The WHS PTSO and WHS Challenge Success team are pleased to announce that Drs. Anthony Rao and Paul Napper will be returning to WHS for a presentation on their work, The Power of Agency, on Thursday, November 21st at 7pm in the Auditorium. The goal of the evening will be to share important principles and practices of Agency that create greater confidence and success in an ever anxious and stressful world.

Agency isn't just for parents... students and teachers can benefit from greater Agency too and we'll have more on that!

The Power of Agency -- Drs. Anthony Rao and Paul Napper

What is human agency? Agency is the ability to act as an effective agent for yourself - getting your mind, body, and emotions in balance to think clearly, advocate for yourself, and make choices that create a successful and meaningful life.

The link below allows you to take the Agency Practices Inventory, a brief assessment of your level of agency enhancing behaviors. The API provides feedback on the seven principles of agency that successful people use to be more focused, make better decisions, and achieve their goals. This is a fun exercise with no right or wrong answers. You can't fail! We all have the potential for greater agency, but the pace of life is so fast today that we often lose sight of what matters most. When people learn to utilize these principles in their lives, they experience a higher level of agency and report feeling more confident. They also report less anxiety and feel more in charge of their lives.

Here's the link ... API Assessment

Note that the API is anonymous, and no individual results will be shared with the group.

If you have any questions about the test, please contact Dr. Anthony Rao at ( Please visit Wellesley Books to purchase an advance copy of The Power of Agency.

Challenge Success @ WHS

The goal of Challenge Success at Wellesley High School is to help the entire community by

  • promoting a broader definition of success
  • reducing unhealthy pressures and demands
  • helping students build resilience and achieve balance

WHS Principal Jamie Chisum discussed the Challenge Success initiative with The Swellesley Report - read it here.

Watch the student produced video from Back to School night where students talk about achieving balance in their lives.

What is Challenge Success?

Based at Stanford University, Challenge Success partners with schools and families to provide kids with the academic, social, and emotional skills needed to succeed now and in the future, encouraging educators to create policies and practices that “foster interpersonal and collaborative skills, adaptability and resilience, and the critical thinking and creativity needed to solve complex problems” (Challenge Success). Challenge Success advocates Playtime, Downtime, and Family Time (PDF) as protective factors for kids.

Challenge Success has worked with over 100 schools nationwide over the past decade, including many in the Metrowest, engaging schools and communities in implementing proven strategies for effective change, drawing from research data as well as best practices from other schools. In the fall of 2016, with generous support from WEF, the PTSO, and a private donor, Wellesley High School launched the Challenge Success Initiative to respond to increasing student stress and anxiety.

The Latest from Challenge Success

Challenge Success has surveyed over 100,000 high school students and found that the college admissions process is one of the primary root causes of stress for students. Their findings are summarized in A "Fit" Over Rankings: Why College Engagement Matters More Than Selectivity. Also, you can watch this 90-second video explaining the paper and read an "Open Letter to College Applicants (and their Parents)" written by Paul Franz, Challenge Success Research Associate.

Follow Challenge Success on Facebook and Twitter

Follow our students on Instagram: WHSChallengeSuccess

To get involved, email: