Founder’s Notes: Our roles are constantly changing, we will always transition from educators to students and vice versa

Christina and Tiffany are happy, don’t be fooled. The above photo was from one of our debate workshops! Yes, these two ladies were representing their teams in a highly charged debate. The topic: Should school uniforms be mandatory for everyone throughout our world?

The funny photo was the result of having a Gem Project representative ask the two young ladies to give their ‘funny‘ face. As you can see, Tiffany (right) was spot on! Christina (left) was trying her best to keep a straight face.

Christina was representing team: Opportunity, while Tiffany represented team: Free.  This was just a typical day at our programs.  After that session, I was left reflecting on a conversation I had with our newest member, Reema.

I usually ask the same question. Do you feel we are making an impact? It’s not that I doubt that we’re or that we’re not documenting the youth’s progress appropriately, it goes deeper than that. We like to look at our work holistically. As a leader, I change shoes. I view things as the receivers (the audience we’re serving), the givers (the do-gooders/volunteers), and then the educators (how are we tracking results/ how are we marking progress ?).

It’s always important to humble yourself. There isn’t a point in life, I believe that one has truly arrived. A few years ago, I had my moments. There has been a few times where I looked at my team and said, “Wow, let’s take this in because this is  it.” As I get older, I have learned to know better.  As much as we are educators within our communities, we will transition to be students again. It’s a role that is constantly in motion.

We live for this.

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Lead. Be Brazen–

  • “What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Lead. Be Resilent–

  • “Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right.” – Warren G. Bennis

Lead. Be Strong–

  • “Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.” -Barack Obama