Fighting for Our Futures

From time to time, Neta will be featuring professionals, bloggers, and advocates on this platform because as we all know…”it takes a village”. Read what Founder of Ment Up, LLC, Adrian Shepherd, has to say about creating a future for our youth while “learning to thrive and not just survive”!

Have you ever met someone and thought to yourself, “wow this person has the potential to achieve great success?”  Did you let the individual know, offer any advice on steps they should take, or did you keep your  thoughts to yourself? Many of you, myself included, choose the third option. Maybe you are a reserved person or the norms of society have impacted you in a way that has made this response socially acceptable. In other words…you mind your business. However, should we continue to stay in our own lane if it has a controversial impact on our future?

Everyday we meet or encounter new people but often are so caught up in our own lives that we rarely stop to notice. I am no stranger to this phenomenon and have caught myself avoiding eye contact, listening to my music, and pretending to be on the phone to avoid interaction. The problem with this is that I rarely interact with people outside of my own social circle and limited interaction leads to limited growth.

While I was growing up I played sports and had the leadership of my coaches to guide me both on and off the field. My mother consistently encouraged all of my goals and was always willing to assist me in any way she could. My step-father taught me how to persevere and the importance of a hard work ethic. As a result of all these factors, I was able to set goals that I wanted to achieve and felt confident that I would achieve them. At the time it had not occurred to me that I did not know how to achieve these goals.

When I attended college I knew what I was supposed to do, I knew what the expectations of going to school were, and where I wanted to end up. However, I did not know how to reach the end result. Graduating was one goal and becoming successful after graduation was another. I had the work ethic and support to accomplish the first goal. That only left the second goal, success after college, and I was clueless.

I began to attend professional development workshops offered by the university and conducting research on resumes and interviewing. My first professional interview I was still unprepared and it was definitely a learning experience. I did not let this discourage me. I continued working on my skills and was able to use all of the knowledge I gained through trial and error to reach my career goals.

I recently had a conversation with a young gentleman and we began discussing career goals and mentoring. He had participated in a mentoring program that had a college attendance requirement. He felt that the requirement limited the potential of the mentoring. He expressed that it did not address the needs of all the youth in the program. What about those that did not want to go to college.

I began to discuss the tons of options out there to address the various career goals that an individual may have. I began to think about how many other teenagers and young adults do not realize that they can be successful and they can follow their dreams. I founded Ment Up LLC in November 2016 in an effort to provide support to those that may not have had the opportunity to research and/or develop skills that will allow for them to reach their goals. Our website is in the developmental stages and it is our intention to be fully functional by Spring 2017.

I would like to thank Neta’s Block for providing a platform for social change through knowledge and awareness.

Founder of Ment Up LLC

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