Friday, July 27, 2012

Grit - what separates the wheat from the chaff.....

Just got this article today, so thought of sharing with all. Read it, its inspirational!

"Came across an amazing and touching story about Dawn Loggins, a homeless American teenager, who got into Harvard recently. The story has so many life lessons.

Dawn grew up in a home without electricity and water. To wash her hands, she had to walk 20 minutes to get water. At times, she would take a bath or shower 4 - 6 times a YEAR. Just past the midpoint of high school, she was fortunate enough to gain entry to an elite summer program for promising students in her state. When she called her parents to come pick her up, she discovered that her parents phone had been disconnect. When she called friends to try and contact her parents, she eventually discovered her parents had moved out of state without telling her, without bringing her, and with no plans to return. In other words, Dawn had been abandoned.

Under these extreme circumstances, most people would simply give up on life. But, Dawn had a different idea. She knew that if she didn't do something about it, her life would take a path similar to her parents--and she definitely did not want to repeat their mistakes. Her dream?

She wanted to go to college and make something of herself.
Her dream of dreams?

To go to Harvard -- even though nobody in her area, in her school nobody has ever gotten into any Ivy League school let alone Harvard.

Her teachers and principal took turns letting her sleep on their couch and feeding her. To help pay the bills she took the job of janitor at her school -- cleaning the floors and toilets before school started each day. She would wake up at 4am to go to school to clean her classmates messes, attend school all day, do her after school activities, come home, study, sleep and repeat the whole process again. Her entire community helped to raise, shelter, feed and clothe her. Everybody pitched in where they could. And after all this hardship (and probably heart ache), Harvard sent a reply to her application... and She GOT IN!

Now lets examine this situation more closely. Dawn's grades were good, but definitely not perfect. Her test scores were good, but again not exceptional.

So why did Harvard say yes?


For someone in Dawn's situation, the magnitude of her accomplishment vs her resources was just exceptional.

One of professor at University of Pennsylvania Angela Duckworth has been doing some exceptional research in psychology and education. Her area of focus has been trying to answer the question of where does success come from. Her latest work has identified that one of the leading predictors of life success, that is MORE predictive of life success than grades, test scores, or degrees, is what she calls "Grit".

Grit is the ability to work HARDER in the face of ADVERSITY.

It is one thing to work harder when what you do is working and you're "winning", it is another thing entirely to refuse to quit, focus, and worked harder with absolutely no short term indicators that you'll succeed.

THAT is what Prof. Duckworth calls "grit".

Now going back to the story of Dawn and how she went from homeless to Harvard, the one thing she exhibited in spades (arguably more than any other in coming Freshman at Harvard) is GRIT.

Truly ANYTHING is possible. What a remarkably impressive young women".


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