Gateway Prompts

BestPrep uses dialogue starters, or Gateway Prompts, to shape the content of weekly messages.  Gateway Prompts are based on research conducted by Search Institute and are aimed at deepening students understanding of goal-setting, overcoming obstacles, career aptitude, and future-mindedness, among other things.  The first half of the program emphasizes a “Think Forward” philosophy, with the latter half focusing on “Act Now.”  Mentors can choose to follow one of three tracks of Gateway Prompts based on the student’s specific needs.

Think Forward:
In the first four message exchanges, the focus will be on getting to know the student and motivating them to envision their best possible selves.

Week 1 Exchange: Introduction and Perspectives on School

Primary Objective:

Get to know your student by first learning how they feel about their school environment. Knowing this first will help you decide which track to take in future conversations.

Key Talking Points:

  • Tell the student some basic information about yourself such as, your title and brief description of your role in your company.
  • Inquire about how school is going overall and if they have any favorite subjects.

Week 2 Exchange: Areas of Interest/Hobbies

Primary Objective:

Continue to get to know your student and find out their deep interests, passions, and/or hobbies.

Key Talking Points:

  • Validate their thoughts on school.
  • Share your own passions

Week 3 Exchange: Future Goals

Primary Objective:

Explore your student’s ideas about their future, including possible careers, interests, and lifestyle.

Key Talking Points:

  • Stress the importance of effort in school beginning in 9th grade to future success
  • Share your story about the careers you were interested in high school and where your path took you.

Week 4 Exchange: Exploring Skills Aligned to Aspirations

Primary Objective:

Help your student begin to envision the knowledge, skills, and experiences they will need to succeed.

Key Talking Points:

  • Share information about skills, knowledge & education needed in your job
  • Share the importance of developing soft skills

Midpoint: Cloud Summit Occurs

Act Now: In the remaining e-mail exchanges, the themes presented will help students act upon what they need to do today to realize those possibilities for the future.

Week 5 Exchange: Setting Short-Term Goals

Primary Objective:

Help your student identify a short term goal that will support the future they want. Help your student identify the benefits of achieving their short term goal.

Key Talking Points:

  • Stress the importance of their high school success and graduation to their stated future aspirations
  • Guide students to create clear, actionable, near-term goals aligned to their future

Week 6 Exchange: Identifying and Removing Obstacles

Primary Objective:

Help your student identify possible obstacles to achieving their short-term goals and practical steps they could take to overcome these obstacles if they occur.

Key Talking Points:

  • Help the student sharpen their goals to ensure they are actionable and aligned
  • Share examples of obstacles that you overcame to goals you had set

Week 7 Exchange: Learning From Failures and Mistakes

Primary Objective:

Help your student prepare to persist through challenges and see the opportunity to learn from failures and mistakes.

Key Talking Points:

  • Share a story of an obstacle you overcame while working towards a goal.
  • Explain that successful people are willing to take risks then learn from mistakes and failures.

Week 8 Exchange: Review Key Themes

Primary Objective:

Review the key themes covered during the course of the dialogue. Explore what they have learned from the program.

Key Talking Points:

  • Emphasize the importance of being persistent through a challenge.
  • Reflect and share what you have learned/gained from your weekly correspondence.

Week 9 Exchange: Closing Email

Primary Objective:

Acknowledge and validate the student’s reflection on the program. Express your belief in the student’s ability to achieve their goals and dreams.

Key Talking Points:

  • Reinforce the connection between their current actions and their future aspirations
  • Thank them for sharing their thoughts and ideas