Submitted by Timothy Harrison, Enjoyable Pain of Growth Academy
Houston, Texas, United States

The Enjoyable Pain of Growth Academy (EPOG) is a nonprofit whose mission is to make personal development part of education. This project focused on underserved high school students in Southside Houston. The vision of EPOG Academy is to create a world where more people realize their potential. The sad reality is that if you are born in the “wrong” zip code, you don’t have access to the same opportunities to fully develop yourself. A holistic approach is needed to tap into the youth’s full potential and prepare them for the changing demands of 21st-century life and work.

EPOG believes that education is more than just academics, and a growing body of research demonstrates that directly developing the personal components of individuals (emotional awareness, resilience, self-determination) makes them more likely to thrive academically, professionally, and personally.

The goal of EPOG Academy is to measurably increase individuals’ academic, professional, and personal outcomes through personal development interventions and make our programs accessible. The use of ICF Coaches is a vital part of driving this measurable impact in our students.

They completed a pilot program with YES Prep Southside in Houston, TX and saw increases in resilience, emotional awareness, growth mindset, and leader identity which reflected in positive behavior both inside and outside of school. There were 22 students who went through the program and 176 pro bono hours.

“Ever since I worked with my coach it helped me maintain my confidence. I keep going because I have the confidence to not give up.”

—Student participant