2016 also marks the 15th year anniversary for Tomorrows Youth International. After fifteen years, hundreds of events and tens of thousands of graduates I am more committed than ever to continue the work we do with young people. On that note I’d thought I would like to share with you all what we have been up to for the past few months and give you an insight into the courses we run and the results we work to achieve for those attending.
The first event I would like to talk about is our biannual 5-day Camp. We held our very first winter 5-Day Camp last July and as always we were blown away by the success of those five days.
The 5-day Camp was first launched in 2004 as a response from many graduates of our 2 day course, Empower U, wanting to continue their journey of self-discovery and personal growth with us. Those attending the camp are committed to gaining the best outcome for themselves over the five days, committing to amazing breakthroughs and implementing the tools and strategies taught to achieve success in their lives. Those attending have all graduated from Empower U ensuring that they not only have rapport and respect for myself & the team but also that they are committed to challenging and stretching themselves over the five days.
The July Camp was no different in terms of the group or the outcome. We had a highly committed group of teenagers, many of which attended Empower U multiple times, geared up and ready for the five days. Despite the difference in weather the Camp ran as any other and the result was of course astounding. The Camp is designed to challenge participants, to create an environment to implement everything taught and action it into their lives.
Much like an elastic band the participants are stretched out of their comfort zones. The intensity of the five days always leads to breakthroughs with participants. For this Camp in particular there were many participants who experienced a huge amount of growth. That is what the Camp is designed to do and to allow participants to push themselves to overcome self-limiting beliefs, step out of their comfort zones to act as leaders and to allow themselves to self-reflect and discover their passions in life.
This Camp was unique as well in that it has the most guest speakers present at any camp with eleven speakers. Four of the speakers were in fact participants of the Camp themselves who I had chosen beforehand to present. Each presentation was thoroughly planned and highly regarded by the group. I was so impressed at the level of commitment the participant speakers had and as a public speaker this is something I have always encouraged as a skill to develop. It also had such an impact on the group to hear their peers present and this reflected the calibre of participants we had attend for July.
We are now already gearing up for the January 5-Day Camp in 5 months time.
In the weeks after the Camp we ran a one day joint seminar for four schools in Canberra. Thanks to the efforts of teachers within the four schools they were able to secure me to run a one day seminar for their students.
With school audiences, depending on how the school has framed the day, it can be a challenge initially to make sure the students are fully engaged and in the right mindset to learn. Thanks to the positive influence of the teachers there and a few outstanding students the group was engaged right from the start. The day consists of the topics of career tips, goal setting, comfort zones and creativity. We also keep the students engaged and receptive through playing a few games to keep the energy high.
It was a fun day to facilitate with many asking insightful questions and no major resistance from students as they had all chosen to attend. A few had also contacted us to enquire about the next Canberra Empower U that we will be holding inspired by what they had learned that day.
Soon after in late July I was asked to speak at BU Day, held by Beautiful Minds, for their one day event. Beautiful Minds was founded by Marina Passalaris and run courses dedicated to empowering young women and to educate them on the major issues they are facing as teenagers. Marina was also a guest speaker at the January 5-Day Camp this year speaking about breaking through personal barriers which was warmly received by the group.
At the day event I spoke alongside other guest speakers and performers where I delivered a keynote address. My presentation consisted of two stories that I usually reserve for my two day seminars, one based on a tragic incident from my past and the other a story about a young girl aspiring to be a world-class ballerina. Both stories have the main message that tragic circumstances, depending on your mindset to it, could completely hinder you or act to drive you to achieve your goals in life.
The whole event was brimming with energy and it was quite amazing to witness it all. It has been inspiring working with Marina and to build a working relationship to further help young people navigate an increasingly challenging environment to grow up in.
Most recently at the beginning of this month we held our two day Empower U course in Sydney to a tremendous success. This was a unique group of participants with almost half of the group having completed the program previously. Most of those that revisited this time round have also just recently completed the winter 5-Day Camp 3 weeks prior. Due to the large amount of recent camp graduates the energy in the room from the Friday night was already so high and enthusiastic. Compared to programs where at times it can be a struggle to boost the energy initially this Empower U was in that sense easy to facilitate with many participants committed to the weekend from the very start.
The higher amount of revisits also had the affect of influencing those attending for the first time step out of their comfort zone and participate earlier on in the program than is usually the case. With so many committed participants it helped to foster an atmosphere closer to that experienced at our 5-Day Camp as the group was highly engaged and supportive of each other from a much earlier starting point in the weekend.
Having a high proportion of revisits is definitely a unique experience and something that is unlikely to occur again for quite a while. For the revisits it was a phenomenal way to keep stretching that elastic band and to reaffirm a lot of the lessons taught.
Our next course in Sydney will be on October 7-10 and that program will mark exactly the 15 year anniversary of Tomorrows Youth International. As such I am gearing up for this program to be one to remember as we are expecting to book out the venue capacity for the course. I am also hoping to bring back many of our older graduates and assists to revisit & help facilitate the course to celebrate 15 years of running Empower U.
I strongly encourage you that if you are thinking about sending your child along to have them attend this October.
If you are interested in sending someone along, please get in touch with one of the team by emailing your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org as we may need to cap the numbers soon.