Exceeding Expectations

  • Video Overview:

    Some kids have families who expect them to do well in school, while other kids live with families who don’t expect much at all. Students living in a family or community that “doesn’t care” about their school success have a choice to make. Will they believe those who say, “You can’t succeed,” or surprise them with hard work and accomplishment?

    Some students, like 15-year-old Rodrigo, want to show their families and friends that they are capable of doing something really good in life. And that means working hard, doing homework, studying and staying in school. Students’ futures can literally depend on their choices about school – choices that are often influenced by who they listen to. Will it be the voices saying, “You will fail,” or their own voice that yells out, “I will succeed!”

    Michael J. Bowman, a police officer who sees dropouts and truants on the street everyday asks, “Can you believe you’d ever be sad you completed high school? I’ve never heard anyone say that in my life. And you won’t either. You have nothing to lose from going to school. You have everything to lose from hanging out in the street. You have everything to gain by going to school and getting that education.”


    1. What choice do kids feel they have when their parents don’t think they can succeed?
    2. How does Geneva challenge the people who say she can’t succeed?
    3. What does Officer Bowman mean when he says, “You have nothing to lose from going to school?” Do you agree or disagree?


    1. How do you think you’ll feel when you graduate high school?
    2. What does your inner voice say to help motivate you?



    Experts say there are two types of motivators: intrinsic and extrinsic. Ask students to complete an assignment to define intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and apply each to their own life. Ask them to identify what motivates you more – intrinsic or extrinsic factors? What are you motivated to do… be a high scoring sports team member? Attain a personal best? What are your academic and career goals?

  • Exceeding Expectations

    About the Program

    A real story to help teens to understand that an education translates into not just more money but more job choices about their future. Watch this real story to help students find within themselves the motivation to set and achieve goals –- and to plan for life beyond high school.

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