I recently had the pleasure of working with and training fantastic people from the Westbank First Nations Youth Council at the beautiful Spirit Ridge Resort in Osoyoos, B.C. A stunning place to conduct a workshop that set the tone for a wonderful training day!
The ambitious and talented youth who participated in Activ8's Confidence, Money Management and Career Development Workshop were sharp, open-minded and eager to learn, contributing loads of energy, ideas, experiences and outstanding creativity to the session.
The 8-hour class began with introductions and each person sharing a vision of their future, expressing what they were most excited to learn about and telling us something about their personality which created a comfortable, uplifting and open learning environment.
After a short, creative warm-up exercise we dove into the first portion of the workshop focusing on assessing strengths, life balance, goal setting and how to best approach the action steps required to achieve one's goals. Everyone was keen to set their S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) and to develop a roadmap to follow.
Once the class mastered the steps on setting and achieving goals, the next life enhancing skill to acquire was learning to overcome the fear response we all face, from time to time.
Whether applying for a new job and acing the interview or facing rejection when asking out a romantic crush, the youth learned how to become more mindful and conscious in the present, challenging any subconscious thought that may be holding them back from going after what they want.
A mindful thought-process is the difference between living without limitations versus being confined to a comfort zone that doesn't allow for personal expansion or expression. The young participants from Westbank FN were eager to adopt these new confidence building tools and learned the steps quite quickly!
After a lesson plan on brain science, neuro-plasticity and how to go about training the mind to optimize success and inspired action, we covered another important life skill, money management. Topics included how to balance a monthly budget, understanding compound interest, saving for future purchases (eg. university or a home), building and repairing credit, using credit responsibly, gaining knowledge of investments and, the importance of investing in one's education and travel to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
We discussed hot careers and industries in B.C., including business ethics and how to sell oneself during a job interview. The youth gained greater perspective of what industries are in demand and how sales and selling our ideas, expertise, etc., is a part of daily life, no matter what career we choose.
The participants also learned public speaking skills and how communicating ideas to an audience can further their careers and enhance their personal brands. The impromptu speaking portion of the workshop where the youth each gave a 2-minute talk on a topic they were familiar with proved to be an effective way to build confidence in public speaking.
Whether it's a presentation for school or work, or, being asked to emcee a friend's wedding, they have introductory knowledge of how to plan and give a speech, and know that they have the ability. It was exciting watching them express themselves and enjoy the public speaking process.
After the speaking portion we investigated entrepreneurship and the elements of a business plan. Paired up, the three teams collaborated on their business ideas and worked on building the various aspects of a lean business plan, which they later pitched to the rest of the class. There was a wellness product business, a video production/editing company and a car pool company where the youth identified each aspect of how to develop their products and services, operations, finance and marketing.
In addition to learning how to create their own lean business plan, the youth saw number of examples of Indigenous entrepreneurs in B.C. who started and are running successful businesses. This helped give them an ideal of what entrepreneurship looks like and hopefully will inspire them to follow the path, if it's their dream. Should working within a company be their longterm goal, knowing the fundamentals of business makes them stronger and more valuable employees.
The Westbank First Nations Youth did very well in every portion of the day's lesson plan. Their interest and enthusiasm in learning and adopting the knowledge and tools of each topic will certainly empower them to grow personally and professionally!
Having the courage to share who they are as individuals and working towards building a fulfilling life through learning, practicing and adopting life enhancing material is a testament to Westbank First Nation's commitment to education, skills training and developing its young people and B.C.'s future leaders.
I enjoyed meeting and working with Youth and Recreation Manger Nicole Werstuik and Westbank's Youth Council Members Saige, Justin, Chris, Robert, Brianna and Alyssa. I am thrilled that they enjoyed the workshop and can't wait to see what these talented, young people do next!
The picture below gives a peek at where our workshop was held. If you get the chance, I highly recommend visiting Spirit Ridge Resort in Osooyos, B.C.