“This [ 7 Steps for Empowering Youth ] helps students more easily conceptualize their Student Success Plans.”

– School Counselor, Bridgeport, CT

Spark Aha! Moments, Discover Passion and Inspire Students to Dream BIG Dreams

State Student Success Plans all have the goal of helping every student succeed in school, work and life. As one example, the Connecticut Student Success Plan requires each local school board or district to create an individualized student success plan for each student entering Grade 6 and work with the student using the plan until Grade 12.

The three similar CORE elements of these plans are Academic Development, Career Development, and Social/Emotional/Physical Development. The 7 Steps for Empowering Youth aligns and supports all three CORE’s. Goal Setting is a Model Criteria for all three CORE’s and is the first, if not most important, Model Criteria. Our program takes the Goal Setting Criteria to the next level.

  1. Academic Development: We go above and beyond in satisfying the Goal Setting Model Criteria in 7 Steps for Empowering Youth. Our self-discovery action journal offers GETTING SMARTR™ goal setting, which takes S.M.A.R.T. goals to a higher level making it easier for student and school counselors to complete Student Success Plans.
  2. Career Development: 7 Steps for Empowering Youth provides students with the tools and self-efficacy life skill assets™ they need to set long-term career goals and create action plans that will put them on the right path to attaining their goal.
  3.  Social/Emotional/Physical Development: Social and Emotional Learning(SEL) is an integral part of 7 Steps for Empowering Youth. The program provides a

Are your students having trouble conceptualizing and completing their Student Success Plans?

A school counselor in Read More

Bridgeport, CT, a large urban school district, told us that she was having challenges getting kids to complete Student Success plans. After seeing Realizing Dreams Founder and author of 7 Steps for Empowering Youth in an author guided journey she now has easy way to help students complete their Student Success Plans. Before the workshop started, the school counselor commented on the book,

“I see this as a way of helping students more easily conceptualize their Student Success Plans.”

School counselors seem to have a sixth sense as her intuition was confirmed during the student success and growth mindset workshop.

Many other school counselors are telling us they find it very challenging to get middle and high school students to complete the Student Success Plans. Realizing Dreams makes it easy with our self-discovery and reflective action journal called 7 Steps for EMPOWERING YOUTH: Self-Awareness Developing GRIT and a Growth Mindset.

In a workshop survey asking what she accomplished and why she was better off, this middle school teacher not only wrote about but also personally experienced how quick and easy it was working side-by side under-performing 3rd grade students in summer school. This is what we call Realizing Dreams in Teams™.

“Guide students to think about goal setting and dreaming about a successful future. I’ve learned other strategies to help students be critical thinkers.” – Middle School  and Summer School Teacher in Waterbury, CT (a large urban school district)

So if you studE to the second power power puts youth and adults on the same page, usually in minutes, not months. It is a Realizing Dreams leadership strategy and teaching formula for exponential achievement in school, work, health, life and play.ents are having trouble conceptualizing and completing their Student Success Plans, we believe that you will also find that 7 Steps for Empowering Youth is a must-have addition to your Student Success Plans. Based on results from kindergarten to college students in large urban school districts life Bridgeport, Waterbury and Stamford, CT and elementary to high school students in rural schools like Bolton CT and the sprawling Texas state,  7 Steps for Empowering Youth makes it easier for students and School Counselors to prepare students for success in school, college and career.
After all, we all want student success with social emotional learning for health, well-being and productive contributing citizens in our globally diverse world.

The bottom line for America is, to remain globally competitive we all want and need to further empower School District Improvement Plans and goals to:

  1. Improve test scores
  2. Increase student achievement
  3. Empower student success plans
  4. Decrease chronic absenteeism
  5. Equip students to work through life issues for social and emotional learning

Elementary, Middle, High School and College Students

Since 2013, Realizing Dreams has found much success and fully believes that states need to engage, equip and empower students in success plans starting in at least Kindergarten to get students dreaming BIG dreams and thinking about their future at an earlier age.

“Earlier is easier, later cost greater.”

– Jim Cantoni, Founder of Realizing Dreams

In our growth mindset and student success workshops with thousands of kindergarten to college students, Realizing Dreams founder Jim Cantoni has found that students are not only excited they become focused and motivated to take more initiative in their learning. It is very inspiring to see under-performing students writing in their reflective action journal to “Get good grades”, “Listen to teachers”, “Go and finish school”, “Be happy”, “Go to college” and “Retire in 2065”, as well as teacher survey comments like these showing our research-based activity results:

The students were excited and showed motivation in establishing their dreams and the path the achieve it.” – 3rd Grade Teacher in Waterbury, CT (a large urban school district)

How to developing Grit and a growth mindset in teachers, school counselors, mentors, parents and caring adultsEquip Youth to Go Through Important Changes in Their Lives

Helping students overcoming obstacles in their lives is one of the many challenges facing school counselors and school psychologists on a daily basis. Completing Student Success Plans is also a key component, but school counselors are often challenged to help students identify short- and long-term goals and their college or career paths.

7 Steps for Empowering Youth covers many of the standards that guidance counselors seek to cover. This program provides interactive, easy-to-use and intuitive, research-based activities with results-based outcomes that align and support many of the required national standards. Realizing Dreams equips school counselors with interactive tools facilitating communication for social and emotional learning and student health and well-being.

Elementary school, middle school, high school and college students discover passion and dream BIG Dreams.

Elementary school, middle school, high school and college students discover passion and dream BIG Dreams.

Since 2013, Realizing Dreams has found much success and fully believes that states need to engage, equip and empower students in success plans. We also believe that this process should start in at least kindergarten so that we get students dreaming BIG dreams and thinking about their futures at an earlier age. In our growth mindset workshops with thousands of students, we have found that students are not only excited – they become focused and motivated to take more initiative in their learning.

Emotional Intelligence Diagram: Me and the 9 Self's by Jim Cantoni, Author of 7 Steps for EMPOWERING YOUTH:Self-Awareness Developing GRIT and a Growth Mindset and Founder of Realizing Dreams.us

Students Empowering Students

Students express their thoughts and feelings verbally and in writing about their interests, hopes and dreams in life. K-12 and post secondary students are using 7 Steps for EMPOWERING YOUTH to create their own action plans to overcome obstacles including discussing and writing about their fears and worries. In under-performing school districts, within one hour, elementary, middle and high school students are even leading, engaging, equipping and empowering fellow students in the self-awareness and growth mindset activities making the School Counselors job easier and providing time to focus on Student Success Plans including college and career readiness programs like Naviance.  In Juvenile Justice and Truancy Prevention, even students as young as elementary are taking action with 7 Steps for EMPOWERING YOUTH writing about their worries and fears, helping them socially and emotionally overcome obstacles to even get through their custody battles.

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According to the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) parents are encouraged to “Meet or contact your child’s school counselor at least three times per school year. The beginning of a school year is an excellent opportunity to initiate contact with your child’s school counselor and doing so can ensure your child’s positive school experience. Find out who the counselor is and what his or her experience and background are. By communicating with one another at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year, parents and counselors can have a definite impact on a child’s success.” Integrating Families and Schools is a key step in empowering students. Having parents and counselors meet  is a critical step in empowering students. It places counselors and parents on the same page in regards to the student’s interests, dreams, goals, and desires. Meeting to review and/or complete 7 Steps for Empowering Youth also puts a face to an email address for both the counselor and parent as well as serves as a tangible tool enhancing  the relationship between school and family. When counselor-parent meetings are used in conjunction with 7 Steps for Empowering Youth life action journal, communication between all three parties (School, Family, Student) become more integrated and streamlined. All parties know the student’s interests, hopes, dreams, goals, and student-created  action plans for overcoming any worries and fears in the student’s life for social and emotional health and well-being.

ASCA Standards met by  7 Steps for EMPOWERING YOUTH

  • ASCA Category II, Self Management Skills, Standard 5 “Self-confidence in ability to succeed”
  • ASCA Category I, Standard 2 “Use time-management, organizational and study skills”
  • ASCA Category II, Learning Strategies, Standard 3 “Identify long- and short-term academic, career and social/emotional goals”
  • ASCA Category II, Learning Strategies, Standard 7 The 7 Steps for Empowering Youth meets and demonstrates all the criteria for Category I Mindset Standards and much of the criteria for Category II Behavior Standards as set out by the American School Counselor Association.

To support school counselors efforts in Social and Emotional Learning Development, 7 Steps for Empowering Youth comfortably meets the Category I Standard as set out by ASCA.

The ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success: K-12 College- and Career Readiness for Every Student describe the knowledge, skills and attitudes students need to achieve academic success, college and career readiness and social/emotional development. The standards are based on a survey of research and best practices in student achievement from a wide array of educational standards and efforts.

According to ASCA Guidelines, “To operationalize the standards, school counselors select competencies that align with the specific standards and become the foundation for classroom lessons, small groups and activities addressing student developmental needs. The competencies directly reflect the vision, mission and goals of the comprehensive school counseling program and align with the school’s academic mission.”

Self-management Skills: Continued focus on a goal despite obstacles (grit or persistence) and avoidance of distractions or temptations to prioritize higher pursuits over lower pleasures (delayed gratification, self-discipline, self-control). 7 Steps for Empowering Youth satisfies the Self-Management Skills Strand of Category II Behavior Standards as set out by ASCA by providing the student with the tools, skills, and techniques needed to set goals and create action plans which augment and support Student Success Plans and College and Career Readiness.

We all know the value of developing the whole child. Research shows that social and emotional learning can improve student test scores and achievement up to 11%.Emotional Intelligence Diagram: Me and the 9 Self's by Jim Cantoni, Author of 7 Steps for EMPOWERING YOUTH:Self-Awareness Developing GRIT and a Growth Mindset and Founder of Realizing Dreams.us

7 Steps for Empowering Youth: Self-Awareness Developing GRIT and a Growth Mindset supports and aligns with identifying the five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies as established by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

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CASEL identifies five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective and behavioral competencies through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to:

  1. Understand and manage emotions
  2. Set and achieve positive goals
  3. Feel and show empathy for others
  4. Establish and maintain positive relationships
  5. Make responsible decisions

Through 7 Steps for EMPOWERING YOUTH, students learn about “Me and the 9 Self’s” in which they build capacity and  increase their emotional intelligence.

The self-discovery activities increase student self-awareness to understand and manage emotions which leads to greater self-control. Students K-12 and into college learn how to identify, set and achieve positive goals for school and their future. The purpose is to teach students how to make responsible decisions and become productive contributing citizens in our diverse global society.

7 Steps for EMPOWERING YOUTH takes S.M.A.R.T. to the next level. School counselors in under-performing large urban school districts are finding our GETTING SMARTR™ goals help students conceptualize their state-mandated Student Success Plans, making it easier for students to complete and for School Counselors to administer.

Our process of Realizing Dreams In Teams™ empowers students to feel and show empathy for others as they learn how to establish and maintain positive relationships while working in teams. Using 7 Steps for EMPOWERING YOUTH, the self-discovery action journal and Teamwork and FamilyPlay™ the community building cooperative game, we help you connect schools, families and communities to increase student achievement and improve youth outcomes.