The million-dollar question: “What do you want to do for the rest of your life?” I had no idea because who truly does with a fixed mindset? According to Carol Dweck (2016), “a fixed mindset is believing that your qualities are carved in stone and having a growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things that you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies, and help from others” (p.6-7).

I knew I wanted to help and mentor others but was still unsure exactly how this would translate into my career. I had a couple higher education professionals assist me in exploring this, but I really don’t think that my passions could be defined at that point. My passions did not really develop until I worked for a variety of jobs and industries such as substance use prevention, sales, education and marketing. You could say I tried a little bit of everything, but over time my abilities grew, and I gained many mentors along the way for help.

Finally, my passions became clearer and I ended up here at Alpha 180, where I have the opportunity to educate students on what tools they need to launch into life. This includes anything from writing a resume, applying to college for the first time, finding an apartment, creating a budget, etc. And I absolutely love it! My favorite part is that I get to walk alongside each student to either help them reach their goals or at least guide them on the right path to achieving them.

At Alpha 180, we inspire transformation by teaching our students to have a “growth mindset” in all aspects of their lives such as their academics, recovery, social skills and their health and wellness.

Five Ways We Help Students Cultivate a Growth Mindset:

  1. Embrace imperfections as gifts
  2. View challenges as opportunities
  3. Change the language (ex. replacing the word “failing” with the word “learning”)
  4. Value the process versus the end result
  5. Celebrate growth!

So, don’t go searching for your passions. Passions are not meant to be found; they are meant to be cultivated.

Source: Dweck, C. S. (2016). Mindset the new psychology of success. New York: Ballantine Books.


Jessyca is passionate about empowering college students not only in their recovery, but also in achieving their academic goals along the way. . Click Here to read Jessyca’s full bio.