The Highlands Company Blog

Florida High School Seniors Look at Abilities, Not Achievements With the HAB

highlands ability battery for teens

Susanna Stiles learned about the Highlands Ability Battery 20 years ago from her sister Dori Stiles, a Highlands Certified Consultant and Highlands Director of Training. When Susanna’s 17-year-old daughter, Erin Van Gorkom, began the process of choosing a college this past fall, she knew that the HAB was in order.

A Busy Senior Year

Erin is in marching band, concert band, takes AP classes, and is the co-founder of her high school branch of HOSA, a national organization for future health professionals. All of this on top of college and scholarship applications has proven to make her senior year of high school very busy and challenging.

“You would think that senior year would be fun, but it’s actually very stressful for these kids,” Susanna explained. “Erin and her friends are high-achievers and focused on test scores. They don’t think about what they are good at or what they want.”

Having taken the HAB herself, Susanna recommended it to Erin and several of her friends to help them focus on the bigger picture. Dori facilitated the assessment and then made the trip from Georgia to Florida to complete a group feedback session.

Results More Impactful Than Expected

“My results told me things I already knew about myself, but that I never thought about or did not realize I knew,” Erin explained. “It gave me a new language that I needed for my college applications, and it allowed me to focus on my strengths when making decisions about college.”

She said her friends had similar reactions. They were skeptical that a test could reveal much, but seeing the results surprised them all.

Susanna was pleased with the outcome, too. “I thought Erin would scan her report once or twice, but I’ve seen her study it with the biggest grin. I can tell she’s thinking ‘this thing gets me!’”

Erin’s Next Steps

With senior year just about over, Erin has chosen to attend the University of Florida and pursue a career in the medical field. Thanks to the HAB, she now knows she is suited for areas like neuropsychology, genetics, applied kinesiology, physiology, or occupational therapy. She’ll decide which area of study is the best fit in year or so.

More specifically, though, Erin now has a better understanding of herself, something mom Susanna says is centering.

“My results all pointed to one central aspect of myself–people orientation,” Erin said. “I knew I was extroverted and that I did well with organization, but I did not realize that networking would be so compatible with my natural abilities.”

Best of luck to you, Erin!