I have worked as an educator for over 25 years, with students of all ages, from early reading to university. As a former columnist for a weekly publication for over 15 years, I have had the privilege to speak to many parents, young people, as well as individuals in the community. Volunteering with a few non-profit organizations dealing with children, youth, parents, and the marginalized, I have had the opportunity to meet with mothers, some of whom had been living in shelters, and I learned a great deal about what life could be like.
As an undergraduate, away from my family, I studied on a scholarship, and while excelling academically because all I did was study, I ran into challenges with my scholarship committee. It was through the insightfulness and concern of one of my professors that I did not carry through with my plan to drop out of university. Consequently, I have a soft spot for young people, many of whom are failing, not because of ability, but because this is where they have control. Through graduate studies and research culminating in a PhD in Education, I was able to put theoretical underpinnings to many of my practical experiences and to use theory to undergird my professional practice. I was able to see that young people need to have control over their lives and my concern became even more intense. It is this concern that has dictated much of my life’s work and fuelled my new series of books, Successful Youth Living, and my blog, SuccessfulYouthLivingBlog.com
Through my days as a columnist with the community paper, I was
invited one day to speak to a group of young male prison inmates at a
penitentiary on a topic that I had written about in my column, entitled,
“Who Needs a Daddy Anyway?” (by the way, the answer is everyone). An
inmate had seen the article in the community paper and thought it would
have been suitable for some of the young fathers who were incarcerated
and who were having difficulty dealing with being away from their kids.
Well, after that meeting, I went back to the same penitentiary for
several years. Although I don’t go on a regular basis any more, I will
be going back later this year to speak with a new crop of young inmates,
including the original inmate who had first invited me several years
ago. I am looking forward to this visit.
I also write book-length biographies for a variety of everyday individuals, many of whom simply want an account of their lives for their families and friends, and some for the reading public. I have written biographies for an aging soccer referee who had been physically active in this sport for over 55 years, a minister who followed his calling through great adversity, a young widowed mother who single-handedly raised five successful adults, a Holocaust survivor who triumphed and has a loving family of his own, and a World War II pilot who excelled in war despite a major challenge: all overcoming great odds to be successful. Most of these biographies are in private collections.
I have always enjoyed writing, and as my mother has told me, when I was a little girl, my criterion for choosing books to read were those that were first person stories. (My explanation to her at the time was that I knew the narrator had not died and so could say “I” in the story). I still enjoy reading and writing biographies, and believe there is a special story locked up in each of us, a story that could help others deal with life’s challenges.
You can reach me through the “Contact Us” page. I’m excited to connect with you and invite you to explore my blog at successfulyouthliving.com/blog. Please join and follow us on social media as well. Additionally, you can also subscribe to our list to receive new articles on motivation, inspiration, and education delivered to your inbox weekly!