EBT Featured in newsletter: Changing Lives in Brooklyn

posted May 7, 2012, 2:41 PM by Parvez Jamal   [ updated May 7, 2012, 2:46 PM ]

Changing Lives in Brooklyn

Students at the High School for Enterprise, Business, and Technology (EBT) in Brooklyn, New York, are preparing for college and careers thanks to the Overcoming Obstacles Life Skills Program. Assistant Principal Leonard Brief of EBT says that the program has made a remarkable difference in his students’ lives.
Students at the High School for Enterprise, Business, and Technology participate in an Overcoming Obstacles team-building activity.

“Overcoming Obstacles has transformed our school,” said Assistant Principal Brief. “There is a waiting list for students who want to join the class. I come to work every day excited to see my group and experience Overcoming Obstacles.”

The high school received Overcoming Obstacles in 2010 through the Gifting Initiative. It uses the program in a daily 40-minute class to address issues with cyberbullying, disrespect, and poor decision making—issues that are all too common in schools nationwide. Mr. Brief says that Overcoming Obstacles is helping to fix these problems.

“I see the students communicating more effectively,” he said. “They are able to make better long-term decisions that will impact their lives for years to come. The children care more for each other, and the bullying has decreased while the laughter has increased.”

According to Assistant Principal Brief, students at EBT are eagerly applying the life skills they’ve learned through Overcoming Obstacles to their daily lives. He said that his favorite part of the program is “seeing the ‘light’ go on as the students see the connections between the lessons and their lives.”

“There is a better sense of who each child is after a term of Overcoming Obstacles,” he said. “Children talk to each other and adults with a new sense of pride. They stand taller and have become more assertive. They realize how to change their communication styles depending on their audience. Students are seeing the connection between our class and the world of work and higher education.”

Assistant Principal Brief encourages other schools to implement the Overcoming Obstacles program.

“The more we teach Overcoming Obstacles’ life skills,” he said, “the less bullying, prejudice, and miscommunication there will be!”  

If Overcoming Obstacles has made a positive impact in your school, please send your story to mail@overcomingobstacles.org, and your school may be featured in one of our upcoming newsletters.