Dear South Coast Baptist College community,

We are heading into awards evenings, including prize giving.

Let me introduce you to Angela Duckworth, author of Grit (2017).  As a little girl, she would frequently hear her dad say: “You’re no genius”.

Play it forward. As an adult in 2015, she was selected by arguably the top academics in their fields, to receive USA’s MacArthur Fellowship. It is a substantive research grant, given to arguably the most talented academics.  

Ironically, the award is commonly known as the ‘The Genius Award.’ Angela received her award for discovering something about ‘grit’.

She discovered that what we eventually accomplish may depend more on our passion and perseverance, than on our innate talent.

When Angela received her award, she wanted to travel back in time and say: “Dad, you say I’m no genius. I won’t argue with that. You know plenty of people who are smarter than I am. But let me tell you something. I’m going to grow up to love my work as much as you love yours. I won’t just have a job; I’ll have a calling. I’ll challenge myself every day. When I get knocked down, I’ll get back up. I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I’ll strive to be the grittiest.

“If you define genius as being able to achieve great things in life without effort, then Angelas’s dad was right: I’m no genius, and neither is he. But if, instead you define genius as working towards excellence, ceaselessly, with every element of your being then, in fact, my dad is a genius, and so am I.”

Angela Duckworth is known worldwide for her research on grit. Interestingly, when Angela was asked about parenting her two daughters, she reflected on her thoughts about grit and indicated she wanted her children to be great at whatever they wanted to do. However, she clarified that greatness and goodness are different. “If forced to choose, I’d put goodness first.” Her opinion is that morality trumps all other aspects of character in importance.

At South Coast Baptist College, we celebrate academic excellence, and we actively encourage your children to persevere in goodness. Our Christian faith encourages us to remain steadfast (James 1:12), to not grow weary of doing good (Galatians 6:9), and to allow endurance to refine our character acknowledging character produces hope (Romans 5, 3-5).

Sometimes the most precious, life-changing awards are the ones we experience, rather than the ones we formally receive.  

We hope every one of our young people feels encouraged to work towards excellence.

Blessings to you and your family,