It's SO much more than just a trip.
FLOs build non-cognitive skills such as:
AVAILABILITY OF A STRONG SUPPORT PERSON
When students apply to and participate in FLOs they find they need to confer with their teacher(s), the FLO Coordinator, their parents, and/or new adult role models, in order to successfully access the program and get the most out of the experience. They walk away with a robust network of adult supports.
Finding someone to confer advice, particularly in times of crisis or struggle.
Many FLOs emphasize the concept of servant leadership and community service as vital to personal fulfillment, and often promote volunteerism and cross-cultural collaboration.
Feeling a sense of connection to others & understanding the role of good citizenship in any member group.
FLOs push students to define what is important to them, and to share their values and motivations with new peers in new settings. FLOs include taking on new challenges that require students to work effectively with others, as leaders.
Having the ability to organize and influence others.
NONTRADITIONAL ACQUISITION OF KNOWLEDGE
This trait is probably the most obviously connected to FLOs, as all Fantastic Learning Opportunities require a student to live an experience outside the school environment.
Acquires knowledge outside the education system in sustained and/or culturally-related ways.
POSITIVE SELF CONCEPT
Acceptance and participation in a FLO positions a student to feel self-worth and success in a new realm. Regardless of past academic performance, FLOs give a diverse range of students the opportunity to feel a part of something positive.
The confidence that leads to the determination to succeed.
PREFERENCE FOR LONG TERM GOALS
Applying to and completing a FLO forces students to make decisions based on long-term goals (college and career readiness) versus short-term goals (often driven by fluctuating emotions, short-term obstacles, etc.). Doing a FLO is completely voluntary; it mandates at least an initial desire for and focus on long-term success.
Knowing how to set and achieve long-term goals, delay gratification, and persevere in spite of obstacles.
REALISTIC SELF APPRAISAL
Having to “sell themselves” in an application forces them to accurately assess their strengths and weaknesses, both personally and academically. Additionally, once at a FLO, students are exposed to new and possibly higher performing groups of students or more challenging projects that put their own performance into perspective.
The ability to accurately assess your own strengths and weaknesses and to further your own development.
SUCCESSFUL NAVIGATION OF SYSTEMS
Applying to and participating in FLOs requires that students understand systems of application, communication (phone, email), professionalism, and follow-through. The experience of getting themselves to the FLO is a multi-tiered lesson in “systems” they will need to be able to navigate to succeed long-term.
Knowing how to access resources and how to use the system to help you achieve your goals.