Grounding, platform, attitude
From accustomed usage, the letters GPA would automatically represent grade point average, which measures a student's overall academic standard. However, for Conroy Wilson and Michael Holgate, co-authors of Your Empowerment GPA, the letters stand for grounding, platform, attitude. Holgate said the book is "about how people can empower themselves using the tools we equip them with."
"When you understand what your GPA is, you can live in a more empowered way," he said.
There is a connection between grade point average and grounding, platform and attitude, as Holgate says in his work with ASHE he would often encounter persons with a high academic GPA, but who were still living in an unempowered way, susceptible to the potential pitfalls of a tertiary level educational environment. And then there were those persons who were simply in the wrong course or faculty, not playing to their strengths. "They were not performing at a higher level," Holgate said.
Among the book's sections is 'Tools', which Holgate says are clarity, responsibility and courage. "The book reads like a workshop," Holgate said, emphasising its accessibility and affordability.
"The GPA is important. If you don't have the right Grounding you will not be a good student. A lot of people come to UWI and get lost. A lot of people aren't on their right platform. Although they have been doing a lot of work they are depressed. They are not performing at the highest possible level," Holgate said.
Over time, as ASHE has moved into workshops where their GPA approach is applied, the balance of their activities has become about 70 per cent workshops and 30 per cent performing arts. However, Holgate noted, wit the workshops "we are still using our theatre background. That is our base."