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Sincerely Syreeta is the mother of two daughters who remind her to Empathize, Empower, and EVOLVE every day. She is a freelance journalist, talk show host, life coach, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur based out of Philadelphia, PA.
July 24, 2012Net Nanny for Android 2.0
Mar 13, 2017
My daughters are anything but shy.
They’re comfortable striking up a chit-chat with just about anyone and aren’t afraid to jump right into the mix and contribute to a conversation.
This isn’t necessarily the case for everyone, including my kids whom I’ve worked with as a youth program facilitator. Yes, my kids. Be it one day, one week, four weeks, eight weeks or an entire school year, the students that I work with become my kids. I’m fully invested not only in their success within the program, but their development in life.
Witnessing a once painfully shy teen become comfortable in their skin is like watching a flower bloom. They go from barely speaking and making eye contact, to raising their hands and offering their two cents, venturing into the territory of leadership, and connecting with their peers.
I once had a student in a weekend program who was so shy she covered her mouth and the majority of her face every time she spoke. I would often have to kindly request that she remove her hands, sometimes even gently holding them in mine, so that she would communicate without the presence of a physical barrier between us. After a month or so of getting to know her via the use of writing assignments and other activities, we finally hit a breakthrough.
Every week we let a student pick a line dance for the entire class to learn. I noticed that she seemed to brighten up every time this activity came around.
When her turn came, she shined—so much so that the other students noticed and praised her for it.
From that moment on, we watched her grow more confident and engaged in our group. It wasn’t always easy, but more importantly, we had cultivated a space for her to blossom.