My oldest daughter is applying for a variety of college scholarships. (Yes, it makes me feel old.) Each scholarship requires typical information about family background, income and insight into the student's goals for the future.
One particular essay she is writing is about someone who has influenced her life. The picture above shows all three of my girls and their dance teacher, Reggie, following a theatre production of Seussical Jr. I am so grateful for the positive influence that she has been for my kids - encouraging, challenging, mentoring.
Not only that, but I am blessed to know that my daughter considers me to be one of the people who has most influenced her in a positive way. We strive to be an encouragers and mentors to those around us, but often we do not know if our actions really affect people. Are YOU seeking to influence young people?
I have worked with teens in small groups and it is interesting to hear what they say about adults who have that positive influence.
"Kari never overreacts when I've done something stupid. She listens and know that I already feel bad enough about it."
"Dad leads me to solve my own problems instead of just dictating an answer."
"Elizabeth's mom is so cool. She knows that what I'm feeling is normal. I never feel like she's laughing at me behind my back."
"I can tell my mom anything. She's my best friend."
"I'm more willing to do the right thing because I know my youth pastor really cares. He really believes in me."
What amazing gifts we have to share with young people - wisdom, truth, hope. What will you offer to them?