0010 Craig Scoville- Kids Across Cultures 2- A Long Paying it Forward

February 3, 2018

In this episode I talk to Craig Scoville about KAC (Kids Across Cultures) and the CTT (Community Tranformation Team), a young man named A Long (pronounced Ah-Long) who is paying it forward, motivation behind what KAC is, and whays that KAC raises money. Keven & LaDonne Wenzel, Mike and Linda McDowell

www.flacas-hico.com

www.wisemanhousechocolates.com

www.choctoberfest.com

www.cleanwaterkids.com

www.kidsacrosscultures.org

www.rideforthechange.com  

 

0009 IaK One Minute- Team Hoyt- Inspiring Compassion and Confidence

December 21, 2017

If you had only one minute to communicate the story of someone who inspires you to be great, who would it be?  Would it be someone you know? Someone from history?  Someone who you’ve recently read about?  Every now and then, we will feature a one minute story voiced by the kids who did the research.  Here is this week’s One-minute Inspire a kid story.

 

Hi, I'm Madi Tidwell and today  I’m going to tell you a story.  The story a special because it's a story of a boy who inspired his father and inspired the entire world.  Rick was born with cerebral palsy and was unable to walk or even talk.  He had to use a special computer just to communicate.  At age 15 while Rick was at school he learned about a fundraiser for a paralyzed teen.  He felt a passion for this person and somehow had to help.  He asked his father if he could run a 5 mile charity run for the teen.  You can only imagine what his father thought when he learned that not only did his son want to run a 5 mile race but wanted him to push him in wheelchair.  Of course his dad agreed.  After the race Rick told his father, “Dad, when I'm running I don't feel I can disable anymore.” The two began running half marathons full marathons and even triathalons.  Dick would push his son in a wheelchair while running, pull him on a boat was swimming and even tug him along in a bike trailer while biking.  Together the 2 finished 212 triathlons, 85 marathons and hundreds of races.  With the message “yes you can” team Hoyt has reached and inspired millions of people around the world.

 

What an inspiring story of a father’s love and devotion.   I first heard of this Father- Son team back in 2007.

I have to think that Rick Hoyt was inspired as a young child by his parents to believe that he could create change.   Though it needs to be addressed consistently in every generation, there is a bit more awareness toward the disabled than there was  40 years ago.  In 1977 when most of the US and world would look at Rick and think that he LACKS something, his mom and dad must have fought the negative message with that positive message, “Yes you can.”  How else would that message become the team message?  I love the Father & Son relationship that is evident here.  There are not many more stories of love and devotion that are as profound as this one.  Dick Hoyt does everything in order to see his son fulfill his passion.  Amazing humility.

But I want to point out that Rick reflects several of our inspire-a kid values too.

Compassion- he wanted to be a part of a solution for a paralyzed teen

Confident- he was confident that he could make a difference.  Even in what others viewed as a disability, he saw an opportunity.

Creative- he realized that the solution lay in the power of him and his father working as a team.

Rick Hoyt and his father have inspired millions around the world. To find out more about Team Hoyt, go to www.teamhoyt.com

Would you like to be featured on this podcast?  Send an original 1 minute recording that tells the story of someone who inspires you along with your name and age if you are under 18.  Send it to scott@inspireakid.com

Remember: every kid has unlimited potential for greatness. Until Next time, who are you inspiring to greatness today?

0008 Craig Scoville- Kids Across Cultures Pt1- the story of Li Ya Sha

December 8, 2017

Hey, thanks for tuning into The Inspire a Kid Podcast where we tell stories of inspiring kids, kid influencers who are inspiring kids, and adults who were inspired as kids to do amazing things. So today I have my really good friend and, really, co-worker, Craig Scoville, with me. And we're going to talk about an organization that is near and dear to my heart because I am the chairman of the board and Craig is the executive director of it and it's called Kids Across Cultures. Craig has been with Kids Across Cultures how long, Craig?

Gosh, Scott, since about 2008.

Yeah. It's been awhile.

So yeah. Coming up on 10 years, not quite there.

Awesome. Tell us a little bit about yourself. And why don't you go ahead and give a little background on KAC? And I'll chime in if I think of something that I want to add to it. But tell us a little bit about yourself.

Well, my wife and I lived in Southwest China. We moved over there in 2000 and spent several-- well, from 2000 to 2008 we were in Southwest China and did a lot of human needs ministries and things like that. Kind of got to know people. And we were working with a specific people group over there and got to know the area that they live in, and some of the needs that they have. And so as we came back from living there, really wanted to stay involved and work among this people. And Kids Across Cultures was a good avenue for us to be able to do that.

Yeah. So Kids Across Cultures had done some other things. Were you involved in Kids Across Cultures before then?

We worked with Kids Across Cultures as far as them helping to fund some projects that we were doing. But it was just getting off the ground, really just getting started when I came back in 2008.

So before we get into the specific projects and the place that you were at, Kids Across Cultures has been around since before then, little bit before then. But they've done a whole lot of things for kids. Some of the projects, if I'm remembering right, before I was ever chairman of the board, but we've done projects dealing with malaria and education.

Yeah. We scholarship 20, 25 students every year for the last several years, helping them be able to get through high school and then onto a trade school or a college for many of them.

We built a school.

We've built a few schools, actually. We've built some schools down in south of China, in another country. And then we've also helped build a couple schools there in China.

Yeah. And Mexico, we've done some work in Mexico.

We have. Yeah. We've been a part of helping to build three schools in Mexico. And we also, in those schools, provided funds for teachers to be able to teach in those schools for their first three or four years of existence to kind of get them a good foundation. Part of the funding that we've given to that specific project also provides food. They provide meals for the kids each day, breakfast and lunch. And so part of what we've been able to help with is that, as well, so.

And right now a lot of our stuff is water projects. Clean water is one of the easiest things to take care of in any culture. A lot of people have access to water, it's just not always clean. Some people do have to travel a long way and wells are needed and things like that. But in a lot of the communities, especially ones we deal with, there's water around. They just don't have access to clean water. So that's kind of where Kids Across Cultures is working now in  we're starting to see actually the needle move. I was looking at some statistics the other day and it looked like now the needle is moving the other direction and more and more people are gaining access to clean water. It's not just because of Kids Across Cultures, there's a whole lot of organizations that are working for this, and so I'm real proud to be a part of something that is really making some changes in the lives of kids. So I want the listeners to understand that Kids Across Cultures is really about helping kids across cultures. In the place that you're talking about in China where you're working, there's a story I want you tell the listeners, kind of how Kids Across Cultures was involved in this, because you're involved in not just giving, getting clean water, but you're really involved in a whole community transformation. That's what you want to see, right?

Yeah. We have a program we call CTT, it's Community Transformation Training, and really, what that means is we enter into a community for the first time, usually we go by invitation by a local person, and they will invite us knowing who we are and what we're doing there. So we go into a community with kind of the idea of looking at the holisitic needs of the community and the individuals in the community. What are the main issues they're dealing with, whether it's clean water or lack of clean water. We've gone to some places where there's malnutrition, lack of education. And so we basically go in with the idea of kind of assessing the village and the community and seeing what are some areas we can help with. And it's different each time. There's some things that are-- in some of the places we go, water is always an issue. I can go into ten villages along a road and all ten of those villages will have dirty, not good water, unhealthy water. But there's also a lot of other issues besides just water that we deal with. People need, kids need education. And so helping schools to be able to better educate their kids, helping parents be able to get their kids to school, helping schools to have access to clean water for the kids that come. So we do a lot of work with schools and with children, getting them to be able to get an education.

So an entire school, we'll actually provide water for classrooms, and I saw some numbers the other day, but it's not fresh on the top of my head, how many schools and students have we impacted? What are the some of the numbers? Do you remember?

I think we're around 1,100, 1,200 students-- or, no, I'm sorry, 5,000 students, something like that. It's closer to 5,000 students. We've gone into quite a few schools. So some of the schools are small. The village schools maybe only have 20, 30 kids, but then the upper levels schools, some of them have up to 500, 600 kids. And so this past year, this 2017 year, we focused on getting into as many schools as possible. And I think we were able to get into 20, 30 schools.

Cool. So a story that I want you to share with everybody, one of the communities you went into, you met a young man named Yasha. Why don't you tell us a little bit about Yasha, and kind of what the community transformation looks like when a kid gets involved and kind of what happened in this story.

This is a great story. This young man really made a huge impact on my life, personally, and the lives of literally hundreds, if not thousands of other people. We were working, and we had done some work in some villages nearby where he lives. His village is actually higher up the mountain and much harder to get to than some of the villages we'd been working in. But [VSN?] relationships, he got a phone number and contacted some of my co-workers, and asked if we could come and help him. And, basically, he had a cancerous tumor on the back of his neck. And he, at that point, was not completely paralyzed but was close to it. And so we're not doctors. And we explained that to him. And his father, actually, is, what we call, a village doctor. And so he can kind of give out medicine, and give shots, and things like that. But they were really looking for some help. And so he had contacted us. And so two of our co-workers went up, made the trip up to his village to meet him, and to see kind of face-to-face what was going on and [crosstalk]--

When you say up to his village, I mean, this was not necessarily an easy trip [laughter].

Oh, absolutely not. No. I mean, to get up to his village, these two young ladies left the city that we office out of on a bus, and went about four hours to another city, and then, hired motorcycles to take them up the mountain, probably, another two hours up the mountain, and windy paths, and dirt roads, and--

Man.

Yeah. It's intense getting up there to some of these places [laughter]. And that's part of why they struggle so much. If they were easy to get to, then people would go and help them. So they made the trip up. And they met this young man and heard his story, saw what was going on, listened to his parents share about their experience, and the things they'd done trying to help him. And they brought kind of the story back to our office and shared with me and the rest of our team. And so we happened to be-- not long after, about two, three weeks later, we were going up to a nearby village to do some vision screening in a school where we, basically, test vision with kids. And so I made the trek from where we were doing vision screening with two or three other team members. We went ahead and drove on up to meet Yasha, Liyasha. And that was the first time I had met him. And, by this time, he was pretty much paralyzed. He could move his hands, sit up, but he couldn't walk. And he was in a chair. And we had some great conversations about just his situation and the things that he had experienced trying to get physical help. And there just wasn't really-- we sent his x-rays and things off, his CT scans off to foreign doctors. And there just didn't seem to be any answer for him. And so Yasha became a really, really dear friend and just an incredible young man. As we shared with him and kind of shared life with him, he shared with us just a real passion and a desire to see his village transformed. He wanted to see kids in his village have opportunity to go to school. His father, being the village doctor, every day that we were there visiting, every time we'd go to visit him, kids and, usually, moms would bring kids up to-- bring their sick kids up to see his dad. And so he knew every kid in the village, basically, and every family. And they knew him and knew his situation. And so we began to talk about what it would look like to see transformation come to his village. And so one of the first things, of course, was water we introduced the ceramic water filters that we distribute and put a couple of those in his parent's home. And immediately, his dad saw the difference. Being the doctor, he saw the difference. Kids would come up there, they'd drink the water, and they didn't get sick. And so he asked could we put those in the village and, of course, we did. And we put them throughout the village. And immediately, he saw a huge difference in the types of illnesses that kids had in the village. From that point, we wanted to help him really gain credibility as a doctor in the village. And so we had, on his invitation, some foreign doctors come and we put on a clinic, a medical clinic there. And we invited people to come from all the surrounding villages and receive free medical care.

Cool.

Yeah, it was great. We had, gosh, I think we probably had 300 villagers show up for over a couple days. And we had vision screening, medical doctor, and we didn't do dental on that one but we had plenty [laughter], so. And so during this time, Yasha's, his attitude, his life began to turn around. Of course, by this time now, we were going up on a regular basis. And we actually made it a point as a team, that no matter what we had going on, every month somebody from our team would go visit him. And he became that close to us and that much of a friend. And so as teams would come over to serve in different areas, we'd teach English in some towns a couple hours away. Well, I would always make it a point to take people up to me, Yasha, and both Americans and locals. And just, he became a huge part of our lives, my life, in particular, and of course the lives of my team members. And so we would talk about, and dream together about his village, and again, what transformation would look like. And one of the visions, one of the dreams his dad had was for a little clinic in the village. And so we set out to help build that clinic and raise, just, a little bit of money. And him and the villagers put in all the labor. And today, there's a small clinic there in the village. And one of the problems they had as well, is they had access, they had water that was coming to their village. You were on this trip [crosstalk].

Yeah. That was the last time I got to see Yasha, as a matter of fact. We had gone up to do a water project where we were trying to get water from a waterfall. What was that? Kilometer away, or something like that?

It was a couple. Two kilometers, I think.

Two kilometers away. But their water ran to their village in an open ditch through fields where they fertilized, and where there was just raw sewage and no telling-- animals could drink out of it and animal waste and everything else. And by the time it got down to the village, it was lethal, just lethal. And so we were trying to bypass that.

Yeah, we ran pipe. We ran pipe, a plastic pipe from the water source down to the village and, basically, were able to cure the problem of all the pollutants getting into the water. And then of course with the ceramic water filters, well that took care of all the bacteria and things, so. So we've done several projects in this village. We've, over the years, gotten to know other kids like Yasha. Young lady, a young girl, sweet young girl when she was a baby, she got her hand in a fire. And did you meet her? Do you remember?

What was her name again?

We call her just little Mae-Mae, little sister.

Yeah, Mae-Mae, that's right.

So because of the scarring, her hand was basically webbed together and partially closed. And she couldn't hardly use that hand. And so she came to our-- her mom brought her to our clinic and asked if there's anything we could do. And we were able to get her up to a larger city and get a plastic surgeon to do surgery on her hand. And, today, her hand's just as normal as yours and mine.

I think I did meet Mae-Mae because she has a lot of energy.

Lot of energy, huge smile, beautiful smile.

Sweet, sweet kid, golly.

And, yeah, just a real heart for her people as well. So, yeah. Yasha, great young man. I mean, literally, over the years, we took hundreds of people up to meet him, and to hear his story, and to try and encourage him. And, each and every time, a team would leave their home I feel like much more encouraged then what they were able to leave. It's been two years now, I believe two years now since Yasha finally passed away due to the cancer. But his life really made a difference, changed forever the lives of everybody in his village. And they're not completely where we'd like them to be. There's a lot of work to be done in their village. But they have clean water. They have access to a clean, healthy clinic. They have a regular clean water source in every home. And their kids have access to education. And we're working to, hopefully, do more in the village and see much more of a difference made.

Truly a holistic approach to seeing a community change. And just think, man, if he had not heard, first of all, about the work that the CTT team, [KC?], was doing, he would never have called. And then, there wouldn't have been that six-hour initial trip. But just the compassion and just there's so many people everywhere that are so interested in seeing people's lives change. And you got several people on your team who are willing to see that happen, including yourself. And, just to see this story unfold, and seeing how one young man's determination and desire to see a community changed can literally see his community changed, one person, unlimited potential. And that's what Kids Across Cultures is about. This is also about what [my?] inspire kid. I want to tell the stories like this. I want to hear stories like this because I believe that every person, every kid, especially, has unlimited potential to impact their community, their world, their nation. And Yasha is a perfect example of this.

He really is. I think Scott, just one thing that what you just said makes me think of with Yasha is we certainly want to see transformation come to a whole village and numbers of villages. But this was an instance-- and I think it more often then not it works this way, that we were introduced to one person, and invested in one person. And the investment in that person, then, spread to others. And it continues to spread. I still have young people from the school over there and that are on our team that talk regularly about this young man and the impact that he had in their lives. And that will go on. It will go on.

Yeah. That's fantastic. Tell us about how the listener can get in touch with Kids Across Cultures, you, or, if they want to be a part of this change, what can they do?

Well, you can find out more information about Kids Across Cultures, of course, on our website, which is www.kidsacrosscultures.org. And you'll see a list of our projects and different things we do, and opportunities to financially support a project if you want to. We'd love to hear from you. If you're interested in a Kids Across Cultures project or just wanting to know more about what we do, we'd love to hear from you, whether you're an adult. If you have kids that you want them to know and understand more about what it means to invest in other people, what it means to make a difference in people's lives, we'd love to hear from you. And one of us will contact you, get back with you, and just begin to share and talk about what's going on, and how you can be a part.

And, if you're a teacher, and you have a whole classroom of kids, and you're interested in helping them see something outside of their four walls, and outside of their small sphere of life that they are able to live, we can connect schools with schools, classrooms with classrooms, just students with students. We've even sponsored some vision trips, not super directly, but some of the same people. We've had trips of kids come from China to the States to learn English, just to interact in this cultural environment. There's lots and lots of opportunities that Kids Across Cultures can make happen if you're interested. We'd love to talk. We certainly would. Craig, thanks for being here. We're going to be back soon. And we want to talk about another story and talk a little bit about kind of what goes on with ESL, and some things like that. But we'll be back soon to talk about it. Thanks for your time today, man.

Hey, thank you. Enjoyed it, Scott

0007 Ann Makosinski- Inspiring Inventor

December 1, 2017

Thanks for clicking on this episode of the Inspireakid podcast.  The Podcast where we tell the stories of inspiring kids who have done great things, kid influencers who are inspiring kids to greatness and adults who have done great things who were inspired as kids.

Every seed is like a tiny package of unlimited potential, and within every kid is the unlimited potential for greatness.

Ann Makosinski, of Victoria, Canada is an inventor and motivational speaker.

She came face to face with the reality that not all of people in the world have access to basic things we take for granted every day when she took a trip to the Philippines to visit the village where her mother’s family lives in 2008. 

A Filipino friend that she met there, she found out a few years later, was failing school because there was no electricity at home. Ann’s friend was working during the day so only had time to study at night but couldn’t see to do it. Doing further research, Ann found that many people-- 1.2 billion around the world---don’t have access to electricity.  And she wanted to do something about it.

Over the next few years (and science fairs), she began to develop prototypes of non- battery flash lights.  Using Peltier tiles and help from the internet, Ann finally created a prototype for the hollow flashlight—a hollow aluminum tube that cools the sides of Peltier tiles in the flashlight’s cylinder while warmth from the human hand heats the other side, creating enough voltage to power the LED flashlight.

Her flashlight gained attention starting at the Canada-wide science fair, where she earned a gold medal.  But wide-spread notoriety came when she won first prize in her age group at the 2013 Google Science Fair.

As of 2014, there were still tech issues that need to be resolved and she had talked to a manufacturer in Canada about the manufacturing and distribution of her product.

In 2016 as a 19 year old college student, she presented her next project called the eDrink that is a thermal mug that converts excess heat from your coffee or other hot beverage into useable electricity to charge an electronic device.

Part of the Inspire a Kid framework is based on core human values…. that there are core human values which could and should be common in every culture that are the basis for strong children, families and communities. These values are our lens through which we hope will encourage kids to live their important, distinctive and significant lives.

The values that I think Ann best exhibits are the Inspire a Kid values of 

Compassion- To pursue a project that helps people who don’t have access to basic things most of us take for granted takes Compassion.  Compassion isn’t just feeling sorry for someone, its doing something about it.

 

Confident- to believe that not only could it be done, but to develop more and more improved versions of her project takes a lot of confidence. Confidence fuels determination and effort. Confidence means knowing you have what it takes to do anything. She was sure of what she could do.

 

Creative- Creativity is shown when she made something new out of existing technology.  Creativity is taking the time to look at how to fix the problem in a different way just as Ann did.

 

Helpful- her main reason to start the project was to help her friend and others like her that weren’t able to study at night or had no access to electricity. Being helpful means meeting someones need without expecting anything back.

 

Teachable- to not only complete a science project but also to compete in a science project, you have to be willing to learn. As a wise person once said, “a know-it-all really knows nothing.”  Being teachable means you learn from yours and others’ successes and mistakes and being willing to consider things you don’t understand.

 

Looking back, she realizes that she is in a unique position to inspire other young students her age to do great things too.  Her goal is to make sure that every kid knows that they have what it takes to do whatever they want to do.  It just takes effort, determination, and not feeling pressured to think or be like everyone else.

Ann Makosinski is a great kid who has done great things and inspired others to greatness along the way.  Who are you inspiring to greatness today?

Well, Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode.  Until next time, Go and Inspire!

 

Sources:

  1. “Why I don’t use a smart phone” TedX talk February 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjaM0tdxtYA&spfreload=10
  2. “The Problem with inventions” Tedx Victoria talk December 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFDG7w_jAFk
  3. http://mashable.com/2014/04/17/ann-makosinski-hollow-flashlight/

0006 Kord Angelucci- Kord’s Kidz- Inspiring Kids Through Sports and Fitness

November 13, 2017

Hey there. Thanks for tuning in. This is Scott Hooper with Inspire a Kid. Inspire a Kid is a podcast tells the stories of inspiring kids and kid influencers who are inspiring kids to greatness, but also stories of adults who had been inspired to greatness when they were kids. And so today, I have Kord Angelucci with me [applause]. And we are at a place called Evans Mill in Smithville, Tennessee. We are part of a mastermind collective called Iron Sharpens Iron. If you're not part of a mastermind, you need to be a part of one. Because when you surround yourself with people that think bigger than what you can think, man, everything is better.

It's remarkable: my growth in the last two years as a result of being with Aaron Walker. And nine men that are pushing me. It's amazing. You are the five people you are around the most.

That's right.

And it's completely transformed my life, and my business, and my confidence. And yeah, I'm just lucky to be here with other great guys.

That's great. I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me today. Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you're from, kind of what your background is.

I'm from Long Island, New York. I grew up as just a little guy that had a learning disability. And I realized at a young age that being dyslexic and having ADHD is going to be a challenge for me in school. And it really discouraged me. And it caused a couple of things. One was that I had a fixed mindset. And I kind of marched to my own drum. I was not happy in a school setting. And I kind of-- I didn't like it, so I really went against the grain. Which was really good because I think it helped me be an entrepreneur. But I think it was also really bad because I didn't really value a growth mindset, which means not worrying about the outcome, but worrying about the work ethic, and persistence, which I completely share with my children, or the kids that I work with now [laughter]. And when I wrote my book, it was one of the focus points is putting in the hard work and effort, and not necessarily the outcome.

So what you do with kids. Tell us a little bit about what you do with kids. You said you work with kids called Cord's Kids.

Yeah. Cord's Kids.

Is this online? Is this something that you see kids face-to-face, or what is this?

Okay. So for the last 20 years, I've been working with kids in different aspects. I was a Phys Ed teacher. I was a sports director. I did clinics. And I worked one-on-one and in group sessions. And Cord's Kids is a business that improves children's confidence through sports and fitness. And being someone that, well, academically-- that's how we're measured in school. And it wasn't something that was easy for me to do. And I really, probably-- I got really upset. And I would get migraines every Sunday because I knew I had to go back to school. And I was going to fail and not make my parents proud. So I was very lucky, and I have my voice now, and my confidence as a result of just being innately good at sports, especially soccer and ice hockey. And that's what gave me this confidence and this voice to write this book that I just wrote. And this book is about having a voice for children, so that parents are aware of sometimes how they can cause their children self-limiting beliefs.

Okay. Wow. So, yeah. We'll talk about that book here and just saying because I want to know more about it. I want to tell everybody about it. We talked about self-limiting beliefs. I mean, how prevalent-- I mean, I've worked with kids too. I've worked with kids for 30 years. So I understand kind of what you're saying, but for the listeners that are maybe never really thought about this angle, this concept. Kind of define what self-limiting beliefs are, and what they do to a kid, especially in the formative years like when you were a kid.

In school, for me, because I think everyone has a story. And this story is something that really kind of pushes them to lead a life of value, and provide value to others by sharing their story. And everyone has a story. So for me, when I started doing really poorly in school, it was discouraging. But usually, parents focused on-- and society Just going with the norm. And getting good grades, getting a secure job, and getting the Rolex after you--

Right [laughter].

But that's an old concept. And it's almost extinct now. So what I would-- I implore parents to expose their child to whatever innate God-given talent that they have, so that children can have that purpose and passion, and then provide value to others. This book that I just wrote, children with superhero confidence, it's really a blessing because I've been working in a scarce mindset where I've helped hundreds and thousands of kids over my 20 years. But I really need to prepare, or come out with something that can help parents on a larger scale and get my message out there. Self-limiting beliefs is an interesting concept. And I didn't realize my own self-limiting beliefs until the last couple of years being around our groups and masterminds. And we all have this fear. And it might be a primitive thing because when we were cavemen and stuff, we would go in civilizations up to 150 people. And we were scared of being forsaken. So if we didn't belong to the community, and get love and acceptance, we'd be forsaken, which led to absolute guaranteed death. Now, this fear has translated over the years, and it's innate in our brain. And we have fear of how people look at us. So it's amazing because I was just at a workshop about vulnerability last week. We did this exercise that I absolutely loved where we had to stare for 10 seconds into each person's eyes, and then switch. And I learned a couple of things from this. One: I'm very empathetic. So someone else was really uncomfortable, and giggled, and looked away. I kind of mirrored them. But if someone was right, intense with the moment, I was fine with that also. So I memed with that. And I also knew from that experience and exercise that children under the age of seven, eight years old, they don't have a problem making eye contact, or how others judge them. Much like when a child is much-- they're not scared to get on a bike and ride a bike until they're seven, eight years old. And there's something that switches there. The fear of-- becomes more within. And it's just an interesting thing to-- because sometimes when you don't realize these things until you do these exercises, and you have these aha moments, and those really come from-- They never come from advice. They only come from questioning yourself and reflecting on why something happened. So self-limiting beliefs and fear is what holds, I'd say, most people back from having abundant thoughts. People even scarcity. I think most people think scarce when they think money. They think, "We got to pay my bills," or, "We just got to make sure that everything's okay, and stable, and secure." But I just really want people-- I want parents to expose their children to whatever it is out there that can find their children their true purpose in life.

So these limiting beliefs, I mean, it's like a box that, in my thinking, is it's more like a-- sometimes cultural, sometimes environmental, maybe all environmental but it's a box that we begin to believe something that's not necessarily true and it keeps us from moving forward and are you seeing that-- and this is more of a philosophy thing maybe but--

I was a Philosophy major--

Oh, okay. You'll dig this.

I hated school so much, I went to college for 10 years [laughter].

Well, the kind of philosophy that maybe I've come to believe is that our environment really gives us a set of limiting beliefs by which we must do this, we must be this, we've got to or we can't. That's really the limiting beliefs. We can't do this because-- or you were unable to do this because-- do you feel like that a lot of times kids that their excitement about life, their thinking that they can do things is squeezed out by these limiting beliefs by culture or what makes the shift in kids in your experience?

Wow, environment dictates pretty much everything that goes on and where 95% of our hard drive is run by our subconscious. So one of my favorite things to tell people is just perspective reasons. Whether you're 4, 14 or 40 years old, you really want to make mom and dad proud. Okay. And when you're emotionally connected to whatever they have said, so they're language-- because my dad used to call me stupid and then even up until recently I didn't realize the value of language because I would do something silly or drop something or-- and I'd call myself stupid. And I'm like, "As long as I'm doing this, I'm not getting out of the loop." So awareness is one, reconditioning your mind/rewiring your mind is two but we need to understand when we're too hard on our children and we're giving negative feedback, we're not empowering them. So in my book, I have this formula, it's the reinforcement formula. And it's just the simple stuff, just very subtle stuff but-- especially the younger children, if you have positive feedback, right? And you say more positive feedback and then minus negative feedback, and if it equals positive feedback at the end of the day your child is going to be more appropriate and well-behaved. Now if it's positive feedback minus more negative feedback, your child is going to become more oppositional and that's an epidemic that's happening in society. I was brought up in more of fear-based house which a lot of older people-- well, I guess we're not old yet [laughter]--

It's marching forward, we're getting there [crosstalk].

It's amazing because fear definitely works, however it does cause self-limiting beliefs. It does and even society since the beginning of time, fear has controlled people but if we really want to set our children up for success and have a rich learning environment. We need to be very aware of our positive feedback versus our negative feedback. We need to make sure. Another one of my favorite things I say is when a child comes home with four good grades and one bad grade, what does the typical parent talk about?

Yeah, bad grade. Yeah.

And it's unfortunate because whoever is killing it in the world is killing it one niche. So multitasking is just a term made for computers and it's scientifically proven in the last year or two that it just doesn't-- we don't get into deep work and we don't master one thing and that's what we should be really focused on. So school and-- the agenda school had a couple hundred years ago when they started it might not be set up to help your child which is okay. It provides structures and it provides a lot of good things but you have to be a responsible parent at home and make sure you're teaching your child about money and a work ethic, not necessarily the outcome, but persistence and work ethic. So it's [that?] a little awareness things that I think are going to help to make a happier house and because children crave discipline. This is crazy.

Yeah, they do.

And without discipline, we're giving up-- the more discipline that they show, the more freedom you give them, and the rapport is leverage. And we all want more discipline, and we all want attention, but what's going to happen is if a child doesn't get positive attention they're going to get negative attention. So what I see-- well, the summer just ended, but I moved to San Diego so it's always summer [laughter]. So, I'll hear a father say, "Stop running at the pool," but I never hear him say, "Oh, you're walking so nicely at the pool." So we need to make our expectations into appreciations. So, and it's hard for a parent because we get conditioned to just think that that's normal but children they want to move, they want to run. And in school, unfortunately, there's another problem where the teacher is like, "Your child can't focus," and that's an issue because they're not moving enough. Movement, physiology is like the key to life, without movement we don't get the opportunity to sit down and focus, so.

They can't sit there and be still for six hours, or eight hours, or whatever. It just doesn't happen for adults let alone children.

And the easy answer is the problem where we're not-- we're not coping, we need to have coping skills. Just because you're sad doesn't mean you need a pill for that. Sad means there's going to be a time with happy and I think my favorite is contentment because that means you're kind of even-keeled and you-- but it's okay to be sad and heartbreak means that you feel. It's a very important thing for-- so like a teacher will be like, "Oh, your child can't focus," so what happens is they take a pill and then I see the child and he loses all his motivation, he looks like a zombie, and it causes addiction and that-- and it's a shame because those people that are on antidepressants, they're not any less depressed [laughter]. So, it's very interesting and I think this is a-- it's an agenda based upon money which is upsetting but I really don't want children that are ages six through eight-- and the kids I really work with are four through eight years old, and I love them, they're awesome, they're silly, and they're so rich, and they're so-- they have so much intuition, and we just need to make sure that we let them know we're proud of them.

Yeah, medication should be a last resort.

Yes.

And it's oftentimes the first resort instead of okay, let's look at diet, let's look at-- let's look at the exercise, the movement, let's look at the environment. My mom was a teacher for years, and years, and years and the expectation that the school district had because every head was money. There's a lot of teachers and educators, I mean that are out there that love they're in it because they love kids, but the system that's been created--

Oh boy.

--is handcuffing them from actually loving the kids and being able to meet their-- meet those needs that they're really designed and gifted to do, but which is a shame and so we have to behavior modify, behavior modify, behavior modify.

It's amazing.

Yeah. Yeah. It's a downhill spiral unless we get it-- get a grip on this. And so when you deal with kids, now since you're not in that sector, you're-- but with [Courage?] Kid before we get to the book here, but with [Courage?] Kids do you meet-- do you have a group of kids that you meet with regularly or do you do stuff online? Is it something we can find online or what does that look like?

[Couragekids.com?]. I work mostly right now with online to mentor and do fitness workouts with children. I do clinics in San Diego with small groups and one-on-one sessions. I think I've been thinking too scarce so I really wanted to provide a platform to get my-- everything I've learned in the last 20 years out there for people to always be aware because I think that's the first-- that's the catalyst of change. But parents have to lead by example. Children do not listen to words unless you're telling them that you love them or you're proud of them for some reason. So I don't care if you're the strongest guy at your gym, if you're not doing three minutes of working out in front of your kids every day, like squats, push-ups, sit-ups, they're not going to do it. If you're not eating well and proper nutrition-- they mimic everything you do. So I would urge-- challenge parents to at least what's that Gandhi saying? Be The Change You Want To See In The World. And who wants change? Everyone. But who's willing to change? Very few. It's something where parents need to understand that. It's amazing because I challenge parents to do this. Just do squats in front of your kids. Don't ask them to do it. And then after two weeks, all the kids are doing squats next to their parents. Because we want to make them amazing.

That's [crosstalk].

Yeah. We want to make mom and dad proud. And the other thing like Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker. One of my favorite things is he's like, "We're emotionally connected." So if your parents talked bad about money, which mine did, and said, "Money grows on trees," all this other stuff, you're going to have a disposition where if you're making a million dollars a year, you're also going to spend that million dollars a year because the emotional connection to your parents will always win against your knowledge. So just being aware of that is going to help recondition you in order to kind of be just more responsible with money or anything. Yeah.

Yeah. That's great. Yeah. Good stuff. Let's talk about your book. So why a book?

A book. Gives me credibility [laughter]. Again, it's important for me to kind of get this information out there. I feel like it was in a vacuum or just in my head, and I wasn't able to help more than a couple of 100 kids. And I don't have any kids. So a lot of people ask me, "How can you write a book about this without having kids?" And it's just from my experiences being a kid, a child, and hating it, and all I love is kids and dogs. Well, that's because I'm from New York. Now that I moved to San Diego, I like people again [laughter]. But it's just important for me to get my message out there and I want to help people on a larger scale. And there's really no manual for parents to understand how to be a parent that reinforces with positive information or positive reinforcement. And I think it's just so important. From the people that I gave my samples to, the book, and they implemented that in two days and they saw behavioral changes immediately, which is really fun.

And it's a handbook. So it's children with superhero confidence. And it's a handbook because I first wrote it just kind of as a thing to help people and provide value to people. But now, after going to Tony Robbins, and doing a lot of workshops, and learning about my own self-limiting beliefs, I recognize that I needed to make it more interactive, have questions there that I can answer so I can reflect on my own reasons or state. And it's important for me to ask the parents, when they were a child, what made mom and dad proud? And when they weren't proud, how did that make you feel? Because that will bring them back to that time and then they'll have more empathy for their child. And I think my audience is definitely more moms than dads because I think dads get a little bit threatened and there's an egotistical factor to it. But this is something that is my mission, and my calling, and I know it's going to serve lots and lots of people in the right way. And it's almost like a reminder. It's a practice because--

Yeah. And as a parent, and as a dad, as a man, there is a lot-- we parent blindly. But you do have a lot of kids, you've had thousands of kids [laughter].

But the other thing is just like funny because parents can be emotional. And when you're emotional, that doesn't always calls for a very responsible [crosstalk] way to go about it. I mean I think I want kids but we'll see. That's another podcast [laughter].

You do want kids.

Yeah. Yeah.

It's awesome. You're right about the emotional part. So as a parent, I remember there's times that I would get emotional and get angry. Emotionally angry not because of something that was immoral or unethical but the way their behavior reflected-- in some way, I thought it reflected me and my parenting skills and my history as a children's minister and that's the majority of my experience but-- and there's a double pressure there because it's like while you're supposed to reflect the church and what your kid's doing, then you assume all these things and that's not always the case. And I remember my wife pulling me aside and is like, "You really need to be more encouraging." And when your wife pulls you aside and says, "Hey. You're kind of a little harsh there and--" I had to really do a lot soul-searching and find out that I-- as I was journaling one day, it came out that I need to be more interested in my kid's character than in their behavior, if I let their behavior-- if I defined me by their behavior, you can't do that. You can't do that. And I was--

You're going to beat yourself up as well.

That's right, yeah. And you'll end up stifling the direction what you're talking about. You'll find out what they're going to be great at and encourage them in that way. And so as a parent, yeah you got to be-- I love the idea of the book because what I need is not-- I don't need more information but I need that encouragement over and over and over, a reminder. Over and over and over. And so in a way this book seems like it's just that reminder.

That's all I'd want it to be.

It comes across on the front of your mind that, "Okay. Today I need to say some encouraging words. Here's how I'm going to--" almost a plan. So this is an interactive type of a thing--

Yeah, objective.

So it's asking questions for us to think about as parents.

Yeah because I want you to go back to that time where you were both happy and sad because mom and dad were proud and mom and dad were aggravated. And yeah, I know touching around that. That's amazing, I love that and thank you for the kind words but it's just children are so impressionable. And all they want to do, all they want to do, their primary thing is making you proud and they can feel the intuition. So even when parents come home from work on a bad day, I really want them to kind of put on acting face and once they walk in that door, bring that energy. Whether it's true or not because what's going to happen is your family's going to feed off of it and then it's going to come back and it's going to make you happy out of that state. And there's a difference between and doing. So being is a state and doing is a practice. So we need to practice and I would suggest parents to-- because it's only 60 pages, I'm dyslexic. I don't like writing, I was a terrible writer but all my papers even when I try, just red marks everywhere. "You can't write" I was terrible at math and writing but it's like, this is my message. This is what's my service to the world and it's kind of ironic after being told that I'm a terrible writer that I came out with a book but--

That proves that every kid has the potential for greatness.

Absolutely, just got to find it.

You got to find it, you got to help if you're--

Facilitate it.

Yeah, facilitate it. If you're a kid [influencer?] and you have that, whether as a parent, you're a coach, you're a teacher, you're a pastor, whatever you are, facilitate that. Find it and facilitate that. Find it and facilitate it. And I love that-- that's really a good segway because inspire a kid, really travels along the philosophy I believe that every child has the unlimited potential for greatness. Regardless of age, regardless of race, regardless of sex, regardless of ability. And the fact that you're dyslexic and wrote a book, proves that. Absolutely proves that. So I'm going to segway to a whole different question here.

Hold on. I want to stop you. There is, I think, that fear that we are talking about in the beginning that I wasn't able to overcome. It was uncomfortable for me to put myself out there and believe in myself. But I used leverage as-- if I could help five parents or five kids, that leverages over my fear, and how dare I hold this back. Okay. Sorry for interrupting [laughter].

No. No. That's great. No. That's what this is about. No. Conversation. Yeah. So who's your influencer, who has been the biggest single influencer? You had some, maybe, a little bit of a harder home life. Who's been the single biggest influence in your life to get you to where you are today?

So interesting. Okay. Because both my parents are passed. My mom was absolutely loving and welcomed me but my father was on the opposite side. And they were both older but they both passed. I had an older brother who had killed himself. And it's amazing how things happen for people and not to people. So if we remember that happening for and not to, we already changed. There's a paradigm shift. So when my brother killed himself, my mom got a second job to give me the ability to play ice hockey, which I was begging for for five years. And just the practice of-- it was just my passion. I didn't know I was going to be good at it but then I learned how to skate in three, four years. I was crashing into the boards because it didn't stop. It was a hot mess. But I got really good. And then that is where I found my voice and my confidence.

And if it wasn't for my mom knowing that she had to do something-- it's the hardest thing in the world when you lose a child, especially in that way. So it was important for her to-- and maybe that's why I have this empathy. Because she gave me this possibility to believe in myself. And we were talking earlier about being measured by academics but you're also measured when you do any extracurricular activities. So I was really good at hockey and you could hear all the other parents saying, "Well, that's--" and all the other kids. And it's whatever we measure experience. So when we're doing this formula that's objective in this book that I make, you're going to find out that when you're getting pluses on positive reinforcement at the end of the day, you're going to see a change in your child's behaviors, and they're going to be thankful for it.

It's just going to be a happier, more content home. So I think Tony Robbins is definitely one of the people because I think his message of absolute love and willingness to do for others, he's just an amazing person. And I think following other-- we talked about like-minded people, we talked about masterminds. But if you're, I think, investing in yourself, it can be free. So we have podcast, your podcast. We have other podcasts, and we have books, and you have YouTube. And when you're doing and you're implementing these in your life on a daily occurrence, you're going to be learning but then you're going to be changing perhaps your negative mindset into a positive mindset. It's free. But a lot of people don't want to do it because it is hard work and it's practice.

So I think going to the Tony Robbins event, which was expensive but well worth it, it completely changed my life. But I would say my mom was a huge factor, brother was a huge factor, and there's other-- the people in San Diego right now have been unbelievable. They're welcoming me to workshops and it's a really rich unbelievable environment that wises you up and doesn't hold you back because they're scared that you're going to be competition.

Oh, wow. That's great. I love what you said that a paradigm shift takes place when you can realize it's something that's not done to you but how [inaudible] done for you.

It's done for you, not to you.

Wow. That's incredible. So circumstances, some are bad, some are good but if it can all lead something better. Right?

Yeah, I mean it just builds character. I mean it sucks at the time, right?

Yeah, absolutely.

It's the other thing is I like-- it's like you-- when I do a speaking engagement, I'm like well, who has a business. And then only a certain number of people raise their hands, I was like, "That's not true. You all have a business. It's your life." Right? So in life, you want to hire slow and fire fast whether it's employees or relationships. And unfortunately people get into toxic relationships and they hold on for months or even years and it's hard to do it. But once you do it, the first few stages-- just like working out. Once you start doing a workout session, I do workouts also. [laughter] But that's me because I love these kids and the parents want them to stay in my life and a mentor. It's really great. But when you start doing a workout, it really sucks. After two weeks, it's a little better. After four weeks, you're feeling confidence. And after a period of time, you're like, "Why didn't I do that earlier?" So with time, they also say, "You overestimate what you could do in a year and you underestimate what you can do with 10 years." So anytime you make a change, it's definitely hard. I think it's one of the hardest things for all human beings to do is change. But after you make that change and you do a for a number of months, you're just so thankful that you got out of something that was toxic. It's the power of no. Whether it's self-hate, the language I said to myself. I'm so stupid. That's just something that we said and I was like it's subconscious and that dictated me believing myself having enough courage to put myself out there which I have done in the last couple of months as a result of being with other people and getting over that fear. The fear is something that holds many people back. And you know the greatest songwriter was never found or the best basketball player or the best artist because they were just too scared. So you never know until you keep on practicing and then you get more confidence and then what you're confident at you develop a passion for.

Yeah, yeah, I agree with that. That's awesome. So tell us how we can get ahold of the book or what's the next steps? If you were to tell a parent, "Hey, you need to get this." Where can we go?

So I'm going to have free ebook on-- I'm going to have it on my website and then after I want to get--

Kordskidz.com.

Kordskidzs.com. I just-- download it and they'll be an ebook. I will after I get some capital I'm going to put it into a paper book kind of format with a ring so you could turn it. I want it to be interactive. It is interactive and I want to be something that parents look at every six months just as a reminder as the practice. Because with practice then you can get into that state where you're understanding contentment or just putting your children in a better situation to be positive and believe in themselves. Confidence is just so important.

Yeah, it is. It is. So children with superhero confidence. Learn how to enhance child's true purpose. Cord Angelucci.

You said it right. Good job.

Again, I said it right again.

Yes, yes.

There's a lot of Cs in that name. Awesome. Well, I really appreciate you--

Scott, thank you very much.

--doing this interview and best of luck to you. I love your heart for kids. I hope you're blessed in everything that you do with that, man.

Yeah, kordskidz.com and children with superhero confidence and if you like it please leave a review and it will be on Amazon. And yeah, if you ever need any-- if you have questions or any advice, you can just hit me up on my website and my email is kord.angalucci@gmail.com or Kord@kordskiz.com and kordskidz is K-O-R-D-S-K-I-D-Z. Yeah.

That's pretty important. There's Ks in there and Zs in there you wouldn't expect.

 

K-O-R-D-S-K-I-D-Z dot com.

Thank you.

Fantastic. Thanks, man. Appreciate it.

0005 Abigail Lupi- Inspiring Compassion

October 30, 2017

Abigail Lupi is now 17 years old and lives in Stockholm, NJ.  She thinks of herself as an actor, a wordsmith, a black belt competitor, and as a nerd. Her desire to entertain began when she was three years old.  She began by making up shows for her family. 

She was in an off Broadway production as Cinderella, participated in regional theater productions, and was making national television commercials for companies such as Toys R Us.  At the age of 8 she began an organization she called CareGirlz.

To do what Abigail set out to do shows that she is a very compassionate and confident young lady.   Here’s what she did: her grandmother was in a nursing home and was about to have her 100th birthday, you don’t get to be 100 every day, so Abigail decided she wanted to do something special for her. 

Even at this young age she recognized that the people in these facilities were sometimes very lonely and many had very few visitors if any.  Her plan was to entertain her grandmother and the other 50 or so residents at the nursing home.  So, Abigail, age 8, recruited her younger sister, then about 6, to help with the celebration.  They sang Broadway show tunes and danced.   Abigail played the piano and told some jokes.  They enjoyed making the residents happy. 

The next year for her grandmother’s 101st birthday she added two more girls to the entertainment team and that was when she created the charity CareGirlz  because as she puts it, “ we are all girls and we care.” 

Abigail began contacting more girls from shows and talent competitions.  For her grandmother’s 102nd birthday, she made it bigger.  Seven CareGirlz performed and for grandmother’s 103rd birthday there were thirteen members ages six to thirteen who made up the cast. They expanded their performances and played in hospitals and children’s hospitals to make sick children happy.   

Abigail took on the duties of song selection and choreography of the dances.  Each girl made her own costumes and the troupe had at least four rehearsals before each show. The girls had a repertoire of 90 different pop and Broadway show tunes and performed 20 shows touching over 1000 people and raising over $3000 to support CareGirlz.    

These CareGirlz had made quite a commitment for such a young age.  Why did they assume such a role?  They enjoyed making the residents and patients happy.  Abigail has been quoted as saying “I like to brighten up peoples’ days and help them have a fun time.  If I do my best, they’ll have a smile on their faces by the end.”

I love this story because, Inspire a kid is values-based.  We believe that there are basic core human values that are global.  They are values that actually define and direct society in a positive way.  Values that are building blocks for healthy kids, families, schools, cities, and countries.

Abigail reflects at least 6 of the Inspire a Kid values.

She reflects Compassion- she saw the loneliness of the residents in her grandmother’s nursery facility and wanted to do something about it.

She reflects Courage- this is where most people, let alone kids, would quit.  Abigail wasn’t scared to get in front of people she didn’t know and try to make them happy.

She reflects Kindness- its one thing to feel compassion and even recognize a need, but its another thing altogether to act on it.  Her kindness to the nursing home residents, hospitals, and children’s hospitals all for the purpose of a smile and a little bit brighter day.

She reflects Generosity- generosity with her time.  Putting together the shows, learning the routines, practicing and making costumes takes time and a lot of it. She and her friends gave over 400 hours of serving her community… that is the equivalent of working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 10 weeks- FOR FREE!

She reflects considerable Responsibility- as she schedules shows, organizes friends, and takes on the director roll for the whole thing.. that’s a lot of responsibility for a 9, 10, 11 year old!

She reflects Creativity- it takes creativity to take a thought like “We will go sing a song at the nursing home for grandma” and turn it into  “we are going to create an organization and put on a broadway type show for a bunch of people in nursing homes and hospitals.”

In 2011, Abigail won the President’s Volunteer Award for humanitarian work in founding CareGirlz and for modeling boundless volunteer service for her many hours serving community and country.  She was the 2011 Kohl’s Cares Regional Scholarship winner and was honored as 2011 Young Scholar Ambassador by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.  She was also recognized in “This Girl Makes a Difference”, an article in Parenting magazine.  In another article, “Eight Amazing Kids Who Make a Difference”, Abigail was cited as an example of “how one child can inspire and energize thousands to make a difference.”

Abigail Lupi is a great kid who did great things and inspired others to greatness along the way.  Who are you inspiring to greatness today?

Well, Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode.  Until next time, Go and Inspire!

0004 Scott Alan Turner- Money A to Z - Defining Money for Preschoolers

October 22, 2017

www.scottalanturner.com In this episode, we talk to financial rockstar, dad and kid-influencer Scott Alan Turner about his book "Money A to Z" that helps adults explain money concepts to preschoolers.  This is great stuff, and when the book comes out in December 2017, proceeds go to help abused kids.  Buy one for the littles in your life and several more to give away.

Thank you for tuning in to the Inspire a Kid podcast. This is Scott Hooper and Inspire a Kid is about telling the stories of inspiring kids: adults that were inspired when they were kids, but also kid influencers who are inspiring kids. Today I have with me Scott Alan Turner. Scott's written a book, and I'm going to let him kind of introduce himself, kind of what he does. So Scott, thank you for joining me today.

Thanks, Scott. Pleasure to be on the show [laughter].Our parents were awesome when they named us.

So tell me a little bit about yourself, where you live. Tell me about your life.

Sure thing. Let's see. First, I'm happily married for 12 years. I've got twins. They are four years old, one boy and one girl. Originally from the north-east, met my wonderful wife in Georgia, then we moved to Texas. I call myself the original money moron. I did not get a education about money growing up, very little in fact, and then made a lot of financial mistakes coming out of college and what I do now is teach people about personal finance, and not to make the same mistakes that I did [laughter].

Personal finance? So you actually have a business that deals with personal finance?

Yeah. I help people live like financial rockstars. So I have a show that I take listener questions on; I do that three times a week. I am an author and speaker, and I love educating and teaching people about money.

Awesome. Financial rockstar. So a lot of your lessons are just learned from--
A lot of mistakes, unfortunately [laughter].
A lot of mistakes? That's not bad. That's not bad.
Usually, it's the best way to learn, and it's better when you can teach other people to avoid making mistakes.

Right, no kidding. No kidding. So your book. I read your book because it's a kid's book, and that's my kind of book. Money A to Z. Why did you decide to write a book-- it looks like a children's' book for money, and you're describing things about money. What's the idea behind that?
Sure. So the story behind that is, about a year ago, I was doing a segment on my show kind of like they do on Sesame Street, "Today's show is brought to you by the letter L." Only I would pick obscure financial terms that I knew nothing about, like Latin baseball futures, which is a real thing [laughter], and then I would just make fun of them. And about the same time, I would read stories to my kids at night, and one of them was about apples, talking about different things regarding apples, and teaching them the alphabet. And I thought, well, it was more of a God-inspired thing - I didn't think of it on my own, certainly - "What if I did a book about money and taught my kids the alphabet at the same time?" Started doing a little research on the subject, and there were no other children's books out there at the time that were teaching basic money concepts. You had to be age five, six, and seven before you started learning anything about saving, and they'd be story-related, but nothing about, "Hey, what's a need? Can you define that in a few words and a child would understand it?" And in fact, yes, you can. Two, three, four, five years old, that's who this book is aimed at, and it's a letter of the alphabet, and each one is a simple-- as simple of a money term as I could possibly come up with [laughter].

That's incredible. Yeah, just flipping through it, you have "J is for job." These are words that you don't necessarily-- I mean, it's almost like, the kids might catch it but they don't necessarily understand the concept behind it. "G is for giving." You give them the words for it, so they know, "Hey, okay, this is what it's about. This is why I do it." This is fantastic.
Yeah. I worked with a wonderful artist on this project, who's a friend from high school, and when I first conceptualized it, first I had to figure out, "Can I come up with letters A to Z and make it easy enough?" And after I overcame that challenge, I knew who I wanted to work with on this project. His name is Jeff Grader and he's an amazing artist. I've known him most of my life. So it was like I'm going to hire Jeff. I'm going to pay him whatever he wants because he's the one that can make this happen because he's done children's books before. And he really made my cat and dog, who are the stars of the book, he really made them come alive with each of these different terms. And I know kids are going to get it because when we got the first copies in, I sat down with my kids, they were three-and-a-half at the time, and we started going through the book, and they were pointing at the pictures, and they knew what was going on. One of them is, I think C for Coins is in there. And it's my cat putting some coins in a vending machine. And Bran, my little son, he would say, "Hey, he's putting something in the machine and he's getting crackers out of it." And he gets those concepts. So at that time, I was like, "This is going to work. The kids are going to understand this."
Yeah. Man, I love how you did this. I'm reading it right now so I'm kind of paused. So you have two characters, Riker and Pip. Where did you come up with those names? Just something you came up with or did your kids help you come up with the characters?

Well, we have two fur kids, well, we have three fur kids. Two cats and a dog in our family. Our cats are Riker and Jake, and our dog, he's a chihuahua, his name is Pip.
Okay.
So for-- my wife named him after a famous character in a book, but it escapes me. Rike is obviously a Star Trek character. So I named him. Big Star Trek nut.
Okay. Awesome.
So we made them the main characters.

I guess your kids appreciate their own pets being a part of the book.
Absolutely. And then when I opened up the book, they clearly recognized who those animals were.
That's pretty sweet. So have you had any opportunity of as you're sharing this with your friends and with other kids, what's been the feedback? Have you received any?
Yeah. I've given out a number of copies to friends and family, and the feedback so far has been amazing. Everyone loves it. They love the message that it's got. There's really nothing out there like this yet, which I'm really happy about And it was a passion project. I wanted to do something I could leave a legacy for my kids, teach them something, and also help others. All the profits from this book go to charity, children's charities, specifically [inaudible] pretty excited about.
You guys are a specific charity, or is it just as needs come up, or what's the plan?
Yeah. There's a story behind the book. There was a little girl who we, excuse me.
That's okay.
There's a little girl who emailed in my show with a really sad story. She was abused. Wanted to take all the profits and donate them to children's charities.
That is fantastic. [inaudible] I really appreciate your heart for kids, not just your own, but for other kids. What is it about kids that there's a soft spot in you?
Certainly, I love kids and I love animals. And the reason is I want to help people or beings that cannot help themselves. And those are the categories at the top that most people know. Kids can't speak up for themselves, animals, too, which is why I like incorporating the animals that we have into this book. But kids more so [laughter]. They don't have a voice. Sometimes they can't. They don't know what the words to say. And especially with abused kids, they really don't have a voice. And they need somebody to stick up for them and charities to support them.
That's right. Well, I believe the philosophy of Inspire Kid is that in every kid, there is an unlimited potential for greatness.
Absolutely.
No matter the race, the color, no matter the ability, no matter where they come from. And so--
I read a great quote - well, it's not a quote, just a fact of life - the other day about people and their potential, and that's everyone is created equal on the inside.
That's right.
We can't all dunk a basketball, but everyone is-- there's a level playing field out there.
That's right. That's right. To be able to rescue kids, this girl that really captured your heart, to see the innocent abused, to see the innocent, for me, marginalized, it's infuriating, actually, how we treat kids sometimes in the world. And so--
They deserve better.

They do, they do. They do deserve better because inside that kid is unlimited potential and, by golly, they're they're the ones that are going to be following us just to take care of them. It kind of sows good seed into our future. So what are you hoping to get out of the message for the money A to Z for when you go up to a parent and you hand the book to them, say, "Hey, here's a book." And the parent looks at it, "What's this about." What's your spiel?

I think that one of the biggest things kids are missing is a foundation of money education and just values even. I've tried to throw in many values without being too preachy in this book. What is a want and what is a need? And I think that's a big thing with raising kids. If you can teach them just the difference between that, they're - to put it plainly -they're less bratty, so. Great kids that have good core values growing up, they become productive members of society and I hope this is a foundational element that can be incorporated into a child's upbringing before they get to kindergarten that can help be on their way to, again, avoiding the money mistakes that I made early on. And we can put that in every kid so that they know here's needs, here's values, here's wants, here's what dollars are, here's why you get a job, here's why you work, here's all the benefits of knowing how to handle money. And even if a parent doesn't know those things, which I would say the majority of us have not experienced that in our own lives, we don't get that education, I mean that's okay, at least you can teach your kids how to not make the mistakes that you may have made.

So you seem to be real balanced when you talk about core values and that's not really in everybody's vocabulary. Did you have a pretty good upbringing as far as your balanced values look at life? Where did you get your balance here?

I am the youngest of five kids. I was called 'The Happy Accident' I guess we'll say. My next older sibling is 12 years older than I am. Most part I was raised as an only child. Very simple upbringing, we grew out in the country. My dad worked for the town, my mom worked in a coffee shop parttime. We didn't have a lot growing up but we weren't poor or anything like that. But as a simple lifestyle and from them I didn't learn a whole lot of money lessons, but they fed us, they took care of us, they treated us well, we never lacked anything, we always had food and shelter over our head, and vehicles. And I think a lot of it stem from that simple lifestyle. My wife had that same upbringing. Her parents were missionaries, a little bit different. My family was not Christian, not raised in a church at all. But she grew up in a very small town, similar size, 2000 people. And because of those traditions that we had, the way we were raised, we were very similar in that aspect of our lives, and how we want to raise our kids, and how we see the world I guess you would say.

Thanks for letting us into your history, that's pretty cool. So what person or people-- it sounds like your parents were actually good influences on you. Who's really had the most inspiration in your life to really propel you to this place that you are right now?

Yeah, the turning point in my life I can point at was age 25, 26, that I went from not knowing anything about money, having student loans, credit card debt, car loans way too much house than I needed, single guy at the time with a massive mortgage. I started listening to this guy on the radio, his name was Clark Howard. He's been on the radio for 30 years and he's a consumer advocate. And from him, I started to learn about money.And within a short period of time, I kind of did a 180, got all my finances in order, went from net worth a negative I call it to building wealth and really understanding how money functions. And here's how you should get a car loan, here's how you should take out a mortgage, here's how much mortgage you should get, here's the proper way to invest so you don't lose all your money like I did [laughter] previously. And he's really been an inspiration over the years I listened to him. He was on the radio three hours a day, 5 days a week. And I think I listened for several years straight.

Man, you never know where your inspiration's going to come from.

And at that time I was in IT working for for a corporation. I branched out of there, started doing my own businesses. And really [personal finance?] I didn't get into it a couple years ago. But because of something happened so many years ago and hearing that guy on the radio, I'm now able to have the audience I do today and educate people on those things I didn't know about back then.

So tell us how to listen to your stuff, how to get ahold of the book. How can we get ahold of you?

Yeah, my website is scottalanturner.com. A-L-A-N. The book is not quite available yet. We're just waiting for the big shipment to come in from China. It's on the boat right now, as we're speak [laughter]. But we are going to have it on Amazon in time for Christmas. So probably December 1st.

Awesome. Again, the book is Money A to Z, by Scott Alan Turner. And your show that you have-- it's radio? Podcast? What is it?

Podcast. It is on the radio, as well, if you live in Los Angeles [laughter].

Oh, Los Angeles. Nice. Okay.
And wake up very early on Sunday morning, so [laughter].
Yeah. So what's the podcast name?
Podcast is Scott Alan Turner. It's Scott Alan Turner Show. It's on three days a week. I answer listener questions.
About money, business, and life. And I truly enjoy it. I have a great passion helping people out and hearing the success stories that they're had in their lives.

So I've got to ask, what's the-- what's, maybe, one or two of the weirdest financial questions-- kind of putting you on the spot here. But what are some weird financial questions that you get?'

I never say that any are weird. People think they're asking, "I don't know about X." Or, "I don't know about Y." Well, as I say, no one ever came out of the womb knowing the answer to that question [laughter].
Right.

So there's no wrong question. I got one last week. It was a bit of a sad story. A lady emailed me, says, "My brother's in jail for the next two years. I've got power of attorney. He's got a 401k with $95,000 in it. Well, how should I handle that for the next two years, for when he gets out?" So I had to walk her through the different options that she had, in order to handle that money. Another good example, my friends-- now friends, Steve and Laura-- they started listening to the show a couple years ago-- not the best at managing money. And in that time we'd kind of become friends. And they sent me a email [laughter] earlier this summer says, "Hey. We're on the beach. We blew off a couple days of work because we've got our finances in order because of your show and listening to it. And we implement the stuff you done. And we're working our way toward financial freedom. Today it's the middle of the week. Here's a picture of the beach. We're sitting here. We're having a picnic. We camped out last night. And thank you so much for the information."

Wow. What great encouragement. That's pretty awesome. Sounds like your doing a great, great work. Thank you for inspiring kids. And really appreciate the idea of thinking about kids. Of course, it helps when you have young ones and you want to [laughter]-- you want them to get off on the right foot, right? I think when you have kids it changes everything. But I'm looking forward to sharing your book with a lot of my people. The kids that I-- the parents that I interact with and their families. It's a great, great book. I really appreciate you being with me here, Scott. And thank you. One more time, it's scottalanturner.com. And you can tune into-- search for your podcast on-- so Scott Alan Turner Show, is that--?

Yes.

Okay. Fantastic. Well, so y'all get out there in December. I want y'all to go find Scott's book, Money A to Z. And I want you to buy one for yourself, and buy 10 more and get out there and hand them to people because we need to start teaching our kids about money now. I really appreciate you being on the show, man.
Thanks, Scott. Thanks, appreciate it.

Appreciate it. That was awesome.

0003 Blake Pyron- Blake’s Snow Shack

October 13, 2017

www.ndss.org #dsworks

www.blakessnowshack.com 

Blake Pyron……  His story has made national and world wide press.  He has been interviewed on network television stations such as NBC-5, CBS 11, Fox 4,and KRLD radio in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and ABC-13 in Houston. He graduated from Sanger High School in Sanger, TX  (population about 7500) where he was captain of the football team and Prom King.  He also enjoys playing his guitar and singing.  Blake is a celebrity!

Blake is a celebrity at the age of 20. He is the youngest business owner in the state of Texas and Texas’ first business owner with Down Syndrome.   A little over a year ago Blake decided he wanted to open a snow cone stand…Blake’s Snow Shack.  He went before the Sanger City Council to get approved and he officially opened for business on May 7, 2016 with hundreds of people attending the opening.   Blake received acknowledgement from Senator Ted Cruz’s office as the youngest and the first business owner in Texas with Down Syndrome .   He was officially recognized in the Texas House of Representatives in their 85th Legislative Session.

Opportunities afforded Blake included the ability to set up his snow cone truck in the Ranger’s Globe Life Park and sell his products…snow cones and ice cream.  His business also received prime advertising painted on NASCAR Sprint Cup car No. 95 driven by Ty Dillon at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, and he had his business logo and picture on the Times Square billboard twice.  He has done business at the Flo Mo Food Truck Fest in Flower Mound, TX, provided free snow cones at a business that was giving away free school supplies, and has sold snow cones at the North Texas State Fair in Denton, TX from his big yellow van with the palm tree.

The family has partnered with the National Down Syndrome Society to create a scholarship that will help others who are over 18 years old, and like Blake, have a dream to start their own business.   The family established the NDSS#DSWORKS   Blake Pyron Entrepreneurship Scholarship to help others like Blake with dreams to start their own business.

At his birth and with the diagnosis, the parents were told to not expect much, that he might not be able to walk or talk, but Blake’s mom urges parents to believe in their child, never place limits on ability, and do not label them. Don’t think they “can’t”, they may just show you they CAN.

0002 Matt Miller- Inspiring Kids to Read with “Marlin & Percy”

September 24, 2017

Hey, thanks for tuning in to the Inspire a Kid podcast. This podcast telling the stories of inspiring kids, kid influencers who are inspiring kids and inspiring adults who were inspired as kids. Today our guest is a great friend of mine, Matt Miller from Stephenville, Texas. He's the founder and president of School Spirit Vending. Howdy there, Matt.

Hey, Scott. Thanks for having me on, man.

You bet. Thanks for coming on. I'm looking forward to our talk today. School Spirit Vending-- why don't you tell the listeners a little bit about SSV, School Spirit Vending?

Well, I started out about 13 years ago with just some simple gumball machines that I was setting up in local area businesses on the side in order to develop some additional income and produce a little bit more stability for me and my family on the income side of things. And over time, that morphed from working in local restaurants with just gumballs to toys and stickers and that type of thing. And back in October of '07, we were able to begin testing an idea that I had along the way where we would do custom spirit stickers for schools and then we would place sticker machines in schools and it was a way to passively raise money for those schools without any volunteers being required. It was also a way to potentially get some kids off the street, so maybe there were fewer out there selling door-to-door, raising money for their school. And had this crazy idea. Had a good buddy by the name of Jeremy Rand, who was an elementary PE teacher and got me an opportunity to give this thing a try in his school down in West Columbia, Texas, southwest of Houston. And so October '07, we placed our first machine and the thing just did incredible. And ever since then, going on 10 years now, we've worked with school after school after school across the country, helping them raise money using stickers and sticker machines to do it. To date, we're in about 42 states, I believe, about 2,500 schools. We're now a franchise, so our franchise team of families around the country work with schools in their local area helping them raise money and never in my wildest dreams, would I have ever thought that this former Air Force pilot would be head of a national, soon to be international franchise raising money in schools.

So you kind of gravitated toward this school angle. Was that just something that just happened, or have you always had a thing for helping kids out? How come schools and not some kind of vending in businesses?

It was a couple of things, Scott. First off, I was already kind of doing business in local area businesses, and it was those kids coming knocking on my door which really crystalized the whole idea to me because I had kids of comparable age-- there's no way in a suburb of Houston I was going to let my kids go door-to-door selling stuff for the local school to strangers. And so I was concerned, as an adult, that these kids were out doing that very thing without any supervision at all. So that was part of it. But to be honest, at the time, a lot [inaudible] too was just figuring out what was going to make most sense financially for me and my family and at the time, I knew-- because '07 and '08 and the market crash had forced a lot of our revenue numbers to drop in our traditional vending locations, we were looking for a way to stabilize things and by being in the schools, having the kids there nine months out of the year, five days a week, we essentially were able to stabilize things rather than new UIs because the kids were always there.

So you've always said, just from our conversations, you've always said that you've wanted to give the kids more than a 50 cent vend. You have a desire to see value added for these kids and for these schools. What are some of the things that you're doing to make that come to fruition?

Well before I answer that, a lot of it really goes back philosophically to what I believe. And that is that our job is to plant seeds. And my job, my goal, is to plant good seeds. And when good seeds are planted, good things happen. And so I look at this glance we got of millions of kids in our schools today as not only an opportunity to raise money for those schools and to raise money for our franchise team but also as an opportunity to positively impact the lives of those kids each and every vend. And so we have intentionally spent a lot of time and invested a lot of capital into providing that value, which will hopefully plant seeds into the lives of many of our kids and have a positive impact on down the road.

One of the things that we've done is with a comic book series that I started about three years ago. I'm not a writer. I'm not an artist. But I found a couple of young guys who graduated from Baylor University - and they had done some graphic novels together - and I hired them to begin producing a comic book series that could be found in our machines in the schools that we're in. And so we started with these little four panel comics of Marlin and Percy. They're a couple of apes that want to be superheroes [laughter]. And we started with these little four-panel comics that were printed on the little cardboard folder that each and every one of our stickers is vended out of the machine in. And slowly began to build up this content so the kids were not just getting a sticker. They were getting a little comic and in many cases, they were getting like a crossword puzzle or a word find or a dot-to-dot or whatever. So once again, adding value to them and their life for the 50 cents that they were spending at the machine.

The goal was for Marlin and Percy to kind of become the Bazooka Joe of our vending machines. Well after a little while, we had done a number of these four-panel comics and they were a part of most of the vends that came out of our machines. And I went back to the guys. I said, "You know what? I was inspired to read as kid reading comics. Wouldn't it be cool if we actually started doing some full-length comics? What do you guys think?" And they're like, "Well, we've never done that before but sure." Fast forward to today. We are just about done with comic book number 10. We have also written two full-length children's chapter book novels. The first is already available online and the second will be available here sometime this summer. And this passion project, this crazy idea that I had three and a half years ago or so has become this thing that is become more than I ever expected it would be. And now it's kind of taken on a life of its own.

That and just recently, you were in Colorado at a school to really give the kids a little bit closer look at Marlin and Percy. Tell us a little bit about what happened there and the response in Colorado.

What I realized is a lot  of adults in the educational system and a lot of parents, don't really see comic books themselves, necessarily, as a key to inspiring kids to read. They don't look at them quite at the level that they look at regular books, right? So we decided why not write some novels that would help us fill in a much more complete story of Marlin and Percy and would also be something that might be more attractive to Mom and Dad. So the very first novel, Marlin & Percy: Beginnings, and we had a school, a middle school actually, called Preston Middle School in Grant-- or, Fort Collins, Colorado reach out to us and say, "Hey, we do something called Preston Reads every year. We would love to have Marlin & Percy be our book that our kids and their parents read together at the beginning of 2017. Would you be willing to do that?" Well, all we had at the time was the manuscript in digital form. So we scrambled, got a good friend of mine to format it all, to get a hundred copies printed, and delivered them a couple days late. But we did finally deliver them to the kids in the program at Preston. For the next month, they spent time reading Beginnings with their parents. And then myself and our author and illustrator showed up at Preston Middle School one evening and had an opportunity to talk a little bit about entrepreneurship, had an opportunity to talk about reading. And then, each of the guys got a chance to talk about writing and art. The kids and the parents just had an absolute blast. And man, to see the lightbulb come on in the eyes of many of those kids was just amazing. One of the things that we also did, Scott, which was kind of fun, was we challenged those kids, as well as kids in a couple elementary schools that we went and read comic books to groups of them at the day before-- we challenged them to come up with characters--

Yeah.

--for Marlin & Percy.

Cool.

And so it required them to get creative writing-wise, get a little creative artistically, as well. And they submitted those characters. For those that don't know, Marlin and Percy are apes, like a said a minute ago. But most of the characters within the novels are animals as well. And so the kids came up with a bunch of animal characters that they thought would tie in well with the Marlin & Percy storyline. We picked the top one from each of the schools and they each won a signed copy of the book. But then the overall winner actually had a cameo appearance in comic book number nine themselves. And then their character in comic book 10, which will be completed here within the next week or so. Their character will actually play a part in the 10th comic. So to get our audience-- to get those kids and have them involved to the point where they're actually adding to the storyline was just--

Oh my gosh.

--really, really cool.

That is cool. That is truly inspiring kids. So what's the character? Can you let that out? Or we need to go ahead a buy number 10 [laughter]?

Well, yeah. I can let it out. A young man, by the name of Cameron, came up with the Honeybadger.

Cool.

And so, the Honeybadger makes their debut appearance here, in comic book number 10, like I said. And Cameron, himself, is in a school scene in comic number nine also, which is pretty cool.

Cool. We're going to have to  get a hold of that. So besides having Cameron come up with that character and offering it to the kids, is there a statement that either you or your artist and writer receive from a kid or a parent that's the most memorable that maybe reflects the best about what this really meant for those kids?

I don't know that there is a specific statement. But there was teacher after teacher that came up to us while we were at the schools thanking us for coming, thanking us for looking at art, and writing, and reading from a completely different [inaudible] that normally occurs in the public schools. And so to come from the comic angle and to show the kids how you could have a passion like Caleb and Tyler have or like me as an entrepreneur and utilize that passion to help and inspire others, it's just really, really, really cool. In fact, we're hoping [inaudible] program here over the summer to where our franchise team, many of whom would love to get out and do work like this in their schools across the country, will have the tools that they need to go in and do comic book readings along with some video footage that we've done to do the same kind of inspiring kids in a classroom all across the country and not just these few schools in Fort Collins, Colorado.

That is super cool, you spreading the wealth, so to speak, giving other people an opportunity to be kid influencers. Your franchisees, a lot of them have been teachers. I mean, your whole organization is super family and kid-focused anyway. So for them to be able to go into a school, that's incredible, and give them the tools to do that, that is really neat. Are the franchisees responding to that?

Yeah. I mean, everybody's got their own situation. They've got their own time that they have that they could devote to something like this. But there are several that, man, when they heard about the program and what we're putting together, could not wait to be a part. One of the guys in the state of Mississippi is an example, just expressed to me the fact that the literacy rate in many of the schools across the country, but in Mississippi specifically because that's where he is, is challenged. And so to be able to do something like this, to be able to bring it in and potentially make a difference for those kids has the potential to be a game changer for many of those kids that we come across in that setting. Once again, and this is another opportunity for us to plant those seeds. We're not responsible to grow them.

Right.

We're just responsible to plant them. And I know, Scott, you've had people that touched you, your life, as you've grown up whether they realized it or not at the time and helped mold you. And I've had the same thing. And if we can just be a little spark to a kid here and there and another kid over here, none of which we'll probably hear from, that makes all of this even more worthwhile.

Well, that kind of is a good segue to really my last question. Since we're talking about inspiring kids, who inspired you the most when you were a kid?

I would say the two that inspired me the most were my grandfathers, Robert Johnston and Ward Miller, my mom's dad and my dad's dad. They were always there. Thankfully that they lived locally. And so they were part of every event, every concert, every play, every athletic event that myself and my siblings were involved in as we were growing up. And just the positive attitude that they always had had the uplifting attitude they always had, the kind word and the encouraging word that they always had, created an environment along with, of course, my parents raising us the way they did, for us to be creative, for us to take some risks, for us to try new things, and for us to strive to be as good as we could absolutely evver be. To live in that environment was a game changer for me. It allowed me to think bigger than the little town of Sikamore, Illinois that I grew up in, could allow me to see at the time. Of course, that encouragement and the encouragement of teachers in junior high and high school, as well, along with my parents, led me to decide to be the first in my high school in over 20 years to apply to one of the service academies. I was blessed to get a chance to go to the Airforce Academy for college, and that began a nine-year career as a pilot in the Air Force. That, of course, led to, in a very roundabout way, to what we're doing today with fundraising and comics, and all that kind of thing.

Man, that's fantastic. Tell the listeners a littel bit how they can get a hold of this Marlin and Percy. I know that there will be some who are going to want to get online and try to find these books somewhere.

Right now there's a couple places they can go. Of course, they can go to Amazon and access any of the comics, and Kindle version of the novel, as well. Just search Marlin and Percy on Amazon. Otherwise, you can go to MarlinAndPercy.com and access the same thing, in most cases, at a discounted price off of the Amazon price. Hopefully, Lord willing-- We'll know here, in the next several days, actually-- It looks like Marlin and Percy may be picked up by a New York publishing house. Within the next six months to a year, they founded bookstores all across the country as well, and have many of our publications available in printed format, as well as in Kindle or eBook format online also.

Fantastic. Any last things you would like to tell the listeners?

I would just challenge each and every one to, in your own way, anything that you can do to make the world a better place for those around you, to do so. In many cases, it doesn't have to be that big of a deal or take that monumental an effort. We've been blessed. I came from a very creative family, so I think about most things very creatively, but I've had times in my life where I've just been a volunteer in the schools, or a volunteer with the kids in church, whether it be with the AWANA program, or Royal Ambassadors program, or with the choirs, or whatever. You never know what impact you might be having on that child. You never know what's going on at home. You never know what they're being exposed to. Being that good example and that person to look up to, there's no way to ever know the positive influence that each and every one of us has the ability to have.

That's right. Great word. Matt Miller, inspiring kids to read, and planting the seed. Inspiring kids to read. That's awesome, Matt. Thank you so much for your time today. You impact kids, you impact families. Great mission.

Awesome. Thanks, Scott. God bless you, man.

Scott Hooper- The Unlimited Potential in Every Kid

September 16, 2017

I’m glad you found our podcast.  And I am honored that you’ve joined us for this pilot episode.  I value honesty, so I will be honest right out of the gate.  Even as I am recording this I know that this podcast is kind of like a big pot of gumbo. 

A lot of ingredients go into it, it’s a slow process and takes a lot of time to make it good, and it starts tasting better after it sits a while.

Well, in this episode, I want to lay the ingredients out on the table before we throw them in the pot.  Just what is inspire a kid and what is this podcast about?

Inspire a Kid is kind of a shift in thinking. Not a statement of what is, but certainly what should be. The underlying philosophy here is that I believe every kid has value, every kid has untapped potential and every kid has something uniquely special about them that makes them great.

What would happen if every child was inspired to greatness? What if every kid could believe that they could be notable, remarkable, outstanding, distinctive, important, AND significant? —I think we could make a positive impact on a global culture in one generation.

The problem is that many children are marginalized or worse.  I get sick when I hear stories of kids caught in situations of trafficking, abuse, neglect, poverty, war and human corruption that takes everyone’s “rights” into consideration except the innocent—the children who would never choose the unhealthy or deadly situations that adults put them in.

When a child dies, literally or figuratively, her potential dies with her.  What a waste!

I believe that there is unlimited potential for greatness in every child, regardless of gender, race, religion, economic opportunities (or lack of them), regardless of culture, health condition, ability or mental acuity.  Every child has unlimited, untapped potential for doing something great. Doing that one thing that shifts the axis a bit and hopefully charts a better course for humanity.

Unlimited potential.  I always think of seeds.  I don’t know if you are a gardener, but I love gardening.  Strike that.  I love the idea of gardening.  When you plant a seed and a plant grows and it produces something useful, something you want, something that feeds the family or community… That is a really cool thing.  I don’t like the hard work of gardening, the weeding, the pruning, the tilling up the ground, the bugs and a host of other things that make it not so fun, but if Inspire a Kid is telling the story of seeds being planted, so to speak, then I also hope we address the harder questions too, of “what do I need to do to make this thing grow?” 

It doesn’t do much good to stare at a handful of potential food and think, “Wow such good seed.”  Nor does it do much good to observe the unlimited potential in our kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, our classroom, our team, our troop, our pupil or any other place we interact with kids, and not get them where they need to be.  Not get them to a place where their potential can begin to be fully realized.

There’s a saying that’s been around for a while that I will demolish here but it goes something like, “The correct question is not ‘How many acorns are on the oak tree?’, but, ‘How many trees are in one acorn?’”

I hope that Inspire a Kid and the Inspire a kid podcast will help our culture ask the right question.

Part of the Inspire a Kid framework is based on core human values…. that there are core human values which could and should be common in every culture that are the basis for strong children, families and communities. These values are our lens through which we hope will encourage kids to live their important, distinctive and significant lives. Our values list in alphabetical order are:

Courageous

Courteous

Compassionate

Confident

Creative

Generous

Healthy

Helpful

Humble

Kind

Loyal

Organized

Responsible

Teachable

Thrifty

Trustworthy

This may sound somewhat familiar to you who were in scouting.  As I was developing the Inspire a Kid values philosophy, I realized that the Boy Scouts had been teaching basic human values for 100 years and listed them in the 12 points of the Scout Law.  As an Eagle Scout these had become a part of my vocabulary.  Religious teachings for thousands of years have pointed to these things and in many cases is what has held the societies together.

So the whole “Inspire a Kid” ecosystem that we are developing and the Inspire a Kid Podcast which is a piece of that I hope will challenge the global narrative “that kids are less than” by telling the stories of inspiring kids, the kid influencers who positively inspire kids, and the adults who were inspired to be great as kids. We will tell the stories of people who exemplify global human values so that we can move from “values theory” into action.

So thanks for partnering with us and listening as Inspire a Kid becomes an intentional, international movement designed to unveil the hidden unlimited potential in every kid.

We are about INSPIRING KIDS TO GREATNESS!  Who are you inspiring today?