Welcome to season 3! Amanda is solo in this episode, sharing what’s been happening this past year at Shine From Within HQ and what you can expect from this new season of the podcast (like how to be an inclusive youth mentor, how to engage with teens online and so much more!). She also shares about our upcoming Youth Mentor Conference, our new certification for youth mentors, why she didn’t cope so well this year, etc.

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YMP S3 Ep1

Sound Bite

[00:00:00] We’ll be covering things like how to be an inclusive and anti-racist youth mentor. We’ll chat with some of our youth mentors and friends about how they’ve adapted during these past couple of. I’ll share what I’m learning with the teens I work with each week. We’ll talk more about supporting and mentoring young people online and lots, lots more. 


[00:00:19] Hello and welcome to the youth mentor podcast. This is your short burst of inspiration tips and research about teens for parents, educators, and mentors. I’m your host, Amanda Rootsey, founder of teen personal development school Shine From Within and coach to incredible youth mentors all over the world. Now I certainly don’t know it all.

[00:00:38] So I interview the experts about what’s going on for youth today. From psychological insights to really practical advice, this is your moment of inspiration, motivation, and a few laughs amidst the ever changing world of teens and tweens.

Episode begins

[00:00:51] welcome to season three of the youth mentor podcast, Amanda here, and it feels so, so good to be with you today. Thanks so much for tuning in. It’s an honor to be with you and taking up space in your ears and in your life today. So thank you. It’s been awhile since we’ve released an episode and, um, gosh, I’m so yeah, I’m so excited for the conversations and the people that I’ll be introducing you to this season.

[00:01:17] We’ll be covering things like how to be an inclusive and anti-racist youth mentor. We’ll chat with some of our youth mentors and friends about how they’ve adapted during these past couple of. I’ll share what I’m learning with the teens I work with each week. We’ll talk more about supporting and mentoring young people online and lots, lots more before we get into this new season and this new episode, I want to let you know that this season of the podcast is recorded and edited on the land of the Kabi Kabi people on what’s known as the Sunshine Coast in Southeast Queensland, Australia.

[00:01:50] I don’t think I’ve shared with you before, where I’m coming from or, where we record the podcast where I’m living. I do move around a little bit, to be honest, but, um, right now this is home and I’d like to just take this moment to acknowledge the Kabi Kabi or Gubbi Gubbi people as the traditional custodians of the land here and pay my respects to their elders past, present and, of course, emerging. Sovereignty was never ceded on this land. And this land always was, and always will be Aboriginal land. When we think about supporting the next generation, I think it’s really important to reflect on what has happened in the past for all the people on this country. And, you know, think about the history and the ancestors of the lands, wherever we are in each moment.

[00:02:34] And of course, wherever we’re doing this work, so much of that has an impact on the path forward for the next generation. I think if we truly, truly want to support them and be there for them and hopefully, you know, help them to usher in a new era, then there’s a bunch of unlearning that, that we need to do as adults.

[00:02:52] And, I’m on that path and hope that you are too. And if I can introduce you to some people to help with that as well, along the way, then I’ll absolutely do that too. This season, as I mentioned, I’m going to introduce you to lots of different youth mentors and as always be talking about different ways that we can show up for and support the teens and tweens in our community.

[00:03:16] Right now, there are 1.2 billion adolescents in the world, age 10 to 19, which is about 16% of the population or roughly one in six people. It’s a lot. Right? One of our youth support trainers for the Youth Mentor Training, Aruna Pant, who is coming over to us from UNICEF and has worked for decades with youth throughout , south Asia has been sharing stats like that with me. I’ll introduce you to her at some stage this season. Her passion and dedication for supporting young people is infectious. If you, if you’re ever thinking, ‘gosh, you know what? This is just hard work. And I’m thinking about doing something else.’ She will motivate you back on track. As she reminded me, we have never had this many young people in the world and they all deserve a youth mentor.

[00:04:04] Right. They all deserve some kind of adult in their life. Who’s not a parent, not a teacher, not a friend or a family member, but just someone else that they, that these young people can talk to. And that can really cheer them on the world. Health organization suggests that to grow and develop, grow.

[00:04:24] Adolescents need information, including age appropriate, comprehensive sexuality education opportunities. They need to develop life skills. They need health services that are acceptable, equitable, uh, appropriate and effective, and they need safe and supportive environments. I also suggest that young people need opportunities to meaningfully participate in the design and delivery of interventions to improve and maintain their.

[00:04:52] Expanding such opportunities is key to responding to adolescents specific needs and rights. When I think about our youth mentors around the world, they’re really hitting some of these key initiatives, specifically opportunities to develop life skills and providing safe and supportive environments.

[00:05:09] These are two things that we can do as youth mentors. It’s such a gift that we can kind of do this for young people and to be in their space. Of course, as you know, I think it’s such an honor for us to use. Uh, be able to connect and communicate with young people. But I know that some people, when they’re thinking about becoming a youth mentor or any kind of life coach after young people, they can feel like they need more qualifications, you know, that they need to have, um, counseling or psychology or those sorts of things where it’s really about supporting the mental health of a young person who is going through something, um, that has some kind of trauma.

[00:05:48] You know, we can, we can be developing life skills and we can be providing safe and supportive environments and firmly be in that preventative space and working on building up and positively impacting young people with. Being in that space where we are healing some kind of past traumas so that there is a really clear difference between being a youth mentor or some kind of life coach for teens and working in that mental health space.

[00:06:17] And of course, that’s the, that’s one of the biggest things that we have to be really mindful of and know the limits of what we can do and what we can’t do so that we’re minimizing any kind of harm for yeah. With the young people that we’re working with. I feel like I can often go off on a tangent about the importance of safety when we’re working with young people, but, um, it’s important, you know, and, and if you’re looking to be in that preventative space to be an additional supportive adult in a young person’s life, then there is so much that we can offer just as we are.

[00:06:49] And there’s so much that we can learn to make sure that we do that in a way. So that is really going to minimize any risk of harm more than anything else. We have such a responsibility when working with young people. So it’s one of those things that we, uh, we always need to be on top of and always need to be learning more about.

[00:07:07] And up-skilling so that we’re constantly yeah. Minimizing that, that risk. And if we do have a hope for a better world ahead to overcome the challenges that we’re facing right now as a collective of humans and other beings on this planet, it’s going to come from these superstars. If this generation are just too burnt out and stressed out, trying to survive and getting through, then they won’t have the capacity to do what’s needed to dream up solutions and to bring joy and light and you know, like a new Dawn to life.

[00:07:41] I think maybe I’m putting a little bit too much pressure on them to fix everything, but that is my hope. I guess in that in that sense, doing anything with young people, supporting them in any way that we can is just, you know, a really super selfish thing that we can do for ourselves and for our futures as well.

[00:07:58] So let’s help them get through. Let’s be there to lend an ear, whether you’re a parent or a teacher or a mentor or a coach or an auntie or uncle, auntie, or uncle. I wonder what the gender neutral. For that might be family member, I guess. But if you do know, please reach out and let me know. Cause I can’t think of what that might be for an auntie or uncle.

[00:08:21] Anyway, if you’re a supportive family member, if you’re a helping professional, if you work with adolescents in any way, let’s really take a moment to set an intention, to, to be there for them extra right now, to ask how they’re going to check in with them, with how they’re doing right now, because there’s just, of course so much happening in the world.

[00:08:40] And it’s been a really intense couple of years for them, right. There’s been, um, there’s been so much going on for the young people that we work with, um, for our team as well. You know, there’s been lots happening here and it’s just meant that we haven’t had that much capacity to show up as much as we would normally do as well.

[00:08:58] And you know, if I just wanted to share that with you too, in case you felt like you haven’t done enough this year, or that you should be doing more to get your business out there or to support the young people around you and all of those things, I think we can be, if you’re anything like me, you might have been a little bit hard on yourself this past year.

[00:09:16] Yeah, so much has been going on. Right. I know for me personally, on top of the world, um, my dad passed away earlier in the year as well. And, uh, That’s happening during this time meant that I couldn’t get to him while it was happening. He couldn’t get back home to us. So that was certainly, you know, really challenging as well and something I’m still kind of recovering from.

[00:09:41] But, one thing that’s really got me through it, to be honest, is working with the teens, getting to connect with them every week and show up, however I’m feeling that week. And connect with them, see what’s happening for them. It’s yeah, it’s really got me through and I’m so, so grateful for the young people that are part of our online academy, if you’re listening.

[00:10:01] Um, yeah. Thanks for being part of our community, cuz you’re all amazing! Um, but it’s also been really special to hold space for youth mentor trainees, and graduates as well. And hearing what they’ve been up to, to it. It brings me so much joy and, and hope to hear the incredible programs that they’ve got coming to life all over the world, the way that they’ve been adapting.

[00:10:23] And, um, yeah, that’s no matter what’s been happening these past 18 months. The one thing I’ve heard. Being able to do is to turn up to calls with the teens or with the youth mentors. And, um, yeah, those, those things have really kind of got me through. What I haven’t had capacity for is, is kind of more marketing outreach connecting with, with you as a, as a kind of wider shine from within community.

[00:10:49] So I look forward to doing more of that as we head into this next year together. This first episode of season three, with, with this podcast was really just going to be a quick hello, and this is what we’ve got coming up, but it seems to be turning into just a bit of a general update too.

[00:11:06] So I might just continue with that if you are okay with that, and then I’ll get into. The specific episodes that we’ve got coming up for you as well. Um, but yeah, yeah, behind the scenes, we’ve been working quite a bit on updating our youth mentor training. So after five years of running it and kind of tacking new trainings onto it, as we go, it’s been really bursting at the seams and needed some tweaking and, just a bit of a update to the structure.

[00:11:32] But we’ve also been wanting to add in some additional, um, assessment and, and a certification pathway too. So. In consultation with lots of our past mentors and hearing their feedback and checking in with them, we’ve realized that one way that we can make sure that they feel even more confident getting up and running and working in this space is, um, having this kind of assessment all the way through as well.

[00:11:57] And, um, providing these additional, um, kind of checkpoints and things that they have to do in order to graduate and, and be certified. Sorry, this new updated version of the youth mentor training has more support than ever. It, is going to get you working in the world, doing your thing with young people sooner and with the additional assessment, uh, feedback on all of your workbooks and worksheets and codes of conduct and things like that, as well as the support to deliver your very first workshop with us in the online academy.

[00:12:31] We are super excited about what this is going to mean for our certified youth mentors going forward as well. So, um, yeah, we’re actually open for enrollments at the moment. You can head to youthmentors.shinefromwithin.com.au to check out what these new packages look like. Uh, the new costs what’s included and, um, yeah, we get started in February, 2022.

[00:12:53] So, um, Yeah, it’s super exciting. And we’ve, we’ve already got a few enrollments coming in at the moment. So, um, ah, I can’t wait to, to make this new round, this 13th round of, of youth mentors, it’s going to be great. And as always with all of our graduated youth mentors, you have lifetime access. So if you, as someone who’s graduated with us before, you of course can access everything that we’ve added to the training and, can come through this new certification pathway as well.

[00:13:24] We’ve also been feeling out or, um, bulking up or. What’s another term for those things at just adding, we’ve been adding to our team lately. We’ve got, wonderful Tash and Leah have been on our team at shine from, within for a number of years. And, um, they are, they’ve been moving around quite a bit, actually.

[00:13:44] So Leah is now in a caravan with a family traveling around Australia or attempting to considering the different. State lockdowns and things that are constantly happening. And, Tasha is moved from Australia back to the UK. Uh, so you’ll find now that if you email info@shinefromwithin.com today, you, you might get a response in the middle of the night if you’re in my part of the world.

[00:14:07] Um, and that’s why w yeah. We’re very much a global company, but, um, you’ll find that you’ll get a response in the middle of the night now from Tash and we’ve also added Fola and Aruna to the team too. So they are both joining us as support mentors. Um, I mentioned arena earlier and, uh, FOLA her full name is Adefolashade Fadeyi.

[00:14:28] She is the. A founder and director of brighter girls initiative in Lagos, Nigeria. She’s also come through our training as well, and she’s built a beautiful, beautiful organization there. Um, she’s been hosting some calls with our African youth mentors as well, and has been jumping on quite a few of our calls with the youth mentors over the past couple of rounds, to just as an additional support.

[00:14:53] It’s really, really great to have her perspective and, um, Have that expertise of someone who’s been running her programs for a long time has built up a business that is working in schools that has its own venue that, um, is working quite a lot in the local community as well. So we’re really thrilled to have Fola and Aruna on the team now too.

[00:15:17] We’ve also got our first youth mentor conference coming up. Stay tuned for this as well. I’m thrilled to introduce you to the different speakers that we’ve lined up already. And it’s just going to be a really fun couple of days of getting together, virtually over zoom, being able to network connect with each other, learn a bunch of different stuff from, from different people around the world, in this youth mental space and, um, workshops and things as well, so, it’s going to be, fantastic. So stay tuned for our youth mentor conference too.

[00:15:52] We’ve also been selling quite a few of our school-based curriculums into schools at the moment. So if you are a school teacher looking for some extra resources for wellbeing for your students next year, and you might like to check out our school’s curriculum too. And, um, the other thing that we’ve been doing is.

[00:16:10] Hanging with our teens in the online academy, we connect with them. I get to connect with them a few times a week on our weekly check-ins and coast study and cohort sessions. And then we have a bunch of different classes that we’re always, running and I’m always looking for more experts and teachers to be running programs with them, um, in, the online academy too.

[00:16:32] The topics that they asked for us, so varied that, um, yeah, if you’ve got something in particular that you’d like to share with young people feel free to reach out to us. Send us a little email and let us know that you want to, explore teaching for us in the online academy because, yeah, they’re always looking for new.

[00:16:49] And it’s really fun. It’s a really great way to connect with a bunch of really, really lovely young people. Engage with them, share your ideas with them, and just hold space for them to, share their ideas too. It’s really special. The, different categories that we cover are, activism, life skills, study skills, wellbeing, and creativity.

[00:17:08] So it can be anything across those kinds of themes. Um, Yeah. Recently, we’ve done a class in self-defense. We’ve done a class on crystals. We’ve done a class on bullet journaling. Um, we’ve got one coming up on decoding dreams. Uh, we’ve done one on busting exam stress recently as well. Um, breath work. Yeah.

[00:17:30] It’s it’s really varied. And, um, It’s really, it’s really cool. I love hearing what they want to discuss next. We’ve got another meeting coming up with our youth advisory board members who are some of the founding members of the online academy and they always just give me a bunch of. And things that they want to learn about next, and then we scurry off and then try and organize it all or Tasha Dell’s mostly.

[00:17:54] So thank you, Tash. Okay. So moving forward about what to expect in season three on the youth mentor podcast. Um, yeah, come on, get back on track. Amanda. I don’t normally talk too much on these episodes. It’s usually an interview, so. I hope I haven’t turned you off too much. Um, okay. What we’re going to be diving into is supporting teens.

[00:18:17] Of course, during these challenging times, and looking at the latest research that’s been coming out about that, or we’re going to be talking about how to be an inclusive youth mentor, how to host first moon circles, um, supporting LGBTQ plus youth, fostering positive body image, um, youth brain development in Adelaide.

[00:18:37] Engaging with young people online. I’ll probably do a couple of sessions on that because, I’ve had the privilege of being on, hundreds of calls now over the past 18 months with, people teaching to teens in, an online environment. So I’ve led a lot of things that I can share with you. And, um, we’re going to be talking about building a not-for-profit youth organization and, um, teen self-determination around the world and much, much more.

[00:19:04] It’s going to be a really juicy season. And I’m so, so thrilled that you’re here for it. And so honored that, that I’ve had the opportunity to chat with so many incredible people and be able to introduce you to them as well. And if there’s anything that you would like to know or anyone that you’d like me to interview, or if you would like to be interviewed, please feel free to reach out.

[00:19:25] Um, just email us info@shinefromwithin.com.edu for anything at all. Um, you can always reach out to me on Instagram as well at Amanda rootsy or at shine from within Haiti. The email’s probably email’s always best. Um, yeah, just thanks so much for being here. It’s wonderful to know that there are folks like you doing what you can to support the young people in your community.

[00:19:48] I always get, um, a little bit, shocked, but mostly just excited when I hear. Uh, quite often how much people are listening to this podcast and, um, which is great. Of course, I, I record it in the hope that someone will listen that if you can share it around, if you can, uh, leave a review or rate it in some way, that would be amazing as well, or subscribe, whatever you’re supposed to do with podcasts, they can do the things that would be amazing.

[00:20:17] But mostly, you know, with, as I said, 1.2 billion, young people in the world, we need a lot of mentors. Um, you know, a ruiner was, was, has been running some numbers and was telling me, you know, if we, if we wanted to support say 1.2 million people, sorry, 1.2 billion teens in the world. If, if each mentor supported a thousand teens, that’s 1.2 million mentors that we need in the world.

[00:20:45] And we do not have that many mentors in the world. Let’s kind of rally together. Find our little group of young people that we can support and, um, and do what we can for them hold space for them because this is needed. And we are not the only ones that, that are seeing the value in that. Um, governments, organizations, schools, worldwide, uh, recognizing how important it is to, to have mentoring programs happening for the young people, um, around us.

[00:21:14] It contributes to their wellbeing and that contributes of course, to the wellbeing of our society and the wellbeing of the future. So it’s, there’s never been a better time to get into this space. We need you, so thank you for doing what you do. I look forward to connecting with you in the next episode, and as always reach out to us anytime at shine from within we, we are around.

[00:21:40] And, um, I’m excited about all the different things that we’re bringing to life as a team for you. Going into 2022 and beyond, it will actually be our 10 year anniversary too. Here at shine from within we’ve been going since 2012, starting out with, um, I think the very first course I ran was a holiday program, like a week long holiday program, bringing in a bunch of different teachers and, um, Experts people that I really looked up to together to cover a bunch of different topics with a group of about 12 or 15 teens.

[00:22:13] And it was amazing. Um, and you know, the rest is history, as they say, we’re now here where we are, but, um, yeah, I guess we’ll, we’ll do something to celebrate in 2022 as well. Lots of fun to come and I can’t wait to join you in the next episode.

Mentioned in this episode: 

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And if you want to work with teens too, head to Youthmentors.shinefromwithin.com.au to learn more about our Youth Mentor Training and download the quiz to find out your youth mentor archetype!

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