This blog post is a reflection by Teen Committee member Lydia Sun on the Most Likely to Succeed movie screenings that Girls Innovate! hosted in August 2015 throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
What were your impressions of the event?
I attended Redwood City and Los Altos; for both events, a good number of people showed up. People seemed to like the movie and especially the discussions afterward.
What did you feel were the most valuable or interesting speaker comments?
At Redwood City, I really liked what one of the speakers had to say about Stanford. Someone from the audience had asked if Stanford would accept a student with High Tech High “characteristics” over someone who scored well on standardized tests, or something along those lines. The question asker seemed to hold the mentality of many parents – get good grades, get into a good college, get a good job. However, one of the speakers responded by saying that he would argue if going to a “good” college were the ultimate goal. I liked that, as a person who did attend Stanford, he was able to challenge that way of thinking. His experience and apparent success lent him credibility that maybe a student telling a parent the same idea wouldn’t have.
What did you feel were the most valuable or interesting attendee comments?
There was one woman at Redwood City who had homeschooled all of her children. She seemed very ahead of her time, because it seems to me that many parents are still very much stuck in the good grades/college/job mindset. I was impressed that she was able to recognize her children’s needs and even more impressed that she put so much effort into educating them herself.
How did being a part of this series affect your perspective on learning, education, work, and/or life?
I’m trying to focus more on learning and improving soft skills that were mentioned in the documentary, like collaboration, communication, problem solving, etc. I had never thought that the work place might be evolving, and I didn’t know that technology was replacing so many jobs. I feel excited for the future and I hope to learn what is necessary to fit into the environment.
What do you think would be valuable for teens to know based on what you learned or experienced through this project?
It would be valuable for kids to know that college is not the only option, like Dale Stephens says, and that employers are looking for people who can do work rather than people who can “play the game”, as one speaker said, at school.