This is Robert. He's waiting for Pave The Path's 2019 Youth Leaders Summit to kick off. He was kind enough to lean forward in his chair a bit to let me photoshoot his backpack.
This is also Robert. On Day Two. Smiling as he enters a second day of developing his personal brand and growing as a young leader.
100 young people - each one totally like but also one totally different from Robert - engaged with each other and with community leaders in two fast paced full days of keynotes and hands on workshops.
Here are a few of my initial observations [I'll write more later].
1. The energy pops when young leaders work together in small groups!
I think this my favorite time each year! Watching tables full of mostly strangers start to work together to define "brand", "leadership" and outline what those concepts mean for them.
2. The definitions they create are profound!
I guarantee you that if you come be with us next year, you'll be enlightened by the students' thoughts about brand and leadership! It's so simple.
Be an example others can follow for success.
Brand must represent you, be meaningful, be memorable, and influence how you carry yourself.
Brand is not just your representation, but it has impact on those around you.
Their ideas get expressed in ways that you haven't heard before. How many of you would think in term of both taking charge, but also allowing others to lead - and then write it down as poetically as "share air with others"?
3. The community cares!
So many community leaders came to give keynotes, run workshops, or just plain volunteer to help. Like Aaron Robles, John Dortch, and Dawn Rosemond pictured above. They do this because they know how important it is to grow our next generation of leaders.
In fact, one person who was a keynote speaker last year even came back to Fort Wayne from New York just to stop in! Very cool, Brian!
4. When Todd speaks, people listen - and engage.
We told the students, "This is not school." "This will be exciting." "This will change your life!" Here's your proof.
100 amazing high school age leaders will remember this day and how they grew.