My mission is to raise a strengths-based generation. I believe it’s not only possible, but actually probable. And my way of paying it forward is through the Strong Hearts, Strong Minds Program.
Many of you know that I live in Lima, Peru. (If you didn’t, you do now). Living in a developing country gives you a very new perspective on the world, especially when since I grew up with most anything I needed and rarely worried about the basics in life. I’ve been in South America for a total of eight years now and I’ve always had it in my head to bring strengths to those who might never have the opportunity for a coach, let alone a way to see what was right instead of what was wrong.
I will never forget the first time I led a workshop in Churín, a small town about 4 hours from Lima. I was there as part of a ONG who guides locals to create jobs through tourism and I was talking to the staff of the hotel they had built. After the session, one of the women approached me and was eager to learn more. She was especially keen to improve her confidence, but to also find strength in who she was. She continued to tell me about the abuses she had endured and she was sure that some like this would truly help her.
I was so moved and also irritated. The funds I would have needed to help her – and others like her – were not possible at the time. I am ready for this challenge now and I am looking to the community-at-large, the global community, to help make this a reality.
There are three main challenges that have kept me from developing this on the scale I would like.
Besides extreme poverty, just the average income alone in Peru (and most Latin American countries) is well below the US. For instance, the current average salary is S/.1660 (U$500) per month. Even a highly skilled worker, i.e. managers, executives, etc are only averaging S/.3900 (U$ 1,818) per month. The CliftonStrengths Assessment is currently $20 (or $50); this is a considerable cost for someone to contemplate.
Fortunately, the CliftonStrengths tool is translated into Spanish; however, in order to really have an impact, the Strengths Explorer tool is very much needed as well. This is not only to work with younger people, but to also address the literacy and education levels that are found throughout the country. In order to administer Strengths Explorer, it requires a person to sit and translate simultaneously.
I’m just one person. I’m also the only Certified Gallup Strengths Coach in Peru and one less than 50 in all of Latin America. It takes a team to build and keep momentum. Building a team is an investment of time, treasure and talent. I am ready and willing – and fortunately, with Strong Communities, there is a path forward to train more Facilitators who can bring strengths to even rural communities. This is a big win!
The good news is there is hope on the horizon.
1. I am building a strong network of coaches and leaders who are interested in investing in their communities. There are projects on the horizon here in Peru as well as in Mexico and Costa Rica.
2. As the lead facilitator and trainer for Strong Communities in Latin America, I will be sharing the message with leaders throughout LatAm and also training new facilitators to grow the movement.
3. Through new structuring of my programs, every time someone participates in Strengths Unleashed or purchases the full four Ideas Unleashed Masterclasses, 10% will go into the Strong Hearts, Strong Minds fund.
4. Those who are supporting the program will be recognized on our Community Wall.
5. We will maintain a blog capturing the stories of those who are benefiting from the SHSM program. Our first program will launch in February in Peru.
I am so excited to breathe life into this Strengths Development program. I look forward to building our Community Wall and sharing the joy of strengths with as many as possible. If you know of a community or group who would benefit from the SHSM program please email me and we can start the conversation.
I hope you’ll join me on the journey.
Support Strong Hearts, Strong Minds for unBlack Friday!
As part of unBlackFriday and the holiday season, I’m taking this opportunity to launch the new scholarship program which will start in February.
As a founding member, you will be featured on our Community Appreciation Wall with your name, photo, link of your choice and inspiring quote.
By taking advantage of this Buy One, Gift One offer, you will also receive a $100 discount AND receive an Ideas Unleashed Masterclass of your choice for FREE
(a $289 value)!