December 6, 2019
Susan Adams was a Central graduate who graduated in 1965. When she attended Central, she was in acapella and a freshman cheerleader. She believed that Central focuses on excellent and prepares students for independents.
“I believe I got my strong work ethic from Central.” Susan said
After she graduated, she went to college at the University of Nebraska Omaha. There she students for an education degree.
“I started in education and found myself with children who needed alternate teaching.”
Susan Adams started the emPOWERment program with the help of Joni Craighead, A.J Steinhoff, and Anne Fenner. The emPOWERment program is a non-profit company that does to different schools in Omaha and helps teach students respect and manners. The goals of the program are, develop a positive and respectful learning atmosphere in the classroom, forming habits that encourage self-worth and self-confidence, respectful attitudes and behavior toward others, good manners, optimism about future success, and scholastic achievement.
“Children don’t know what is respectful about them.” said Susan
Susan and the others work with kids for a semester. The first day of class starts with Susan asking the 6th graders to think of a person they really respect, then they put a list of qualities that make the students respect them on a board. After there is a list of 25-30 qualities the instructor tells that students that that is who they are. Teaching the students what is respectful about them.
“Teachers were excited about how their students were acting after the class.” Susan said
Other school districts in Nebraska wanted their program to come to their schools but it was not possible, “it made me sick at heart to turn them away” said Susan. Due to the burst of popularity the emPOWERment program was receiving they decided they needed a new delivery system. Susan began teaching a small class of 6 children and filming the lessons. The filming sessions are still going on, but the videos will be distributed to schools they cannot reach in late summer or early fall of 2020.
In the beginning of last summer Susan got a letter from the International Trade Council asking them to submit an application for an award. The emPOWERment program won the business of the year award in social services. Now Dubi, Hong Kong, Australia and Canada are interested in the program.
“I love seeing how the children grow from the beginning to the end of the class and it warms my heart when they ask us not to go.” Susan said