Words to Remember As You Continue as a Youth Worker

Received this in an email from youth worker extraordinaire Mary Gaskins, the Washington DC-based creator of Heartfelt Stitches and founder of Freedom Youth Academy, an organization that teaches young urban youth how to create fiber art (crotcheted products, etc.) products while building self-awareness and esteem. Hope you enjoy the message:

Charles Schultz Philosophy
The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip. You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just read the e-mail straight through, and you’ll get the point.
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America Contest.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.
How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

The lesson:
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

LevelTen Town Hall Meeting in Washington DC Asked Tough Questions

(Photos by Khadijah Ali-Coleman and Courtney Hinton)

The LevelTen Town Hall Meeting that took place Dec. 17, 2008 at Covenant House Washington in DC was a forum of discussion that stated solutions and action plans. Panelists, who also served as facilitators for small break-out groups, included ANC Commisioner Darrell Gaston– a 22 year-old new politician who mentors and challenges youth, Latosha Frink of the Frink Group and Diallo Sumbry, founder of the Andinkra Group. I was pleased to be invited as a panelist for this event and enjoyed discussion regarding failing DC schools, challenges youth face when raised with nil parental support and teaching practices that don’t consider multiple intelligences.

Kudos to LevelTen for coordinating such a rich event and Covenant House Washington for hosting the event.