Start Each Day In A Positive Way

I work at starting my day each day in a positive way. First by getting up early all by myself and easing into the day. I usually have a cup of tea and a great breakfast as breakfast is my favourite meal. I focus on reading something positive and then off to my day I go. This week I got to spend lots of time with adolescents. They are my favourite to be with. What about you?

All It Takes Is A Defining Moment

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For Desmond Tutu meeting Trevor Huddleston determined the path of his life. In my own life there are many defining moments that led me to who I am today. Teachers, coaches , community members and a School Counsellor had an impact.

In grade 12 (1976) my School Counsellor Mrs. Brown gave me $100.00 towards my post secondary education. My family could not afford to pay my way. I was the first in my family to go to University so it was certainly a big deal. I did not realize at the time just how much money that was or even how incredible it was that she did that. What a gift and an impact she had on the trajectory of my life. A lacrosse scholarship and a bursary ( both recommended by community members) paid for all four years of my Bachelor of Child Study degree. How fortunate was I ?

I never underestimate the power of a small (albeit grand) gesture in forming who we are and what we choose to do in our lives. I intentionally make sure each day I work with students I keep that in mind. I intentionally pay it forward on as many occasions as I can.

All it takes is a defining moment and you might be the one that makes that happen and if someone makes that happen for you tell them.

Dancing and Singing With A Mask

Photo by Vera Davidova on Unsplash

Second Chants is different for sure this year, but the people who have planned and organized it have done an outstanding job. It was still fun and choreo in person physically distanced was excellent. Singing with a mask is more difficult, but still fabulous to hear other voices in this amazing show choir. So much to be thankful for in this pandemic and second chants and the leaders continue to inspire me with their dedication and commitment to making this a wonderful experience for all.

Love singing and dancing , feel free to join us.

Here is a sample of a time when we did not have to wear masks.

Rekindling An Awareness of Possibilities

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I am choosing to work this year as I want to help as much as possible during this time. The possibilities to affect a young mind are limitless. So if I am able to make a small difference, then that is what I will do during the pandemic.

Yes, it is safer to stay home and not do anything, but that is not me. I am rekindling my awareness of the many possibilities to be helpful.

Youth Champions and Just for Today

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Our youth champions shared their thoughts on Just for Today at our year end celebration online last school year. A lot of wisdom in here. Enjoy !

Stephen Becker : Just for today, I am going to work in my backyard and stay open to connecting with my kids whenever they come by.

Shawn Daniher : Just for today I am living in the moment rather than thinking about what I have to do tomorrow. 

Sarah Lappin : Just for today I will prioritize doing things that make me smile

Deb Ingram : Just for today I will stop watching the clock

Kara-Leah Gonty : Just for today I will trust the process and live in the moment

Lauren Warner : Just for today, I’m going to take some for self care, go for a walk with my dog and breathe in the sunshine 🙂

Just for today, I am going to express my gratitude for those I love while I have the chance.

Melanie : Just for Today, I will enjoy this moment of connecting with a new group of people! 

Carson Henderson : Just for today, I will stay positive and stay in the moment 🙂

Mrs. Knecht : Just for today, I’ll take the happy with the hard and let them just happen… 🙂

Just for today I will take the time to do something small for myself.

Naomi : Just for today, I will not overthink the future and just enjoy the present moment.

Just for the day I am going to relax and focus on myself because work/ school has been busy.

Crystal Hartney : Just for today I will am going to not worry about tomorrow and savour all the blessings of today.

Vicky Smith : Just for today, I’m going to enjoy the day!

Noor :  I will make sure I do something that makes me smile!

Chandni Meharu : Just for today … I would like to set everything down and reflect on myself and focus and try to time manage and be in the moment with my family 🙂

Madison : Just for today I’m going to enjoy the beautiful weather outside and forget about everything else.

Elaine : Just for today, I want to let go of my worries in what this pandemic might bring to all of us, and just focus on the great things it has brought to all of us.

Paige Anweiler : Just for today I will make sure that I take time to relax as well as school.

Just for today I won’t force myself to be as productive as I would have normally been and I will practice self-care.

Tanya Browne : Just for today I will be extra mindful.

Lori Devlin : Just for today I’m accepting I can’t do it all. My best effort is enough,

Jay Stewart : Just for today I’m enjoying the beautiful weather and going outside.

Marielle : Just for today I want to be less on social media.

Catherine Betancourt Lee : Just for today I am going to make sure to focus on self care!

LJFLOYD : I am going to tackle the task at hand and not get too far ahead of myself worrying about what else is on my “to do” list.

gabynuneznoguez : Just for today I will focus on my connections with my family and nature.

Rhwand  : Just for today I will enjoy the beautiful weather outside and be grateful I have loving family and friends around me. During this pandemic I want to let go of my stress and worries and help people so I can make their day a little bit better.

Lorna Bright : Just for today I am enjoying this new experience! And try to not worry about everything I need to get done.

Heros Manrique : Just for today, I am going to take a moment to celebrate how far I’ve come these last couple of years and what Youth Champions has taught me!

Check out this great poem:

We Are Champions

I still see faces, but there not here anymore

I still hear voices, but not in my vicinity anymore, how is that possible?

How is it that this juxtaposition built upon my contradiction, as it envelops and contrasts my irony in that we are separated, but still close.  

Though this quarantine has shackled, forced, and degraded us while simultaneously stripping us of freedom and confined us to our homes, we have hope … hope in a champion. A champion who fights, supports, a champion who defeats and surpasses all odds when everything was stacked against them! We are champions!

We are champions whether it’s up or down 

We are champions

though we rise and fall

We are champions

through our collective wins and loses

We are champions

in the greatest of rejections

We are champions

in the most luscious of victories

We are champions

And let me say, even if we don’t make it to the next round doesn’t mean what we didn’t fight for is any less or any more doesn’t mean we have to give in to this disaster

and best believe that we have affected more lives than we could possibly imagine   

We are champions through triumph and defeat

We are champions

No matter what happens or What the outcome is

We will forever be champions

 – Jay Stewart Youth Champion CCAC 

Books to Help High School Students Navigate Life

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I asked a few of my educator friends about a book they would recommend and here is the list. I’ll start with my favourite by Viktor Frankl. The rest are in no particular order.

1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

2. Tuesdays With Morrie

3. Wherever You Go There You Are

4. The Alchemist

5. Make A Dash

6. The Hate You Give

7. Fountainhead

8. The Upside of Unrequited

9. The Total Money Makeover

10. A Child Called It

11. Make Your Bed

12. Everything I know I learned In Kindergarden

13. City of Joy

14. Don’t Throw Sand in The Sandbox

15. 1984

16. Grapes of Wrath

17. To Kill A Mockingbird

18. Do What You Are

19. Netsmart

20. Financial Peace University

What book would you recommend?