Find A Tree Circle LogoServing as a support structure for teachers and administrators, Find A Tree brings a new approach to youth development by helping students to identify and actualize their dreams, and by connecting their dreams to academics and initiative.



At the heart of the challenge facing schools in America is a fundamental problem: students have given up. They have the tangible resources they need: textbooks, qualified teachers, and computers. What they lack are the intangibles: hope, motivation, and dreams. Any administrator can create a wish list of additional resources. However, a larger investment in material items will only bring a marginal increase in student achievement. Intangibles like desire and self-direction have a larger impact on student success than any textbook or lesson plan ever created. Students who want to learn will learn. They can overcome any budget gap or outdated facility, but students with no interest in learning have a barrier too high to surmount.

On the other hand, there are many students graduating and going to college, but with no purpose. They have not uncovered their talents, interests, or dream.

When many college bound students are asked, “What are you going to study in college?” A common answer is “I don’t know.” When pressed about why they are going to college, the fall back response is often, “Because I am supposed to.”


Today, students are programmed to go to college, but college is not the panacea for living your dream. Students should examine who they are, what their talents, interests, and dreams are, and select an educational plan that will enable them to realize their goals and dreams. This was stated very well by a dedicated and inspired math teacher from Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, Mario Aguirre, who said, “I ask my students if they know why they are going to college and they always give vague answers. This means they are going to college, which is good, but they are going without their trees. I told them that the college experience would be much more powerful when a student has a dream that triggers vigorous focus and efficient energy."

In order for students to learn and achieve, they must explore what lies within. They must ask themselves, “What are my talents, interests, and dreams?” The education process must begin with what lies within students and then provide them with the academic, psychological, and life skills necessary to manifest their goals and dreams. When students connect their education to their dreams, their attitudes, behavior, and academic achievement will all improve, and they will be on the path to reaching their potential.

(From the training guide, Unlock Students’ Potential by Daniel Armstrong.)

The aim of Find A Tree is to help schools reduce the dropout rate, reduce the number of failing grades, reduce the number of incident reports, increase attendance, improve grades, and increase graduation rates. The program teaches students how to identify their life goals and how to use the tools education provides in order to achieve those goals. Language and math skills, as well as students’ overall academic performance, improve as students integrate academics and the pursuit of their dreams.

For academically successful students, Find A Tree provides guidance on how to uncover their passions and determine their dream. The program gives their education meaning and purpose by connecting academic classes to their dreams.


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