"I believe when students are given opportunities to create their own purpose and direction through true experiential learning, they willingly create projects which allow them to contribute to others and to know their own worth.
By providing students with the framework and training to successfully fulfill their projects, they alter their view of their self-worth and simultaneously begin to imagine a life that involves personal success combined with societal responsibility and generosity.
As a result, their social and academic behaviors naturally align to produce acceptable if not exceptional results in order to begin to realize that imagined future now; a cascade of positive and self-reinforcing events begins to occur.
The students see personal reward in education and therefore pull for learning – they naturally and quickly develop integrity with being on time and attending class, completing and turning in assignments, studying for and succeeding on tests, and even participating and contributing in class.
Classroom teachers then encounter decreased resistance and increased partnership with the students; the new relationship alters the reputation of the students and teachers interact with them as if they are capable, valid, important, and 'high achievers.' As mutual respect develops, so does the desire to eliminate self-inhibiting or destructive behaviors.
Students become what we call, 'self-motivated' and 'confident' and persevere through challenging learning environments, subjects, or life issues and begin to seek assistance from multiple resources in order to flourish. One single opportunity to experience purpose can, in a relatively short amount of time, transform a timid, bored, struggling or drifting student into a so-called 'ideal' student."
-Heidi Hoel, February 7, 2014