Why Disrupting the Education System Is Critical to the Success of Kids with Amy Klein
Welcome to episode 132 of The Determined Mom Show. I am your host, Amanda Tento and I am very excited to have Amy Klein here along with Kelly Roach, who founded Give Her Courage and The Courageous Brand. Welcome and tell us all about your background and how you got started and then we can go ahead and get into the topics.
Sure, first of all, thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here, Kelly and I founded this company. It started as Give Her Courage about five years ago. I would say our mission behind The Courageous Brand is really to believe in your power to make your dreams come true.
It started with an idea when I was pregnant with my daughter, she had her older daughter Madison, who was three at the time and I couldn’t find anything in children’s books that would teach her about courage and confidence.
I started researching even further to realize that there was nothing out there at all. As the girls got older and then also had a background in corporate America and being in a leadership position like Kelly, we saw a lot of disparities between men and women in terms of confidence and just being able to be vocal and speak up and being an advocate for yourself to move up the corporate ladder.
So it kind of was like a culmination of all of that and we wrote our first children’s book: “Just Be You”, which teaches girls all about the power of believing in themselves and celebrating their friend’s individualities and supporting them as well. So it started with that idea and then it kind of grew and then we started a retail side that’s leisure wear for little girls.
So for men and women, we are The Courageous Brand, which is for boys and girls. I have a son too and I think it’s really important that we’re teaching all children the skills that they need to set them up for success, no matter what.
That’s awesome and I realize that every guest on this podcast has this creation story and it almost always centers around pregnancy. So I find it interesting that there’s a trend when we’re pregnant, it’s as if we’re more creative or we’re looking for answers or we’re trying to solve a problem.
Also when you’re pregnant and you’re having a child, you want to have certain resources and things for them available and when you don’t see it, you’re saying to yourself I got to do this.
Why disrupting the education system is critical to the success of kids?
I’ll start with the disclaimer that this is nothing against traditional education. We’ve got to learn to read and write and math and we’ve got to learn all the foundational stuff but at the end of the day, it kind of goes along with Kelly and I’s mission on believing in the power of you to make your dreams come true.
The things that are learned in school are very theoretical and I was diagnosed with ADHD as a young kid the way that traditional learning is taught, it’s not meant for everybody but it also doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be successful because if you don’t, it’s black and white, right?
You get this grade on a test or this is how you do the algebra problem. It’s just very linear and all of those things, while great, don’t apply to the real world and they don’t apply to success. So that’s why Kelly and I started the Gap Year program and the Leap Curriculum, which teaches entrepreneurial skills.
We have to look at what we’re teaching kids. We need to be teaching them critical thinking skills and we need to be teaching them leadership skills. We need to be teaching them communication, and direct communication skills.
Like hands-on, problem-solving, developing that mental toughness, and how to power through things. If you look at entrepreneurs, this is called the entrepreneurial mindset.
So Kelly and I wanted to make a huge change in the education system and allow kids to not feel like they aren’t going to be able to be successful, or they aren’t because they don’t want to be a lawyer or a doctor and maybe college isn’t for them.
Maybe they don’t want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in college and be in college debt. Maybe they wanted to learn how to build a brand or start a business or learn what a P and L statement is and learn financial skills.
So you can write a business plan, right? Like all of these things that are not taught, it’s just time for a change to allow people to have these tools and these skill sets to go do what they want to do.
I completely agree and I love everything that you said. I agree with taking the entrepreneurial gap year because I remember back when I was 17 and graduated high school, I had zero ideas about what I wanted to be and yet I had to pick a major in college and I had no idea.
Exactly! That doesn’t necessarily mean college isn’t for you but you just might not be ready. So in that path, you could take a gap year. You don’t have to go to county college if you learn all of these skills and how to start a business online and compete on camera, you are setting yourself up to start your own business.
You’re not going to need hundreds of thousands of dollars to do that in college.” That’s true because I know professionals that are doctors but they still have so much college debt that they take home less than the average entrepreneur.
This is because they keep having to pay back those hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans after going to school for decades. So I like that you’re giving young people the perspective and the permission that they need, which is awesome.
So let’s talk about the academy. I’m very curious about this because I have daughters as well. “It’s a 12-month learning experience for girls and the core pillars of the entire girl’s leadership academy is really kind of what I talked about in the beginning, that Kelly and I’s goal, is to teach girls to have the courage, confidence, and entrepreneurial skills, to master and do anything that they want to do in life. These modules provide what they’re not getting in school. So each month we have a course that strengthens the entrepreneurial mindset model.
It could be how to start a business, or how to scale a business. It could be how to start a podcast, how to build a personal brand, mental toughness, resilience, all of those soft skills that we believe are most pertinent and important for girls to be successful in life like leadership skills and direct communication skills. I love it and thank you so much for being here and very excited to enroll my daughters in your academy, for sure.
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