Last week I had a BLAST visiting the San Miguel School in Washington, DC. It's a fantastic private middle school where boys grades 6th through 8th get a stellar education, for free. They have an educational philosophy called Lasallian which is dedicated to transforming lives for academically underserved and economically disadvantaged boys in the Washington, DC metro area.

Photo Courtesy of the San Miguel School

Photo Courtesy of the San Miguel School

I volunteered to present at their lunchtime Career Cafe series and I started the morning on a tour by one of their student ambassadors, Jordan. I was really impressed with the demeanor of the boys. I hadn't been around that age group in years and they were very well-behaved and looked pretty adorable (I mean...manly) in their uniforms that included a dress shirt and tie. 

What I loved most was their point system for school rewards. They have the 90 students divided into 4 Houses that are, you guessed it: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. So for example, if the individual students accomplish all their reading goals they accrue points for their House which translates to prizes? How cute is that?!

Anyways, enough about my Harry Potter obsession. Here are the main points I made in my Career Cafe presentation:

Photo Courtesy of San Miguel School

Photo Courtesy of San Miguel School

  • Be aware of what you love doing as it could translate into a career later on
  • The best and worst aspects of being self-employed
  • Goal-setting is essential to success
  • Case Study: Gates, Jobs, & Zuckerburg - those who identified their passions in middle school

During my talk I had the students write down 3 things they were passionate about. I then asked them to write down 5 goals they wanted to achieve by the time they turned 25. Because of this simple act these 45 kids became a part of the 1% of the population that sets goals and writes them down!

Overall, I had a blast and if you're interested in offering a Career Cafe feel free to click here for more information.

First established in the basement of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, San Miguel began its mission in the heart of the Columbia Heights neighborhood in Washington, DC. Outgrowing that space in less than a decade, San Miguel DC relocated to its current home in Shepherd Park, able to educate up to 90 boys in grades 6 to 8 while continuing to provide support to 186 alumni.

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