This week, YES asked 381 Ithaca teens what they think makes for a successful adult. For the most part, when the question was posed to a group of students, the first person to answer would almost always say money or a job. The next person in every group would typically respond by saying happiness or meaningful relationships. Once those standard answers were out of the way, we heard some really interesting opinions and well thought out ideas about what makes an adult successful.
One person confidently presented a three part answer that boils down to this: to be a successful adult, one must know how to deal with problems efficiently, evaluate situations before coming to conclusions and value logic above all else. “I’ve thought about this before,” she said with a smile.
Another teen said to be successful, an adult must have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. While his friends made fun of him for plagiarizing the Declaration of Independence, he explained that to be successful, you must first be able to keep yourself alive, you must be capable of independence, and you must be constantly working toward the things that make you happy.
Success, by definition, is accomplishing your goals, and adults are simply people who are fully developed. Basically, a successful adult is someone who is fully developed and accomplishes their goals.
So how does YES help teens develop into successful adults?
Twenty percent of the teens we spoke with said that having a good job and/or making money is what makes an adult successful. Money may not buy happiness, but it sure does buy food and shelter, and to be successful in life, food and shelter are the foundation of survival.
Our Summer Jobs Program is a great way for teens to get an early, paid work experience. Not only do our teens make money, but they develop important transferable skills, such as teamwork, communication, initiative, and problem solving, which they will be able to use in every future job they have. Check out the #StartWithYES section of our blog to see how YES teens of the past have grown into successful adults by getting their first summer job through YES.
We will begin interviewing for our 2017 Summer Jobs Program starting on March 27th. Download the application here.
If success is measured by meeting your goals, then YES Connect is the key to success.
In YES Connect, we begin by interviewing applicants to get to know them. From there, we challenge them to think about their goals. We want to know that their future career goals are, what their financial goals are, and what their goals for participating in the YES program are. More often than not, teens hope to find private employment.
Once a teen has established their goals, we assist them in creating an action plan. If a teen’s goal is to get a job, we might encourage them to build a resume, apply to several places, make follow up phone calls, and prepare for their interview by attending a YES workshop about improving their interviewing skills. Even if they don’t end up getting the jobs they’ve applied for, completing each step of their action plan is a small success, a small goal that has been achieved. The practice of setting up goals for yourself and completing tasks to meet those goals is an excellent way to set yourself up for success as an adult.
To join YES Connect, fill out our application and call the YES office at 273-8364 to set up an interview.
Being a successful adult will look different for just about everyone. As you train for adulthood, consider joining YES. We have over 35 years of experience helping teens mature into successful adults.