Stanford teaches LCHS students to challenge success

  • February 10, 2017
By Joshua Rhee 
      Denise Pope, a founder of Challenge Success, spoke to the La Cañada community on January 17th at the LCHS auditorium. LCHS has recently partnered with Challenge Success and Stanford University to help students “mature into resilient, caring, and purposeful adults,” which is becoming increasingly difficult in “our current fast-paced, high-pressure culture” (
      LCHS teamed up with the Challenge Success program this year, joining the other 120 schools that have already been participating in the program. LCHS hopes to reform the current system in small ways for big impacts. This explains the past few mandatory surveys that asked students about their daily workload and average hours of sleep per night. After careful analysis of the data, the researchers from Stanford have reached a (rather obvious) conclusion: La Cañada High School students are stressed.
      The reasons behind students’ stress are multifaceted, however. The common causes for stress range from impossibly high expectations to dealing with many common high school obstal. Challenge Success, however, aims to try and alleviate the negative effects that come with the constant anxiety of failing. The fear of not meeting our expectations, whether it’s getting into a specific college or university or having a certain grade point average, stems from the fear of failure. When it comes to extracurriculars and grades, students are overburdened and forced to cut corners. The most common solution to this is focusing more on the grades than actually absorbing information. To Challenge Success, this is an issue that must be addressed, because a school system that forces kids to cut corners on academics ultimately fails as an educational system.
      J.K. Rowling summed it up perfectly during her Harvard Commencement Address. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” Students ultimately benefit in the long run when they are taught to roll with the punches rather than to completely avoid any possibility of failure.

      If you’d like to know more, you can visit the Challenge Success website at

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