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Jenifer Fox

  • Author, Discover and Develop Your Child’s Strengths (Penguin, 2009)
  • Leading authority on strength-based approaches with youth
  • World class educator offering an unflinchingly positive look at the future of learning
  • Entrepreneur with a 25-year international career in public and private schools

Jenifer Fox

Overview

Now is the time for new ideas and a new voice in education. Globalization has changed the way we live, work and communicate, yet we have been slow to realize the implications for how we educate children throughout the world.  In the United States, questions about the direction and efficiency of our schools abound and the signs of crisis are everywhere.

  • Are we preparing students properly for the challenges that await them?
  • What skills will be most valuable in the new technological age of interconnectedness?
  • Are standardized tests helping or harming our children?
  • How do we keep schools relevant?

Jenifer Fox responds to these questions with a revolutionary, fresh perspective on the future of education. If we are to do one thing that will truly prepare children to face the future with confidence and success, she says, it is to develop their strengths. Basing her claims on her lifetime experience working with young people, she observes that, “The necessary innovations in our educational system are not coming from our schools, they are incubating in corporate America, and when these learning models hit our marketplace, the United States will regain its stature as the world’s educational leader.“

Jenifer’s message is straightforward.  Education as we know it today is heading toward obsolescence.  In order for young people to be successful in the future, they will need to know what energizes them, what keeps their interests, what their best contribution is going to be and what they have to offer to relationships with others.  In the new workplace, developing strengths will be as important as verbal, mathematical and technological literacy.



To view a video on Jenifer Fox's Introduction to
The Strengths Movement, click here


About Jenifer Fox

Jenifer Fox - Discover and Develop Your Child's StrengthsJenifer Fox is an international award-winning author, a speaker and the leader of the Strengths Movement for Youth.  Her first book, Discover and Develop Your Child’s Strengths, won the Nautilus Book Award in 2008.

A native of Milwaukee, WI, Jenifer spent twenty-five years working as a teacher and administrator in public, independent and international schools before starting her own business to develop the learning model of the future. A passionate advocate for young people, she has a unique gift for recognizing strengths in children of all ages.  As a school expert, she possesses a keen understanding of the challenges parents and teachers face.  As a turnaround leader in independent schools, Ms. Fox understands how strengths-based leadership and positive organizational culture directly impact the bottom line.  Jenifer has made many appearances on television and radio and has been featured in magazines and newspapers.  Her next book outlines how the drop-out crisis can be turned to our advantage to put the United States ahead of the rest of the world. 

Jenifer’s work as a school leader in partnership with business allows her to speak with authority on leadership, social entrepreneurship, strategic philanthropy and the impact educational trends will have on our society.  In addition to her work with schools, she has assisted healthcare providers, small businesses and corporations in developing strengths-based programming.

Ms. Fox holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and two Masters Degrees: an M.A. from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English and an M.Ed. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

She resides in the New York metropolitan area.

Jenifer Fox is available exclusively through the MasterMedia Speakers Bureau.


About the Strengths Movement For Youth

Everywhere we look there are signs of a world in transition. What appears to be a crisis today is the seed of an opportunity for tomorrow.  All of the world’s systems are challenged by the new economy, yet few people are talking about how this will impact those who will inherit the results--our children.  If everything is rapidly changing, what will our children need to sustain them no matter what happens?   They will need to discover their strengths.  In a world that is obsessed with weakness and reporting on deficits, it takes a full-scale effort to open people’s eyes to the value of discovering strengths.  The Strengths Movement has emerged as a powerful force in corporate America. In the past two years alone, three books about developing strengths have remained on the business bestseller list for a combined total of more than 150 weeks. 

Jenifer Fox’s critically acclaimed, Discover and Develop Your Child’s Strengths (foreword by Marcus Buckingham), established her as an important voice in the movement to develop strengths with children. Ms. Fox feels that, “If there is going to be any hope for a positive future, the Strengths Movement must lay its roots with our children.” The Strengths Movement for Youth is based on a model Ms. Fox developed that integrates school, family and business efforts in improving children’s learning.  She shows businesses how to tie the initiative to their bottom line.  For example, Yahoo has created programs to involve young people with strengths in technology in developing new online products for girls and women.  This application provides a win-win for the corporation and the students.  Jenifer claims that the future of learning will depend on matching children’s strengths with both real world work and corporate America’s need for new and innovative products.

With funding from the Best Buy Foundation, the not-for-profit Strengths Movement in Schools is currently piloting an innovative strengths-based curriculum designed to lower the drop-out rate in three public high schools in Corpus Christi, TX, Philadelphia, PA and New York, NY.

For more information on the Strengths Movement, visit www.strengthsmovement.com.

 

About Jenifer Fox’s Programs

Jenifer presents customized programs for each client after consultation about needs and objectives.

Premise:
Jenifer Fox’s work is focused on all those working with or trying to influence the future of youth.  Because her model for change extends beyond the school to involve families, social service organizations, juvenile justice systems, church groups, communities and corporations, her programs and keynotes are also directed at these audiences.
In her presentations, Jenifer engages her clients with memorable stories as well as practical solutions to shift our attention away from standardization of instruction and remediation of childrens’ deficits and toward building on student strengths through personalized learning.

Keynotes:
Jenifer draws on her long experience in schools to tell poignant stories of how kids both fail and succeed. A visionary, she provides a holistic analysis of issues and insight into the ways children think and experience the world.  She focuses equally on improving the simplest daily interactions as well as implementing systemic reform.  Jenifer speaks about parenting, teaching, at-risk students, and the role that communities and businesses must play together in raising and educating youth.

Training, Workshops and Consulting:
Jenifer also offers training in her groundbreaking Strengths Curriculum, one that is designed to shift schools and youth programs toward a strengths focus. This training is in two-parts;

1. Organizational Strengths Assessment and
2. Implementation, and may lead to certification as a Strengths Organization or as a Certified Strengths Educator.

Book Endorsements

“With this important book, Jenifer Fox expands the strengths revolution to our children.  Your Child’s Strengths is a smart and useful guide for any parent–full of great exercises that will change the way your kids think about themselves and their future.”
Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind

“Your Child’s Strengths contains clear, interesting, step-by-step techniques for identifying and utilizing children’s cognitive and emotional strengths--an excellent starting point for any parent, teacher, or student who wants to take the more effective step of focusing on assets rather than liabilities.”
Dan Kindlon, Ph.D., co-author of Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys

"Jenifer Fox has vision, passion, intelligence, and experience. All show in Your Child’s Strengths, which contains a wealth of practical ideas for parents and educators who want to encourage among children the strengths that make possible the good life."
Christopher Peterson, Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan and author of A Primer in Positive Psychology

"Your Child's Strengths puts in plain view what has been in front of us all along-- that education and character development always do best to first identify and deepen strengths, rather than to first (and too often exclusively) focus on deficit and weaknesses. Fox's approach is more interesting, more effective, and ultimately more humane."  
Michael Riera, author of Staying Connected to Your Teenager: How to Keep Them Talking to You, and How To Hear What They’re Really Saying

Speaker Endorsements

November 5, 2009
“She was amazing. Our teachers found her engaging and relevant. Our parents were enthralled -- their response was overwhelmingly positive. In fact, my understanding is that she sold out of books and took orders that she will ship to us for parents.”
Thanks, Wanda
Wanda Zehr Anderson, Parent Involvement Coordinator, NESI Title I (VA)

“I had an opportunity to hear Jenifer speak at the California Teacher’s Association conference on the dropout crisis. Not only do Jenifer’s ideas reflect the best thinking about 21st century education, she is just a terrific presenter. She is a compelling storyteller and is always ready with a poignant example of how educational settings work or do not for young people. It is clear that she understands on a deep level the daily experiences of kids today. Equally important, she articulates clearly the continuum between the education schools need to provide and  the demands of the 21st century workplace. She is a must for any organization concerned with the future of our youth.”
Victor Lacour, Professor, University of  Southern California and Associate Director of the Integrated Media Systems Center at USC

“After listening to Ms. Fox for only a few minutes, it was apparent that the comfort with her subject matter comes not merely from diligent research and practical experience but also a sincere joy in helping others discover their strengths and achieve success. Jenifer relates persuasive theory as well as practical advice. She carefully spells out step by step methods of joining all the partners in education (parents, schools and businesses) together to restore strengths-based learning environments. Her genuine, warm speaking style immediately relaxed and engaged our audience. Her enthusiasm is contagious and her positive attitude inspiring.”
Bob Joyce, President, Sanford, North Carolina Area Chamber of Commerce

“Our company is deeply committed to discovering and developing the strengths of our employees.  Jenifer's message has particular resonance for us in the workplace, but also in our families and in the community outreach our company does. We believe that developing strengths in kids will create a better world.”
Kris Rosen, Director of Strengths Development, Best Buy, Inc.


Partial List of Sponsors

Microsoft, Yahoo, Best Buy, California Teachers Association, Parents League of New York, The Secondary School Aptitude Test Board, New Mexico Non-Public Schools Conference, Bache-Martin Elementary Magnet School, Alexandria, VA Public Schools, Memphis, TN City Schools, University School of Milwaukee, Saint Mary’s School (Raleigh, NC), Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School (Bradenton, FL), Grace-St. Lukes Episcopal School (Memphis, TN), Delaware Valley Friends School (Paoli, PA), Dutchess Day School (Millbrook, NY), New City School (St. Louis, MO), Commonwealth Club of California, The Willow Creek Association, North Carolina Medical Society Alliance, UP Houston, Sanford (NC) Chamber of Commerce, Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library, Center for Applied Positive Psychology (Warwick, UK).



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