There are powers inside of you which, if you could discover and use, would make of you everything you ever dreamed or imagined you could become.” Orison Swett Marsden
In the fast pace world we live in, it’s easy to forget how important it is to step outside of our circle of family, friends, and colleagues to mentor kids and young people who are more vulnerable to falling through the cracks. Organizations like The Boys and Girls Club of America have had a significant positive impact on millions of childrens’ lives, especially those in need, for over 150 years.
Their mission reads: To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
When cleaning out my files recently, I came across a note written to me from a young woman who participated in a motivational program for inner city Philadelphia elementary school children that I initiated years ago called Shooting For The Stars.
This is some of what she wrote:
“I don’t know if you would remember me or not. I was involved in a program you ran called Shooting For The Stars.
I know you may say that was over seven years ago, so why is she writing me? It’s because you made an indelible impression in my life.At times I seem to reflect on how you and the program helped me along.
At school I was teased a lot and didn’t have many friends. The program gave me something to look forward to each week. I enjoyed going on field trips and seeing different things and learning a lot more.
You also seemed to have time for me when I looked sad and asked what was the matter. When we were planning to put on the play West Side Story, you sat with us and made an effort to make sure we were all involved including me because I was so shy and quiet.
I remember visiting your home and having the best time – spending the day making a meal and exploring your beautiful garden. You will be happy to know I graduated from high school and am planning on attending Community College in the fall. It certainly has been a long time but I have never forgotten you.
Thank you so much for being one of the people I call my pushers. People who pushed me, pushed me to do more and be more and learn. For that I will never forget you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
This young woman was one of over 120 students I worked with each semester. The truth is that the amount of time I spent with her individually was not a lot. But it was the message that the program and I conveyed to her. There’s no magic to being a pusher. All it takes is belief in a young person, a consistent message, and the desire to be present for them.
8 Messages of Pushers
You are a unique human being with gifts that need to be shared with the world.
Work hard and be persistent.
Work at being curious.
When you have a question, ask. There are no stupid questions.
Open yourself up to new opportunities.
Find things you love doing and that make you happy.
I care about and believe in you. I am here to support and guide you.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. Are you a pusher? If so, please share your story.