A Hero’s Journey

Our world desperately needs heroic people—people who act rather than watch, who shape events, who are creative and brave. We need brilliant men and women with a broad vision of what can be and what really is of lasting value.
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. (At Acton, we add that a hero is one who picks herself up again after falling down)

Some believe it’s only adults who can yield true influence in the world, but a whole generation of young leaders is proving that to be untrue. Kids and teens are overseeing countless service projects around the world.

The Hero’s Journey (by Joseph Campbell) is the classic narrative for the yearning of the human heart. But why choose it as the foundation for our school?

For two big reasons:

1. The Hero’s Journey is about excellence.

At Acton, we will not settle for mediocrity. We will ask each day, “Is this your best work?” We will push each other for continual improvement; for analyzing mistakes in order to learn; for addressing fears and for being honest with each other. The search for excellence is a long, arduous journey that takes years of effort. This is the Hero’s Journey to which we have committed ourselves.

2. It is about service to others.

At Acton, the ultimate purpose of honing your gifts is to use them to make life better for others. The entire practice of leadership at Acton is set in the ideal of serving from behind rather than ahead of others. This means listening more that speaking; inspiring through empathy. It means celebrating when others shine rather than seeking credit for the shining.

When our children have a hard day, we can encourage them that the journey they are on is not for the average human being. But it is for them. They have chosen it and we believe in them.

Read more on the reasons why Acton Academy Austin used a Hero’s Journey as inspiration:

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