Story and Photo By DeLon M. Stradford, American Mentor
AMWS, April 22, 2017, Cleveland, OH – Today, when someone asked me if "I believe I can achieve whatever I believe I can achieve?” I answer, "yes," without hesitation.
This caring adult ran into a few bumps in the road, especially in meeting and overcoming the challenge, "Say it with enthusiasm; Put an exclamation point behind it." Or, as my American Mentor said to me, "Whatever you do, do it with enthusiasm, or get out the way of somebody who has enthusiasm."
After a year-long journey through trial and error, I'm now looking at the recipe for success both behind and ahead.
There are multiple layers in any profitable enterprise. I have found at least three, perhaps four, in the process known as "Money-n-the-Bank. The way I see it, achievement, belief in that achievement, the ability to achieve sums up the challenge for any caring adult of a new Youth Achiever to "be or not to be."
Three layers answered the question for me. "I can" now serves as the root, embedded in the foundation, which deems my success before even initiating the work.
The work starts before the work starts. If that doesn't make sense to you, maybe some spiritual refreshing will help. Over the past 12 months I have personally witnessed a chance to win a chance becoming real in the person of La'Nyesha M. Stradford Wiggins.
La'Nyesha is the newest candidate for Economic Inclusion, in a national program known as THE ANNUAL YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS. I'm learning with La'Nyesha and a Whole Village of Caring Adults that goals need not only be conceived, but written as well. And belief in reaching those goals, should precede the goals themselves.
La'Nyesha's written goals are now in "the process" of being valued as Money-n-the-Bank, a seven-part vision of her own American future. During "the process," twenty "caring" adults stepped up "to be or not to be" La'Nyesha's whole village.
These caring adults cared enough about La'Nyesha's future to tear away from everyday distractions that tend to hold us all back. They have committed to, not only be interested, but to involve each other as a corporate entity.
We've all heard, "It takes a village to raise a child"; well sometimes it takes a village to inspire other members of the village, which should, in theory, motivate the village. Everyone has a part.
Raising a Whole Village is not always easy. I found it particularly frustrating to come close to completion and then miss the deadline—despite some valiant last-minute efforts.
"All things are possible to the believer." I got up, dusted my hurt feelings off and got busy turning my sour lemons into lemonade. As a small business owner, I get it! TIME IS MONEY. Time waits for no one, therefore we should never wait for time. Make time….. “GET IT DONE!”
This year, La'Nyesha M. Stradford-Wiggins is a winner! She has written seven goals which I believe YouthUSA will value as Money-n-the-Bank. Her spiritual, physical, social, financial, educational, professional, and recreational goals are being shared via La'nyesha's YouthUSA Fellowship, a special Facebook group set up for the Whole Village.
La'Nyesha will be calling on the Whole Village to complete the FDIC MoneySmart Financial Literacy course to help her bank the first $500 toward her financial goal.
Now that she has raised a Whole Village, La'Nyesha is well on her way to becoming a YouthUSA Economic Beneficiary with all rights and responsibilities. Her next challenge, with the help of key advisors will be to make sure her friends and their friends also raise a village. It's one thing to say you want to help youth or you want to help poor people be less poor. It's a whole new opportunity when you see yourself in that vision becoming real.