SO Excited about Find Your Genius!

Ohmagosh friends!

I could not be more excited about this website that I’ve just finished because this organization is SOOOO very cool and SOOOO very needed!!! 

As a former teacher and as a Mom of a very bright (but often bored in school) child, I have some very passionate beliefs about our school system.  I rarely share them (because I loathe confrontation) but here goes 😊 Don’t worry – I won’t be going into detail!

1.     Our system is antiquated.

2.     Students do NOT learn the same so why do we expect them to?

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3.     Most students CANNOT excel in every subject so why do we expect them to? Sub point – think of the last party that you went to.  Did everyone in the room do the same thing for a living?  Did everyone in the room share the same interests?  Was everyone in the room good at the same things?  Can you imagine how boring life would be if we were all the exact same person?  Gag.

4.     As a technology teacher, I found that when I allowed the students in my classroom to present the material that they learned in their own ways, they ALL did amazing! Giving kids the ability to explore their own thinking process and express their ideas in unique and creative ways can be extremely empowering for them and enlightening for us adults! I learned from my students ALL the time!

5.     Not every student needs to go to college.  If there is one thing that I’ve learned as a Squarespace Expert – as I talk to people from literally all over the world in literally hundreds of industries – it’s that this world is ginormous!  The possibilities for these students’ futures are endless and the world is changing right in front of our eyes!  When I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher or a rock star. 😊 I love watching the minds of today’s student’s churn as they realize that they are not limited to the career choices in the college course catalog… they can literally create their future if they are just given a little freedom to explore and the right kind of guidance to keep them on track.

Okay, enough of that. 

So, here is why I’m so excited about being a part of this project…

The Find Your Genius Challenge (by Symphony Workforce) is a unique industry challenge for high school and college students. 

Basically, students sign up in teams of four (only two from each group can be from the same school so it truly encourages collaboration). There will be three types of challenges to choose from:

-        a “DE-RE” construct challenge where they can take something apart and rebuild it into something amazing.

-        an Invent challenge where they get to explore an invention idea or possibly a business

-        a Design/Build challenge where they get to create an amazing space of their choosing. 

The challenges are much more specific but the details won’t be announced until sign up is complete so that everyone hits the ground running at the same time.

During the challenge, they get to not only collaborate with one another but they get to bring on mentors to guide them and offer feedback.  How cool is it that? 

There is actually a fairly large prize bucket that they groups will be competing for a piece of with the Governor of Nebraska presenting the awards!

This just makes me so happy!  Emma was the kid that had three business ideas by sixth grade and had a cardboard mock up of one of her businesses – complete with wallpaper and furniture 😊  I personally know other kids that can take apart and/or build just about anything (Brook Cooke!).  These bright minds deserve an opportunity to explore these ideas and benefit from the involvement of industry and community leaders. 

Can’t wait to watch this thing grow!  Please check out the site at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter using @FindURGeniusNE

If you know of any high school or college kids in Nebraska that might want to participate, please send them our way!  The spots will be limited for this first challenge so they will want to stay ahead of the game!!! 

September 16thSign Up!-500 high school spots available-200 college spots available-Form your 4-person team (Remember only two people from the same school allowed!)-Pick your challenge category.png
Jennifer Maher