Mid Session 7: Opportunity for Growth and Independence

The current situation provides many challenges. However, alongside these real struggles is the opportunity for growth.  One of our parents shared this quote with us a few weeks ago. It perfectly summarizes our rallying cry. 

While the opportunities range from a deeper understanding of self, to families developing more open dialogue at home, this session we focused on one area in particular: Independence. To make it clear, independence in this context doesn’t mean to “go at it alone” but rather to find more freedom through empowerment. Our call to action this session was to equip our learners to be more independent, to inspire them with everything from ways to speak out using their voices, to real-world Life Skills. 

Town Meeting

One important tradition we have continued through Distance Learning is Town Meeting. This is the space for learners to use their voices to identify problems and find solutions together. Every Monday, learners submit Town Meeting slips describing the problem and their proposed solutions. Each Wednesday the learners get together to discuss the proposal and vote on solutions. This session, the topics covered included using tools provided in Zoom in different ways and proposing changes in language such as using more Growth Mindset phrases when collaborating.  


Through Socratic discussions, public pitches, conflict resolutions, and countless hours of writing, the Ascent Eagles dedicated important energy to finding their voices this year. One way to continue this learning is to understand how heroes throughout history have found their voices. Many through activism. 

The learners are currently seeing examples of powerful activism around the world in real-time. In Week 3, the learners dived back into the Hero’s Journey Framework, so fundamental to what we do, to understand heroes throughout history who have answered their Call to Adventure in the form of activism. Each day they listened to a different story about a hero who took action to change the world. They began the week with the story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, the youngest marcher who participated in the Children’s March of Birmingham. They followed the story with an analysis of her Hero’s Journey, which includes identifying her Call to Adventure, her Crisis, her Mentors. The beauty in this process is that the learners highlighted the nuances and complexities in the Heroes’ stories, which made them more relevant and relatable. They continued their deep dive into activism by mapping the journeys of the following heroes: Cesar Chavez, Malala Yousafzai, Clara Lemlich, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Mahatma Gandhi.

Quest – Cooking and Life Skills 

This session started with a quest led by the 5th Year Eagles: Growing Curiosity- Cooking Edition! For three weeks the Eagles took on various challenges that were designed to help them learn basic cooking skills such as, using a stove, using an oven, measuring, knife skills, cracking an egg, and more! At the end of the three-week quest, Eagles created mini cooking shows to teach the audience how to make a certain dish. Throughout this quest, learners were fully empowered with the skills they need to better take care of themselves and skills that will contribute to their families as well. 

The second three weeks of Session 7 have been dedicated to a Life Skills Quest! On this quest, Eagles have been playing a game where they are transported to their future to solve problems and make choices such as: 

The button on your pants fell off, should you learn to sew a button, or buy new pants?

You just got a new car! Should you learn to take care of it yourself, or hire a mechanic? 

Your toilet is running! Do you learn how to fix it, or do you bring in a plumber? 

As they make their way through the quest, Eagles must make decisions to save money or spend money. They also have the opportunity to earn money as they add value to their lives. The winner of the game will be the person who saves the most by the end of the quest! In the spirit of seizing opportunity, this quest is embracing the many hours at home to give Eagles the chance to learn skills they will need on their Hero’s Journeys no matter what paths they choose. The many hours spent understanding the ins and outs of their houses, learning how to maintain a car, and taking stock of (then organizing) what they own, will open the door for more independence, more freedom and autonomy.