Rave Reviews: SUCCESS for Teens

Perhaps a girl named Debora explained it best: “I have to be honest with you,” she wrote to the SUCCESS Foundation, “when my teacher told me we had to read the book, I was like, Oh, great, another dumb book. But when I started reading it, I started to love it. It has helped me a lot to think positive and never give up.”

The 147-page book, Success for Teens: Real Teens Talk About Using the Slight Edge, is at the heart of the SUCCESS for Teens program, which has brought life-changing advice to teens nationwide. It addresses decision-making, resisting negative peer pressure and even managing money effectively. Because stories in SUCCESS for Teens are told by teens themselves, young readers easily relate and absorb important lessons and coping strategies.

Funded by tax-deductible contributions to the SUCCESS Foundation, the program is usually facilitated by adults who engage teenagers in active participation. The program’s Facilitator’s Guide helps the adults bring the curriculum to life. Leah McCann, the foundation’s development director, says that with the guide, “the material teaches itself…. It really is just going through the principles with the kids.”

School groups, churches and other nonprofit programs can apply to receive multiple copies of SUCCESS for Teens for free at SUCCESSFoundation.org. The website offers free electronic and audio copies of the book and the Facilitator’s Guide; individuals may order hard copies of SUCCESS for Teens through the website for $6 each, including shipping. (Shameless plug here: You can make a tax-deductible donation to assist the foundation on the website, too.)

McCann says that “nine times out of 10, when people read our program and our materials, they say, ‘I wish I would have had this when I was growing up, when I was a teenager, when I was going through all of that.’ ”

The Foundation has the thank-you notes to prove it.

Alex J. wrote: “I have learned so much from your book. I just couldn’t put this book down.” He echoed the comments of several teens: “I learned that everyone can be successful and that a secret of success is failure. In order to become better, you have to fail some time or another.”

And Luke P. says that reading the book “has helped me to picture what I need to do in my life to make it the best. I have learned the steps I need to take and how to take them through my life.”

If you have a Luke P. in your life who would benefit from proven leadership advice, consider turning to the SUCCESS for Teens program for help. You could make a difference, too. 

For more information about the SUCCESS for Teens program, contact Leah McCann at 940-497-9700 or [email protected] Donors, program leaders and participants can contact her to be featured in the magazine.


Betsy Simnacher is a freelance writer who has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines nationwide. She lives in the suburbs of Dallas.

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