Saturday, March 17, 2012

YELL Orlando

This morning my son and I went to the first annual Orlando Youth Empowerment Leadership Learning Conference. The conference was organized by IB students from my school, Cypress Creek,  as an outgrowth of Miguel Goncalves' participation as a Bezo Scholar in the Aspen Ideas Festival. What a great job Miguel and the student development team did on this all-day leadership conference! The best part? It was free and many of the speakers donated their time and talents.

Collin and Becky Kagan Schott
The opening keynote speaker Becky Kagan Schott graduated from our school and has made it big! A professional videographer, she dives and films sharks, shipwrecks, whales and more. She even worked on the Titanic expedition in 2010. She's the owner of Liquid Productions, and a recent Emmy award winner. Her pictures--liquid sky, clear water, dolphins, golden caves , alien and ghostly wrecks-- take your breath away. Beyond her art, two things stood out for me: goal setting and taking initiative.

During Schott's senior year, her yearbook teacher asked students to write down what they thought they would be doing in 10 years. She wrote that she wanted to be making documentaries about sharks. It took her 12 years, but she did it. She lives it--her resume, in her words, reads like an "extreme bucket list."  She reminded students that it started with a little slip of paper in yearbook class. Set goals. Dream big.

When you see a chance, when you see someone living your dream, take note. She started taking note while working for the Florida Aquarium. During a shark program there she met someone from the Discovery channel. She said her next move changed her future.

She went up to the camera man and said, "I love what you're doing. How can I do your job?"

That simple step makes all the difference.

"Ask," she told students in the audience. "Find the people that are doing what you dream and talk to them. Face your fear and jump in ... know that you never stop learning."

Never stop... indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - what an inspiring young woman and what a blessing that she shared these wise words with others. Adults and kids can benefit from that advice. "I love what you're doing. How can I do your job?" - I need to remember that!