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Event Seeks to Define Success for Students

January 28, 2019

WESTFORD -- Success is possible, even if you don’t get that “A+” or get into an Ivy League school.

That’s the message parents organizing an event at Westford Academy hope to share as many students struggle with academic pressure.

“The question is really how do you define success,” said parent and organizer Pamela Tricca. “Is it a high stress job or is it happiness?”

The free event starts at 7 p.m. on Jan. 29 in the Performing Arts Center at Westford Academy. In a style reminiscent of “The Moth,” a series of speakers will share their stories about finding success, in sometimes unexpected ways.

Speakers will tell stories about switching careers or taking a gap year. Charlie Silva, the nephew of Tom Silva, a contractor on PBS show “This Old House,” will speak about careers in the trades.

Tricca is among a group of parents organizing the event. One of her children is a freshman at Westford Academy and the other two are recent graduates.

She said she has seen first hand the stresses of a school with rigorous academics. Students get tests back and immediately check their grade point averages, she said.

Tricca said the group wants the event to encourage students and parents to rethink success, reducing stress on teens.

“It’s the experience you get out of it,” she said. “It’s the work and energy you put into it.”

The program is the latest in a series of events organized by Westford Academy parents through Challenge Success.

The organization was founded in 2007 during a conference on child and adolescent well-being held at Stanford University. It partners with communities around the nation to promote “research-based strategies” to address components of success beyond academic achievement.

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