Editor’s note: Brittany Galvan, a student in Rowlett, Texas, wrote the following essay about what she learned from the SUCCESS for Teens program, a curriculum that integrates life lessons into other coursework (in her case, a high school class in career preparation that included study at school—learning what employers expect; interviewing, résumé writing and improving communication skills; exploring careers—plus at least 15 hours a week of work at a paying job). The SUCCESS for Teens program, which provides free copies of the SUCCESS for Teens book to qualifying organizations, is funded by tax-deductible contributions to the SUCCESS Foundation.
When I first entered my career preparation class as a junior in high school, I had only a basic understanding of what it was like to work hard and set important priorities. I also was just learning to appreciate the effort it took to earn my own money as a teenager; before being in the career preparation class, I had my first job and it went well. Once my teacher used the SUCCESS for Teens material in the class, it gave me a much better understanding of how important it is to take control of my life, to make decisions that will benefit me in the short term and long term, and taught me that a positive attitude can take me anywhere I want to go in life.
The points from the SUCCESS for Teens book and the overall program that have stuck with me are the importance of setting goals, taking small steps, improving my character, using good manners and maintaining a positive outlook no matter what.
The single most significant thing I learned from the program is the real definition of success. Success is about what you achieve in all areas of your life. To be successful, you need to be happy with what you do, and not only be good at what you do, but be proud to do it. Everyone in the world has the power to be successful, but not everyone wants or is willing to work for it. Your drive and ambition are what will lead you to true success in all areas of your life: your career, family, relationships—everything.
Another thing the program taught me and has remained with me is that every decision I make, big or small, will affect my life. It is easy to make silly mistakes, and everybody makes them. The key is to learn from those mistakes and not repeat them. I know it is up to me to make better decisions that will take me far in life.
The SUCCESS for Teens program taught me not only how to be the best worker I can be, but also the best person I can be. I have learned that I’m in charge of my happiness, so I must act responsibly. If I do, I can do anything I want, go anywhere I want.
For details on the SUCCESS for Teens program or to make a tax-free donation, contact Leah McCann at 940-497-9700 or LMcCann@SUCCESSFoundation.org.The book Success for Teens is offered in print, audio and eBook formats; a guide book is provided to leaders. Donors can be profiled in SUCCESS magazine; contact McCann if you are interested in being the subject of a SUCCESS Foundation column.