While many Americans travel to Jamaica for a relaxing getaway, Heidi Fore went there this summer with a different goal in mind: to educate and inspire orphans and foster children to build better lives for themselves. At the heart of Fore’s teaching is the SUCCESS for Teens personal development curriculum provided by the SUCCESS Foundation.
Jamaica is just the latest country to benefit from Fore’s good works. A real estate agent from Louisville, Ky., Fore founded the nonprofit Choose Live Lead in 2014 to facilitate orphan and foster child education, and she has since worked with teens and young adults in Russia, Ethiopia, Uganda and throughout her home state.
“[We] teach orphans and foster kids how to live a life of independence that they envision and choose for themselves so that someday they can lead their families, businesses and communities,” she says. “This is how we can change the trajectory of lives of orphans, and they can change the next generation.”
In addition to her Lessons Book, in which Fore compiled pearls of wisdom from her favorite books, Fore uses The Compound Effect by SUCCESS Publisher Darren Hardy and SUCCESS for Teens: Real Teens Talk About Using the Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. Fore first heard about the latter, the cornerstone of the SUCCESS for Teens curriculum, at Hardy’s High Performance Forum in San Diego and SUCCESS Partners University in Dallas. (The SUCCESS Foundation donates hard copies of the book to qualifying public schools, churches and nonprofit youth-development programs; SUCCESSFoundation.org offers free downloads of the book and facilitator’s guide to everyone.)
On a recent trip to Russia, Fore worked with orphans in their late teens and 20s. Some are in school, others work, many do both—but all responded positively to SUCCESS for Teens and its lessons, which include interactive exercises and stories from actual teens.
Fore says that one young man, Vova Bogdanov, 19, was greatly influenced by the book. One of eight children, Bogdanov entered a Russian state-run orphanage at age 14 with no education. By the time he aged out of the system at 18, he had finished only five grades. Determined to earn a diploma, Bogdanov attended evening classes while holding down a job, and SUCCESS for Teens helped motivate him even further in achieving his goals.
“He is an active participant of voluntary projects we do and has a very high motivation for education and self-growth,” Fore says.
Bogdanov says: “I was inspired [by the fact] that everyone falls down, but you don’t have to concentrate on how bad the problem is—but more on how to solve it.”
By summer’s end, Fore estimates she’ll have shared SUCCESS for Teens with about 100 orphans and foster children in Jamaica, and she hopes to eventually develop her seminars into all-day workshops or weekend retreats that ultimately will help strengthen communities around the globe.
“By giving communities education and strong leaders, we can break the cycle of poverty and reduce the failure rate for at-risk kids,” she says.