Unlocking Student Potential, Increasing Motivation, and Supporting Personal Growth
The staff at I AM Empowerment are very excited to share lessons on “Growth Mindset” in a very fun and interactive way. There is a growing body of research that suggests that applying growth mindset principles can help individuals succeed at school, work, and in life.
Carol Dweck, Ph.D, professor of Psychology at Stanford, indicates that “Scientists are learning that people have more capacity for lifelong learning and brain development than they ever thought. Of course, each person has a unique genetic endowment. People may start with different temperaments and different aptitudes, but it is clear that experience, training, and personal effort take them the rest of the way.” (Dweck, Mindset, 2006)
Through our innovative and highly effective programs we seek to help individuals develop a PASSION for learning, a key principle of growth mindset.
Using the Power of Habit to Increase Student Success
According to Charles Duhigg, a reporter for The New York Times and author of “The Power of Habit,” many studies suggests that 40% of the actions people perform each day are not actual decisions, but habits. (Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit, 2014).
By breaking down WHY and HOW habits work, our lessons on habit development are aimed at empowering individuals to create new and better habits for themselves to increase their chances of being successful.
Research shows that there is a tremendous advantage of reflecting on habits and designing new ones in a group setting. Leanne Cuscodis, a leading habit development expert, suggests that “There’s something really powerful about groups and shared experiences. People might be skeptical about their ability to change if they’re by themselves. But, a group will convince them to suspend disbelief. A community creates belief.”
By facilitating many group activities, individuals not only have the opportunity to design new habits for themselves, but to also believe that they can achieve their goals. In all of our programs, peers play a critical role in motivating each other.
Like Charles Duhigg explains, “If you believe you can change, if you make it a habit, the change becomes real. This is the real power of habit, the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be. Once that choice occurs and becomes automatic, habitual, it’s not only real, it starts to seem inevitable.”
An Effective Framework for Leaders to Inspire Action
There are many ways to lead. Over the past 30 years, there has been a considerable amount of research that suggests that transformational leadership is an effective leadership framework for inspiring action and creating social change.
By helping individuals find purpose, develop strategic plans, and inspire action, transformational leadership provides a strong foundation for individuals to make a difference in the lives of others.
Learning to understand and control one’s emotions
- Processing Emotions
- Skill mastered over time
During our relationship building programming, we aim to teach students how to build healthy relationships with their peers, family, and community. We explore the topics of self-respect, empathy, respect, honesty, and transparency. Students have an opportunity to learn how to develop positive relationships and networks.
Benefits of Team Building
Engaging in team building activities and challenges can help groups learn how to effectively resolve problems and conflicts. According to Thomas L. Quick, author of Successful Team Building, “Team building helps a group function as a unit - it fosters morale, trust, cohesiveness, communication, and productivity” (p. 2). Team building can help many different types of groups work towards achieving common goals and objectives.
Throughout our programming we strive to focus on empowering individuals. We firmly believe that in order to be a well rounded person, it’s important to give back to the community. In each of our programs, we always give individuals an opportunity to work together as a group on topics they care about in their community. Community can literally mean their neighborhood, or it can represent different communities with which people identify. For example, students may choose to focus on topics affecting their community including LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, Latinx rights, minority rights, and immigrant rights.
Public Speaking & Advocacy
It has been said that many people fear public speaking more than they do jumping out of a plane. During our public speaking programming we aim to inspire students and to help them develop the skills to speak up and advocate for the issues and topics they care about. Confidence is key and we are very intentional about incorporating activities that help build up this skill.
Diversity, Equity & Social Justice
Individuals will explore topics including racism, white privilege, poverty, sexism, and various forms of oppression.
Individuals will gain a better understanding of the importance of embracing diversity. By reflecting on issues of inequality, individuals will be better prepared to create change in our society.
Individuals will learn how to better advocate for themselves and others. Individuals will learn how to be effective allies in social movements that don't affect them directly.
Why it’s important to take care of our mental healtH
Our brain is part of our body and therefore we should treat it with the same kindness, attention and importance. If a part of our body was hurting, bleeding, and required immediate attention from a doctor, we would not hesitate to go to the Emergency Room. Why not do the same when our brain is hurting and needs special attention? I AM Empowerment brings awareness on the importance of mental health, educating on different types of mental illnesses and symptoms of mental illnesses, breaking the stigma, ending the silence, challenging cultural views on mental illness, and providing resources to access the help our brain needs.
- Gain a general understanding of mental health and resources
- Breaking the stigma
- Learn healing practices
- Awareness on medical mental illness diagnosis and environmental mental health issues
- Curriculum includes: brain biology basics, crisis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, substance abuse and prevention, suicide, incarceration survival, relapse and recovery
“Our mental health is crucial to our existence now and long-term. Protecting and caring for our mental health is a revolutionary act towards our existence. To not only survive, but to also thrive. Our mental health is valuable and requires our recognition.” (Carolina Pérez, Mental health therapist, MSW, MHP, LSWAIC)
We live in a fast paced society. Thankfully there is a tool called mindfulness meditation that can help us focus on what’s most important in our lives. Meditation is the practice of being in tune with yourself and your surroundings. It can take many shapes and forms and it has been practiced for over 1,000 years in different parts of the world. Mindfulness meditation is the practice of being in tune with the present moment. Studies have shown that when individuals incorporate mindfulness into their daily lives, they are less stressed, better concentrated, and often feel better throughout their day. Mindfulness works because it allows us to take a pause from our busy day and come back to the present moment. There are many ways to come back to the present moment, but at the core the most important technique is slowing down and coming back to our breath.
The 3 Ps
Engaging & exciting lessons that spark creativity. “The research is clear that when teachers are excited learners, planners, and collaborators, their students are more effective and enthusiastic learners.” (Angus M. Guns Et. Al., Igniting Student Potential, p. 6)
I AM Empowerment challenges individuals to think critically, creatively, and develop strong problem solving skills. We encourage individuals to find their passion and to take action on the things that matter most to them.
By empowering individuals to discover and believe in their “WHY,” they are able to gain a greater sense of confidence and belief in themselves.
CONFIDENCE takes time to develop and it is essential for our everyday lives. With confidence we feel secure, assurance, pride, happiness and faith in ourselves. It gives us the ability to take action and take risks. Along with these feelings comes fear. We teach individuals to embrace fear and utilize its energy towards reaching different levels of confidence. We challenge each person to go at her/his own pace while gaining an understanding of one’s own strengths in the process.
I AM Empowerment challenges individuals to be nice to themselves by feeding their brain with positivity. We challenge individuals to retrain their brains by replacing those long damaging years of negative self-talk with positive words, phrases, quotes and energy. It is a healing process.
By empowering individuals to develop positive self-talk habits, we then move on to action words. We practice writing good, positive and honest words about ourselves. We encourage individuals to commit to repeating these firm statements about themselves every day even if they don’t fully believe in the words at the beginning. Over time our brain begins to believe these affirmations just as much as it believed our negative words.
The way we stand, sit and move our bodies says a lot about us. It makes a difference in how we feel about ourselves, how others view us, how we approach others and how others approach us. Inspired by Amy Cuddy’s "Your body language may shape who you are" TED Talk, I AM Empowerment created a fun and empowering “Power Pose” activity where everyone stands in a circle and we discuss our body language. We demonstrate a few examples of power poses that model confidence, power, leadership, friendliness and more. They each have an opportunity to choose a power pose they feel the most confident in and we challenge them to do it before an exam, an interview, a presentation, and anywhere they need a push to remind themselves how powerful and amazing they are.