Sydney Scott is a second year undergraduate at Southeastern Louisiana University. She shares practical advice, inspiration, and tips for high school and college students using her unique brand of candor and humor.

On August 20, 2019, over 100 college & career coaches flocked to Baton Rouge to attend the 2019 Career Compass Kickoff, a day on which Career Compass staff from across the state meet to get inspired and prepared for the upcoming school year. Annually, one of the most anticipated parts of Kickoff is the unveiling of the year’s theme. This year’s theme is: “High Hopes!”

Why did we choose “High Hopes?” At Career Compass, we believe that maintaining high hopes matters… a lot! Having high hopes combined with a positive outlook are so powerful that they can prevent bad moments from becoming bad days, bad months, or bad years. High hopes keep our focus locked in on our goals. Don’t just take our word for it! Here are some highlights from some of the speakers at Kickoff 2019.

Sydney Scott (blogger); Kacy Edwards (Career Compass Co-Founder & Executive Director); David Faucheux (professor at Southeastern Louisiana University); Julie Scott (Career Compass Co-Founder & Executive Director); and Crystal Burch (Career Compass Director of Strategic Partnerships).

Sydney Scott (blogger); Kacy Edwards (Career Compass Co-Founder & Executive Director); David Faucheux (professor at Southeastern Louisiana University); Julie Scott (Career Compass Co-Founder & Executive Director); and Crystal Burch (Career Compass Director of Strategic Partnerships).

HOPE CAN DETERMINE OUR REALITY.

David Faucheux, a Business Management and Marketing professor at Southeastern Louisiana University and former marketing executive at AT&T, spoke about how we have the power and capacity to create our own realities. He emphasized that our perception of ourselves becomes our reality. Having a positive mindset is one of the most powerful tools we can utilize in bettering ourselves. 

You know those people who always say they never win anything? It’s because they’ve convinced themselves that they can’t win anything! As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” One’s attitude can determine success or failure. One of the primary keys to getting what you want out of life is believing that you have the power to obtain what you’re seeking. As a student entering my second year of college, these words resonated with me as much as they did with the 100+ adults in the audience. 

Dr. Rick Bateman, Chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College with the Career Compass Executive Leadership Team.

Dr. Rick Bateman, Chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College with the Career Compass Executive Leadership Team.

INVESTING HOPE IN OTHERS CHANGES THEIR LIVES, AND OURS, TOO.

Dr. Rick Bateman, Chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College, spoke on the importance of investing hope in others and how transformative having hope in others can be. 

One point that Dr. Bateman made that really resonated with me centered on investing hope in students: educators have a great deal of influence over the self-perception of students. It’s simple: heightened self-esteem = heightened performance. When you invest hope in another person, you are subconsciously telling them that they are worth investing in. 

Think of the best teacher or professor you had in school. Chances are, they’re your favorite because at some point they made you feel like you were valued, important, and capable of achieving your goals. By investing hope in young people, educators (and really everyone, for that matter!) can transform the mindset of their students, leading to more hopeful, empowered individuals in the future. 

College & Career Coach Ellen Eldridge; Dr. Kristen Antoine-Morse, Founder/CEO of B.E.L.O.V.E.D Community; and members of the Career Compass Executive Leadership team.

College & Career Coach Ellen Eldridge; Dr. Kristen Antoine-Morse, Founder/CEO of B.E.L.O.V.E.D Community; and members of the Career Compass Executive Leadership team.

BEING AN ALLY FOR CULTURAL DIVERSITY MEANS BEING AN ALLY FOR HOPE.

Dr. Kristen Antoine-Morse, who is an instructional specialist in the EBR Parish School System and CEO & founder of the nonprofit B.E.L.O.V.E.D Community (Bridge to Enhance the Lives of Offenders and Victims through Education and Dialogue), spoke about how committing to affirming cultural diversity can enhance communication with others, especially students. She emphasized that recognizing implicit bias and working to acknowledge and affirm cultural differences can introduce hope and deepen the connections we make with others. 

Dr. Antoine-Morse started by explaining implicit bias: positive or negative conclusions that we may draw about others who come from different cultures than ours, simply based off of  preconceived notions derived from our own culture. She stressed that cultural sensitivity and awareness has the power to bridge the gap between different cultures, and can act as a key to unlocking the most effective way to communicate with those with whom we collaborate. When we acknowledge and affirm other’s cultures, we work towards demolishing stigma and bias that we may carry. Connecting with others through mutual respect for cultural differences has the power to replace misunderstanding with hope and empowerment. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

No one can pour from an empty cup, which is why it is our duty to fill others with hope. Collective hope leads to impact. And at Career Compass, we know this impact is possible. We have high hopes for the students of Louisiana, we have high hopes for future generations, and we have high hopes for this school year! 

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Thank you to David Faucheux, along with Dr. Rick Bateman of Bossier Parish Community College, Dr. Kristen Antoine-Morse of B.E.L.O.V.E.D Community, and Anthony Banford of Full Measure Education for speaking to our staff at Career Compass Kickoff.  

Thank you to our generous sponsors for the 2019 Career Compass Kickoff, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Community Coffee, Coca Cola Bottling Co. of Baton Rouge, Benny’s Car Wash, AMC Theaters, and Raising Cane’s, as well as donors who wished to remain anonymous. We could not have presented such an amazing and inspiring event without you! Thank you for your generous support.

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