#025 Student Success Story: Steps for Teens Creating Their Own Extracurricular
In this episode, I’m talking with Sophia Chabris about an extracurricular project she created while still a sophomore at Indian Hill High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Now a graduate, she is headed to Boston University in the fall with a clearer vision of who she is and where she’s headed. I hope that when you hear her story, you and your teen will be inspired to create something that can help them build the skills they need to succeed and learn more about themselves in the process.
Sophia Chabris was a sophomore in high school when the coronavirus pandemic changed the way we go to school. As a self-described extrovert, she began to feel the pain of social isolation, not being able to hang out with friends or even to go to school in the same way she was used to. As the 2019-20 school year came to an end, she knew there would be a number of students who wouldn’t return to in-person school in the fall, and she knew there would be other kids like herself that wanted more connection. So over the summer, she came up with a way to do something about it. That’s when Corona Care Callers was born.
As the beginning of the next school year drew near, Sophia contacted her principal to pitch her program idea. We will hear her explain how helpful it was for her to have all her materials and files put together into a toolkit that was sharable and ready to go. As a former high school educator myself, I know how hard it can be for teachers and principals to implement new programs; they’re just so busy! But I believe Sophia’s thoughtful prep work and thorough toolkit was instrumental in getting her ideas pushed through and running so quickly.
Extracurriculars are a wonderful way for our kids to learn the soft skills that they are going to need in their lives. These are the skills that are not generally taught in school or in the workplace. Sophia describes her own process of learning how to cultivate a good work ethic and communication skills. Her project required her to reach out to parents and teachers via email and text, and even tested her public speaking skills as her story went to the press!
I am so proud of Sophia, what she’s learned and accomplished, and I can’t wait to see where she is going in the future. I hope that you will be inspired by her story as well, and that you and your student will find a similar way to make their vision a reality, and to learn the skills that they can take with them throughout their lives.
- Steps to creating a high value extracurricular
- Skills that grow while being entrepreneurial
- Ideas for a toolkit to be successful with creating a program
- How to get adults onboard with the student idea
Meet Our Guest
Sophia Chabris, class of 2022 at Indian Hill High School in Cincinnati, created Corona Care Callers, an organization at her high school where tenth through twelfth graders served as a personal connection for younger students isolated to online school during Covid.
In her words….
During the Stay-at-Home order in March, I was unable to see my friends and felt socially isolated. Most of my friends and family know me as a bubbly, social person but during the order I didn’t feel like myself. I realized that I was missing face to face conversations and that I couldn’t possibly be the only one!! I created this for our virtual Braves students, so that they might still feel connected with our school community!
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Links mentioned in this episode
[3:16] Sophia introduces us to “Corona Care Callers”, a program she created in 2020 to help reduce social isolation in students enrolled in distance learning during the pandemic.
[5:10] The origin of the idea for the Care Callers program, and the steps Sophia took to get the program off the ground.
[9:09] If you’re trying to get something done at the high school level, it is crucial to have a detailed plan in place (complete with sharable files in the form of a toolkit) to ensure approval from administrators.
[11:47] Employers can train you for the hard skills, but there are lots of soft skills involved when you’re attempting to launch a project, and these are things often no one will teach you, like hard work, communication skills, and avoiding procrastination.
[15:14] Sophia had thought she might want to pursue a career involving public speaking or marketing, but through this project, having been required to do both, she knows now that she definitely enjoys public speaking.
[16:53] Corona Care Callers will continue on as a buddy program for students as they re-enter life at school full time, to encourage friendships beyond their specific age group.
[19:08] The most important piece of advice for teens who are looking to start something in their community: write down as much as you can about your project so that you can present it to others as a complete package.
[21:25] Weekly College-Bound Challenge: How do your student’s extra-curricular activities line up with their passions and purpose?