Seriously, we are not actually changing our tagline, but we are serious about the importance of failure in human development.
Nobody likes to fail. But for a teenager, failure can feel like devastation. When your ego and identity are still forming, what might seem like a small failure to others can cause heartbreak and self-blaming for teens.
Whether it’s a rejection by someone they’re crushing on, a poor score on the SATs, or a loss in sports, teenagers take failure hard.
However, the truth is that failure can offer much greater life lessons than success. But first, teens have to learn how to face failure head on. Faculty at Stanford and Harvard coined the term “failure deprived” a decade ago, to describe college-aged students who seemed to have difficulty dealing with everyday struggles. Moreover, they connected this lack of resilience with the mental health crisis on American college campuses in recent years.
At GlassRoots, we know that failure is a risk for our students, but one that they will experience safely here.
Ella had worked on an intricate fused glass piece for hours. Finally satisfied, she loaded her piece into the kiln for firing. A day later, she looked at the cracked mess. Materials expand when they are heated and contract when they are cooled. Glass is no exception. When we melt two glasses together to form one, they must contract uniformly when cooling, otherwise, a tension (stress) develops between them, causing a fracture. We might have expected that Ella would react negatively or emotionally... after all, she had put in so much time and energy. But instead, she looked at the cracking as an opportunity for inspiration and melted the glass again into something new. “Whenever I make art here I enjoy it, and welcome the unexpected accidents. I’m surprised by what I’m able to see and learn.”
Just like the glass, Ella had learned how to manage her tension, her stress; her instructor was right next to her to guide her through the experience.
One thing we’ll never do is fail our students.
That’s why your support is so essential.
Will you give us your vote of confidence in the work we do, the impact we make, the transformation we support, by making an investment into the lives and futures of the young people we serve?
Today, we’re asking that you make a donation to help us continue to transform lives through the power of glass art.
Can we count on you to make a meaningful gift today? Students will continue to fail, but with your support, we’ll continue to be there for them when they do.
With thanks and gratitude,
Barbara Heisler, CEO