Guiding youth on the path to persistence and completion.
The mission of You Are Here... Now What? is three-fold, and it supports formal education by focusing on communication, personal development and citizenship:
To enable students to become more effective and confident communicators by helping them to distinguish the variety of communication channels, to recognize the overt and covert messages in entertainment and advertising, to identify the filters that influence how we construct what we say and how we interpret what we hear, and to recognize the roles that all the senses play in receiving messages.
To guide students in appreciating the value of relationships between self and other individuals and within both social and workplace groups and to give them the skills for selecting relationships that will provide them with growth, enrichment, and encouragement.
To develop in students an understanding of the importance of citizenship, nationally, locally, socially, in all communities, and to help them appreciate the worth of both self-fulfillment and giving back to their communities.
Communication… The Foundation
We are witnessing the disintegration of humanity in communication. This is largely the result of our dependence upon electronic devices and media influences. These influences are removing the human connection to our relationships and interactions. The explosion in digital communication has coarsened face-to-face communication and emboldened disrespectful behind-the-screen communication.
The purpose of the Outfluence program “You Are Here . . . now what?” (YAHNW) is to bring students, faculty, administrators, parents and Board members back into their immediate environment, which is the root foundation of life – interactions with people in their communities. Conversation during work and play is gradually giving way to the broadening digital existence, the non- reality, the lure to gain information from and to share information with people at a distance. The digital access presents convenience for certain activities but it is proving to be toxic to relationships and communication.
The disintegration of humanity in communication is seen in a range of classroom management struggles, and in the need for de-escalation of conflict.
The YAHNW program addresses four categories of interactions that are critical to successful connections within education communities. They are:
1. communication in all of its forms
2. personal development
3. citizenship responsibilities
4. career planning
We actively engage our students and teachers with comprehensive group activities, kinesthetic learning techniques, and individualized planning.
The Three Pillars
Engagement: Communication, Observation, Self Awareness
An effective conversation relies on the ability of one or more parties being knowledgeable about the topic discussed, and on both parties being sensitive to the various forms of communication and how and when to apply them. For example, a conversation with a friend and a conversation with a prospective employer can both incorporate humor, but the nature of the humor must differ for several reasons.
You Are Here... Now What? engages students in team exercises that deepen awareness of communication styles. The sharing of the students' observation promotes discovery of personal communication skills already in play. Scenarios, activities, team projects and exploratory discussions lead to self awareness and more thoughtful attitudes toward others.
Persistence and Completion: The Keys to Achievement
To accomplish both academic and career success, You Are Here... Now What? promotes thoughtful and effective communication skills, leading to self confidence, and supportive interpersonal relationships. The program also encourages judicious selection of post-secondary education opportunities and career aspirations through self-understanding and effective planning skills.
Notably, Outfluence teaches the steps leading to, and the benefits associated with, persistence and completion, or finishing what you start. This becomes critical in the workplace, both logistically and in the creative process, and also becomes an essential part of the path to success.
Confidence: The Power of Self Assurance
The mission of You Are Here... Now What? is three-fold, and it differs from formal education by focusing on workplace communication, relationships and citizenship:
To enable students to become more effective and more confident communicators by helping them to distinguish the variety of communication channels, to recognize the overt and covert messages in entertainment and advertising, to identify the filters that influence how we construct what we say and how we interpret what we hear, and to recognize the roles that all the senses play in receiving messages;
To guide students in appreciating the value of relationships between self and other individuals and within both social and workplace groups and to give them the skills for selecting relationships that will provide them with growth, enrichment, and encouragement;
To develop in students an understanding of the importance of citizenship, to help them appreciate the worth of both self-fulfillment and “giving back.”
Student Curriculum Schedule: 4 semesters, 10 sessions per semester, 50 minutes
The program is facilitated by teachers certified in the Outfluence method using lesson plans developed and provided by Outfluence for each of the 40 sessions.
Sessions focus on the creator, the sender, and the recipient of messages from various perspectives, including experiential interpretation, critical discernment, and active listening. They learn that communication is complex.
Equipped with stronger communication skills, students engage in conversations about life skills, such as relationship building, planning, decision-making and budgeting time and money. They identify their talents, interests and opportunities.
Students relate the concept of citizenship from their classroom, sports team, family, and local community, to our nation and to the world. They explore the foundational concepts and documents of our country and how those ideas relate to contemporary society. They identify the benefits derived from various communities and the responsibilities they owe to those communities. They discover commonalities that exists among the members of a diverse community.
Students review their individual talents and interests discovered in semester one and begin to identify careers that fit those talents and interests. Real-world perspectives of community leaders and exploratory visits to local businesses will support this endeavor. Post-secondary education opportunities are researched and discussed.
Our young men and young women are growing up in a world where they have almost endless exposure to opportunities, expectations, challenges, and, yes, threats. Not all of them have access to the information and skill development they will need personally to survive and thrive in an environment where many of them will grow up faster than any other generation has. Outfluence has developed a program that provides high school students with the tools to “map” a successful journey through high school and further education in trades, professions, or service fields, into rewarding careers and personal success in adulthood.