It’s All About The Kids – Blue Gurus Gives Back

Mic Johnson of Blue GurusPost written by Mic Johnson, Social Media Coach|LinkedIn Trainer|WordPress Content Guy|Blog Coach|Rational Optimist|Jayhawk Fanatic|Cancer Volunteer

One of the things Blue Gurus takes pride in doing is giving back to the Kansas City community. While we all have our own individual causes in our personal lives, occasionally we also are fortunate to be able to help out in other ways. 

Recently, my friend and client Deena James of Krueger & James Insurance Agency, reached out and told me that her husband Eddie taught marketing at North Kansas City High School.

She went on to say that he was organizing (and Krueger & James was sponsoring) the 3rd annual North Kansas City School District’s DECA Networking Conference for 100+ high school students. 

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DECA’s high school division currently has 185,000 members representing 5,000 schools and their mission is to “Prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.”

Deena asked if I would be willing to speak to the kids about LinkedIn and its role in finding jobs and doing business. I accepted Deena’s invitation and, on November 7th, headed to the North Kansas City Community Center where the event was being held.

As I spoke to five different groups of 20+ students about LinkedIn and the business world today, I wanted to share my thoughts on the experience. 

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While today’s youth may be more comfortable with technology and more connected than any generation before them, I walked away from this experience with one prevailing thought: “Kids haven’t changed that much.”

In this “sampling” of 100+ kids, I saw kids yawning, kids smiling, kids laughing, kids who looked bored, kids who probably attended this conference just to get out of school for a day, kids brave enough to sit in the front row, kids eager to learn, kids sitting off to the side and quiet, kids scared to ask questions, kids brave enough to ask questions, kids that were curious, kids that were confident, kids that were insecure, kids that took initiative to talk to me after the sessions about projects they were working on, and on and on.

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I don’t have kids myself so this was an interesting experience for me and I couldn’t help but thinking back to when I was their age and had some of the exact same emotions and feelings that they do. It reminded me of how important a role that parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, and really all of us (it truly does take a village) play in helping shape the future of these kids’ lives and, ultimately, of our country and world. 

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It was a great experience and even though I felt like “the old guy” while talking to 15-18 year olds, I also felt honored to be able to have the opportunity to share some of my business and life experiences with them.

My hope is that my message resonated with some of them and that along the way they remember what they learned from me and others that spoke at this conference. Many of them will no doubt go on to have wonderful career and life experiences and I’m sure they will never forget the big guy in the blue shirt (ok, they will probably all forget the big guy in the blue shirt, but whatever).

Thanks again to Deena and Eddie for asking me to be a part of this event. It was a great experience and reminded me that we all get wrapped up in our lives and the day-to-day challenges it brings, but we also need to slow down and realize that a look, a few inspiring words, or a moment to let kids know that we care…can have a real impact on them for the rest of their lives. 

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