCESS for Teens was first introduced in 2008, the book has been read by countless students from around the world. The impact of those words, the lessons and guidelines to inspire what for so many can be the toughest of ages, has been limitless. Perhaps there has never been a better example of that than what is taking place in Brantford, Ontario, where the book was recently translated to Braille for first time.

In the final quarter of the 2017-18 school year, a SUCCESS For Teens Leadership Workshop was taught at the W. Boss Macdonald School for the Blind. The results were so overwhelmingly positive that the plan for this winter and spring includes expanding to the other seven schools of the Provincial and Demonstration Branch, which includes students who are deaf, blind or who have severe learning disabilities from communities across the Canadian province.

SUCCESS for Teens: Real Teens Talk about Using the Slight Edge, is the cornerstone material of SUCCESS for Teens, a personal-development curriculum created by the SUCCESS Foundation. (SUCCESSFoundation.org offers free downloads of the e-book, facilitator's guide and audio to qualifying public schools, churches and nonprofit youth-development programs.)

The genesis of implementing the Ontario workshop came from Suzette V. Ramdhanie, who was first introduced to SUCCESS for Teens in 2015 by a work associate in the banking industry.

"There's a line that truly resonates with me, that I live to this very day: 'It's not how you define success that matters most; it's simply that you have defined it for yourself-- whether it be financial, personal, spiritual or anything in between,'" Ramdhanie says.

At the direction and coordination of the school's vice principal, Lynne Osasuyi, Ramdhanie and a social worker, Bandy Upper, led a class of 12 students, both blind and low vision, ages 16 to 21, who were on the cusp of graduation. Among the more daunting challenges ahead of the students was the prospect of leaving their comfortable educational surroundings behind.

"Entering a brand new environment was terrifying to most of them, the uncertainty of the unknown is one of the most interesting challenges they were going to be faced with," Bamdhanie says. "What comes together in the SUCCESS curriculum, it's transformative, it changes lives by creating 'A Players' and equips them with specific attributes and competencies that employers are looking to hire in the 21st century."

Once SUCCESS for Teens...

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