The Arizona Student Achievement Initiative
According to the Department of Education, last year 24% of Arizona students didn’t graduate high school on time. Of the ones who did graduate, only 47% were eligible for admission into a state university. These statistics are virtually unchanged since 2009. Most students struggle with school because a lack of motivation, productive habits, parental involvement or a combination of the three. TwoWks is a mobile app that gets students to track the small steps they're taking toward a goal and it gets their family more involved in that process. The Arizona Student Achievement Initiative (AZSAI) was developed to allow businesses and nonprofits the ability to help subsidise the cost of getting TwoWks into schools.
AZSAI’s core focus is to ensure parents and relatives are actively involved in their students’ development of key attributes like accountability, motivation and consistency. As these skills are cultivated the program guides students down a personalized action plan for improving grades and increasing motivation for postsecondary education. AZSAI was born out through the support of Arizona State University and TwoWks. TwoWks is a software company that helps people track their steps toward a goal and establishes a periodic check-in system with accountability partners. Since ASU’s president, Michael Crow, began creating the New American University more than ten years ago, entrepreneurship and innovation have been at the forefront of the transformation. ASU saw the value of TwoWks’s software and funded the venture through a $5.4 million endowment provided by Orin Edson.
Students will use TwoWks’s mobile app (or website) once a week to track the progress toward specific goals (e.g. improve overall grades, get financial aid for college, increase personal happiness, etc.). Each time the students use the app to update their progress, they will also view a classmate’s progress and leave a positive comment – this ensures each student has consistent accountability. This whole process will only take 5 – 10 minutes per week. Throughout the school year the mobile app will take students through an interactive lesson plan that will increase parental involvement, instill solid habits, boost their motivation and transition them into post-secondary education. We incentivize students to get their parents, relatives and adult family friends to download TwoWks’s mobile app. This will allow supporting adults to receive detailed progress updates and participate in collaborative activities. A student with an engaged support system will benefit from the experience and knowledge of the group. “It takes a village to raise a child.”
Through students’ individual activities, we show them that they have the values that are needed in society. We also establish creative check-in systems with their parents and relatives. Kids who understand and believe in their worth are more motivated to work towards their potential.
Our software is extremely proficient at cultivating habits. We track and summarize over 1,500 data points to help students (and their accountability partners) know how well their progressing toward consistency.
First, we help students realize their worth and get them excited about their future. Next, we instill strong habits so they become empowered to overcome obstacles. This is the foundation upon which we execute personalized strategies for academic improvement.
This is what it all comes down to. Getting into college is one thing, but getting funding for it is another. All the lessons learned in the previous phases (plus some new ones) will collide to ensure the student gives themselves the greatest chance for success.
Arizona State University
TwoWks is backed by a grant by Arizona State University to get our curriculum into schools across the United States and internationally. Schools will now be able to use TwoWks free of charge.
Aligned with Above the Influence
Above the Influence’s goal is to help teens stand up to negative pressures, or influences. The more aware they are of the influences around them, the better prepared they will be to face them, including the pressure to use drugs and alcohol.
Aligned with NHTRC (sex trafficking)
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national anti-trafficking hotline and resource center serving victims and survivors of human trafficking and the anti-trafficking community in the United States.
Aligned with Gatorade's P.O.Y. Award
The Gatorade Player of the Year award was established in 1985 to recognize and celebrate the nation's most outstanding high school talents for their athletic achievement, academic excellence and exemplary character.