‘Know Yourself’ An In-depth Session Review (Honour Oak Community Centre, Turnham)

Review

This session had been in my mind as “the tough one”, the one that the students would find hardest to relate to. For the past two weeks we had been helping the students with practical knowledge and application. Showing them the options and showing them tangible ways for them to achieve their success. Now we were about to go below the surface of material gain wealth and start digging into helping them find out who they really are. I wasn’t sure how they would respond to this, BUT we agreed not to make the mistake of underestimating the impact of this program again.

We arrived at Break the Chain headquarters a little before 7.00 and were immediately struck by how different the tone of the session was. Some of the young people were already waiting for us, most seemed excited to get into the day, and asked questions about what was on the agenda for this session. Once the call was made for everyone to come into the circle, the circle was filled relatively quickly, again with numbers over 20. It was great to have an opening discussion with everyone in the room about the real life issues and personal character traits that were holding them back from their success and how to let go of them. It was especially good to discuss their thoughts on the recent shootings of young black males in America. The students responded really well to the weight exercise and role-playing what it would look like to reach their success while carrying heavy loads. It was great to see the students engage with the practical activities. The difference for this last session, was that the students seem to be interested in doing the activities and the final challenges to show people how they expected to change their mindsets to reach their success, rather than previous sessions where they had only been trying to get the final prize. As a result of this, we had three really good presentations, where the students focused on how they were going to use THE THREE KEYS (building a good brand, being determined, and seeking knowledge) to help them improve on negative mindsets.

The session ended with a special guest speaker, Gbemi – founder of the Alo’nuko fashion line. Hearing about her success (especially at her age – 21), the kind of person that she had to be to make it there, and the challenges she personally had faced, I feel really struck a chord with several of the young people in the room. We saw that the students had learnt a lot and saw how much they wanted to start implementing personally in their life. We have identified several students that we will be coming back and working with exclusively. These students now know who they are and are dedicated to pushing towards their success, which is a great outcome of this program. Of course, the day was not to be a complete slam-dunk for me, as again, Dennis’s team won the final challenge (which is starting to become a trend!!). But that’s another story for another time…