Why Try Program

The Why Try Program is a strength-based approach to helping youth to overcome their challenges and to improve outcomes in the areas of truancy, behavior, and academics. It is based on sound, empirical principles, including Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Social and Emotional Intelligence, and Multisensory learning.

The idea behind Why Try is straightforward: teach social and emotional principles to youth in a way they can understand and remember. We accomplish this by using a series of ten pictures as visual analogies. Each visual teaches a discrete principle such as resisting peer pressure, obeying laws and rules, and the concept that all decisions have consequences.

  1. Reality Ride – teaches that decisions have consequences and helps them understand the importance of changing their decision-making process.
  2. Defense Mechanisms – teaches youth to recognize and control their own defense mechanisms and to recognize those mechanisms used by others.
  3. Tearing Off Your Label – addresses how negative labels can come from many sources and helps youth to tear off their negative labels and find their real worth.
  4. Climbing out –teaches youth that some people will try to keep them from changing and provides tools to help them differentiate between those who will pull them down and those who will help them out.
  5. Jumping Your Hurdles – provides a problem solving model for youth who might be used to giving up when challenged.
  6. Lift the Weight – teaches youth why they should obey laws and rules, recognizing that youth are often resistant to this idea.
  7. Desire, Time & Effort – teaches youth that hard work is key to achieving anything they want.
  8. Get Plugged In – shows the power that comes from connecting with others and offers ideas for making and maintaining those connections.
  9. You Can See Over the Wall – summarizes the entire Why Try Program
  10. The Motivation Formula – is the philosophical foundation of the Why Try Program. Youth learn how to channel their challenges into positive activities and accomplishments.

We reinforce the visual components through music and physical activities. We address all major learning styles: visual, auditory, and body-kinesthetic. This simple idea has been shown to reduce truancy, change the behavioral climate of schools using Why Try, and improve academic outcomes..

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