Steve’s story is not just about his rags to riches adventure; in addition, his story is a testimony of growth mindset. Mr. Pemberton’s life has taken him down many paths that could have destroyed his life. His personality traits of grit and perseverance served him well because he refused to give in to the forces and demons that could have destroyed his life. Despite all of these challenges, Steve remained positive and developed a resolve to create a better life for himself.
At the age of three, Steve was taken from his mother and moved from one abominable foster home to another. One of his social workers remarked that he was “high functioning but anxiety and fear are masking what is very likely a superior IQ”, clearly his abilities were noted early on. This is a story of a journey in life where abuse was a daily occurrence; however, the journey was tolerable because refuge was found in reading. Books were his escape from the prison of his daily life because he was allowed to explore other worlds through the words in the text.
As educators we want our students to see setbacks as temporary situations on the journey of growth. I encourage you to read A Chance In The World to not only learn about Steve’s story but to also see how one’s mindset truly shapes one’s future.