Interactive is intended as an interactive, experiential process where multiple communication mediums and service opportunities are employed to help students, parents and mentors learn how to think about influence and leadership.

Obsessively punctual FedEx executive Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) is en route to an assignment in Malaysia when his plane crashes over the Pacific Ocean during a storm. The sole survivor of the flight, Chuck washes ashore on a deserted island. When his efforts to sail away and contact help fail, Chuck learns how to survive on the island, where he remains for years, accompanied by only his handmade volleyball friend, Wilson. Will Chuck ever return to civilization and reunite with his loved ones?

Watch the movie Cast Away with a group of friends. Think about these questions once you’ve watched the movie…

Chuck, as his job requires, is focused on the passage of time. Watches and clocks become a motif in the film, reiterating this point.

  • What lesson does Chuck learn in his experience as a cast away and his return to society that deals with the element of time?

Although Chuck is sorely hurt by losing Kelly twice, once in the airplane crash and then later when she decides to remain with her husband, he finds solace in the angel wings on the package that he has kept throughout his experience and which he delivers at the end of the film.

  • What do these wings symbolize?
  • What does the delivery of the package after so many years symbolize?

Wilson is important for Chuck when he is stranded; he is crushed when the volleyball is lost in his escape attempt.

  • What does Wilson represent in terms of survival?
Watch "Cast Away"

Watch this TedTalk featuring Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.

  • In Duckworth’s opinion, educators need a better understanding of learning from what perspective? Why?
  • What is a growth mindset?
  • How are talent and grit related?
  • How do you think grit leads to influence?

Take this Grit Scale test that reflects how passionate and persevering you see yourself to be.

How does the answer to your scale make you feel about where you are regarding personal grit?

Take the Test

Read the article The Man Who Took Omaha Beach. Seventy-five years after D-Day, the incredible story of the daring officer who almost single-handedly averted a fiasco.

How does the story of Colonel George Taylor move you? What does it say to you about grit?


INFLUNSR defines grit as choosing passion over distraction. As a next generation leader, there are PRESSING issues that require a leader worth following to choose passion over distraction. One such issue was illuminated this past week.

Read the following article and then consider the following issues. Choose one that you are most passionate about. Do your research and create a one page declaration of what you believe is the correct course of action to begin the process of transformation with the respective issue you’re most passionate about.

  • Sexual abuse within the Church
  • Health care reform
  • Systemic racism
  • Prison reform
  • Immigration

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