“The work of Gaining Perspective fills an important role that is missing in most schools. Improvisation gives students the opportunity to explore their emotions in a safe place, to take other people’s perspectives, and discover truths about themselves and their peers. Many educators talk about “social-emotional learning” but have little idea about how to actually teach it. Gaining Perspective programs and curriculum have the perfect mix of play, challenge, reflection, and honesty that help students develop a healthy sense of themselves, an appreciation for others, and a commitment to their community resulting in a positive culture for everyone in a school.”
Jackson Westenskow
Former Assistant Principal
William Smith High School

“I have a hard time imagining any type of organization comprised of human beings that cannot benefit from the ideas presented in a Gaining Perspective session.”
Ryan Johnson
Vladimir Jones

“Totally recommend it, the session helped us become a better team, improved our communication and helped develop key leadership skills.”
Maria Quijada
Regis University, Division of Business

“Kerstin does amazing work with adolescents. Many of our school’s graduates identify the work they did with Kerstin as being instrumental in post high school relationships and careers. I highly recommend Kerstin’s instruction to any organization that seeks to build confidence and communication skills for teens and young adults.”
David Roll
William Smith High School

Improvisation as a class was FUN, but it was more than just games. Kerstin sometimes made us laugh, sometimes made us cry, and always made us reflect upon our own lives. Kerstin has a real skill for breaking down the barriers that keep kids from connecting with others and with themselves. To see our students grow into self-aware beings who care about their communities was an amazing experience that I looked forward to each year.”
Lucas Newman
Former Freshman Social Studies
William Smith High School

“This experience made us laugh, be silly, think on our feet and just live in the moment. We have company meetings every month and the amount of great feedback we got from this one told us we were doing something right. I felt like our employees felt connected, learned and had fun!”
Libby Tuchscherer
Effective UI

“When improv became a school-wide structure, it had a noticeable and meaningful impact on our students—saying “yes” became part of our culture. More importantly is the confidence each student developed to handle whatever life throws his or her way.”
Paul Grzybowski
Film Instructor
William Smith High School

When Kerstin first started working with our freshmen, we observed many positive results—greater confidence, greater focus, and more respectful communications. The most powerful evidence came as students reflected during senior year and shared specific areas of impact that they related back to their experience in improv.

This work taps into the core of a student’s best self. Through the experiences in these workshops, students discover capabilities that, for many, have been dormant or unseen by others. They discover commonalities with peers and develop strong, respectful relationships that are not typical among high school students.

When a student is given an opportunity to engage authentically and, in the process, finds complete acceptance and support from others, transformation occurs. This experience results in a deep and permanent shift that gives rise to a new way of seeing the world.

Improv inspires and ignites ideas. It improves thinking. It teaches students to suspend judgment and simply listen so that they can be a supportive partner and engage in co-creation. Improv teaches kids to take risks, to be nimble and to be generous. It can help a student understand negative patterns of experience and rewrite those old patterns into new patterns that will support them in achieving their goals. The Gaining Perspective approach is a sure-fire way to build strong community, push thinking, and provide safe spaces for students to try on new ideas and new ways of being. And that is something that would be good for all schools.”
Jane Shirley
Vice President of Leadership Initiatives
Catapult Leadership
Former Principal
William Smith High School