The Path to Success Quest

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A survey of 165,000 high school students reveals that less than half feel confident in their readiness for college or careers. However, studies suggest that students who develop realistic, positive perspectives toward personal responsibility and the future are more likely to feel prepared for adulthood. Although school-affiliated programs are useful for promoting career interests, barriers to enrollment exclude many students from those opportunities, especially if they are not academically-inclined and require remedial coursework. Furthermore, skill-based opportunities do not address elements of “psychological readiness,” which include resilience in the face of obstacles and optimism about the future. Rather, influence from trusted adults has proven to be more effective than structured learning experiences when it comes to addressing psychological factors. In an attempt to assist high school students with goal formation and preparation for adulthood, an interdisciplinary team of experience designers developed a program called “Success Quest,” which is envisioned as a semester-long, semi-structured game that engages youngsters with community resources and interactive, digital experiences. Design thinking strategies allowed the project team to maximize efficacy by treating teenage users as experts and co-creating possible solutions with them to ensure human values are the central focus during the development process.