High school students use time at home as an opportunity for personal growth


As students across the country are stuck at home during school closures, many are at a loss for how to spend their time. Boredom can set in, which can correlate with physical and emotional health risks or risky behavior, according to recent research.

But some students are staying proactive as they consider how they want to approach their time at home by searching for opportunities to prepare themselves for their futures. That includes participation in programs like Challenge Accepted! by education technology company Ascend. 

Challenge Accepted! is a way for students to get rewarded for completing simple challenges they can do while at home, ranging from writing a letter to the elderly to touring museums online. Through the completion of these small goals, students earn points, which gives them the chance to win college scholarships. Hilda A. of Charlotte, North Carolina decided to participate in the program “because I have the time and opportunity to do almost anything, and with that, I decided to spend my time doing something fun that can also help me in my college career.”

The challenges aren’t just providing the opportunity for college scholarships. “I thought [the challenges] would be really beneficial to me. I saw these as goals that could benefit my day-to-day life and could enrich my mental state,” said Kelly Y., a high school student and aspiring engineer from New York City. “[One of my favorite challenges was] writing letters to the elderly. My grandparents live with my family and it brought a lot into perspective. It made me think about how I can lift other people’s spirits and consider what legacy I want to leave,” she added.

“We’ve been astounded by the dedication and engagement from teens,” said Ascend Co-founder Christine Nicodemus. “Students seem to be really interested in using this time to better themselves and to support their families and communities. They can recognize the impact their actions have on their own mental and emotional health, and it’s been an honor for our team to aid them in that process.”

Hilda from North Carolina reflected that sentiment in describing her own time at home: “It has been a little challenging. I help my nieces and nephews with homework…My favorite challenge was writing a letter to my future self because it was nice to reflect on what I’ve already accomplished and what I want to do in the future: who I am and who I want to become.”

Parents, teens, and educators who are interested in getting involved can visit www.ascendgoals.com/challenge-accepted.


About Ascend

Ascend is a student empowerment platform that enables schools and youth organizations to track student goals. Through Ascend’s gamified goal-setting app, students create goals and build social capital, and administrators easily report on outcomes. Ascend is proud to be a minority and woman-owned business and supports schools and mentoring organizations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Texas, and beyond. Visit www.ascendgoals.com to learn more.