Look to the EAST

   

Look to the EAST
8/12/2013 4:28:41 PM

At some point in growing up you decided how smart you are what you are capable of and what you deserve. Our experiences and what we are told by our parents, peers and teachers have a long lasting effect. Funny isn’t it how we allow our glass ceiling to be set by opinions which others have of us? . . . . .

This article originally ran on CastaNet.

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Author: Don Campbell
Oct. 26, 2006 / 9:22 am


At some point in growing up you decided how smart you are what you are capable of and what you deserve. Our experiences and what we are told by our parents, peers and teachers have a long lasting effect. Funny isn’t it how we allow our glass ceiling to be set by opinions which others have of us? Even stranger, these opinions are based on other people’s experiences which are riddled with fears, doubts and worries of their own. What if you were led to believe that you are amazing, that you really matter and that you have a great deal to contribute to society? Welcome to the EAST Initiative.

While in Little Rock this week I learned of a powerful concept and initiative for the high school students of Arkansas. The EAST initiative is one that prepares students for the real world of work with real world experience. I’m not talking about menial projects these students are involved in very important work. So important is this work that they have to sign confidentiality agreements as they are privy to information even their parents can’t get access to. Examples might be where specialized public infrastructure equipment is stationed and specifics relative to the inner workings of the water, sewer, energy and communications systems in their community.

As a student you have a choice about becoming part of EAST, it’s like taking an elective program. The biggest difference is that rather than learning about something from textbooks, the students are in charge of making creative and high-impact changes for their community. The Mayor and other Civic Managers come to the students to tap into their ideas, enthusiasm and energy. I’ve met some of these students and you would be amazed as I was at how mature, responsible are involved they are.

Imagine your son or daughter being asked in an interview about what he/she has been doing. This same son or daughter might say “well, I’ve been involved in civic re-engineering projects at the federal and local levels and we’ve created a GIS information system that captured the entire communications infrastructure from both private and public entities as part of a region-wide broadband initiative.” Imagine the look on the interviewers face.

Students are part of EAST through choice and connect with other students throughout the state in collaborative projects. Rather than being given the hand me down computers and technology they are given the latest and very best. The students are treated by the adults in the community as responsible and capable young adults. So take a guess on how they perform in their daily lives. I only wish you could have met these students, maybe you will.

In the world of work today we are all about working as teams. We encourage and foster collaboration, yet in our schools when our young people engage each other for answers we call it “cheating.” Does this not give our sons and daughters mixed messages when it comes to work-ethics, morals, values and principles?

If you are involved in the development of the youth in your community I encourage you to become informed about the EAST initiative. If you’re not involved in the development of the youth I ask “what’s stopping you?” We know it takes a whole village to raise a child so let’s all do our part. You can find out more about EAST at their website. So until next week, remember: “in only two days, tomorrow will be yesterday, lean into it!” As I offer insights, stories, tips and career information, please contact me to share your stories opinions and comments to Don Campbell.

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