Orenda Week 5 Panel for Parents

In Week 4 of Orenda’s group session, students learned about a technique developed by Stanford Professor BJ Fogg that can help them turn their values into actions. They took the formula Behavior = Motivation + Ability + Trigger and constructed Tiny Habits for themselves to build in the coming weeks.

This week, we had a very different type of session. We’ve learned from our experiences in holding Orenda Academy that as much as it is important to challenge and inspire students, we similarly need to challenge and inspire parents. In Week 5 of our program, we held a panel for the parents of our students to come and listen to young adults who grew up in similar circumstances and environments, but are also old enough to reflect on their upbringings and share suggestions and ideas with our parents.

Orenda Academy Panel of Industry Professionals and Teenagers

We invited three guests to share with our Orenda families:

Christina Shak (farthest right) - a program director at Imagination School in Palo Alto who also grew up in the South Bay.

William Shan (middle) - an Orenda Coach, and recent alum of Lynbrook High School, who is on his gap year before starting at Stanford in Fall 2019.

Leanne Loo (farthest left) - a former Orenda student who is currently a senior at Fremont High.

Our speakers reflected on their personal upbringings. We asked our panelists questions that included the following:

  1. How did your parents raise you, and how did that affect you?

  2. What were things you wish your parents could have done during your teenage years to help you find direction in life?

  3. What is your perspective on college, and the role that it will play in your life?

  4. How has your definition of “success” changed over time?

Parents also had a chance to ask questions. One parent asked about practices to help create space and times for teens and parents to talk without arguing. William shared how his family would have a separate time called “family time”, where all the members of the family gathered to discuss different topics without judgment or consequences. Other parents asked for specific advice to help their children become more organized and responsible without making their kids feel annoyed. Other panelists shared how they would talk to their parents during car rides, which felt more neutral and safe to the kids.

After the event we received positive feedback about the topics shared by the various panelists and we hope to continue bringing educational opportunities to the parents of our Orenda students.

Next Week

Next week we’ll be holding another event for parents. Our team is holding a workshop on a technique called motivational interviewing, a powerful tool that is used in health fields to facilitate intrinsic motivation from people in order to change their behavior. Parents often struggle in effectively sharing their concerns about schoolwork, social life, or health habits with their child. These conversations often begin and end in argument and frustration. We aim to teach parents how to more calmly, healthily and thoughtfully direct their conversations with their children towards productive ends.


If you are interested in learning more about participating in Orenda Academy, please fill out this link: Spring 2018 Interest Form.

We are also holding a limited number of spots for Spring 2018 virtual coaching where coaches work online with students located outside of the Bay Area. Please indicate if you are interested. You can also email us at carl@orendaacademy.com.