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Topic: Youth Development

  1. Hispanic Youth Expert Leader

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    Hispanic Leadership

    Stand up and take charge

    If you were to ask me what makes a leader I’ll tell you what others leaders might say. A leader is somebody who can influence positive change. Anyone who follows a leader does so because they trust that leader can bring about change.

    When it comes to the Hispanic youth market, the same is true. Hispanics turn to leaders who can bring change to their lives or their community. Whenever I address an audience I clearly make it known that my life is committed to influencing young people in a positive way. Because of that people see me as a leader to Hispanic youth. Experts say that leaders often walk a lonely road because of the pressure that is endured in leading.

    Just like the movie Spider Man, with great power comes great responsibility. It’s true; once you’ve earned a position of authority you must protect your role and carry it out. You cannot lead halfway and expect people to follow you long-term.

    The minute you stop leading, your followers will seek out another leader. This is the same for companies as well; employees want to work for a company that has great leadership.

    Hispanic youth want to learn from leaders who are movers and shakers within the Hispanic population. If they don’t see true leadership within their own home they will seek out individuals at school or in their community. The truth is that youth do not know their potential. It may take an adult in their lives to see that potential and pull it out of them. Kids only know what they have been taught and what they’ve seen the closest people to them do in life.

    For example, if they are the first in their family to graduate high school, this is a huge victory for the family. This is also a vulnerable place for that Hispanic youth to be in because they don’t have an example to follow when it comes to college. They don’t have someone to walk them through the steps. A leader will see these youth and walk them through the steps and make sure to empower them to start and finish college.
    You don’t have to be a youth expert to bring about change, just invest enough into young people to be able to a positive influence in their lives.

  2. Teen Self Esteem

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    Youth self esteem

    Youth Self Esteem

    In all my years of working with teens I have seen a pattern. Teenagers want to be seen and heard. It’s true; those two areas are what set them apart from all other age groups.

    Teens want to be seen

    Think about how many teens you have seen that have spiky hair, or how many have a different hair color. We see them and say wow I can’t believe their parents let them walk out the front door like that.

    Parents will say not my child, there is no way. But before you point the finger and laugh remember that this is just a phase. Many teens struggle with self identity so many will try just about anything to get attention from their peers. They really do not care about what adults think of them, only what their peer’s think.

    Teens want to be heard

    They often feel like they do not have a say because many look down on them or give them the excuse of not knowing enough yet to make decisions. But we need to listen to teens; they are the ones that are going to be in leadership roles. So look past the spiky hair and listen to what they have to say.

    If you realize that teens either like to have attention or want to be heard, you will know how to better get along with them. Teen self esteem is a big issue in America and many adults do not want to help make it better.

    Whenever I speak at youth assemblies I like to take time to walk around the school and see what students are posting on the walls. Why? This is a way in which I get to listen to what they are saying through drawing or writings. I especially like to walk past the art rooms because students like to express themselves through art and you can see what it going on inside that teen through their artwork.

    So take some time and listen to what teens are saying, don’t just notice them and look away. They need more adults to understand them and guide them through this time in their lives when their self esteem is high one day and low the next. This is normal for teen but parents do not know what to say to their kids. So just put your arms around them and let them know you are proud of them.