It’s typical for most teenagers to mask their fears and uncertainties with a false sense of confidence, especially at-risk teenagers. They might portray an image that they have it all together, but deep down their wrestling with some serious questions and fears….
How are they going to ever get into college?
What can they do to avoid some of the peer pressure from their friends that are making bad decisions?
How can they stand up for what’s right even when it’s tough?
What will happen if I make a choice that causes others to think I’m weird?
It takes a lot of courage for at-risk teens to live a life that leads to a successful future. It’s not easy to stand up for what’s right when it seems like everyone else around them is headed in the opposite direction. In fact, many students never receive the positive encouragement that’s needed to continue to stand up for what’s right outside of the Teach One to Lead One Program….
A little courage can go a long way…
Courage is one of those principles that is easy to talk about, but hard to do. It takes two things: heroic risk and confidence. At Teach One to Lead One, we believe it’s important to teach students that if we don‘t learn to conquer our fears, then they will conquer us. In other words, we need to have confidence in spite of our fears.
Like Matt Damon’s character reminded all of us in the movie “We Bought a Zoo”:
“Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
Courage is bringing freedom to Teach One to Lead One Students
While we can encourage mentors to teach students about how to live a life of courage all day long, sometimes they learn best from their peers. Here’s one of our favorite Teach One to Lead One stories from one of our young men who realized the difference that courage can make in his life:
Every student has fears. As mentors, we believe that one of the best ways we can set students up for a lifetime of success is to help them learn how to overcome those fears. Our hope is that thousands of at-risk teens across the country will have a similar story, learning what it means to live a life of courage in the face of all of their doubts, fears, trials, and challenges.
Mentors: What are some of your favorite ways to teach students what it means to have courage in life’s difficult situations?