“Your job is not just to do what your parents say, what your teachers say, what society says, but to figure out what your heart calling is and be led by that.” – Oprah Winfrey
Roycemore’s mission calls for us to inspire students to discover their passions. What does this mean? And why is it important?
Oprah got it right when she said “figure out what your heart calling is and be led by that.” Your heart calling could be another way of saying your “passion.” There are endless examples of people who have pursued a path because they thought it was the right or expected thing to do by members of their family, and who went all the way through college to realize that their academic major wasn’t a good fit. Even worse are those individuals who have spent decades in a job that they hated, and only too late coming to the realization that they had a choice but were, perhaps, too afraid to pursue their passions. Conversely, there are many examples of people who love their work so much that it doesn’t even feel like work to them. Isn’t this what we hope for our children? In order for this to be possible, young people need a strong educational foundation, opportunities to be exposed to many different activities or skills, and adult mentors who can serve as great guides along the way.
Roycemore’s Portrait of a Graduate serves as the framework for our mission in action. This robust and holistic approach to the education of each student includes many opportunities for young people to learn about their strengths and interests. Our emphasis on experiential learning and design thinking offers students experiences where they can “try out” fields of interest. Beginning in the Early Childhood and Lower School interdisciplinary learning opportunities provide early exposure for students to learn what they are drawn toward. In Middle School, the P3 Program (Personal Passion Projects) takes this concept even further as students focus on a problem that they want to solve. By working on something that is meaningful to them, students’ learning is both deeper and longer-lasting. These early experiences lay the groundwork for January Short Term in the Upper School. Right now, and for the next three weeks, all classes are suspended and students either are part of a group project or an independent project where they can engage in a deep dive on a topic of interest to them. Some of the independent projects that Upper School students are engaged in this January include explorations about musculoskeletal anatomy, researching the immigration crisis, exploring ecology and Hawaiian culture, and even accounting and IT work. Some of these JST experiences could lead to lifelong careers for some students. Alternatively, some students may just discover that their chosen topic isn’t their passion. Both outcomes are positive as they lead students closer to a fulfilled life. Our ultimate vision at Roycemore is to launch responsible citizens, innovative thinkers, and compassionate leaders. When students discover their passions we have great promise for this vision to be fulfilled.
In partnership for the education of your student,
Adrianne Finley Odell