Positive role models are important. They are the individuals who set examples for individuals to observe and pattern positive behaviors from. As people increase positive behaviors, they increase their feelings of self-worth. Patterning behaviors from positive role models can help mentees build on their morals and positive values. These patterns teach the mentees to set attainable goals and provide direction in achieving those goals.
What Constitutes a Role Model?
Characteristics of positive role models include:
- Feels a since of duty to better “society” working for the common good of the community
- Has developed powerful and effective habits of the mind and soul
- Can work through challenges
- Committed to what he or she does
- Capacity to achieve goals and obtain self-fulfillment
- Possesses high standards and values
- Admired for courage and strength
- Models forgiveness
- Demonstrates humility
- Admits when they are wrong
- Projects genuine love
- Discernment – understands the whole situation
Credit cards may seem like an easy solution to not having money for what you want. Teaching students the reality of credit cards can help them be financially successful in years to come. Below is a lesson used in the Winning Futures classroom to bring reality to getting into debt!
Scenario: Imagine that you love video games. No, imagine that you live for video games. Imagine next, that a new version of the X-Box just went on sale this week at Wal-Mart for $199 and a couple of games for $49.99 to go with it, bringing the total to $300.00.
You have friends coming over this weekend and you would love to have the system at home for everyone to play.
The only… little bitty problem: You don’t have the cash/money.
The simple and Oh! So… easy solution: Your new credit card, and a salesperson telling you, “you don’t have to wait until you earn the money; why not enjoy your X-Box tonight, while you’re paying it off in “easy payments“.
Scenario- Discussion Questions:
1. If the average person had a credit card and really wanted this X-Box, what do you think he would do?
2. What would you do? What are the consequences of waiting until you earned the money to purchase it with cash? (You might not have as much fun for a few weeks.)
3. What could the consequences be, if you purchased it with the credit card? (If you can’t pay it off by the end of the month, you start paying interest. You pay much more for it in the long run. You begin to charge other things. You don’t have the money to invest).
Buying on credit and making monthly payments puts multiplication working against you. Saving the money to buy it outright and investing the money you would have spent in interest puts multiplication working for you.
Beating the System: Credit Cards and “Easy” Payments:
Let’s look more closely at that X-Box and the accompanying games, which sold for a total of $300.00. Let’s imagine that you have the average credit card interest rate from (2005) of 13%.
(You will find that the rate is in small, almost unreadable type, at the bottom of your application).
Average Minimum payment is 3%. Ask yourself, “3%” of what? Answer is “3% of the amount of your purchase. Therefore, your minimum payment is $9.00 per month. If you just make the minimum payment, you will still be paying for it over four years and at least one newer version of the X-Box will have been made. During the 48 months that you are making payments, you will pay $324.00 in interest. That’s money over and above the $300. It’s the multiplication of that 13% working against you. Over time, you paid $624 for that X-Box and the two games.
Studies indicate that the more education one has the larger the paycheck. So! “the more you learn the more you earn”. Listed below, are the average salaries American workers earn based on an education they have attained:
|Education Level||Hourly Rate||Annual Salary|
|Less than high school diploma||$ 9.47||$18,000|
|High School Diploma||$12.50||$24,000|
|Some college, no degree||$14.61||$28,000|
If you work for forty years, additional earnings can really add- up, just by staying in school and graduating high school. Individual workers earn an average of $6,000 more per year or $240,000 more in their lifetimes. That is a quarter-million dollars just by finishing high school.
Add a two-year Associate Degree and the lifetime earnings jump to $480,000. Think about it… that’s a cool half-million dollars…just for finishing high school and going to college for two years. As you can see, it is more than a high school dropout can earn in a lifetime.
“PLAY IT SMART”! Do what you need to do to finish high school … dropping out is NOTan option. Then think about going to college.
A great way to support students in career exploration is to show an interest! A resourse used at Winning Futures to help students compare and learn more about their career interests is The Occupational Outlook Handbook website – http://www.bls.gov/oco/.
By providing information on careers, students will be better prepared to set their education goals!
Ways to use the Occupational Outlook Handbook site—
~To find out about a specific occupation or topic, use the Search
box that is on every page…you enter your search term in the box.
~To find out about the many occupations, browse through listings using the Occupation
link that is on the left side of each page.
~For a listing of all occupations in alphabetical order, go to the A-Z Index and select a letter.
In the Winning Futures classroom, it is proven time and time again how much one hour a week can impact a student.
Do you have a mentoring story you would like to share?
Why did you sign up to mentor?
What did you gain from mentoring?
Why should someone else mentor?
What was the biggest benefit to your mentee?
Let us know your thoughts on one or all of these questions!
Before students can start working on a plan for their futures, they first need to evaluate where they are today. All of us have both positive and negative assets. To help improve the negative assets, it is important to first recognize what they are. This can be done through a self-assessment. Some example questions students can answer during a self-assessment are:
~What are some things I want to improve about myself
~My biggest challenges or things I worry about are
~I am most grateful for
~Things I like to do
~My friends would describe me as
~I would describe myself as
~The most positive people in my life are
~The most negative situations in my life are
Winning Futures mentors help students students evaluate these types of questions along with guiding them in setting new/realistic goals in the areas in which they wish to improve on.
Winning Futures encourages its students and mentors to write letters and emails to each other. This helps with bonding and open communication. We teach students about professional communication and the importance of thank you letters and words of appreciation. This communication with an adult can help students prepare for the professional world of work.
Below is an email sent to Regina Goodman, a Winning Futures mentor:
I finally submitted my financial aid application today. I’m also still doing well in english and all my other classes as well. I’m happy with my grades so far and I intend to keep them up!
Stefanie (Winning Futures Mentee)
A great way to engage students in the world of work is to take them on hands-on company tours. This allows students to see firsthand how a company is run, each person’s responsibility and role within a company, and how those jobs work together to form the whole.
Winning Futures students traveled to Fitzpatrick Manufacturing, a CNC machine shop and custom manufacturer. This annual tour gave the students an eyewitness account of some of the most innovative processes and operations that the manufacturing industry has to offer.
The tour was sponsored by Mike Fitzpatrick, President and Owner of Fitzpatrick Manufacturing in Sterling Heights. The goal of the tour was to educate students about the manufacturing industry and to expose them to the variety of jobs within manufacturing. Students were debriefed and given demonstrations on all the various jobs within an industrial workplace from the front desk to shipping and receiving. Students also learned how each department works together in overall company operations.
Teens ofter question what is appropriate to wear to a job interview without feeling too dressed up or too underdressed. At Winning Futures students are taught that when interviewing for a teen non-professional job, dress is a little different from applying for a full-time professional position. Dress should be, at the least, neat and tidy. Business casual is usually appropriate.
Examples would inclued:
~khakis and a neat tucked in polo shirt
~shoes should be moderate
~avoid extreme hairstyles or colors.
~keep makeup and perfume to a minimum
~no jeans or shorts, no tank tops, crop tops, or anything especially low cut (shirt or pants) or too short (skirt or blouse) – keeping everything professional is a must
The best tip – always ask the person who is making your appointment for the interview, “What do you suggest I wear to the interview?”
To help create synergy within a team, Winning Futures asks students and mentors to work together to develop a team sign at their first meeting. On the sign, teams will have their team name, logo, slogan as well as all the group members names. Teams are encouraged to be creative and have fun with it. This brainstorming process is a great team building exercise and helps both the mentors and students to learn about one and other.
After designing the “blueprint”, mentors are asked to come up with the final product using common things that they have around their house (3-D materials, feathers, glitter, stickers, etc.), and bring it to each meeting with their team. This sign is a great reminder on what their team stands for!