More than 300 success stories thanks to Angela's Kics
Her daughter Kameron's behaviour was a red flag for Angela Young.
Then 11, she was missing deadline after deadline at BHS.
An assessment determined she had ADHD; Ms Young created a set of tools which helped her daughter and led to Kids in Control Systems, a programme that offers "practical tips and tools that families and children can use to get things done; meet their deadlines".
It helped Kameron get through BHS. At 16, she was part of a genetics study that "transformed teaching and learning in the classroom". She is now studying biomedical engineering at Queen Mary University in London, England and made headlines last year for her work as an intern with a Colombian tech firm.
Ms Young says Kics has helped more than 300 students achieve similar success in various fields.
"The programme is for six weeks. It's basically an hour-and-a-half [each session] and the parents are able to come with the students too. So I teach them basically all the things I've done with Kameron. Students do not know what to expect but at the end of the six weeks, they leave with practical tips and tools which set them apart from the rest. I develop the whole child and I tailor the lessons to meet them where they are at.
"I'm very proud of it because the kids, their grades increase; their confidence goes through the roof."
Ms Young, who has a master’s degree in marketing, offered her first workshop in 2015. The programme is open to students from middle school all the way through to university.
"I did my research and spoke with other experts to help me design the workshop but it is primarily based on [our] journey – I noticed she was incorrectly putting her homework assignment in her planner. That was a red flag for me.
"And I noticed how she was always missing assignments and not meeting deadlines and not getting things in; at the end of M1 Kameron had 61 demerits. I was advised by the neuropsychologist to have a behavioural therapist help me develop tools to help her with organisation and just making sure she was meeting her deadlines and so forth."
On talking with other parents, Ms Young realised her plan could also help other kids who were struggling.
"My flagship programme was May 2014; my first workshop was in July. At the time, there were no other options out there. In eight years I've helped over 300 students and 190 parents."
This month she partnered with North Village Community Club. Ms Young was moved to reach out to the team on the recommendation of Calvin Blankendal, the CEO of Caribbean Sports & Entertainment Management Group.
"Cal thought it would be a great synergy for all parties. He understands what I do and was immediately able to connect the dots and said that my Kics programme was a missing link.
"At the time I didn't realise it but I had a lot of great, upcoming football players and cricket stars [that I had worked with]. They had the same challenges as Kameron – disorganised, not [doing the best with] their time and so forth. [I have since heard from their] parents that these kids are now getting Division 1 or Division 2 scholarships at some of the top universities in the US or even in [the UK]. And I said wait a minute … I helped that young man when he was 12 or 14."
Gone are the days when being great at the game was enough to get a sports scholarship, Ms Young said.
"This is the new way to help your players get an edge. Talent scouts are looking for that player that is well-rounded – so they're impressive on the field and off the field. They have to have done community service, they may be a singer, they may dance, they may act, whatever; they have to be articulate, able to sell themselves, present themselves in interviews. That’s what [people] are looking for. A lot of times it's not about how good they play, [people] are asking, what's the GPA?
"And so that's where I found a couple of boys who had been through my programme, that’s what helped the most. Yes, they're fantastic players but they also have really high ratings."
To keep students interested she speaks "their slang".
"I try to make a correlation to what they're going through and also show the bigger concepts, bigger ideas," she said.
"I've had a very varied background of children and also parents. I've had parents who are deputy principals, who are principals, who are [actuaries], who are lawyers, who are plumbers, secretaries; it's been quite interesting."
The programme is offered twice a year. Ms Young runs it while doing a full-time job.
"I'm an empty nester now," she laughed. "When Kameron left for school, for university, I figured I'm done with this, but then I had parents call me."
She is particularly proud of the effort put in by one student, Chaz Trott.
"I really am very proud of him because at the end of my workshop I have a quiz and I test the kids and in this particular instance, Chaz was probably in M3 at the time at Somersfield, and he didn’t do very well and I didn’t pass him.
"I took him in the hallway with his dad and I told him about himself and how he had to apply himself; I told him I expected more from male students and so forth. And he decided to come back and redo my workshop. To see him now – he was scouted by the boarding school he ended up going to. His grades went from Cs and Ds to As and Bs and then last year he had 17 Division 1 universities recruiting him. He chose one and he's on full scholarship and his grades are still As and Bs. There are a couple of stories like that but Chaz has a special place in my heart because of that hallway talk that really made the difference. And so that’s what I envision with the football clubs, helping them to understand you may be great on the field but I need you to be great in all areas."
• For more information: www.kicssystems.com