Updated: Jul 27
What a gift it is, to be entrusted with young people’s dreams!
A few years ago, I used to run leadership programs for University and High School students at Curtin University. When I started the job, I loved it, but I soon realised I enjoyed my interactions with the students but found them to be brief and a little superficial and made it a goal to improve my connections. So, I did a Post Graduate Certificate in Professional Coaching, which included becoming a Master Neuro-Linguistic Programming practitioner (which taught me how to use the language of the mind to create positive change in behaviour).
This immersive course taught me valuable skills in engagement and communication, and instantly I could notice a difference when I met with my students! They started opening up to me, they sought me out to help solve problems, and they entrusted me with their dreams of the future! They knew I had their back and cared about each and every one of their success!
So, what changed? Well, I learned skills in how to become a better listener, and how to ask smarter questions, how to not always offer advice but to get the students to solve their own problems (with my support). How to not judge, or assume, but to reframe or challenge limiting beliefs. I saw them as the expert of their own lives, and as complete, perfect humans with unlimited potential for achieving whatever it was they put their mind to.
A special activity that was run on the final night of residential camp at the start of the program was ‘Carpe Diem’ where together with the students we watched the part in Dead Poet's Society where Robin Williams shows the students the images of old-scholars and says 'Carpe Diem, Make your Lives Extraordinary!'
I then turn the lights on and ask the students to consider:
What legacy would they like to leave behind?
What people say about them at their ‘retirement dinner’?
How would they like to be remembered?
This involved them thinking and 'dreaming' about a compelling vision for their future. I really wanted them to dream big, and create juicy goals to achieve those big dreams. This experience was so profound and powerful as it came at a time where they are figuring out who they are, and who they want to be (as they completed their studies and began planning for the next stage of their young adult lives). I wanted this activity to make them realise that they are the captain of their own ship and they are in charge of creating a life they desire!
I truly found my calling and purpose in that leadership coordinator role - combining youth development with social change – developing leaders who would go on to make the world a better place! What a privilege it was for me to work and serve such incredible young people.
Fast forward a few years (plus a couple of kids, and a new city), it’s my turn to have realised my big dream, re-creating my own special version of that leadership program, and called it ‘Inspiring Teens, Youth Leadership Program’
I am running ‘Inspiring Teens’ this July holidays (pending if COVID restrictions are lifted) and will be inviting teens 13-17 years to apply!
So, give your teen the opportunity to dream big, and let me work with them to help turn those dreams into reality! Book your teen in now!
Let’s make this world a better place – together!
Youth Success Coach and Founder
Spire Coaching & Leadership