Becoming Awesome!

Becoming Awesome!

Life Lessons from the World’s Greatest Leaders


  • 25 critical social and emotional skills promote a growth mindset and skills needed for 21st century success.
  • Lessons include the importance of self-love, understanding emotions, practicing empathy and compassion, recognizing personal qualities and values. SMART decision making, among many other lessons.
  • Think, reflect, and respond strategy question for each chapter help reinforce skills as well as help educators navigate discussion and learning.
  • Chapter questions and more in-depth assignment in Google Classroom docs.
  • Reflection questions are based on evidence based Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) recommendations.
  • Great resource / textbook for remoted and distance learning.
  • Sign up to be the first to know about live-on-line Zoom classes for educators and expert guest interviews.
  • Recommended for sixth grade and up


What the Book Explores

Effective social emotional learning skills to help teens become contributing members of our communities and prepare them for a lifetime of success. Think, reflect and respond strategy questions for each chapter help educators navigate discussion and learning.

You will be engaged in little known personal stories of some of our greatest leaders. Readers will see examples of leaders throughout history who have transcended humble beginnings, rose above childhood fear and disappointment, and defied the greatest odds by using their own emotional intelligence to persevere and find success.

Becoming Awesome! helps you layer in social-emotional learning in unexpected and meaningful ways across your curriculum. If you have the passion to help teens improve their attitudes about self, school and tasks as well as strengthen your own social emotional knowledge…this book is for you!

What people are saying about Becoming Awesome!

While reading this book I kept thinking of how much I could have used this when I was in my teens. The book is well researched, written and packed full of solid advice on how teens can become the best they can be, not only in their careers, but in all areas of their lives. I would highly recommend this book, not only for all teens and educators, but anyone who has a desire to reach their potential.

HARVEY DEUTSCHENDORF, Author of The Other Kind of Smart

I’m an avid reader of books on the principles of success and I’ve never seen or read a book like Becoming Awesome. The author found the most relevant and perfect historical references in the lives of some of America’s greatest leaders (Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, MLK, Cesar Chavez and more) to explain the strategies for success. Chapters were short and to the point, great for middle and high school students. Each chapter closed with a Reflection so that students or anyone really, could think critically about their own life with respect to a particular success strategy.

C. OSVALDO GOMEZ, Educator, PF blogger, Author, Champion of Wealth Equality, & Life Success Coach to Teens

April Lara, author of Becoming Awesome!, has written a timely and masterful book designed to reach our most precious commodities — the teens who need her positive and inspiring messages the most. Lara, in her own personal way, lays out the appropriate action plans we can take to help teens navigate their way toward a brighter future, despite the obstacles and challenges they’ll face along the way. The lessons in this beautifully written and engaging book serve as inspiration for all. This one’s a must-read.

DON RADEBAUGH, History Mystery Man

Becoming Awesome! is the book that I wish I had when I taught high school-aged students. April expertly weaves History and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in an engaging and meaningful way. I firmly believe that teens of all backgrounds and experiences, and adults who are guiding them through life, will benefit from the learning and activities provided within.

KYLE MILLER, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and former Chicago Public Schools Teacher and Professional School Counselor

April Lara, author of Becoming Awesome!, has written a powerful book about empowering teens so they can live their best lives no matter their circumstances. At a time when it is harder than ever to be a teen, Lara’s book provides solutions, encouragement and insights.

WENDY MARX, Author of Thriving at 50+

Author April Lara has taken a common self-help topic and modified it by focusing on teenagers. Becoming Awesome! is a solid and easy to follow book that educators will appreciate and students will love.

LUANN BUECHLER, Master Trainer, Coach & Transformational Speaker

April Lara, author of Becoming Awesome!, and former CEO of a youth program in Chicago schools writes a timely and significant book about what it takes to support young people to live into their greatest potential and make a difference in the challenging world they’re inheriting. She was part of an initiative that helped kids get back on track and make better decisions. My hope is that this book will support educators, parents and others to create the same shift in schools across the world.

HOLLY WOODS PHD, Author of The Golden Thread: Where to Find Purpose

“Empathy is a learned skill” is a lesson we all need and April Lara does a phenomenal job teaching us this and many other valuable skills we need for life.

KIRK WESTWOOD, Founder and CEO Glass River Media, Author of The Very Best Bad Idea

April Lara, author of Becoming Awesome!, has created a vivid manifesto to encourage our teens to take their place in creating a new future. Based on past stories and her personal experience, Lara strategically conveys the steps we need to take to empower our teens as well as helping them create a beautiful future for themselves and their communities.

PIERRE STANLEY BAPTISTE, Author of Underdog Revolution

April Lara provides a heartwarming reminder for us all in Becoming Awesome! that we must be kind to ourselves and befriend ourselves first before attempting to be in relationship with others. There is so much wisdom in her book for all of us.

CATHERINE WOOD, Author of Belonging, Overcome Your Inner Critic and Reclaim Your Joy