Leading the Young Minds of Tomorrow
Real Talk, Real Life
An influence women I know is all about leadership. Which got me to really questioning what my leadership type is.
Without a doubt I love my job, I love the people, but importantly, I love working with youth.
I took some time to reflect on my own personal strengths and professional strengths. And I came up with various thoughts. I dove deep into what motivates me, what is my passion, and how I use that unnoticeably daily within the work I do.
I came to a realization that my leadership expertise is about leading youth through their day to day lives.
One could say this is both my passion, and motivation. And I wouldn't disagree. As a child to a youth, to a young adult I have had my fair share of struggles without a doubt. I am thankful that the world has owned up to the importance of mental health, and the reality of it.
When I was 13 there was rarely anyone REALLY talking about the struggles youth face. And trust me, they face even more now 10 years later. The young minds of today are faced with extreme pressures from school, to their social life, and family life. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I truly do believe that there is such a “norm” for youth that they pressure themselves into believing there has to theses standards and they NEED to reach them. But in reality, these youth are creating theses expectations, and are overwhelming theirselves by this. THIS IS NOT A NORM PEOPLE!
I took that passion and am encouraging youth to have a space where they are able to express their thoughts, feelings, concerns and victories.
That’s not to say that every youth worker gets the opportunities I do, and for that I am extremely grateful.
The great part about my job is I coordinate a program where youth want to come to. Where they know it is their space. They claim ownership over it, and I do the same.
Just because I am older and have a college education does not make me more of a person. It does not mean theses youth are less of a person because they don’t have a college degree or they are not over the age of 18.
It simply means we are all equal. Equality is so important to creating meaningful relationships with children, youth and adults.
At times I’ve had conversations with adults who have made me feel less of a person, because I wasn’t as educated, or have had more life experiences.
And to be honest that is a really CRAPPY feeling.
Some question my motives as to why I treat the youth I work with as I treat anyone else.
Children and youth know when you’re faking it. It’s that’s simple. But I also treat everyone I know as a friend. Some may not like me, and that’s okay. I’m not asking for people to like me, I’m asking for respect.
Simply and without reflection till today, I realized that I have created a space where youth can come to feel a sense of calmness, a sense of belonging, and a sense of care.
Some people will not agree with this post/blog, and some will view me as powerful to the youth I work with. And that’s okay. I have seen firsthand the changes in youth who were so closed off from “people like you” and they are now thriving in ways beyond words. Its truly breathtaking.
Leading my way through the change and impact of children and youth is my leadership type. But its also my life style. A lot of people I am close with always tell me they don't know how I do my job, they couldn't handle it. And to be honest, I've never really thought of my career path as a job more so a lifestyle.