Help yourself by helping others!

You don’t know what you are missing! Giving back is the most rewarding thing any human can do. I was given this opportunity through a professor, named Debby, that I had back in my community college days. Her and her husband started a company that provides challenging environments to promising kids. They do this to help unlock their potential and give them a perspective outside the cookie cutter public school system. 

She asked me to give a talk through either video chat or I could stop by if I happen to be in California. After thinking it over and talking with my wife, I obtained plane tickets and started planning. Then, briefly after getting the plane tickets, I confirmed with Debby that it would be ok if I actually stopped by. A little out of order but that’s how I operate.

I knew if I really wanted to influence these kids the best way would be in person. Video chat just doesn’t cut it! I wanted to actually try to make an impact and I sure as hell wasn’t going to half fast it. 

Fly in Saturday morning fly out Sunday morning. That was the plan! Without any more details than that, I got on a plane. I landed in LAX and had to decide how I was going to get to the air bnb which they were hosting this event. I got an uber to pick me up and the 30 mile trip did not take long. 

I was given new directions half way on the car ride and I redirected my uber driver to a shopping center in garden grove. There, with luggage in hand, I had him drop me off at a less than prestine Carl’s Jr. That’s when Steve, Debby’s husband, walked in and greeted me. He gave me the scoop on a crafty plan to hide my identity this weekend until the end, when I gave my talk. After a small scavenger hunt for some supplies for the day, we headed to the air bnb

I was able to participate in one of the tasks given to the kids. It was the process of quickly interviewing people to try to gain a small snapshot of who they were. It was basically speed interviewing. 

Then we headed to Laguna beach where I got to spend a lot of time taking in the ocean. Flew my drone around for awhile and then took a swim. There was some sort of crab migration going on but despite being surrounded by hundreds of crabs, they didn’t bother me to much. Caught some great waves and footage. 

The kids were assigned to play a card game that involves silly tasks that force you to interact with strangers. They spent most of their time at the beach attempting these tasks. They found great success and it was a pleasure watching them get out of their comfort zone. 

When we got back to the air bnb they had a project that involved meal prep. Watching them do this, I realized that even ordinary tasks can build team work, creativity, and challenge the problem solving skills of these kids.

Later that evening, I was able to give my talk. I told them about my story and some of the attributes that lead me to succes in my career. It was great sharing with them and I would love to do it again. 

I slept on the couch woke up and flew out at 7am. 

Moral of the story, giving back leads to great opportunities. It can enhance the moral fiber in your life and give you a great feeling of self worth. Take the leap and give it try, you won’t regret it!