One of my powerful presentations to middle & high school students is called “Your friends are your future!”
I have worked over 17 years with drug addicted youth, youth in foster care, incarcerated youth, victims of human trafficking, youth that have been abused and neglected, as well as being a Licensed Therapeutic Foster Parent, volunteer chaplain in the Department of Juvenile Justice, held a temporary teaching certification to teach grades 6-12 so I could teach at a drop out prevention school for middle & high school females. With all of my education & expertise, I can honestly say that who you spend your time around is what you will become!
This goes for youth and adults!
In February, I had the opportunity to speak with a young 16 year old man. He had the sweetest smile, eager to please his mother and dying to be accepted by his peers. The last I shared with him is this…”Your friends are your future! Show me your friends & I’ll show you your future!”
2 weeks later, his ‘friends’ accidentally shot & killed him.
Devastating! I grieve for his mother who no longer has to purchase a suit and tie for his eighth grade graduation but a suit and tie to lay her ‘baby’ (the youngest of 6 children) to rest in a casket. Never to see him again.
Why are peer relationships so influential in human beings lives?
It comes down to one word….acceptance.
If we can accept ourselves, it will not matter what others think of us.
If you want a good prediction of your future…look at the people you surround yourself with.
Are they loving? Kind? Forgiving? Trustworthy? Are they successful? Positive? Do they motivate you to be better?
If not, please please please, find people you want your future to look like!
This is why I am so passionate about young people. We all have ‘issues’, but to overcome those ‘issues’ we have to set ourselves up for success.