The Power of Giving Back!
The author, abolitionist and humanitarian, Harriet Tubman said:
"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."
There’s something uplifting about giving back to a community of people; especially young people. I relish the opportunity to share my experience and encourage them to reach for the stars and change the world. So when I was approached by Reach Society to lead a set of inspirational workshops about careers in the public sector, I leapt at the chance.
Briefly, Reach Society is a social enterprise, founded in 2010, which encourages, motivates and inspires young people, especially Black boys and young Black men, to realise their potential and make viable transitions into adult life.
Reach Society rolled out its third ‘Employability Day’ at City and Islington College in January 2016. Through workshops and exhibitions, professional men and women, mostly from the Black community, volunteer to share their knowledge, experience and skills with students to help increase their awareness of pathways to success.
I ran several workshops about working in the public sector (with a focus on central Government). After providing an overview, I was keen to hear their thoughts. Initially, the students were rather reticent but with some coaxing and a few provocative questions, I was impressed by their strength of opinion – from animal cruelty to reforming the House of Commons! I was equally delighted by their reasoning and diversity of thought. These young people were civil servants and politicians in the making and they didn’t even realise it!
I also learnt a valuable lesson from this experience – if we truly want to unearth talent and hear different opinions, we must want to D.I.G:
Desire – find a way to ask the right questions in the right way. Provide options that will help foster a different mindset or thought process.
Intentional – deliberately create an environment that will allow opinion and creativity to blossom.
Generous – give young people permission to voice their point of view and when necessary, gently challenge that view (not so to devalue or embarrass) but rather to stretch and ignite more thought.
I believe this is what Reach Society does – it digs deep to unearth the potential in young people. It may have started as a desire to add real value to others, but it has evolved into a social movement. Its strong ethos has attracted many like-minded professionals from the Black community to help it in its mission to give back and inspire others, uncover talent and make a difference – one young person at a time!
(Taken from a story by Ms Cherron Inko-Tariah MBE, Author, Consultant & Coach)