Helping Kids and Adults Get S.M.A.R.T.


In many ways, goals help shape who we are and who we want to be. This, in turn, has made understanding how people go about setting and achieving their goals a subject of endless fascination and study. So when Northwestern University’s Office of Human Resources approached Brella about documenting a unique new pilot program on goal setting and leadership, we made it our goal to ensure this project was a success.

The basic idea was simple—use kids to teach adults about leadership. As part of the University’s workplace learning programs, the video would introduce the concept of S.M.A.R.T. goals—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused and Relevant, and Time-bound.

The finished video featured eight kids from Youth Organizations Umbrella (Y.O.U.) talking about how they apply the S.M.A.R.T. principle to setting their goals. Take a look and you will see just how sharp these kids already are.

For the adult learners taking the pilot, this innovative approach has proven to be quite effective at engaging and breaking down their barriers to new process learning. This experience has also benefited the youth of Evanston. Not only did the students featured in the video receive invaluable life skills, their peers at Y.O.U. are poised to take advantage as well. Starting this spring, Y.O.U. will use the video in their after-school program’s College and Career Development unit, and to support their fundraising efforts. Furthermore, Northwestern will offer use of the video to Evanston’s Youth Job Center (Y.J.C.)—you may remember them from our July 1, 2014 post about donating services to their annual gala at Soldier Field—who are looking to feature S.M.A.R.T. goals as part of their programs.

Brella loves giving back to our Evanston home, and Northwestern provided us with a great way to do so with their S.M.A.R.T. project. So much so that we ended up splitting the tab with Northwestern since it benefited Y.O.U. and Y.J.C. When these kids are running the world—and, believe us, they will—we’ll all be glad they learned how to think S.M.A.R.T.