I love experiencing things for the first time. This past week, I had two of those: it was the first time presenting for the PLUS ME project to a group of 5th graders and it was the first time presenting for the PLUS ME project in another state.
My schedule looked like this:
Wednesday - Crown Prep Academy - Los Angeles - 200 (5th/6th) students
Friday - Centennial Middle School - Phoenix - 700 (7th/8th) students
I remember feeling extremely anxious about both opportunities and I had that little voice in the back of my head feeding me negative self-talk.
"What if the 5th graders can't relate to your story?"
"What if students in Arizona don't connect to your Los Angeles life?"
I did not have the answer to these questions and for all I knew maybe they would not. But what I did know, was that I had these two amazing opportunities before me and I was going to make them happen.
The 5th graders were adorable scholars that laughed at all my punch lines and the students in Arizona roared with applause the moment I introduced myself as "Richard from Los Angeles." (So much for that negative self-talk.)
The feedback from the educators was overwhelmingly positive and the support from the students has been phenomenal on our social media outlets.
After the presentation, one student posted something on Instagram with her #CentennialPLUSME hashtag. Her post said, "Never give up. Everyone has bad days. Pick yourself up and KEEP GOING."
It brings me so much joy knowing this is the lesson she took from the presentation and it is posts like these that remind myself to keep doing what I'm doing. No matter what age and no matter where the students live, powerful personal narratives can inspire anyone.
I hope that if you get to experience a first in the near future, you push aside all your negative self-talk and make it happen!
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