• Listening to the stories of youth enables us to connect with them.

  • Persistence in conquering adverse challenges can only result in positive results.

  • One person can have a positive influence on many people.

Working with youth can affect them in a positive manner.

You can change their lives and help prepare them for adulthood.


A great example of this is Erin Gruwell.


Erin received an award from Toastmasters International last Friday. She received the Golden Gavel award at the convention in Vancouver, Canada.


It was inspiring to witness her presentation about the Freedom Writers. Erin described how she worked with 150 low-performing 14-year-old students in Long Beach, California. They were challenged in many aspects.


Their lives were plagued by poverty. They had seen their friends and relatives shot. Many of their parents were behind bars. They felt more pain than success.

All this happened a few miles from Disneyworld, the world’s happiest place. Rodeo Drive, the luxury shopping mecca of the rich and famous was nearby.


It was this scenario in which Erin arrived unprepared for the challenges. She persisted against many odds. There was little support from the school administration. The students reacted negatively to another white teacher.


None of the students had read a book. Erin maxed out her credit card buying them copies of books written by children. Some books were “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” and “Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Sarajevo.” In these books they saw parallels to their own lives.


Erin also encouraged them to write their stories, thoughts, and feelings in diaries. Their diaries were the source of the ‘Freedom Writers Diary which was published in 1999. That book lead to the Freedom Writers movie. Also, Erin and the students have established the Freedom Writers Foundation to assist other students.


There are lessons to be learned from the Freedom Writers experience, such as:

  • One person can have a positive influence on many people.

  • Persistence to conquer a multitude of challenges can lead to successful results.

  • The life of the most challenged individual can be turned around.

  • Listening to the stories of young people can result in finding ways to connect with them.


You can learn more about the Freedom Writer story at the links below:


Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erin_Gruwell


Freedom Writers movie trailer:  

This is an example of how working with youth can have positive results.

It can change their lives and prepare them for adulthood.

Please share your ideas on how we can assist our youth.

If you require more details, please contact us.


Are you are interested in learning more about group coaching?

If so, contact us to obtain a report on a simple and easy system on how to set up group coaching programs for youth. You can do this in the ‘Contact us‘ section of the website.


Wishing you lots of love and laughter, as always.

Fred Jones

Victoria, BC Canada

Fred Jones

Fred Jones

Posted in Administration, Blog, Coaching, Coaching youth, Community, Program Activities and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

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