4 Successful Youth

by Mary Mazzoni on October 2, 2011

Today we’ll meet four young adults who are defining their own success.

They’re discovering their passions and gifts, connecting with others, learning important skills, and contributing in ways that matter.

Click here to meet them in a brief video brought to us by the DRN – the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania.

A journey

Google the phrase “success is a journey” and almost 47 million results pop up. Seems there’s some support for the idea that success isn’t about arriving at a destination. It’s more about how we live our lives each day.

Isn’t this part of what Shaun, Adam, Briana and Brett teach by their example?

They didn’t arrive suddenly where they are today. They gained experience over time. And who knows what their interests and skills may be a few years from now? They continue to grow into their future, even as they enjoy their lives today. Isn’t this what we desire for our own kids?

Though their lives differ in many ways, these four young people share some important things in common:

  • They have a voice in how they spend their days
  • Through varied experiences, they’ve discovered their passions
  • They learned skills through instruction and practice
  • They made connections with others
  • They are contributing in meaningful ways that matter to them

Transition toolkits

Our kids can increase the elements listed above in their own lives, even now while they’re still in school. Resources on this site can help us support them to do just that.

In fact, click here to find out more about great transition toolkits by PYLN – the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network. These wonderful free resources are developed by youth for youth. They include real stories about young adults who are living self determined lives. And there are lots of activities to help kids get to know themselves better, and grow into their own future.

“A time of change and possibility”

The video uses this phrase to describe the season of life we call “transition”.  Also known as adolescence.

It’s true. But let’s be honest. It’s also a wild ride. We know this from our own teen years.

It’s a circuitous path, more like a labyrinth than a straight line. With many emotional ups and downs, and plenty of bumps and roadblocks along the way.

It’s also our child’s one and only life. Every bit of it.

Often we parents yearn to protect our kids and pave the way for their success. We need wisdom to discern when and how to support, and when and how to let go. Our kids gain strength by making their own choices and by living fully the human struggle of learning to be who they are in the world. It ain’t easy. For them or for us.

As ee cummings writes: “It takes courage to grow up and become who you are.” May we and our kids receive the grace we need each day to live courageously.

When we sometimes feel frustrated or weary, we can come back and let Shaun, Adam, Briana and Brett encourage us. It’s a journey. Our kids’ own journey. And they will grow to define their own success. One day at a time.

Your turn

What thoughts and feelings emerged as you watched the video? Do you struggle with discerning how much choice and independence you give your child? Please leave a comment below.

Photo credit: Mykl Rovantine at Flickr


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