As educators, neighbors, family or friend, we have the opportunity to do what it takes to open up the possibilities for young people. We must. Students recognize authenticity in those that they encounter.
This was a key takeaway for me in listening to Darrius Garrett, author of Diary of a Freedom Writer, at the 7th annual Naviance Summer Institute last week. During his address, he encouraged attendees to share personal anecdotes whenever possible. In doing so, “we will help open doors for those we work with or encounter,” he said.
For Darrius, success is a simple formula of drive, motivation, and inspiration we all can emulate and incite within our students. This made me think about the teachers who have made a difference in my learning and life. They were individuals that held me to high standards, pushed me to do better work, and gave me confidence to ask the tough questions.
His challenge for you: Be that individual in the life of a young person that says, “I believe in you. You matter! Let me show you the way.” Because, in life, everybody matters and letting someone know that you believe in them and that they can succeed, has a ripple effect in changing lives.