For 6th grade student Kaleb Golden, PS is more than just a School. He has found a community culture that lives by the core values making it a special place. While trying to navigate the transition from Lower School to Middle School, he found that little tidbits of motivational thoughts helped him through the day. He has found a way to share these and the response has been nothing short of fabulous.
“Moving from lower school to middle school, I noticed a change in expectations and, of course, more homework.” said Golden. “Middle school teachers expect maturity and self-responsibility. They also give out more homework. These new expectations and more homework created pressure. I wondered if other students felt the same way? I wondered if other students needed motivation to adjust to middle school? After realizing positive effects from beginning my day with inspiring quotes and stories, I wanted to share that experience with my classmates.” Acting upon this, Kaleb decided to email his classmates every Monday morning with an email that includes a quote to start each school week on a positive note.
Golden stated, “My goal was to encourage my classmates. I wanted to inspire them to achieve more in middle school, help them to overcome self-doubt about moving from lower school to middle school, and to motivate them to be positive. I wanted to use the core values of PS and develop leadership skills that build confidence in others. If I can inspire others and give them confidence, I hope they will feel valued, like the way I feel at PS. As my sixth-grade friends improve in areas such as confidence, goal setting, time management and self-awareness, they will become better at everything they do and higher performing all around. If that happens, PS will continue to be a special place for all of us.”
What Kaleb has found is that his classmates have been incredibly grateful for his posts. They started writing back with positive comments and reactions and saying how they looked forward to seeing the emails each week. This was a positive impact he didn’t expect. Naturally, he thought, what if I shared this with more students? These euphoric feelings could go further and would help spread joy throughout the Middle School. “I suggested students try something similar themselves and even encouraged them to copy my emails if it was easier. Several people took me up on my offer and began sharing my emails with their family and friends. Within weeks, they started telling me that they were receiving the same type of positive feedback that I had received from mine. At this point, I started to believe I was really on to something. I decided to take the step of moving the idea forward, without having any idea (or expectations) of what it would become.”
Today, the PS family, including students, faculty, and staff receive Kaleb’s Motivational Monday emails and they're posted on the School instagram account (@pshouston). “Each week, I get notes to tell me how the most recent message resonated with them and they often share personal stories with me. Messages like that continue to inspire me. What I have come to realize is that this is the type of impact I want to have with the time I have left at PS. I want to leave a legacy at PS that adds to the special place this school has been, is, and will be in the future. I want to leave something at PS that will hopefully last beyond my lifetime.”