What can I do to inspire a 15 year old child to chase her dreams?

christina rose asked:

This is a very important question to me. I’ve been tutoring a high school student, who is now 15, for about a year now. We’ve grown to really care about each other, and I love her a lot. We have a good relationship, and I tutor her often, yet she still feels stupid and has very poor grades. I think that she has a lot of potential and is very capable in this world. At this point, she says she wants to become a chef. Although I think it’s important to encourage her interest in becoming a chef as well, my question here is how to inspire her IN GENERAL…she hangs out with what seems to be a “bad” crowd, and I can definitely see her getting into alcohol and maybe even drugs very soon (as of yet, I don’t think she drinks or has tried drugs, but many of her friends have). What can I do to help her realize how much potential she has? I don’t think she will ever become a great student, but I want her to accept this about herself and realize all the potential she DOES have-loving,loyal,strong..
In saying that I want her to accept that she may not be the best student and to realize the potential she does have, I mean this: I want her to do her best. I want her to earn the best grades she can. I want her to accept that C’s are ok. She’s said numerous times that she’s stupid, and I know that she thinks this about herself (in terms of academics, at least). She gets so stressed and overwhelmed about school, and doesn’t believe in herself, and deals with this by just giving up. I know that she can do better (she’s gotten Ds and Fs on a number of occasions). I want her to understand that doing her best is all that matters, and to accept that she has trouble in school but not get discouraged by this and just drop out mentally. I want her to understand that when she tells herself that she’s stupid, this is her “inner demon,” in a sense, trying to keep her from reaching her full potential. I just want her to understand that even tho she may never be a model student, she has everything
she needs within herself to be a healthy, happy, and successful person. Does that clear things up?

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