The Decisions Program for Education arose out of a conversation between Peter Hawks and John Painter, a teacher and advisor at South Burlington High School, who saw great value in helping students look inside themselves, as Ryan Hawks did, to craft a self-composed set of Core Values. With enthusiastic support from students, faculty and administrators, a four-step program was conceived and executed with students and faculty.The steps are:
- Learn about Core Values and what they mean.
- Look within yourself to discover your own Core Values and enumerate them.
- Prepare a presentation that highlights your Core Values and passions.
- Present your Core Values to peers, teachers, parents, coaches and other significant people in your circle.
The outcomes of the program include a better understanding of oneself, and a set of principles that guide decision making in all aspects of daily life. For many, this means better decisions and a reduction in risky behaviors. Some students have characterized it as 'life changing.' To learn more about how this program was conceived, and how it's made a difference to individual students and the school community, click here.
The Foundation is currently working to expand the Decisions program to other Vermont middle and high schools, in partnership with the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. Your contribution will help us expand this pilot to additional schools in Vermont. Specifically, it will help us prepare and distribute teachers' resource guides with sample materials to use in the classroom, provide consultation to faculty and staff members, and provide handout materials to participating students. Eventually, we hope to expand this program to schools across the U.S. and beyond.