EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO OVERCOMING POVERTY. EXPOSING YOUNG PEOPLE TO NEW BOOKS AND KNOWLEDGE CAN PROVIDE AN EXPERIENCE AND INFORMATION NO ONE CAN TAKE AWAY. SHARE BOOKS YOU’VE ALREADY READ TO A YOUNG PERSON TODAY OR PASS ALONG A GIFT CARD TO THE BOOKSTORE. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!
The question, “Who am I?” is especially pertinent during adolescence. The combination of physical, cognitive, and social changes that occur during that time, plus the serious life choices to be faced (occupation, life partner) spur what Erik Erikson famously called an identity crisis. He used the term, “crisis,” to mean a turning point rather than a period of profound or debilitating uncertainty. Erikson acknowledged that identity issues could arise throughout the life course, but saw identity formation as the critical “developmental task” of adolescence.
As you know our girl Viola Davis recently won her very first Emmy. It’s been well over six decades since a black woman has won an Emmy. This wasn’t just an accomplishment for Viola but an accomplishment for us all.
Her win taught us that there is still hope in that there are still women who are paving the way for others to follow.
Her win taught us that there is still power and authenticity in a genuine spirit. Her win taught us that you can be a chocolate girl with natural hair and create a platform and a powerful voice for yourself. Through that the world can stand, listen, and take note.
Her win taught us that we have to stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us and use that as a catalyst to propel into our own dreams, goals, and desires. We cannot allow their struggle, scarifice, and success go to waste.
The thing that I found most amazing about her win was the look on her face when she won because she wasn’t expecting to win. How many times do we do things with such power and might but still don’t expect to win in life?
How often do we still question our abilities because we know we weren’t meant to stand out in the current world? We have to continue to be the change we want to see by creating opportunities and building the doors we want so desperatly to open.
We must expect to be winners and what we will expect will eventually become what we see. There is still hope for the black girl please don’t give up on your winning power or your dreams. There is no appropriate length of time on your success.
Embrace the natural beautiful and powerful you! The world is waiting.
Have you ever felt the disappointment from someone who didn’t show up for you like you thought they would? The inability to be and stay committed leads to not only disappointments, but missed appointments. Today’s topic is the power of commitments and showing up. Enjoy today’s audio!
In this day of instant information there is no doubt that you can perform an internet search and find everything you need to know about mentoring. However when I consult my heart about what the core of mentoring truly is there are several qualities that come to mind. When I mentor I have the goal in mind to have a lifelong effect on those whose lives I am impacting. If that resonates with you then check out these five traits of a memorable mentor.
1. Leadership. Mentors know the way and show others the way; this is true leadership at it’s core, and an essential trait of an effective mentor. Mentors also understand that it’s about serving others and equipping them with the tools and training needed to flourish both personally and professionally. As a leader mentors should set high expectations and walk alongside their mentees until they reach their new level.
2. Purposeful. Mentors who enter the relationship with a clear cut direction and a plan have the most effect. Every interaction, assignment, and meeting has an objective. But the difference between great mentors and exceptional mentors, is the greater understanding of pushing beyond the written goals and objectives they may have planned, to seeing that they can achieve anything they can conceive.
3. Anticipative. Great mentors are able to anticipate the needs of their mentees. Their gift of foresight is what’s needed for a mentee to truly grow in areas that they’re unaware of.
4. Empathetic. Empathy is the ability to see the world as another person, to share and understand another person’s feelings, needs, concerns and/or emotional state. Be able to identify your mentees way of thinking, feelings and attitude and how those affect his/her overall goals.
5. Orderly. When you are well disciplined it’s creates a model for self-discipline in others. Self-discipline is one of the hardest traits to develop but seeing how others model this will at the least give your mentees a positive example to simulate.
6. Passionate. Memorable mentors are passionate about their work. Passion drives excellent habits.
7. Principled. Operating with integrity is essential as a mentor. Everything that you do is built on the foundation of your principles and is a reflection of your principles; showcase them proudly.
8. Selfless. Memorable mentors show that success is not about fame, position or money. They are devoted to the cause and find ways to be helpful and loving. A famous saying says “I may not remember what you said but I will always remember how you made me feel.” Your mentee will never forget how they felt as a result of your selflessness.
9. Wise. Memorable mentors understand that it’s not about sharing knowledge but it’s about sharing wisdom. Wisdom comes from understanding and understanding comes from experience.
10. Authentic. Mentors have to possess a genuine love and spirit for people. They have to have a certain level of realness and relatability. Mentees want to have mentors who not only want to share their successes but their failures. Being authentic isn’t about being perfect, it’s about being real with yourself and sharing that with others.
11. Great Listener. Mentors have the blessed ability to listen and hear the needs, complaints, frustrations, and joys of their mentees. Through listening we truly learn about others and have a perspective into their world. Exceptional mentors are able to effectively tap into their mentees unspoken needs and guide them through meaningful conversations.
If you knew better you’d do better, right? That’s what our young people deal with everyday. They make mistakes or carry regrets because they simply didn’t know better or they didn’t understand the consequences of their actions.
They didn’t have the luxury of having people share honest truths about their experiences. Sometimes people are ashamed of sharing their experiences for fear of being judged but it’s critical for our young people to know that there are situations they might find themselves in, that there are people who’ve been in them before, and there is another side!
They need to know that there are overcomers and that everyone’s story isn’t clean and perfect. They need genuine, authentic, transparent, honest individuals who are willing to help infiltrate their minds with stories of resilience and strength.
There are sometimes that we wish we could go back and tell our younger selves what we know now to save ourselves from making poor choices or to have made a better choice. I decided to create the “Letter to Your Younger Self Project” to collect letters from people who have sat down and been very intentional about giving quality advice to themselves and compiling them into a book. So here’s what I need for you to do.
Take about 5-10 minutes and go to a quiet place. Take out a blank sheet of paper or take out your tablet or laptop and write a letter to your younger self. Write to the “you” that was rebellious, invincible, stubborn, and independent. (You know the “you” I’m talking about). Think back to the most challenging times in your life and share what it was like in that moment for you. What were you thinking and feeling? How did you come to your final decision? What was it like when you overcame that challenge?
Our youth need to hear your story! Once you’ve completed your letter please email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your letter is selected you will need to sign a release waiver to be included in the book.
I look forward to reading your letters and I thank you in advance for your commitment to empowering the lives of today’s youth.
How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” —Stephen Covey
What is your greatest frustration when working with over the summer months?
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” —Albert Einstein