I have been volunteering and presenting the CHOICES program in several diffrent middle schools for about 7 years now. The program is very well constructed to catch the young student's attention and gets them thinking about the importance of education. They are presented with a true account of where they could be in life after high school, good or bad, depending on their dedication to learn.
I started volunteering last year (2012) and enjoyed it very much. When Kathi presented to our Rotary club (Gonzales), I knew it was something I needed to do. I am always talking with youth about going to college and this program is perfect with the ability to reach an entire class at a time and really have an impact.
When presented the opportunity to participate in another year, I jumped at the opportunity.
I volunteered for CHOICES when it was just starting out and am honored to be a part of CHOICES again! The program has grown and expanded over the years, but the basic goal of presenting to young people the concept that by graduating from high school they have more choices in life, has only gotten stronger. The program materials blend the basics of why staying in school is so important with the opportunities of using technology to further connect with students and enhance the program. It is also enduring to see long time sponsors continue and new sponsors see value in encouraging young people and providing meaningful volunteer opportunities for their employees.
I was a volunteer for Choices last year through Lodi Rotary . It was a great experience, the material was easy to use and the kids were able to participate and learn. It is a great program.
I love this program because it is geared toward helping kids stay in school. Too many kids drop out without realizong the consequences of their choice. This program educates the kids in a non-threatening way that is also interactive and fun.
my name is don cotnoir Sun City Hilton Head, Beaufort County SC
I have been a CHOICES volunteer for 3 years until last year when the SC Jasper County school was unable to fund it. It is a poverty minority driven county.
As a retired computer scientist I have delivered over 300 (resident donated) computers to several local schools where they are given to deserving/needy students--determined by their teachers
Choices is an outstanding program and I wish it would come back to this county as their are so many good kids that are being led astray by lack of motivation/encouragement, discouraged with no positive goal in sight , drugs and little, if any, parental involvement.
I know of no other program that will make a difference in the lives of kids that Choices has made.
Hello, my name is David Matty and I am a Financial Advisor and a Rotarian in Mountain Home, Arkansas. I heard about the CHOICES educational program about ten years ago and I spearheaded an effort to get our Rotary Club to start doing it in our area schools. We learned together how to teach the program to eightn graders and then we went into the schools, all as volunteers and presented the program. What a response!! The students and teachers both felt it was such a great worthwhile program they wanted to do it every year. We got so much out of it as Rotarians, we wanted to also do it every year! We are now presenting CHOICES to three area schools and to over 300 eighth graders each year. The teachers call us each fall to tell our Rotary Club when they have us in their curriculum! I now also serve our Rotary District as CHOICES Chairman and we have over 25 Rotary Clubs presenting CHOICES in their area schools! It is a program that the students can relate to and it is given in a way they can understand! I love CHOICES and will give it 5 stars!!
This organization focuses on preparing middle school kids for graduating high school and setting goals to achieve at least that level of education. The material we present is revelant to the kids and they enjoy hearing from members of the community. It's a great opportunity to improve the chances of our kids having a good future. If you enjoy speaking with kids and want to give back to the community this organization is great for you.
As an 8th grade business education teacher, I have used the Choices Program for a number of years. The program is used at the conclusion of each of my courses to help prepare them for high school and beyond. I am very pleased with the participation level I see from all my students when they get involved in the different activities. It is a tremendous program!
This is a great program that brings together business and community leaders with young students at a critical point in their education. There is an alarming dropout rate among Hispanic students in Southern California. Choices go outside the school staff to bring professionals to meet directly with the kids. We are experiencing a measurable decrease in the dropout rate.
I am on the Board of Directors of Choices. It is a program that has been in existence for 27 years and serves more than 100,000 teens yearly in about 40 states across the country. It runs on a low overhead cost. It helps eighth graders to see that they can take responsibility for the choices they make and that the right choices will assure a better life for themselves. I highly recommend it.
I am so glad I have had the opportunity to volunteer with this program. After participating and teaching a class it prompted me to have some of these discussions with my own niece.
I have to admit, I wish this program would have visited my school and my class when I was in eighth grade! I was recruited by a co-worker to volunteer to help with the Choices program in our area. After presenting the program to several schools and eighth grade classes, I feel I learned as much, presenting to the students, as the students learned from the materials presented. In my experience, one of the biggest eye openers for the students and myself was the timeline and where we fall on the timeline of life. I think it is hard for students to understand how much more life they have to live beyond elementary school and high school. Once you see it on the timeline, it really shows that the decisions they are about to make and the decisions I am still currently making, affect the rest of our life and guide us to our future. This program not only sets them up to make the best choices going forward in their academics but also in their career choices. This program also teaches students about consequences to those decisions as well as money and time management. I absolutely believe that this program is essential to the successful growth of our youth and should be included in all cities and in all elementary schools. This group is well run, has AWESOME materials for the presenter and the students and has a GREAT message for students and adults alike. I hope this group wins an award because they truely deserve it.
Choices is absolutely an awesome program for teens. It's fun, interesting, engaging and most of all, the teens "get it"! They understand what it means to make decisions/choices in various parts of their school and life making them accountable for consequences both good and bad. They also learn that it's not possible to ALWAYS make a good decision in which case they become "wise" by not making the same bad choice again. Volunteering for a CHOICES program is also very meaningful and enlightening. One spends two days with the same eighth grade class....and you get to know the kids. By calling on some of the more shy ones to volunteer, the CHOICES vignettes actually helps them to be more vocal and make their opinions known. Overall, as a volunteer, I'm hooked. I enjoy the interaction with the students and assisting them to leaning about choice-making. I strongly feel that I am having a positive impact on some very impressionable young people...and that doesn't happen very often!!!
I have been teaching CHOICES for two years in Arizona. This program has a HUGE impact on students, through its novel, always fresh approach to connecting students' current lives to their future aspirations. Every student connects with the program in some way. The program makes a long-lasting difference in each of their lives.
I have been volunteering for choices for five years now. The first groups of students I presented to graduated last Spring. I heard positive feedback from a few of those graduating Seniors. We hope to continue offering this program in our local schools every year so that every young person will get this powerful message here!
This was my first year volunteering for the Choices Program through the NB Chamber of Commerce and I will definetly volunteer again!
The Choice Program made the students realize that the choices they make while being in school have great effects in their future endevors. The students that I incountered at Roosevelt Middle School were eager to listen and learn and I found that to be one of the highlights of my day.
I organized a group of business professionals who volunteered to present this program to freshmen in a city high school. It was an incredible success. The curriculum is brilliant, because it isn't adults "talking at" students, but is activity based, and the students really enjoy it. They also learn the lessons you are teaching, and based on the follow up I did with the teachers, it had a lasting impact. In addition, the adults really enjoyed it becuase they had very successful experience working with city teenagers, which some of them were a bit nervous about. They left feeling good about themselves, good about the students, and several of them continued to volunteer at the school.
Seven years ago, I began in a newly generated position at the Hermiston School District. As the Project College Bound Coordinator, I was to create a culture of post-secondary education in our rural community. Being new to the district and that the program was new, I was always on the hunt for ways to change the mindset of our students. When researching for a speech on making choices, I stumbled upon the “CHOICES” Program located in Seattle, Washington. The very small CHOICES staff, has been exceptional in working with our school district to find funding to implement the program. The program itself is designed in such a manner as engage the student’s attention and make them active participants not only during the presentation, but active participants in their own lives as well. The presentation makes the topic of Money Management and the concept of planning for their future relevant to the students. This presentation has become a necessity in our Health Classes that are delivered to freshmen and has allowed me to mentor many students that I met during the presentations.
I voluntered through our local Rotary to facilitate Choices in our local schools for three years. This is an exceptional program which gives teens some insight into the decisions they make early in life. These decisions can be a springboard for future success if they understand they are empowered. What seems to be a small choice can bring huge results. Being young doesn't mean you don't have choices to make concerning your future.