When our KKIS high school students enter their 2nd year of school, we begin to emphasize topics that will help them grow. This is done by programming advisory sessions into their yearly curriculum. We call this series of topics “Discovering Your World.”
These advisory sessions are in addition to their regular public education. It’s where they will learn about goal setting, responsible decision-making, values, healthy relationships, and creating a map for their future.
Our goal in the 2nd year is to have the students think about who they are, what they can achieve by opening their eyes to possibilities, and how to give back to their community here in the Riviera Maya.
To help us with this blog, we asked Viviana, María, and Gloria – students with KKIS – to share their experiences with us.
Fostering a Sense of Community in the Riviera Maya
Many families of our KKIS students arrived in Playa del Carmen over the past 15 years, and in most cases do not have a large family support network like other families do.
Often it’s just their parents and siblings, therefore becoming part of the community takes on greater importance. We all need community and contacts. Succeeding in business is a lot about who you know.
Many students in Playa del Carmen have a limited experience of what lies outside their immediate surroundings because they are unable to travel easily. So in 2nd year, we foster a sense of community.
“In the future, I’d like to become involved in the construction projects that are close to the schools and businesses. I don’t like how they eliminate the vegetation. I’d like to change that.”
Planting the Seeds for Helping Others
An important part of the 2nd year experience is getting our students to develop a sense of self.
In their 1st year, they began to think about the question: “Who am I?” In their 2nd year, our KKIS advisors begin to plant the seeds of how they can grow as an individual and as community members.
Viviana told us that In the future she’d like to be able to organize campaigns where her neighbors get together to keep the streets of their neighborhood clean. “I also want to create groups where they patrol at night,” she added.
For Gloria, she also began thinking of ways to improve as a community. “Some people help in public services,” she offered. “Others help the community and the planet. That motivates me to want to help in the way that is most needed.”
Teaching Responsible Decision Making
Another key aspect of the KKIS advisor session is to teach our students the importance of responsible decision-making. Not only concerning their education but with their lives as a whole.
Gloria told us that she learned that “every decision has positive or negative causes and consequences. Before making them, I must analyze if it is the right thing to do or not.”
More than anything, these sessions for the students are designed to teach them how to make decisions.
María told us. “We are no longer children, And throughout our lives, we will have to make many decisions.”
“My Future Map”: Setting Goals
For KKIS students in their 2nd year of high school, setting goals is critical. We encourage our students to achieve goals that no member of their own family has before.
According to María, the Future Map “helped me because I was able to be more sensible and set my goals a little more professionally.”
In María’s case, the map was a big boost and resulted in two of her greatest wishes being fulfilled. “The first was to be able to leave high school and enter the University with a career in architecture,” she explained.
“The second: being able to see my family, boyfriend, and friends doing what they love most. In a certain way, I influenced that. I am very excited about the goals I have in a greater future.”
Gloria: “I remember that I had set short-term goals, the one I remember the most was to study at the university with something related to ICT, which I am currently doing.”
Growing as a Student and Parents Reaction
The efforts of our students do not go unnoticed by their families. Many related to us that their parents saw them change as people, as they began to develop their personalities. According to Gloria, her parents noticed that she began to defend her points of view better.
“Many things stopped intimidating me,” she recalls. “And the most noticeable thing was that I began to become extroverted.”
In the case of María, who had always had the support of her parents, what they noticed the most was her sense of responsibility. “This made them very happy.”
So what was the most important thing that our students learned in their 2nd year? We asked Viviana, María, and Gloria to share their final thought about their experiences in their 2nd year of high school.
“I learned that friendships can last a long time, but sometimes they do not,” Viviana shared with us.”I learned to become more responsible because to succeed we have to organize ourselves and carry out a schedule.”
According to María, the most important she was taught in 2nd year was she did not have to do things alone.
“It is always better to have friends and family who support you on your way,” she told us. “You must learn to overcome yourself to become a better person. This helped me a lot. When we entered the third year we passed for many things, and I was never alone.”
The journey to graduation is filled with obstacles and eye-opening experiences. At KKIS we are encouraging each student to be well rounded for their success and the success of the community. Please join us again soon for the next chapter in this series as we explore our students’ 3rd and final year of high school. We’ll talk about their final steps towards graduation and planning for university.