Grit and the 1992 Olympics

Grit — the ability to set goals and overcome obstacles along the way — is more than a great buzzword. It’s a noncognitive skill that, extensive research indicates, is critical to success both in school and in life.

But merely explaining the concept to your students won’t likely get you far. Today’s learners need a visual. They need a story. They need interaction.

Here’s one compelling and moving story EduGuide uses in our nonprofit program:

We find that this type of content reaches students at a deeper level and from a different angle than what they sometimes get in school. Our partners share with us that their students are able to do critical thinking and creative writing with this type of content, even when they have a hard time doing that with their regular school work. In fact, 87% of teachers who partner with EduGuide report that students apply EduGuide lessons outside of the 15-minutes-per-week of class time dedicated to these activities.

Students are able to identify that there’s something about Derek Redmond that they really admire. We put a name on that, explaining that it’s grit, and then help them think about how they can use this idea in their own lives — in everything important they do.

And then, through our interactive online platform, we engage them in talking about it. They respond to a series of questions that get them to dig deeper and explore the idea — not just how they can live more like Derek Redmond, but how they can be more like Derek’s father, as well, helping others in their lives to persevere and succeed. Because EduGuide isn’t just about helping students become stronger for their own benefit; it’s a form of “mentor training” to help them contribute more to their family and community. And they grow even more, as a result of helping others.

Learn more about EduGuide’s nonprofit, evidence-based program to increase student grit and other noncognitive skills. Schedule a meeting at your convenience:

What is Derek doing today? He has become a mentor, himself: a coach and a motivational speaker with a fulfilling, active life. Learn more at


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