We want to see our students succeed. This is why we offer so many services – from counseling to academic and career support to classes on life skills such as managing your home and finances.
But none of those services matter if a student isn’t motivated to succeed. That’s something these students learned during their stay at NDFYA.
Our staff is willing to help. The other students are friendly and will also offer support when needed. But when it comes to keeping the counters wiped down and the bank account balanced, students need to do the work themselves.
Counseling Sessions: the First Step
Not all students come into the transition program with that motivation in place. For some students, their parents have left them with no choice but to participate in the program. Other students have the motivation – they just don’t know how to channel it.
So students all attend counseling sessions, both individual and group, to find their motivation in ways customized to their personalities.
As students take part in therapy sessions, they’re also learning life, academic, and job skills. The more counseling sessions they work through, the easier it is to see how to apply those new skills to their lives. And that trend continues as they see more successes.
It Just Keeps Getting Better
Unfortunately, we can’t help students if we don’t know what they want. A motivated student is more likely to share those motivations with us. Once we know what those are, we can help by:
- Encouraging students to participate in events and organizations they enjoy (or even plan those events themselves!)
- Finding internships, volunteer opportunities, and even jobs in fields the student is really interested in
- Suggesting career paths the student may not have considered before
Being Social Helps
One way we have found to motivate students is our social activities. Many students don’t want to participate when they first arrive, but they’re strongly encouraged to.
And as they relax around the other students and learn those students’ stories, they develop a more positive view toward their sessions with our staff. They realize how many other people in our program have experienced and overcome the same troubles as they have.
There are students who take longer to find their motivation than others. But for many students, once they have it, they quickly realize how important these new skills are to their lives. And once they know that? Well, then they’re ready to be independent.