What Happened to Youth Voice?

lost-my-voice

Recently there was a girl who on Spring Break and was gang raped on the beach while others recorded on their cell phones and did NOTHING to stop her attackers. When I first heard this story it made me extremely upset to know that anyone had the audacity to violate a young lady in public. The moment that sent me over the edge was realizing just how many witnesses were there and did nothing to intervene!

Since when did young people become so complacent and so comfortable that they can’t step up to the plate when someone is being done wrong? Since when do they run their mouths about young black men who are shot by police and shout “Black Lives Matter!” but can’t show it in their actions?

Since when did they learn about their ancestors who have sacrificed their safety, security, and their lives for them to have opportunities and not seize them? Since when did young people get to the point of complacency that it’s okay to just “go with the crowd” rather than stand up and be the leaders and change they so desperately need?

I have a huge problem with this and I’m sure you do too! So what can we do about it? We’ve got to teach them better. We have to remind our young people WHO they are and teach them to be accountable to each other.

They are more than “likes” on Social Media and more than “followers”. They are leaders, they have voice and they have purpose. They have to be as on fire as we are about matters that affect their lives.

When I think back on who started movements, it was young people who pulled together and worked collectively under one vision. We have lost our way as a people but our young people need responsible people like us to guide them, teach them, have patience with them and not grow weary. They need me and they need you!

Here are several ways we can embrace youth voice:

1. Give youth a safe, non-judgemental environment in which to share their thoughts and ideas.

2. Allow them to use language that is comfortable to them. They aren’t us and will express themselves using acronyms and slang that’s generational; that’s okay.

3. Create or allow the young people to create a platform to share their voice. This may  be an online magazine or YouTube channel.

Let’s not forget our responsibility to them. Be present and show they way! Let’s help to restore their fires.

Question: What will you do this week to help youth find their voice?

4 Ways To Make A Simple Transition Into Adulthood

Courtesy of Can Stock Photo

Courtesy of Can Stock Photo

 

Moving from high school into college or independence can be both an exciting and stressful time. Sure you can’t wait to finally be on your own but you may be trying to figure out how you’re going to do it all by yourself.

1. Decide on your career path. There are many adults who get to college and choose a major only to find out they have no interest in what they’ve been studying. Making such a critical choice at such a young age is difficult because what you like now will change over time. To assist you in making the right decision check out Career One Stop: Skills Profiler.

2. Choose a good college. College is the place where you’ll make lifelong friends, possibly find your spouse, begin your career, and learn more about yourself. With all that pressure wouldn’t you want to attend the best college possible that meets your needs? The number one thing you should look for is will Career Services help you find a job once you’re ready to graduate. I would hate for you to complete an educational program with the goal of securing employment only to receive not help in the end. When you visit your campus, make sure to visit their offices.

3. Find and keep a mentor. Transitions are moments of discovery and challenge. Having a mentor that can assist you through the process will help to keep you focused and on track so you won’t lose your way. I would recommend my Youth Mentoring Program 

4. Brush up on your skills. The US Department of Labor created a very nice curriculum which includes videos and PDF downloads entitled Soft Skills to Pay the Bills-Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success. I would suggest visiting their site and working through the curriculum to ensure you’re in tip top shape!

7 Money Strategies to Improve Your Financial Future [Youth Edition]

finances

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

Luke 16:10

Managing finances is not a simple task. It requires building the right skills and learning and exercising the right principles. It’s important to learn these principles with your first job (which may not be paying all that much) so when you do receive an increase you’ll have the know how to manage it well.

1. Spend less than you earn. If you spend it all, you have nothing; plain and simple.

2. Open a savings account. It is important to have a savings account with money that you add to monthly in case of an emergency. They will happen to you and it’s best to prepare the funds now.

3. Cut expenses until you earn additional income. There is always something you can go without whether it’s reducing your cell phone, cable, or utility bill. Find out

4. Create Income. You are creative, talented, and smart and there is something you can share with others to create an additional stream of income. Can you do hair? Babysit? Make beats? Do it!

5. Invest in stocks. Let your money make you money. Read books, follow blogs, but learn everything you can about investing your money.

6. Create a spending plan. Don’t just be frivolous with your money. As soon as you find out how much you’re expecting, sit and plan out how it needs to be spent.

7. Handle those credit cards wisely. The best advice I received is don’t borrow from your future to pay for today. It’s good to develop credit if you can manage it but it’s not wise to max out your credit cards for clothes, fast food, and hanging out.

Question: What’s the #1 tip you’ve heard about managing money?

Let me know below…

Web Tool to Engage Disconnected Youth

Check your approach. If that child doesn’t want to be in your group, assembly, or class, monitor your approach. It may be time to switch it up and meet them at their point of interests. Ask a simple question via text messaging where the kids get to use their phones to voice their opinions.

A cool app like Poll Everywhere will allow you to open up the conversation or give shout outs to one another. Check it out at http://www.polleverywhere.com/

This presentation was created from the powerful words of women who I feel are speaking to our black girls today. Listen to the words and take them to heart. This is your life and your story can and should be the beautiful tale of your determination, strength, and commitment to what you believe in!

How to Cure Your Nervousness With These 8 Steps

nervous

Your palms are sweating. Your armpits feel like a faucet and you’re trying to remember if you brushed your teeth. You’re in a room full of new people and it feels like everyone in there knows each other. You’re wondering if people care that you’re there and you don’t know what you’re going to say should one of them walk up and actually talk to you! If only you could just calm your nerves, maybe…just maybe, you could let the real you shine through.

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The Keke Palmer School of Leadership

Not only is KeKe an amazing singer, actress, and now talk show host, she is also a perfect example of what a true leader exemplifies. She understands and leverages her leadership skills to becoming the successful young lady she is today. KeKe was quoted for saying ” I always try to set a positive example for my generation and promote confidence.” That’s right, the essence of leadership! So grab a seat, a cup of coffee and let me introduce you to The KeKe Palmer School of Leadership!

 

Photo Credit: Uptown Magazine

Photo Credit: Uptown Magazine

1. KeKe is relatable, and every leader needs to relate to her audience. KeKe is the kind of girl you want to have as a friend and one you’d be willing to take sound advice from. The amazing thing about her is that she interacts with her fans. They have questions and problems and she gets right into the conversation with them and answers them! That’s what a leader does.

Leadership Lesson Takeaway: Look for ways that you can solve small problems around you and find ways to add value to your peers, soon they’ll begin to realize that your are a valuable resourceful leader.

Continue Reading »

What Zendaya Can Teach Us About Haters

So as most of you already know Zendaya was set to play Aaliyah in the upcoming Lifetime biopic movie: Aaliyah: One In A Million. However a few haters took to Twitter to rant about how the singer should not play Aaliyah because she looks Latina and Aaliyah was clearly African American. Zendaya who has an African American father and Caucasian mother is clearly not Latina. Now after backlash she is no longer affiliated with the project and for that I’m upset.

zendaya

Zendaya posted on her Twitter account: “She’s (Aaliyah) has been an inspiration and influence in my whole career, her talent shines brighter than ever, all I wanna do is honor her…there will never be another Aaliyah, I just hope to share her beautiful story, and make her proud up in heaven.”

Now, someone who shares sentiments like that is a clear fan of Aaliyah and is looking to expand beyond her Disney repertoire and gain experience acting in various types of roles. She has ambitions of not just being another “kid” star but maturing into new more challenging roles. Her story taught me a lot about how to handle haters.

I’m upset because I feel like Zedaya allowed her haters to get the best of her (a no no in my book). She took to the BET Awards red carpet and said that she is no longer apart of the project because she felt like they were rushing the project and she wanted to do it right and not rush for someone she honors so much.

It could be that the family had some back lash about the project and for the Director and Producer did not consult them and maybe she didn’t want to be in the midst of that drama. But I’m willing to bet that it had something to do with the backlash from her haters (cough, cough) I mean “fans”.

When you have a dream and it’s something you feel passionately about don’t let NOBODY…excuse me….ANYBODY tear you away from it. When you know WHO you are, WHAT you’re doing it for, and WHY it’s important to you and your life, everything else can take a backseat. (Especially a hater!)

I think it’s borderline bullying when people feel “If enough of us gang up on her then we can change her mind”. How about you band together and use your words for good or to create positive change?

Haters will always have something to say, and 9 times out of 10 it’s incorrect. Zendaya is mixed but in an ignorant person’s eyes and mind she gets labeled “Latina”.  (First of all learn your cultures…)

Haters aren’t pursuing their own dreams so they’d rather spend all their time tearing you away from yours. Get a hobby, connect with a higher power and find your purpose in life…as a matter of fact, sign up for my mentoring program and I’ll work with you ;-). I will always remind you that there is power in your tongue! Use your words to uplift and encourage others.

Haters won’t say half of what they want to say to you in person, so they’re just computer thuggin’. You heard me right! Just typing their little pointless lives away behind a screen because they are insecure with who they are and unsure what they have to offer the world. And this poor child is out here trying to be an example and positive role model…..

All in all I said all this to say:

Let your haters make you greater.

When you hear what haters say, laugh because you will prevail and stand proud, and all they can do is stand and look silly when you’ve accomplished what you set out to do.

Don’t change who you are because of what someone has to say about you. For every one person who hates you there’s a million more who will love you, and that’s the God honest truth!

Keep on pushing because your perseverance will cause you to be prosperous! 

Everybody who is somebody had a “somebody” who was’t for them. Stand firm in YOU because at the end of the day, YOU are responsible for your own happiness.

Put this post on Replay..(A little Zendaya humor)

Question: How do you handle haters?

7 Things Successful Youth Do on Sunday Nights

sundaynights
Monday morning are critical to a successful week. Planning the night before can assist you in having a GREAT week! How prepared you feel can influence your mind in a positive or negative way. Planning and managing your time is the extra step you need to ensure the week runs as smoothly as possible.
Here are 7 thing successful people do on Sunday Nights:
1. Update their to do lists. Each week has it’s own set of tasks. Update your to do list to finish last weeks goals or begin on this weeks goals.
2. Get their clothing out for the week. At least lay out your clothing for the next day. There is nothing worse than thinking your favorite green shirt is clean and folded in your drawer than to wake up and see it in the laundry instead. Prep everything from your bag, to your socks and shoes so all you have to do is hop into your clothes! If you really want to challenge yourself, lay out 5 outfits for the week.