07/09/2013 06:41 pm ET

Kitty Boone Of Aspen Institute: 'Most CEOs In This Country Didn't Go To Harvard' (VIDEO)

Believe it or not, going to Harvard may not guarantee a lifetime of success.

Kitty Boone -- Vice President of public programs at the Aspen Institute -- sat down with HuffPost Live after a week of intensive panels and events to talk about what truly constitutes success. An Ivy League education wasn’t at the top of her list.

“There are certain segments of our society that are so pushing our kids to be and to be and to be and you’ve got to get into this school,” Boone told HuffPost Live. “Yes, you want them educated. But if you really look at it…most CEOs in this country didn’t go to Harvard.”

The education advocate, who “fears” that kids these days aren’t reading the quality material she grew up with, said that while many students may be hypercompetitive and determined to get ahead, they may not necessarily be conquering the basics in the classroom, no matter how prestigious the university's rank.

“Do well-educated kids really understand what history is?” Boone noted as an example. “Supreme Court justices talk about the fact that they’re worried youth don’t understand civics. How can we have a flourishing democracy if people don’t really understand what it’s about?”

On the flip side, Boone also lamented the fact that so many American students graduate from high school without basic reading and mathematics skills, a trend she called a “national disgrace.”

While Boone believes that having a healthy drive to do well is important, she said that it’s also critical to find time to relax, accept that failure is a part of life and to affirm a sense of personal and civic pride.



The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2013