social practice

Thrival Skills

Life Hacking for Today's Youth

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This alternative student handbook is the result of a collaboration between John Cardone, the SALTQuarters Public Artist in Residence 2013-14, and seven students from George Fowler High School. The book was written as part of an after-school workshop series during the students’ final semester before going college.  Composed by adolescents on the edge of adulthood, Thrival Skills offers an engaging guide for young people entering or leaving this time of transition. With its feet firmly planted on the streets of Syracuse,  this book refutes the idea that our dependence on technology is causing us to forget our so-called “survival skills.” If anything, it seems that today people are surviving more than ever before, as even the most helpless among us can be seen walking the streets day after day. Despite struggles with poverty, violence, war, abandonment, and abuse, the disadvantaged souls of this city prove day in and day out that survival is alive and well in Central New York, and if anyone has forgotten how it’s done, it’s likely for lack of practice. But while we may be surviving, we are also threatened by a widespread complacency for living out lives that are vastly below our potential, and it is precisely this trend that Thrival Skills hopes to reverse. Merely surviving is no longer enough. It’s time to start thriving!