YESS at Shaw Heights


This past week in our YESS program at Shaw Heights we began to discuss goals in more detail. We began by assessing the differences between a goal and a dream. Many of our scholars felt confused by this comparison and so we took some time to better understand how a goal is a “dream with a plan and a deadline.” We referred back to our project, “Heart, Mind, Soul,” in order to specifically recall what some of our scholars noted for their dreams. We then set to work on our ESMART goals worksheet in order to create plans and deadlines for the dreams so that they can become realistic goals!

An ESMART worksheet from 3rd hour.

ESMART stands for: Exciting/Emotional; Support System; Measure; Action Steps; Realistic; and Time-bound. Using this framework, our scholars began planning out the specifics for their dreams. We worked on setting goals that would help our scholars work towards their larger dreams in life. Common goals were graduating from high school and college, leveling up in literacy or math (or both!), getting a car, becoming a professional athlete, and securing a career job. We worked on being as concise as possible when we discussed how we measure our goals, which action steps we must take first, and the best time frame for each goal. While it took some time for our scholars to recognize how important it is to be specific when setting goals, they eventually got the hang of it and soon our mentors were helping the mentees write very explicit goals. It was a fun process that left us all feeling hopeful about the future!

We ended our week by doing a fun team builder with charades focused on non-verbal communication. Each table worked as a team, and we had four different categories: fast food, things that begin with the letter “M” (mailbox was quite hard for our scholars to act out!), fruits and veggies, and things that one can find in a bedroom. When asked many drew comparisons to how they felt during our blindfold maze activity from the fall, a time when they were dependent on either their mentee or mentor to verbally lead them through an obstacle course. Several touched on how uncomfortable they felt not being able to speak when they were acting, or being concerned that their team was misreading their non-verbal cues. All in all it was great way to wrap up another week in YESS.

Hanging out with 7th hour after we finished a great game of charades!

Next week we will be working more on accountability in terms of one’s personal responsibility for individual success. Stay tuned!