WHY WE DO THIS
We strongly agree with Dr. William Damon, a developmental psychologist and Director of Stanford University’s Center on Adolescence, when he says, “The biggest problem growing up today is not actually stress; it’s meaninglessness.”
Can you believe that?
How is it that in an era when we have the world almost literally at our fingertips so many of our young people appear apathetic and uninspired? That distresses me. And I want to do what I can to resolve that problem.
Dust to Daylight came into being because I LOVE LIFE! I often say, "Life is the most beautiful gift," and, "The only thing better than life is a better life!!" Yes... life can present a multitude of challenges, obstacles, disappointments, and anguish. But life itself is a wondrous beauty. Our greatest challenge may be making sense of life's struggles and never surrendering to ever-threatening spirits of despair.
That is one reason why I often remember the saying, "It is not up to you to win the war, but neither is it for you to desist from the battle." The battle for a better life is always raging. But what does victory look like?
At Dust to Daylight, we believe each and every human being has gifts of creativity, skills, aptitudes, strengths, and interests which allow each one of us to become a contributor of varying measures of good to our community. Like seeds, we each have potential to grow, blossom, and produce beneficial fruit.
A seed planted in the dust of the ground must be watered and fertilized, well and sufficiently, to grow toward daylight. The better the quality, the more vigorous and resplendent the growth. If each of us is a seed of immense potential, how can we journey best toward robust, purposeful, and productive growth?
If you think of our youth as plants growing in the garden of our communities, then why are so many directionless and unproductive? Could it be because they have no idea who they are, what their aptitudes are, what their strengths are? Could it be because they see little connection between what they're force-fed and what they care about? Our youth leadership development curriculum aims to cure that ill.
One of my all-time favorite songs is Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Wake Up and Live." It begins, "Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you're riding through the ruts, don't you complicate your mind." That's a massive undertaking, we know. So we are here to help.
Dust to Daylight's work is intended to help those we serve build a compass and road maps for finding clearer direction and plotting a more meaningful path. By partnering with like-minded community building organizations, we build a basket of accessible tools you can use to explore who you are and identify what you love doing. Explore and identify the skills, aptitudes, knowledge, and interests you have. Explore and identify the problems you care about most deeply. Then, using elements of Design Thinking methodology, Project Based Learning, and Social-Emotional Learning, we facilitate your discovery of a wider array of possibilities and directions you may pursue to a more purposeful life's journey.
"Nearly one in three adolescents (31.9%) will meet criteria for an anxiety disorder by the age of 18. While school is in session, high school students are the single most stressed out population in the US. Youth depression and anxiety are rising at alarming rates. In 2016 an estimated 3.1 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. However, based on Dr. Bill Damon's research, we believe this is not simply because youth have too much to do; it is also because they do not know why they are doing it. Only about 1 in 5 teenagers in the US report feeling a sense of purpose. Without this deeper sense of "why" - or internal compass - our youth will continue to suffer at epidemic rates.” Source: projectwayfinder.com/what-we-do
Dust to Daylight connects you to tools which will encourage you, stimulate you, and challenge you to greater awareness of who you are, what resources you have, and who you can become. We facilitate your exploration for, and discovery of, your aptitudes, interests, and strengths. We connect you to resources and help you build your compass. We help you create your own maps to a more purposeful life. Why? We do this because we believe everyone can grow a brighter, more meaningful and engaging future!
Explore your possibilities.
Discover your strengths.
Transcend your challenges.
Like seeds, we each have potential to grow, blossom, and produce beneficial fruit.
A seed planted in the dust of the ground must be watered and fertilized, well and sufficiently, to grow toward daylight.