Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Junior Achievement and how its helping me figure out my dreams

Today I went for Junior Achievement - Business Plan Competition volunteering program. This was my second class, and as part of my volunteering, I have to teach around thirty 12th graders on how to become entrepreneurs.
Its amazing to see how creative and engaged high schoolers can become when you take away all the textbooks from them and encourage them to think outside the box. Why don't we have more classes like that? Why does conformity have to be taught in today's time and ages?Well, I guess, that discussion is for another time since I don't want to digress from talking about how fabulous my day was.

Ok, so during this class, the ideas just kept flowing and each student was sitting with a sparkle in their eye as if they had just discovered the next big thing. They talked about products and services they believed in, 'things' that were not available at the moment and 'stuff' that could potentially change the world. I wish I could share their ideas here, but that would spoil the competition - so maybe after the competition is over, I will do so.
After the powwow with the students about what's the definition of a CEO, CFO, VP Marketing and COO and who in the team should be each of those roles, I ended the class with a profound quote by Ayn Rand, "The question is not who is going to let me; its who is going to stop me." And this was done in the spirit of encouraging the students to keep thinking big and not be afraid of making mistakes while they do so.

On the ride back home, I zoned out, reflecting on this program and  how perfectly aligned I was to the purpose behind this program. This program resonates so well with where I am in my life right now. And, what these kids are being taught about - to be business owners, to proudly call something their own and to be part of something that can change lives - is exactly what I am learning to do as well. So you see, volunteering is not just about helping someone or some cause, but you end up gaining sooo much in return and then get inadvertently pushed towards your dreams! I say, hooray for volunteering!!

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