Give the Gift of ASPIRATION

By Jana Scott

My Thanksgiving list of things I’m grateful for continues to grow, and it occupies my thoughts quite frequently.  Either I’m a little behind the season or perhaps a step ahead as I think about the things that matter most.  Either way, Thanksgiving and the reminder of all we have to be grateful for seems almost a preparation for the Christmasspirit of giving.  The season in general brings us back to thinking more deeply about the things that matter most.

What’s on your list of things that matter most?  It’s likely similar to mine:

  • a loving and supportive family,
  • good friends,
  • good health,
  • education (If you’re in the middle of homework or finals, you might wonder about this one),
  • people who have expanded my vision of what life can be and what I can be,
  • people who have sparked my love of learning and encouraged me to live my dreams and
  • people who have cultivated my desire to contribute to the lives and happiness of others, to name just a few.

What greater gift could you give this season than the gift of ASPIRATION?  Help spark desire in a young woman you know to make the most of her life.  Help set her sights on college and graduating with a college degree.  As you attend holiday parties and mix and mingle with children of your friends and family, find an opportunity to inspire ASPIRATION.

Findings show that people are the most important influence on a young woman’s college decision.  Mothers, fathers, teachers, and others have been addressed in previous blog posts.  Research Snapshot #11, which addresses the influence of other significant people, says:

  • Relatives were powerful influences on young women’s college decisions. The most influential relatives were those who had attended college, discussed it with them, and specifically encouraged them to attend.
  • Influence from employers, neighbors, church/community members, and family friends is significantly linked to involvement of a young woman in college preparation activities as well as attendance in and graduation from college.

This Christmas season, as you enjoy the company of people you cherish, help all young women in your social network get to and stay in college by discussing it with them, encouraging them, and/or acting as a mentor.

This Christmas, give the gift of ASPIRATION.  It could impact lives for years to come.