The case for SCoRE

Hear what researchers, college and university administrators, and LEAD Pittsburgh affiliates have to say about the need for resilience education and SCoRE.

Learning Resilience Is Imperative

Posted on September 19, 2011

Sheila R. Fine (bio) stresses the necessity of learning resilience.

I feel that resiliency is a skill and a tool that we maybe learn as we get older and experience things. As an example, when you've been through a trauma or you've been through hard times and you're faced with something else, you first learn to sort of take your breath and wait a while. Nobody has to make a decision unless you're driving a car and there is a truck coming towards you. But I think learning to be resilient is imperative in life. I don't know how you can go through life as well without learning to be resilient. Kids don't have that until they've experienced more in life.

So, by learning it younger, I think we will take away less scars of failure, rejection, anxiety, because kids will know how to do things that maybe they wouldn't have known had they not taken a course in resilience. You know, you can learn to do something and experience it when it comes up again, because you did it before. But it can still come back in a different way, and if you can remind yourself that you got through this before that can give you confidence, but you can't say to somebody, "Oh, just suck it in. You can get through it," because kids don't always ... they're not really as confident as they look, nor are adults.

I can remember once listening to an interview of a very accomplished woman on The Today Show, and it was women talking to women and it was, I think, Jane Pauley at the time, and she had a very successful woman on. They were talking about the fact that if people really knew how scared they were, and yet when they sat in front of the camera, they projected themselves as being so confident. Nobody is that confident.

So no matter who you're talking to, whether it's a politician, whether it's a head of state, they have their insecurities too, but they've learned how to deal with it because they've been through life, but we can never stop learning resiliency. It's something that we need all the time. It needs to be a part of our life and practiced. I'm just so excited about the opportunity to give people resiliency skills and I hope that the faculty, I hope the presidents of the colleges, I hope the parents, the students, and everybody that they cross in life will benefit from these courses.

Viewing Preferences


Excerpted from interview with contributor in May 2011.


More About "Resilience"


More From Sheila R. Fine (bio)

  • Resiliency Training Improves Student Retention


    What the experts say

    "Even for the brightest, best-adjusted young person the transition from high school to college is a very, very challenging one.… All young people entering college could benefit from focusing on what their strengths are and how to protect themselves in the face of the stresses that will inevitably come with the transition to college life.… The lessons that one learns in developing a kind of resilience outlook are lessons that will serve one for the rest of one's life."

    Ellen Frank, PhD
    Professor, Department of Psychiatry
    University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

    "This program provides students with a skill set that either initiates them into resilience or adds to their strengths, and resilience will help them throughout the entire course of their lives."

    Toni Macpherson, MEd
    Executive Director
    LEAD Pittsburgh

    "If resilience education were incorporated early into college life, it would benefit campuses in many ways, because they would avoid a certain amount of increased individual difficulties with students, and that's wear and tear on the entire college campus.… There is no doubt in my mind that having a set of coping and resilience skills is just as important as whether I get an A or a B in a particular course."

    David J. Kupfer, MD
    Professor, Department of Psychiatry
    University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

    "Learning to be resilient is imperative in life; I don't know how you can go through life as well without it.… I think students will take away fewer scars of failure, rejection, and anxiety because they’ll know how to do things they might not have known had they not taken a course in resilience."

    Sheila R. Fine
    Chair, Board of Directors, and Principal Founder
    LEAD Pittsburgh