I love helping young people live their dreams and I am so excited for the Community Alliance for Youth Success Second Youth Success Week 1/30-2/4/17 – more information on our website www.youthsuccessweekoceanside.org. It is such a joy to see this all come together after being on the Steering Committee for the last 2 ½ years. This year is going to rock just as much young people rock.
I am so excited to be speaking with Stedman Graham and Steve Farber for Leadership Success Days 2/1 and 2/2 during the week. We will be facilitating a dialogue with 150 Oceanside High School Students and leaders from our community to discuss Identity, Passion/Purpose and Leadership. We encourage more leaders in San Diego to join us to help inspire these youth by sharing your journey – both the victories and challenges and to support them in uncovering and living their dreams. The event is free – for more information and to register – visit http://youthsuccessweekoceanside.com/youth-success-week-leadership-success-day/.
Another cool thing that has come from being involved with the Community Alliance for Youth Success is meeting Ross Urbina who is a youth who is active in our meetings. Ross is a senior in high school and he inspires me with his huge heart, his clarity about who he is and the difference he wants to make in the world and he is always open and willing to learn and take on a challenge to help make himself better and this world a better place. He represents to me how young people rock !! He rocks so much that he joined me last month as an intern to help me really understand how I can best support youth in uncovering and living their passion and purpose. He is in the bottom photo with me in the photo with this post.
I decided to interview Ross about his Passion + Purpose = World Change Vision and Journey and this is what he had to share:
1) What is your Passion + Purpose = World Change formula
My passion + purpose formula is to inspire others to live up to their potential and make a beneficial change to their community. I believe in order to make the biggest difference for the world, I need to work at the roots, not the branches. All the problems we face are the branches, and the people able to help are the roots. The roots are what make the branches strong or weak. In my opinion, not enough roots are helping to make our branches strong.
I believe if I invest my efforts in making the community strong, the positive outcomes will be exponential. I know there are countless amounts of problems in our community, so one person can’t solve them all. I am attempting to solve all the problems we face by investing in people to show them the benefits of helping the community and teach them about servant leadership.
2) How did you uncover your passion and purpose?
One of my family’s core values is helping the community. They demonstrated their dedication to helping society every day in some form or another. They encouraged me participate in various volunteering opportunities, such as volunteering for the church and Rotary. I found that I loved contributing to society.
While I’ve done many small tasks to help the community, I never knew which direction I wanted to go until I joined the Carlsbad Student Leadership Academy, which exposed me to the Community Alliance for Youth Success. Here, I met some fabulous people, including Marcy and Sparky. I was given opportunities from them that focused on inspiring people to help their community. This is my current passion and I intend to take this path for all of my life. However, I am still exploring servant leadership and may find a new passion that will take me to a new direction.
Whatever direction my path takes me, I will help the community. My task now is to continue doing what I’ve been doing and explore new ways to serve. That’s the beauty of being a 17 year old; I don’t have to decide what my passion is yet. I can continue to explore so I can be certain of my passion in order to make a global difference when I receive further education.
3) What steps did you take to live your passion and purpose?
I follow the road that is paved for me: I talked about how I heard of CAYS through the Leadership Academy, but the instructor, Alex Fairman, never assigned us to come. It was a decision I had to make. That’s why I said I followed the road, not being dragged along the road. Opportunities will come, but you have to take them.
I also followed the road Alex paved for me by pursuing an idea he had. In the Leadership Academy, representatives from city departments told us the issues they face and encouraged us to come up with solutions in the Leadership Academy. After these presentations, Alex told me his great idea of solving all the problems at once by creating an online training program that offers rewards to citizens who take the training course.
We soon form a team and created the Carlsbad Community Citizen Training. We are currently meeting with different departments in the city to discuss the problems they face and will use that information to make 2-3 minute videos for each department and send it to the public.
This project is seeing great success because my team is continuing to work hard on the idea that Alex introduced. We have shown and will continue to show persistence in order to reach our goal of helping the city.
I do favors for other people: At the CAYS meeting, I met some fabulous people who were working on their own projects. Some of them wanted the youth’s input, so I gladly offered it to them. Another student from the CAYS meeting and I worked with Sparky to have her Blue Ribbon Ceremony reach more people. Because of this, Sparky helped me out greatly with a project I’m working on now and gave me tickets to two spectacular training days that I will attend in the next month.
At the first CAYS meeting, Marcy gave me her book, “Finding your Passion,” and asked me to give any suggestions I had. As soon as I gave her my input, she offered me an internship. I never expected to receive such a wonderful opportunity, but that’s what happens when you do favors for other people. It demonstrates that you are driven, which makes them want to work with you and give you opportunities.
I constantly remind myself of my passion and the difference I want to make: It’s easy to have so much motivation when you’re talking with others about things you want to accomplish. But when you’re alone at home with the TV remote two feet away from you, it’s hard to be productive; you need to have something that will continue to inspire you in moments like these.
I struggled many times to find the motivation to work on my projects, but every time I felt like this I thought about my passion and purpose, which reminded me that this work will pay off and that I need to continue my journey. I hope I can keep this motivation so I won’t lose sight of what is important to me.
4) I talk a lot about putting together the pieces of your passion puzzle to create the life of your dreams? How do you feel that you have done this?
I feel like I’ve done this by following whatever excites me when I’m doing it. While there’s thousands of great things you can do for your community, most of them don’t interest me. Why would I work for those tasks when I could make the same difference by following my passion? I took what I’m passionate about and used that to help the community.
You rarely know what you’re passionate about before you try it out. That’s why it’s so important to try new things often! I’ve created the passion puzzle by trying different things and followed the path that excites me. I know that I will be the most help in areas I am passionate about because I’m extremely motivated, so that’s where I put my time.
I’m still putting the pieces of my passion puzzle together by trying new things and diving deeper into certain areas. This is a never-ending process that will always give you excitement in your life.
5) What advice do you have for others who are looking to uncover and live their passion and purpose?
Do something productive to start your day: Being lazy puts you in an unmotivated mindset. Try starting your day off productive and see how much more motivated you are the rest of the day. I guarantee you’ll see a change. Relaxing every once in a while is a great thing, but doing it all the time will most likely leave you without a purpose.
Start doing things you’re passionate about now: I always wanted to do good for the world but didn’t start until recently. I always felt a whole in my heart but now I feel good about myself and am glad I am actually doing stuff now.
Get in “the zone” (AutoZone): The zone is when time flies and your productivity skyrockets. This is where all of my best ideas have come out of. To get in the zone, put away distractions and focus your attention. You will have way more time if you use “the zone” time efficiently to get all your work done. Once you finish, you can do the things you’d rather be doing, instead of just procrastinating by being on your phone or playing games while you’re supposed to be working.
That is an amazing story and look at all of that wisdom at 17, Ross – I am so excited to see what all continues to unfold for you – you are a rock star already .
If you have a great Passion + Purpose = World Change story to share – please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and for more inspiration – please visit my website at www.careerswithwings.com.