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‘NO NEED FOR SIGHT WHEN YOU HAVE VISION’ BY LEX GILLETTE

CLASSROOM CHAMPIONS

MENTORING CHAMPIONS IN THE MAKING

Since 2014, I’ve had the privilege of being a mentor for Classroom Champions, an organization whose mission is to educate students nationwide on the importance of pertinent life skills such as goal setting, perseverance, courage, and healthy living. Each month, I record a 3–5-minute video focusing on the topic for that month, and I speak on how that particular skill is incorporated in my own life. At the end of each video, I give my students a challenge, which gives them the chance to implement that skill into their own lives. That video is then made available to the classrooms around the country that I have been assigned to. My students will then send me anything from video responses, PowerPoints, to essays, outlining the work that they did to apply the monthly theme to their lives. Classroom Champions lasts for the duration of the school year, and as you can imagine, those final days of school make it really tough to say good-bye to the students.

Toward the latter part of the school year, some classes are fortunate enough to receive an in-person visit from their mentor, and in 2018, I was the lucky guy who got to visit my students who attend Oak Grove Elementary in Medford, Oregon. These classroom visits are so exciting and full of energy. After exchanging videos and having live Skype calls during the school year, meeting in person brings the mentor-student relationship full circle. As soon as you walk in the door, it feels as though you’re simply catching up with old friends. This classroom visit was nothing short of amazing.

We recapped the importance of a healthy lifestyle. You know, making sure their diet is full of fruits and veggies, drinking enough water throughout the day, and getting a good night’s rest. We also discussed the importance of perseverance and courage. These two things assist in facing life’s challenges. It’s a wonderful thing when you realize that the kiddos actually understand the lesson, have a strong idea of how to recognize a challenge and know what skill to tap into in overcoming that challenge. As an athlete mentor, that’s when you know you’ve done your job. It’s a satisfying feeling.

“Although taking a shot in the dark speaks to our ability to take risks, in this case he was literally talking about shooting baskets.”

Our time together wasn’t all about goal setting, teamwork, and other lessons. We even went outside and had a little fun. I got excited when one of the students said “Lex! Let’s take a shot in the dark.” He obviously had checked out my TEDx talk. I mentioned a small basketball hoop in that speech, the same hoop that helped me to shift my thinking and view on life. Although taking a shot in the dark speaks to our ability to take risks, in this case he was literally talking about shooting baskets.

One of the students handed me the basketball. I could feel everyone’s presence as they waited patiently for me to shoot. A young voice yelled “Right here Lex. I’m standing directly under the basket. The place erupted when I sunk the free-throw. Although we weren’t specifically focusing on teamwork at that moment, the kiddos got a chance to see the benefits of working together in real time. That is a day I’ll never forget. 53 AWARENOW / THE SOURCE EDITION

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AwareNow: Issue 19: The Source Edition  

In ‘The Source Edition’, we dial into the very heart of the matter - the heart of awareness. We explore where it begins and where it takes u...

AwareNow: Issue 19: The Source Edition  

In ‘The Source Edition’, we dial into the very heart of the matter - the heart of awareness. We explore where it begins and where it takes u...

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