As the school year winds to a close and we start to realize our grades won’t be changing much before everything is over, it can be easy to just give up and wait out the next few weeks until summer. After all, almost nothing at this point will change that C+ to an A, especially at this point in the year. But the motivation to improve yourself is valuable in any circumstance, and FHS recognizes students who have developed this motivation through the 180 Program.
According to Mrs. Reid, the 180 Program is “an opportunity to recognize students when they’ve made improvements that result either in them being more engaged in their classes or significant academic improvement.” Students get involved with the 180 Program either by teacher nomination or by raising their GPA by at least .75 points. With the help of donations from the community, the top 40 students are invited to a celebratory breakfast for them and their families. Graduating seniors in the program are also awarded with scholarships to help them continue improving themselves in the future.
This program is more than just a breakfast and a few scholarships, though. It’s a chance to recognize students who, instead of coasting through high school as a stepping stone to “real life,” realized the significance of their academics now and made an effort to improve themselves. Said one participant, “to me, the future was a myth, until slowly but surely it crept up on me.”
As soon as they recognized that the way they acted now did, in fact, affect how their future would turn out, they found the motivation to change their ways. This change came in all different forms, from putting more effort into homework to coming to teachers for help to simply paying a bit more attention in class. But, in all cases, it had profound results and ultimately helped each student improve dramatically.
Motivation like this and the effects it can have are an important reminder for all of us, both now and all year round. As Ms. Bishog noted at this year’s 180 Breakfast back in March, “There’s a lot of different motivations, but all of it came down to, inside of you, you decided this is what I need to do to my life to improve. You made the choice to change.”
Like it or not, our futures are being decided by every decision we make right now. If we want to improve ourselves, we must make the choice to change on our own – only then can we reap the benefits.