Decisions for Education

The Decisions program for Education arose out of a conversation between Peter Hawks and John Painter, a teacher and advisor to the Student Council at South Burlington (Vermont) High School, who saw great value in helping students look inside themselves, as Ryan did, to craft a self-composed set of Core Values. With enthusiastic support from students, faculty and administrators, a four-step program was conceived and piloted with 900 students.

The steps are:

  1. Learn about Core Values and what they mean.
  2. Look within yourself to discover your own Core Values and enumerate them.
  3. Prepare a presentation that highlights your Core Values and passions.
  4. Present your Core Values to peers, teachers, parents, coaches and other significant people in your circle.

The outcomes of the program include a better understanding of oneself, and a set of principles that guide decision making in all aspects of daily life. For many, this means better decisions and a reduction in risky behaviors.

To date, some 1200 students at SBHS have participated in the program. Some have characterized it as “life changing.”

The Foundation has prepared three videos that describe the program and introduce Ryan and his Core Principles:

Meet Ryan Hawks (4:39)

The South Burlington High School Experience (3:20)

The Decisions for Education Progam (7:55)