With our Passion Purpose Academy (www.passionpurposeacademy.com), Eric and I have been on a mission to get in the trenches and work directly with young people on an ongoing basis to support them with uncovering and living their passion and purpose.  Fortunately, in the Fall of 2018, we were able to partner with www.arc-experience.com to launch our first Careers with Wings (www.careerswithwings.com) afterschool program at Mission Bay High School.

We just finished our third week of six weeks and we are loving every minute on the journey with the young people.   What we realize is how big the positive impact is on the students, adults, and the community – which is a big part of what Passion Purpose Academy is all about

We wanted to share with you some highlights so far:

In our pre launch meeting to get to know the students and what they are interested in learning, we asked a lot of questions to see what they knew and didn’t know about landing their dream career – one student piped up and said “Listen – you can basically assume we know nothing.”  Oh wow – we got it then about really how important this program is for students and it made us even more excited to begin.  I noticed some skepticism with some students at firs,t but the more we talked about what we are doing and also asked questions/listened to what they had to say  – it was clear we were winning their trust.  One student who sat all the way on the other side of the room – the more we talked and listen, the closer and closer he moved towards me.  Next thing I knew, he was sitting next to me.  He opened up to me to say how much he appreciated us being there and shared with me how challenging his life has been and continues to be.  He also shared how much he needs the type of support that our program provides.  So then we got it again – this program is really needed for so many reasons.

When Week 1 started – we had a room full of students eager to learn whatever knowledge/wisdom we could share to them.  Their eyes lit up when I said to them – “What if we could give you the answers to the back of the book so you knew the map you need to live your dreams.”  They all were like yes please – bring it on.  So we did.   Week 1 was all about how to love yourself – the first key I believe to having a happy life.  We explored the students passions and purpose and were truly inspired by learning what interests these students and how they want to help make this world a better place.  We also did a survey to really understood where the kids were on their journey of understanding the skills they need to live their dreams as well as understand their interests and passions.  From this, we had the necessary information we needed, so we could tailor the rest of the program for them with speakers and content.   We also received a message from one of the student’s Mom after the first week who said how much her daughter loved our program and she wanted to promote it via the school’s Facebook page, since she wanted all students to know about it since she felt it was such a great service we are offering.

Week 2 – we focused on how to do informational interviews and powerfully introduce yourself in networking situations.  We brought in a guest speaker Ken Davenport, CEO of MissionEdge (www.missionedgesd.org) – a non-profit in San Diego that supports over 50 non-profits with back office support.  Ken also has built and sold multiple high-tech health care companies and the students were fascinated to hear – how do you build a company/be an entrepreneur.  Ken is a former client and now friend and Ken was just as inspired by this young people as they were inspired by him.  He said I will come back anytime – I love this.   Then we had a friend call in via a video conference who has worked in high level positions with a major sports agent, Google/YouTube and other sports organizations.   One of the students who said he never speaks – was deeply inspired by the speakers and had the courage to speak up to say all of the great things he learned that week from the speakers.   Most of all he liked learning about their journeys which included important life skills such as believing in themselves, overcoming obstacles, perseverance, grit, determination, focus.  Also we noticed some of the students brought friends and were spreading the word about the program.

Week 3 – we focused on resumes and LinkedIn and accomplishments.  We had an awesome guest speaker – Omar Chavez, a former foster youth who works at Just in Time for Foster Youth (www.jitfosteryouth.org).  He really inspired the students with how you can take a challenging situation like growing up as a foster youth and turn that into your purpose to help others.  Omar also shared that given his chaotic upbringing he never attended high school and missed going to prom, etc.   One of the students deeply touched Omar by saying – she wanted to host a prom for him.  That moment crystalized that this program is really about the whole community coming together and we can all support one another.  We also heard students begin to ask if we will be coming back next year.  I hope so. We also are grateful to MissionFed for providing gifts/bags for each student.  We are exploring more partnerships/corporate partnerships – if you are interested in partnering with us – please contact us at the information at the end of this post.  Each week we also take the time to talk with students individually – we only have to be there 2:15-3:15 but we choose to come early and leave later so we can have some one on one time with the students to support them with whatever they need on their career journey.

We can’t wait for the remaining 3 weeks of this program and seeing what magical moments continue to unfold.   And we are looking forward to many more programs ahead.  If you want to join us on this Passion Purpose Academy join you, you can reach us through our website www.passionpurposeacademy.com or email Marcy at marcy@careerswithwings.com.