Breakfast Club Blog

The Flawed Leader… Follow Up 6 Months Later

Social Power is defined as the degree of influence that an individual or organization has among their peers and within their society as a whole. 6 months ago, I shared in this blog my challenges with my own leadership and that of the organization I started and grew over the past 15 years. I poured out on the table the comments my staff made in relation to my leadership flaws, and the ways I needed to be better for my team. Since then I have openly spoken in three different states in front of lar...Read More

Lady Gaga Shares On Evil And Humanity: How To Use This Video With Your Students

The discussion of evil is resonating with adults and children around the world in these last months. Something of horrific proportions is occurring on a global scale almost weekly. Whether it is man-made violence or a natural disaster,  it is painful to turn on the TV and radio, read the news on paper or on your phone, or listen to office chatter. The world is shifting.  We need a breath. This short, timely, and valuable YouTube video of Lady Gaga sitting with the Dali Lama, encapsulates the sta...Read More

Right Nows: How Are You Coping In The Face Of Tragedy?

Last month was the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. I’ve been thinking about it, obviously, and my experience living in New York City during that time.  In the last two months, Floridians have been recovering from Hurricane Irma, Puerto Rico is completely devastated from Irma, and Texans are trying to recover from Hurricane Harvey. Mexico is trying to deal with the aftermath of the strongest earthquake to hit that country in a century, as well as their own Hurricane Kat...Read More

GIRLS: A Sneak Peek Into Their World of Aggression

In the past couple of years there has been much talk about females becoming more aggressive and violent. More aggressive? Many people would say that’s an understatement. More violent? Now, that’s not such a clear answer. According to the latest research conducted by the Girls Study Group for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, “available evidence based on arrest, victimization, and self-report data suggests that although girls are currently arrested more for simple assault...Read More

ExScaredEd: Fear & Excitement of the Unknown

My son Dylan just started first grade a few weeks ago. In the weeks leading up to it, he coined a new word to describe how he was feeling: ExScaredEd. A combination of excited and scared, he said that was the best way to express how he was approaching this new year. I love it. I love, love, love it. Since then, he added “ExNerveEd” to describe being excited and nervous, and “ExSKYted” to express being extra-excited. Which are both pretty cool too. But I’m stuck on ExScaredEd. Because isn’t that ...Read More

3 Great Opportunities to Blast off the New School Year

It’s that time again! All across the country, youth are getting ready to embrace the new school year and after-school programs are transitioning from summer learning to fall programming. I have found that a new school year is like a blank journal just waiting for an author’s special touch. It is an opportunity to expand upon an existing story, transform the direction of the story, or create something totally new. I wanted to share three thoughts to consider as you begin the new school year: 1. W...Read More

Back-to-School: Pencils and Possibilities

I love pencils. Freshly sharpened, classic #2 pencils. I love the smell of a freshly-sharpened pencil. I love the way a sharp pencil feels on a thick, new notebook. I love the way you can erase away anything you don’t like with a pencil. I love the way pencils will smudge my fingers. I love the eraser dust that fills the page. Fresh pencils also bring with them all of the feelings of back-to-school. Here in Indiana, the dawn of a new school year is already upon us:  School buses are shining in t...Read More

Out-of-School Time Staff – What do you get to do?

Hello Breakfast Club readers & leaders! As we approach August and get closer to launching the 2017/2018 school year, I wanted to share a speech I was asked to do for a CAL SAC leadership event in June, in Los Angeles. I am hoping this helps motivate and inspire you and your staff to appreciate all you GET to do. They come to us filled with hormones, under-resourced, confused, academically behind, overstimulated and oversexualized, underfed, tired and with poor hygiene. They are bullied, they...Read More

The Music of Life:  An Ode to the World

I was thinking recently about how two of my favorite sounds in the world are completely different. The first is the sound of birds singing and chirping—particularly the spring birds in the early morning. The second is the sound of an Indy race car as it speeds around the track. I love both of these sounds so much. Yet one is so gentle and the other is so strong. It seems like they should be in opposition to each other. But in reality I think they are examples of the stunning beauty of this world...Read More

People Aren’t Flies: How Youth Can Listen Without Needing to Be Heard

We have all experienced a time when we believed we had a genuine connection with a person, only to find out that they had a specific agenda in mind. We have all experienced someone that has tried to proselytize or preach at us, to use us to get ahead, or to gain access to our friends or family members. For many people, what starts out as a genuine connection dissolves almost instantly as soon as the sirens of topics such as politics or religion are sounded. We know how difficult it can be to hav...Read More

It’s Time to Reframe the Narrative around Black Youth — and Youth Work Has Some Tools to Do So

His name is Jordan Edwards. And Jayson Negron. And Darius Smith. He was fifteen years old. He was unarmed at the time of his untimely demise at the hands of law enforcement. He was a young man of color caught on the wrong side of the thin line between potential and death. He should be participating in a summer jobs program, playing hoops at the Y, or compiling an initial list of colleges. He – Jordan, Jayson, and Darius – should have turned sixteen. This past spring has brought a rash of extraju...Read More

Commencement

On behalf of the BOOST Breakfast Club, congratulations to all the graduates across the nation in 2017! This post from @erikap is so beautiful and well written, we wanted to #repost this heartfelt message. We believe the message is universal. Enjoy! As spring has officially given way to summer and academics have been replaced by pools and bike rides, I’ve been thinking about commencement speeches. Students across the country have been hearing them, whether graduating from high school or col...Read More