Overcoming the Poverty Mindset & Teaching Optimism

Empower students to build resiliency and achieve success

Schools serving low-income, marginalized communities tend to face similar and pervasive issues resulting from poverty. And, with the high levels of anxiety, fear and isolation that the pandemic has fostered, students in these communities are especially vulnerable. Yet, research has shown that the “Poverty Mindset” may be more to blame than actual economic conditions in these communities. Some people in low-income, minority homes are thriving in the current situation. The difference is that they demonstrate resilience, positivity and productivity. The Poverty Mindset makes it almost impossible for students to develop these critical Social-Emotional skills.

 This on-site training session will clarify misconceptions about poverty. You will discover what the Poverty Mindset is, why it exists and how it covertly impacts our students and our schools. Explore how optimism can change this pervasive mindset. Learn why optimism is critical to resilience and how to teach it. See how changing the Poverty Mindset and teaching optimism can change school climate and create equity.


Learning Objectives

  • Understand misconceptions about race, class and culture
  • See key components of the Poverty Mindset in student attitudes and behaviors
  • Recognize underlying causes of negative beliefs and underachievement
  • Discover techniques for teaching resilience, coping and thriving skills by fostering optimism
  • Gain empowering strategies for addressing traumatic experiences and bridging the equity gap.


Gain practical strategies to understand, address and end generational and cyclical poverty.

Learn how to help students change at-risk behaviors resulting from the poverty mindset — while building resilience and self-responsibility.

What Attendees Have to Say

"The information was great and completely applies to me as a School Counselor. Understanding how the male and female brains work, including hormonal differences, will make a huge difference for me!"
School Counselor
Seattle, WA
"I can use everything I learned today instantly in the classroom. It was very interesting to learn about the differences of the male and female brain."
High School Teacher
Sacramento, CA
"The presenter was so engaging and informative. There are so many practical takeaways that I can immediately use in the classroom."
Middle School Teacher
Atlanta, GA
"The presenter's insights about social media were spot on. The brain research on differences between male and female brains was very helpful."
High School Counselor
New Orleans, LA




Hotep Benzo-AccuTrain
Hotep Benzo, MBA

*In case of an emergency, another qualified presenter will substitute

Education success strategist and award-winning author Hotep Benzo, MBA is widely known for his proactive, “tough-love” approach to education. As a 15-year master teacher, he developed a reputation for requesting the most troubled students and transforming them into willing participants in their own education. He is the founder of Hustle University and creator of the MAKE A WAY program, a series of high-relevancy curricula used in more than 1000 schools throughout the United States. Hotep’s work has earned him nominations for the Presidential Citizens Medal and as a CNN Hero. Hotep is also creator of the Outcome Progression Model, which he uses to help schools transform a culture of poverty, excuse-making and helplessness into one of empowerment, resiliency and success.

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