How to improve your self-esteem

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Seminar by

Sarah LaPlant


Carleen Franklin

Stop saying "should," and get the "buts" out

Rather than say, "I should have studied more," say, "Next time I"ll put more time into studying."

Fill your world with affirmations. Don't say, for example, 'I hate science," because you won't get any better as long as you think that way. Instead, pin something positive on your notebook: "I love science."

To handle stress, avoid fussing at yourself, taking unnecessary blame and blaming others. Also, avoid making excuses for things that cannot be changed. Remember: "I am in control. I can handle it.


By Sonja Isger-Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

WEST PALM BEACH- Students in the parking lot stopped and pointed as Carleen Franklin opened the door to her ruby red Cadillac with the one?" one asked.

"The one in the picture?"   "Yup," she said with a nod.

This is the car she's been telling them about all fall. The one in the picture she toted in her purse for four years . The prize that motivated the daughter of fruit pickers

"That's what I wanted and in order to get what I wanted, I had to know what I wanted," Franklin said.

A lot of students don't know what they. But Franklin and her partner, Sarah LaPlant, are trying to help them figure it out.

Usually the two are paid big bucks by corporations to help motivate employees, but this year they're hoping in motivate Forest Hill School's freshman class.

The two first came to campus a year ago after teacher Judy Irwin heard them at a women's conference. Irwin was impressed and decided it could help her students in the Cities in Schools dropout prevention programs.

The students who come through Irwin's door often don't have strong family tries to help build self-esteem. Franklin and LaPlant help fill in some of the gaps, giving the students stories of failures and successes, Irwin said.

"The stories Carla and Sarah tell are so real and they relate to the kids so well that some kids said later, "I know I have to turn around my attitude." And they did, " Irwin said

The talks went so well last year that Irwin volunteered to apply for a grant to bring the pair back - this time for the entire ninth grade.

Though Franklin and LaPlant usually charge between $1,500 and $3,000 for a workshop, they agreed to do more than 60 sessions for $3,200 from The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties.

"We're trying to reverse our trends in dropouts," Irwin said. "And most of our dropouts are in the ninth grade."

In 1991-92, Forest Hill had the highest dropout rate in the Palm Beach Country School District at 11 percent.

"This is a new year , with a new principal and we want to get them on the right track," said Assistant Principal Joanne Patchin.

The right track begins with the right attitude.

Franklin held up a marble eagle's egg. While the egg is delicate and needs to be guarded by adult eagles, it holds magnificent potential: 50,000 feathers, a 7-foot wingspan, the ability to fly 150 mph and spot a fish from 2 miles in the air.

"The eagle is born with this power and so are we," Franklin said. "We are already magnificent. We are awesome. Yours just isn't developed yet. You need more experience."

Franklin and LaPlant then took turns telling the students how not to sabotage their potential with negative thoughts.

You may not do well in science, but if you run around saying you hate science, you'll like science and remind yourself daily.

"It works," LaPlant said. "My son used to hate math. He was even held back a grade because of his math."

But LaPlant wouldn't let a negative note edge into her son's vocabulary. She told him that he liked math and that math is fun.

"Today, he loves algebra. Some of his best grades are in math," she said.

After three hour-long sessions, students thoughts enough of the advice to adopt some of the strategies.

"They said a lot of things that I never thought about," said Irina Mirabales. "They teach you about self-esteem. And they tell you how to get it."

E-mail: Tel: 863-763-0867. Fax 863-467-5359.

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