Is Teaching Important?

Having been back to University courses for a couple weeks now I have an important subject to bring forth. The subject of Teachers.

Teachers are very important not only in their ability to empower children or really of people of any age who are ready to learn but in their ability to use storytelling to change lives.

Let me explain myself. Teachers are a complicated subject. Why? Because teachers are most often than not human beings (though we can find teachers in other things if we get all spiritual), and being human beings means we are all unique and different.

We have the teachers who like their jobs, the teachers who hate their jobs, the teachers who are good at their jobs and the teachers who need to update their teaching practices. We have the teachers with the baggage in their life outside the classroom dragging them down and the teachers who drag the baggage of their life into their teaching for the good or the worse. My list could go on but I hope you see, how diverse teachers can be.

Now, if you have a teacher who is amazing, it can change your life. One single teacher can make you take a certain path on life.

Let me give you an example, there is the bigger examples of stories like the freedom writers, in this story and movie based on a true story(see clip below) we have a teacher who comes from a white middle class background and goes to teach in a school for kids with children of all ethnicities, few white people and a lot of violence, gangs and poverty. This teacher, long story short, shows the students the power of stories and they all make some important changes in their life.

 

In a smaller example, form personal experience, there is the story of my sister who had an amazing music teacher who inspired her so much that she herself became a music teacher.

Sadly the same goes with a having a bad teacher. I had a teacher who you could almost say bullied me back in first grade and it messed me up for a while.

So what makes a good teacher? It changes for everyone but I feel like storytelling has a big part of it. If a teacher can engage you in a subject matter, there is more chance you will be more engage. If a teacher is dull, more chances you will rebel and fail at that subject matter.

Storytelling can be used in many ways in a classroom. In some classes it’s more obvious, for example a history class. If a teacher makes the history to be taught as a story of real people who used to live and real event that happened X amount of year ago there is more chances the students will remember the story than if the teacher is simply naming facts of what happened.

In any other class the same thing goes. If a teacher uses story, experiences, examples which engage the imagination or the critical thinking skills it will help much more than if someone states facts that are forgotten as soon as the next phrase is spoken or as soon as it is written down on the piece of paper.

Some people have learned to excel in the fact based education but think of young children of today. The children today have so much energy, they have shorter attention spans in some ways because of the amount of technology we have today and they want nothing more than to get out and play. Do you think at that age stating that there was a war in 1812 between United States and the United Kingdom will stick or do think a story of two rival nations fighting for Independence in the tumultuous period of 1812 with the suspense of who will win will make them remember the details more?

Personally the second option sounds better, not only does it make me want to know more but I will the same if not more by learning it through storytelling techniques.

Now going back to University and why this topic came up. In university I feel like the storytelling culture of teaching has disapeared a lot. Some people still have it, discussions are made and people are engaged. Yet some courses even in a English class are simply stating facts about a story. Not engaging with it at all.

I hope that one day the storytelling culture can come back into teaching because when I say that a teacher can empower a student and change their lives for the better, the reverse is also true. I think we should all strive to empower others when sharing wisdom and teaching what we know, so if you are even in that position, don’t forget the power of storytelling in your teaching. Who knows the simple act of making a class more engaging, incorporating facts with other examples or turning facts into stories might just lead to someone coming to you in the future to tell you, you changes my life.

Until next time empower yourself and other through the power of stories and together let’s be a Powered Crowd for positive change!

*** See this video to be inspired***

How the Story of the Ugly Duckling Can Empower You!

Hello everyone!

Today’s blog post will be about the story “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Andersen. You might have hear about him, he is pretty famous for his fairy tales! If you haven’t heard of him, you will get a chance to know more about him further down the article.

Image Taken here: https://ilab.org/articles/collecting-rare-books-and-first-editions-hans-christian-andersen

Before I start I think I should mention that If you are here from the Youtube video (link) I will be repeating some things, yet there will also be some new information in here for you!

Alright let’s start with a brief synopsis of The Ugly Duckling, one day a mother Duck was waiting for her eggs to hatch. They all did except the biggest one which remained unhatched. When it finally did hatch it was different than the other ducklings and the mom thought he was not her own.

The more people saw the large Duckling the more it was ridiculed by the other ducks. Soon even the large ducks sisters and brothers as well started calling it ugly and other such names. The mother duck as is written in the original tale “Wanted him to leave”.

The Story continues with him meeting different animals who all also think him ugly. He decides to leave his home and is now also very self deprecating in his speech towards himself.

Image taken here:https://www.deviantart.com/angeline-valentius/art/the-ugly-duckling-269759246

 

One of the people he meets is a dog and short of eating him he leaves. The duckling thinks it’s because he is too ugly to be eaten.

He keeps facing trials and is always rejected because he is either ugly or can’t do what a normal duck can. In Autumn he sees these lovely birds with big graceful necks and wishes he could be so pretty but soon they are gone and then short after it’s winter. He starts swimming non stop to keep the water from freezing around him but it’s no use. The water is almost completely frozen when a peasant from the nearby village takes his wooden shoes and breaks the ice, picks up the duckling and brings him home to his wife. Unfortunately he had brought it home thinking it dead. But of course he wasn’t and when he came to he made a big mess before escaping into the hard winter.

Winter was harsh and cold for the duckling but he survived. He decides now that it’s warm that he will go see the royal birds. He thinks they will kill him for he thinks he is that ugly but at this point he is a bit suicidal and rather be killed by them than keep living like he had.

He bends his head and asks to be killed and then see’s his reflection and that he has become a swan. The children, of the village say he is the nicest one, the nature around him bows to his beauty and the other swans as well and he is the happiest swan around.

As one of the most famous quotes goes like this “It doesn’t matter about being born in a duckyard, as long as you are hatched from a swan’s egg” —The Ugly Duckling

So there is the story of the ugly duckling. For this blog post and the Youtube video I re-read this story and wow, it was not what I expected. I had this image of it being an inspiring story but in reality it really is really quite sad.

Image taken here:http://getdrawings.com/ugly-duckling-drawing#ugly-duckling-drawing-51.jpg

When we hear about the ugly duckling we think of people who are the underdogs and then defeat all odds and prove others wrong. While this story does have some great messages (which I will go over soon!) it is also a dark story. The self deprecation this poor duck feels to himself breaks my heart a little. It’s something we see a lot in society, for example with bullying. When someone young or even old is told again and again they’re not good enough eventually most start believing it.

Something I will mention about this story before I start saying the great things we can take from it is something many people have commented on. Some people see the story as being centered on solely looks. While it is true that the story talks again and again about being ugly and hated and then beautiful and loved, I think we can take another interpretation from this story which is more positive. Did Andersen write this  story with the thought that looks means everything? I don’t know and I think it will be hard for anyone to rightly know. However like in all things we can acknowledge the possible negative thoughts that accompany something and then focus on the good thoughts, which will make positive waves and not reinforce the bad thoughts.

So to recap, society does put a big importance on looks (it’s a facts)and some people will see this as a story that shows that looks are everything, but I hope most people know there is more to life than looks and will look at the positive lesson of this piece rather than the possible bad lessons.

Now that that’s out of the way let’s focus on the good.

This story of the Ugly Duckling can teach us a lot in terms of good lessons. A first thing I found this story to have taught me is the fact that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. As I mentioned when talking about outwards appearances, there’s more to a person than how they look and this story is a great example of this. The Ugly Duckling goes through many trials in this short story. Yet every time he get’s back up, when people are mean to him he doesn’t hold it against them, yes he puts the blame on himself which is not much better but it does shows how kind he is and how he is beautiful and strong he is even though the characters in the story don’t see it. These traits and more in the story show how beauty can be something found inside of us as well as something which can be perceived from the outside.

A second positive message from this story is the fact that it gives us hope that one day we will find our place. It tells us not to give up because one day we will find our swan family and be happy. This can be taken to be shallow again or it can be taken that we all have a place were we belong. It might be hard to find it and it might take a while. The place we belong to might not resemble swans at all to anyone but ourselves but I do believe that like in the Ugly Duckling we all have the opportunity to find our happy place and like in the Ugly Duckling it’s usually closer than we first thought.

Image Taken here: https://www.storyforkids.net/the-ugly-duckling

There are other good messages we can find but for now I want to move on from the positive messages in the story itself. I want to now argue that while this story is a great one, the way society and modern culture has appropriated it is almost more powerful than the story itself. When we read the story of the Ugly Duckling we see the good lessons I mentioned and more but it is an older story. In modern day society many people have never read the story but still feel an attachment when someone mentions the words ugly duckling. It’s because the story has become part of our culture. I can’t say it’s like this all over the world but from experience in North America it’s definitely there.

It’s mostly used to describe someone’s life. People will use the expression “I will tell you my Ugly Duckling story” usually it means the story of how someone has overcome all odds and became who they are today. Of course there is also the people who use it in a more distasteful by making montages of people think are ugly or showing before and after pictures of people who used to be “ugly” according to them and are now “pretty”. An example can be found on this article on Bored Panda in which they show before and after pictures. It can be inspiring for some who don’t like how they look but mostly I think it’s not sending a good message which I have touched on already (We are all beautiful in our own way!).

Image Taken here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/519240390/be-your-own-kind-of-beautiful-svg

When the Ugly Duckling story is used in a better way it can really make an impact even if we have never read the story, since most have heard enough of it to get the jist. One of my favorite uses in modern culture is the scene in the animated movie Lilo and Stitch where the little Alien Stitch starts to feel like he wants a family and he also starts to feel like he is out of place. Like the Ugly Duckling Stitch was and was brought up to believe things that set him apart from everyone around him, he is also thought to be a dog and everyone sneers at him because he doesn’t look like a regular dog, which or course he isn’t just like the Ugly Duckling isn’t a duck. (See the clip below) If you start looking around you you can see that the Ugly Duckling themes are all around us and are used in our society over and over again. The amount of use it’s getting could be because of how much society prizes beauty in our modern day and how much we need some reassurance of our inner beauty. We have social media, Instagram and all these platforms and media’s telling us how to look. The people rejecting this idea that there is only one way to be beautiful uses the historical short story of the Ugly Duckling to help make people feel an emotional connection to the message that we all have our own unique beauty. I like to think that the people using this story for good surpass the ones who use this story for negative influence.

There is so much more to the story of the Ugly Duckling, how does the Author play a part in how the story was written? Is his life related to the Ugly Duckling? Which other inspiring people have an inspiring Ugly Duckling story? What are my experiences with this story? Do I have an Ugly Duckling Story? Go see the video below for all those answers!

Video coming soon!

I want to leave you with a famous quote from Margaret Wolfe Hungerford “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. This I think is the main thing to take from the story of the Ugly Duckling. This means to be that Beauty is not just the societies ideal of beauty that are constructed and taught to us from a young age. Beauty is different all over the world, all cultures have different beauty norms (see image below and check out the article that goes with it here). So take comfort in the tale of the Ugly duckling and find your inner beauty.

Image Taken here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleyperez/global-beauty-standards?utm_term=.qj9xAmdWK#.ewxozw7DE

Until next time be part share those stories to help empower yourself and other and together let’s make a Powered Crowd for positive change!

Back to School Blues and How to Overcome It

It’s that time of the year, summer is over and it’s time to go back to the usual routine. Back to school means a lot for many different people. When I was really young, I loved it! I would get some first day of school clothes and new pencils and I would walk in to class super excited to start another year. Unfortunately as school moved forward I got more and more badly bullied and school because a place of torment, it wasn’t safe and I was walking in there everyday knowing I would get verbally attacked and maybe even physically hurt.

My bullying story is one I am open about and in fact I have a video planned for it on my Youtube Channel in the future (link here). It’s also something I know I am not alone in experiencing, luckily for me my last 3-4 years of high school weren’t bad bullying wise. Then came University which it’s a whole other beast. Everyone has different learning styles, some excel in a University setting, some like me feel like it is slowly draining them of vitality. I love the clubs and activities at university but I dislike maybe 85% of the classes I have taken thus far because I don’t learn well in a University styled teaching approach.

Let me elaborate. I learn well by discussions, by using my creativity, by doing things with my hands and experiencing them first hand. I learn well with visual aids. I don’t learn well with someone in front of me talking for 2 hours without any visual aids or class interaction which has been a majority of my professors.

Now you might ask, why are you even at University then? Well, the truth is while I might absolutely struggle in a University class environment, the type of employment and opportunities I want to have access to requires a degree from a University. I am also incredibly blessed to have the resources as well as the opportunity to attend University which is something I know some people would kill for, so I take those struggles I have and I push through them. It’s worked so far and I am now officially in my last semester! Once I graduate I am going to hopefully be able to take all the things I learned and worked for, in an environment which wasn’t the right one for me in terms of how I learn, and I will share that knowledge with those around me as well as apply it to Powered Crowd so that as a business, Powered Crowd can help more and more people.

So why did I share those little bit’s of my Story with you? Well if you look into the facts I mentioned you can see a couple things. As in most stories it could be obvious to some of you reading this and less obvious to others as well all process stories differently (That’s the beauty of stories). So here is why I shared these bit’s of my story with you.

Firstly, I wanted to point out that if you have something that makes you anxious to go back to school, it could be bullying like me or that you struggle with the teaching style of your teachers or even that you have a learning disability or a physical disability that set’s you apart from you classmates you are not alone in this feeling.

Not only are you not alone in these feelings, in fact most people feel that same anxiety, some for personal issues we might have no ideas they are hiding. As someone who is entering their last semester of University, I can tell you that while you might want to just hide under your covers and skip school altogether this year, if you take that step and get back into the rhythm of school you will see it will get easier. One foot in front of the other and before you know it you will be reaching the end of your education goals.

The second thing I want you to take from this is that if you struggle in school and learn differently than don’t despair. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, we all learn differently and the school system has a one size fits most template. It’s not because teachers aren’t awesome people, but it’s because there is only one teacher for 30 children these days and it’s literally not possible for them to teach all the the different learning styles at one time. My tips are as follows:

1) Let your teacher know you are struggling. Most will be happy to help.

When I say happy to help I don’t mean they will do the work for you, an important distinction, but they will help you find solutions to help you solve the things you are struggling with and support you with those things.

2) Most school have extra resources for people who learn differently.

Inform yourself on these resources or go in your community and see if you can make a study group, a support group, find a tutor or find people who are there to help you excel at school

The last thing I want you to take from this is that if you are bullied, it might feel like you are walking back into a war zone. Here are my tips:

1) talk about it

Get the help you need and don’t keep quite about it until something is done about it. Some teachers and even Principals (I’ve been there) won’t do much more than the bare minimum if even that but there will be that right person who will believe and support you. Don’t give up, they are out there.

2) Don’t let the bullies win

If you let them ruin your day they win. Take the minute to let the frustration out and then stand tall and let them know your stronger than their words or actions.

If you are feeling the back to school blues don’t despair. You aren’t alone in this feeling and with some work and courage you will see that school will get better. You saw that I struggles with school, and while I wouldn’t do it over again I do have some memories from school that I cherish. Be an explorer and scavenge out those amazing moments everyday and hold on to them for the less than great days.

Are you a parent with a child going back to school? Do you want to know which stories to share with them to help them feel more prepared? If yes go and check out the video below from my Youtube channel where I give my top 5 stories to help kids go back to school. (If you enjoyed please go and subscribe it helps a lot!)

Until next time be part of a Powered Crowd, share those inspiring stories and let’s work together to make this world a better place.

How Love and Hope Overcame All Odds!

Today I am going to tell you a story about love and hope. If you haven’t seen the Introduction post for the new and improved Powered Crowd go here. In short Powered Crowd is now going to narrow it’s platform to bettering and empowering ourselves as well as overcoming our obstacles. Because as mentioned in the linked post I know that once we, as a person, are empowered we can then fully empower others. Storytelling is a big component in this goal and I won’t go into to it too much more as It’s all explained here but today will be a prime example of how stories can leave us feeling more empowered.

So today’s lesson and story will be about two people dear to my heart. My Grandparents. I am lucky to have been blessed with wonderful grandparent’s on both my mom and dad’s side. Both have amazing things to teach and are amazing human beings. Today’s story is about one set of those grandparent’s and their story.

Ok, Ok, enough preamble, let’s jump right in. My grandparent’s met in 1958 my grandmother was18 and my grandfather was 24.The way my grandmother tells the story is pretty great. The first time she met him was a University, he was at the “help” desk they were both waiting in line and talked a bit but nothing too major. Soon they went their separate ways and that was that. No lightning no instant rush of emotions just a random meeting with friendly conversation.

The next time they met was at a school dance, they talked to each other a bit. My grandfather was showing off a bit with his friends and my grandmother noticed him, as the night went on she started to like him a bit but of course this was 1958 so she played it cool and flirted a bit but in a total modest and subtle way.

A couple day’s later she was pleasantly surprised when she got a phone call from none other than my Grandfather. She was sure he was going to ask her out but instead he asked her for her friends number because he wanted to ask her out! My Grandmother was decently upset as she thought the call was for her. The anger stayed for a while but was diminished with time.

They then met a third time. Some time had passed since the phone call incident and my grandmother went out to another dance where low and behold my grandfather was there as well. He was really shy apparently and asked her to dance. Who knows what was going through my grandmothers head at the moment, dancing with the man who asked her friend out but from the way she tells it I think she enjoyed their dancing quite a bit. There was only one problem… she couldn’t remember his name! My grandfather soon discovered this fact and apparently he thought it was because she didn’t like him, which as I stated I think she definitely did. Quite a turbulent start if I say so myself, good new is they ended up dating and then of course they then got married and had children and then grandchildren(like moi) From there on their relationship bloomed and so many other priceless stories can be said about their relationship but those won’t be for today as today’s story goes down a different path.

My Grandfather as I knew him was a happy guy, he always struck conversation with strangers and made everyone smile wherever he went. My Grandfather and Grandmother weren’t rich when they were raising my dad and his brothers but my grandfather who was a teacher would give his own money to any child who didn’t have a lunch. That is just one of a million examples that showed what a kind hearted guy he was.

I feel tears rise up when I hear about this amazing man,(and here is where the story takes a sad turn) the reason for those tears being that today I don’t have a clear picture of this happy man, instead I have a picture of the same man affected by a terrible disease, Alzheimer’s. As this is how I have known him for years and years. Even with this disease he was still such a kind person. When he got to the point where he didn’t know who I was or who his son’s were he still gave us a smile every time we came in to visit and unlike most Alzheimer’s patients he wasn’t violent.

My grandmother was especially sad to see this turn in event’s (quite understandably). I remember my family one Christmas talking in the kitchen about how my grandfather was forgetting a lot of things and they were a bit worried but my grandmother was adamant that he was going to be fine. Soon however it became too obvious for anyone to be able to deny it My grandmother who is one though cookie, took care of him and his increasing forgetfulness as well as battling cancer. They lived on their own and they managed because as I sad my grandfather is a pretty amazing guy and my grandmother is pretty badass. His outbursts where usually not violent with an exception for one night when he rushed to the Tv to attack some cowboys who were hurting a girl on the TV ( I mean isn’t that too sweet, he was trying to protect the girl on the TV. Less fun I guess for my grandmother who was dealing with it)

Soon my grandmother though as she is couldn’t take care of him anymore, her cancer was getting worse. My grandfather went in a home and year by year he was less and less himself. He started forgetting people in his life and eventually he even forgot his wife.

Now the funny thing with Alzheimer’s is that we don’t know everything about it. Some days were better than others, some days I could swear he knew who I was or knew who my grandmother was. Some days he looked off in the distance and didn’t respond to anything. His mouth hung open and his eyes looked empty.

Good day or bad my grandmother would visit very often. She would bring him treats and feed them to him, she would make sure he was getting well taken care of. She soon knew the other patients by name and all the nurses as well.

After being very sick she moved out of her independent living quarters into the same building as my grandfather. They were in different sections of the building but she would visit him almost everyday. On the day my grandfather died I was the last family member to see him. I went in on the spur of the moment, I had an extra treat from an event I attended nearby and thought I would pop in and give it to him. I went in, gave him the chocolate treat and he was not really responsive to anything I said. Though he sure loved that treat! I tried talking to him but I saw that it just wasn’t the type of day where he would even be able to make some sounds that he knew I was speaking to him.

The next day my parent’s informed me that he had passed away. His funeral had a massive turnout and we all reminisced on how he made each of us happier. Even some of his old students from who knows how many years ago showed up. Unlike most funerals in respect to this happy and wonderful man we sang some songs and shared our stories about him.

Now how do all the pieces of this story click together? I mentioned how no one knows how Alzheimer’s really worked. Does the person affected know who is next to them? Can they process or think or does the brain slowly shut down? I don’t have those answers but I do know that my Grandmother never stopped loving my grandfather even when it seemed he had no clue who she was. She hoped that he would somehow know she was there and that it would bring him some reassurance of joy.

When my grandfather passed away we all kept that love for him and the hope he was somewhere better now. It was all we had to go on. Until a couple day’s ago.

My grandmother as I said was in the same building as my grandfather. A little while had passed since my grandfather had passed away and my grandmother was in her room doing her thing when a nurse came by and said “Is your name Luella?”

My grandmother said yes and the nurse continued with:

I have been wanting to talk to you but I hadn’t been assigned to this floor until now. I was on duty when your husband passed away and I knew I had to tell you what happened in his last moment. Right before he passed away he told us ‘Tell Luella hi;”

Now that might seem like much but considering he hadn’t recognized us for about a year and was practically non verbal save a few nonsensical words here and there every now and then it is pretty darn amazing. It shows that my grandmother’s hope and Love might very well have made a difference in the end.

Now how can this connect to your life?

We all do things that we sometimes believe is useless.

I’m starting this business but it’s useless, I’ll never reach my goals. I teach my sibling with a severe learning disorder her letter’s everyday but it’s useless, she’ll never be able to read. I read to my comatose child everyday but it’s useless the doctors say she will probably never wake up.”

One thing I find however is that nothing is ever useless even though it might seem like it is. Every step backward or forward brings us something. Be it happiness, a lesson, a new path to travel etc.. When it comes to love and hope a step a step in that direction can never, ever be considered useless.

Will things always turn out perfect? No, my grandfather didn’t miraculously overcome Alzheimer’s but one thing no one can take back from you is your hope and your love. It is one of our gifts and when it is shared amazing things can happen. In my grandfather and grandmothers example, my grandmother was able to say that all her caring and her continuous hope for my grandfather was worth it in the end. If you put hope and love into something unconditionally you will see rewards, it might not be for a long long time, like the case of my grandmother where it was years of taking care of my grandfather before he passed away but I promise you will always see some rewards in the end. Some of them as priceless as a goodbye from someone who seemed to have lost all his memories.

What is your view on Love and Hope? Leave them down below and let’s have a discussion!

Do you want to know how my Grandmother is also a medical miracle? How she was told her time on this earth was numbered and she defeated all odds? Comment below if you want to know that inspiring story!

Until next time use the power of storytelling, empower yourself and those around you and be part of Powered Crowd.

Changes coming/ The new Powered Crowd!

Hi everyone!

If you are a frequent visitor to this site you might have seen some changes. Powered Crowd changing it’s mission. Now don’t worry. Powered Crowd is still all about creating positive change and being a community focused on helping others be it in your community or abroad but it has now been narrowed down a bit more.

The new Powered Crowd:

Powered Crowd will now be a place that will help you and show you how to empower yourself and live your best life. I strongly believe that by finding yourself and creating your best self you will be able to then empower others. Life is full of ripple effects, if you want to help those around you but feel miserable and unsatisfied with your life than that will be what you project on other even if that is something you do completely unwillingly.

Now if you feel centered in your life and you feel empowered and hopeful you will project those feeling to others and create a ripple effect of positive change.

The new Powered Crowd will also be very storytelling oriented. Stories have been around for ever. It was a way to pass on knowledge and information, a way to pass down cultures and ways of life. Through the power of stories you will be able to achieve what you want in life. I will be sharing stories from people who are helping other feel empowered through their actions. I will sharing people who are making that positive change in their life. I will be sharing personal stories and lesson I have learned in life and stories of experience that have taught me a lot.

So many great things are coming. There is Coaching opportunities, a book in the works and some additions to current products. You don’t want to miss it! Subscribe to the mailing list for all the updates!

Message From Another Walk of Life – Audrie Astebury

Hi everyone,

Another amazing segment of “Message for Another Walk of Life” is now up! Each interview I make leaves me so inspired and this one was no exception.

What this interview really taught me is the wide range of possibilities when it comes to positive change. For example you wouldn’t think business would be part of making positive change but there is many ways in business that you can make positive impact. I won’t say more because we discuss this all in detail in the interview. Go check it out below!

So what did you think? I know I had so many amazing ideas and I learned so much during the interview and by watching it again!

Before I reveal the bonus questions I want to add that I love hearing form you. Please comment or message me on any social media about this segment or any others segment. Let’s get a discussion going and help spread the message of positive change and empowerment.

Without further ado here is the exclusive bonus questions:

1) Was there a specific moment or event that made you decide to start your own business?

I had several aha moments that resulted from a culmination of events. The biggest take away for me at the time I decided to launch my own company is that it was time to dig deeper and connect more fully with my desire to empower aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs to thrive. Over a number of years, I had an opportunity to help spearhead campaigns and a variety of initiatives for a number of non-profits and private sector organizations in my spare time. This really enlivened me and it made me aware that a need existed for smaller organizations to fine tune their operations to allow for maximum and sustained growth and I wanted to help facilitate the process.

2) What was the best piece of advice you have received in your life?

The best piece of advice I ever received is to “Be confident in your decisions.”

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That’s it for today! Until next time be part of a Powered Crowd and spread some positive change!

Message From Another Walk of Life – Omar Lopez

Hello everyone!,

I am back with another “Message from Another Walk of Life” segment to share!

This time I interviewed Omar Lopez who is assistant principle of Instruction at KIPP Austin Public School.

I personally found this interview so inspiring. I feel like teachers are essential and that a good teacher can completely change your life. Take my sister for example. One amazing music teacher in high school inspired her to become one herself and now she is making positive impact in more children’s lives.

If you haven’t seen the video please go see it! You can click here  or you can see it below

As mentioned in the video if you are in Texas or know someone who is in Texas and can help the school you can reach out to them by going on their website contact page here.

I don’t have much more to say for this post. I think the video pretty much sums it up and shows the power of a good educator or teacher. I also think it is important to mention the amount of work that goes into lesson prep and teaching. Like Omar said a teacher had many hats and drawing from my experience as camp coordinator and my sisters stories I know that someone who is passionate will go above and beyond to make sure the children are happy and learn. There is so many stories and examples of this where for example teachers buy supplies with their own money ( like my grandfather did as a teacher himself, when he used to buy lunches for kids who didn’t have any) and I think after talking to Omar it just reminded me  how much of an impact we can make on those around us each and every day.

So to close this post I will show you the two bonus answers that Omar kindly answered for me.

1) What gives you hope for the future of children who might struggle at school and/or the future of education as a tool for empowerment?

In this country there is a huge gap in our education system. Students in low income communities tend to not have the same opportunities as other students who come from high income families. My mission is to empower our students by giving them the tools to become a productive member in our society so that one day they can come back to their neighborhoods and help us close the opportunity gap.

2) Where there any experiences or events in your life that lead you to wanting to have your current job?

When I went to college, I went with the mentality that I needed to graduate with a degree that will allow me to find a job in which I could make a lot of money. As I joined the Penn State Dance Marathon, in which they raise money to support families that have children who have cancer, I realized that my passion was helping families and children. That’s when I learned about Teach for America and discovered that I could continue helping families after I graduated from College. Now my passion is in education and helping close the achievement gap in this country.

So that’s it for today! Until next time, be part of a Powered Crowd and create some positive change!

Message from Another Walk of Life – Interviewing Atomic Stitch

Do you remember when I posted about the new segment I am starting on here and my Youtube Channel? If not you can check it out here .

I just had my first interview not too long ago and I am so excited to share some extra thoughts about it on here!

Firstly go check out the interview below or keep reading and check it out later.

So in this first ever segment of Message From Another Walk of Life I talked to a young 10 year old boy named Noah.

Noah decided to start a project to fund raise money for one of the charity races he does with his mom this project evolved into Atomic Stitch which makes coffee sleeves and donates the proceeds to charity, more specifically the soup kitchen.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting, drink and indoor

I learned about this on a sewing group on Facebook which I am part of to find supplies for a product which will be announced very soon! Noah’s mother was looking for some scrap fabric that no one wanted so Noah could make more coffee sleeves and they would be environmentally friendly as well because they would reuse fabric that would otherwise be thrown away.

Noah’s product is very nice. (see picture below) and he has already made over 150$ for charity! I mean when looking at the majority of people I think that is more than most people give to charity in a couple months maybe even in a year for some.

I asked Noah about the process of making these coffee sleeves and it seems he does all the sewing with a little help from his Mom. I think this is a great partnership, Noah seems to have a big part in the direction of Atomic Stitch and the fabrication of the coffee sleeves but the Mom seems to be the driving force of the promotion and everything related to helping sell them. Theres nothing wrong with this of course, in fact I think it’s a great thing! A mother showing her son how to be part of a Powered Crowd for positive change and helping him learn how to grow an initiative what can be better?

Overall it was a great interview. I loved how Noah was with all his achievements in Atomic Stitch is just a regular kid who loves video games as he told me. The only difference is that Noah saw something he found unfair like people not having food and decided to take action on it.

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I think this is a lesson we can all learn from. If we see something we think is wrong or unfair let’s take action and make steps towards changing them. It doesn’t need to be a whole project like Atomic Stitch or Powered Crowd because even small steps in the right directions are successes. Like I always say if we all do something to make the world a better place the world would be a completely different place!

That’s it for today. If you want to go check out Atomic Stitch here is their Facebook page where you can look and order their coffee sleeves. https://www.facebook.com/stitchatomic/

Until next time think of Noah’s example and start making some steps big or small to make some positive change in issues that are close to you or that you care about.

Finding your purpose

I have spent countless hours and days fretting over what I wanted to do with my life, what was my purpose? How could I find a job or pursuit that makes me feel happy and accomplished.

The problem was the more I thought about this question the less things were clear and the more anxious I got. So I put it aside and went to work on what I knew I could do. For example, I knew I could do this blog, I knew I could work slowly but surely on building Powered Crowd so that’s what I focused on.

I think when you are struggling with feeling fulfilled and finding what you are meant to do the best thing to do is as I said focus on what you are able to achieve and work on today. The rest will come.

Now I fast forward to about a week ago. I woke up feeling very low, I was sad and I didn’t know why, I didn’t know where to go next and so as most people my age in North America I went online to look through social media.

As I was scrolling through Facebook I came upon one of those sponsored videos which I usually avoid.

But that morning I decided to watch it. Here is the video if you want to check it out.

Priceless Gifts

The most special gifts

Posted by Daily Viral Stories on Friday, May 4, 2018

As I watched the video I felt my emotions rise and I was also teary eyed, is this because the video was amazing? Not really, I mean it’s a good video but I have seen similar ones on countless occasions. I think I just watched it at the right time and as continued watching I had that aha moment. This is what I want to do I thought.

Now what was this big revelation? It was in fact pretty simple. I want to make people happy. 6 words that made the metaphorical clouds part on my sucky morning and my countless hours of struggling to find out what I wanted to do part.

I now had this goal for my business for life, for everyday. Happiness can be small like finding a nickel on the ground or big like helping someone who is struggling through something hard but I think we all deserve to be happy and I want to help bring a bit of joy into people’s life whenever I can. To me that is fulfilling.

Where will I go from now that I have found my current purpose? I will continue growing this Powered Crowd so we can all spread that positive change and happiness and I will make a larger effort to brighten someones day everyday.

Some of the things I mentioned might seem self evident to you or it might have thought you something. I think this whole experience for me has thought me that there are some things you can’t force and just have to be patient about.

I know that I and many people I know try to force things to happen, we can all be impatient but some of the most beautiful and rewarding things just take patience and perseverance. You can’t force a flower to grow all you can do is water it everyday and wait to see beautiful things happen.

On that note go and spread some happiness that could very well grow into something amazing and be part of a Powered Crowd for Positive change!

Guest Post – The Art of Saying No

Hello everyone,

Today I have a guest post! I am all about showing different perspectives. So here is a it more about the guest blogger:

Deeksha Tripathi is a blogger from India. She is a teacher, mom of a toddler and owner of wonderfulwomen.in where she writes motivational posts and inspirational stories of real women who have made a difference to the world.

I always like knowing more about the story behind certain ideas and opinions so I asked Deeksha if she could let me know why this subject was important to her. Here is what she said:

I firmly believe there’s strong need for every woman to learn and in fact master the art of saying No as they are often least concerned with their own care being busy in fulfilling everyone’s wish as if they are a fairy having a magic wand!! So I advocate art of learning No for all beautiful women so that they can manage some time and personal space for themselves.

And with that thought let’s jump into to Deeksha’s post:

LEARN THE ART OF SAYING NO

In today’s world everyone knows the importance of ‘Art of Saying No’. We all have lots of commitments to fulfil in very little time we have. Men have their own challenges in life which they handle according to their own capabilities. As far as women are concerned the challenges in their life are even greater. Women are expected to be ‘Super Women’ literally! They have to take care of everyone around them. They have to excel in all the roles of their life be it a homemaker, a responsible mother, a loving wife, a caring daughter-in-law, or a successful career woman! In such a scenario learning ‘Art of Saying No’ becomes more necessary for all the lovely ladies so that they can have less stress and be more productive! So here are some tips for you to learn Art Of  Saying ‘No’!

Set Your Priorities

In any given day, a woman has to carry out many important tasks like getting kids ready for the school, helping hubby to leave for office timely, giving medicine to the elderly, or going herself for work. After all this if someone asks you for your help you should first see whether you want to spend that precious little time with your kids and hubby or you can really devote it to do something which can be easily done by someone else! If you ask me, I’m surely going to give my little time to my loved ones by gently saying No to others.

Realize the value of your time

Ladies, you have just 24 hours everyday! You have oodles of responsibilities on your shoulders. So, you have to admit the fact that your time is extremely valuable and you can not just ignore it! Better sometimes you simply say “ Dude I can NOT do this right now..May be I do it sometime later..”  In this way you can manage your time efficiently.

Develop Habit of Saying No

Initially, when you start Saying No to people, they may take it lightly and try to persuade you to say Yes for any given thing for example to accompany someone to market. But, when you have other commitments for the day you have to be strong and say No directly. You have to make it a habit to say whenever and wherever you aren’t comfortable.

Don’t feel Sorry

Generally people feel and say sorry whenever they have to say No to someone. This isn’t right. Why say sorry for not being able to do something which is beyond your commitments and time? Simply say “I can not do this because it is beyond my boundaries”.

Don’t try to be ‘Good’

Being gentle and polite is good as long as it doesn’t affect you adversely. If people start taking advantage of it, it’s high time you realize it and take measures to guard your time or money whatever they want to extract from you. You have stop acting good and firmly refuse any request that will only hurt you by wasting your time and money.

I know it’s important to care for others but isn’t self care equally important? If we are not happy, we can not make others happy. If are not able to enjoy ourselves we can not make those around us cheerful and relaxed. So, in short the key to a balanced and happy life is giving priority to ourselves and learning Art of Saying No is it’s top most requirement!

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And that’s it for this great guest post. What did you think of Deeksha’s view on saying no?

Do you think saying no politely is important if you want to create positive change? I know, I agree that when something is harmful or can effect you negatively it is ok to say “No”. But I also know that it has to be done in a kind way. 🙂

So until next time be part of a Powered Crowd for positive change!