Educate Encourage Empower
My Next Big Adventure program was formed October 2016 and incorporated January 2017 by Julie Michaels, along with a group of concerned professionals in Marietta who understood that education has an equalizing effect on income disparities, upward mobility and economic prosperity and growth. Mrs. Michaels, is a past Marietta Business Associate President and has been a Partner in Education with Marietta City Schools since 2013. Recognizing that there was a gap in services for Marietta City school students who were in desperate need of intervention due to habitual behavior concerns, (as reported by teachers and parents), Mrs. Micheals researched ways that she might intervene and offer support. With proper support and positive redirection, Marietta City youth who are at risk for eventual school drop-out could get back on track and graduate high school. Without proper support, studies have shown that these same youth not only risk high school dropout, they also become more susceptible to health issues, low wages, government dependency, crime, and prison – among other negative life experiences -which would have a damaging impact on the individual and the community. Early intervention was needed for Marietta City school students; specialized intervention with support offered by trusted peers under the direction of qualified professionals trained to aid children in overcoming challenges and growing into educated, gainfully employed, respected citizens that contribute to the prosperity of their community. With the full support of Marietta City school system officials, business leaders, and respected individuals in the community, MNBA’s Board of Directors finalized the best approach for systematic needs-based support for at-risk youth. The MNBA Board of Directors are all very hands on offering the program direction, fiscal management, and systematic support. In addition to the Board, students attending Marietta City schools were included in focus groups and their thoughts were incorporated in the development of the program. In fact, students selected the program name, logo, and initial topics to be covered in the inaugural year.
Four Pillars of Success
We believe that cultivating experiences that pay tribute to the importance of (1) education, (2) nutrition & health, the (3) economy and (4) cultural awareness are foundation principals that lead to a positive outlook on life – these are our Four Pillars of Success. These pillars serve as a guide for our speaker presentations and monthly lessons.
For our purposes, education is the process for receiving or acquiring knowledge systematically for the purpose of attaining personal and/or monetary gains. It has been said that education is the most important investment that a person, family, or country can make. Further, countless studies site education’s key role in reducing poverty, crime, premature death; and, increasing income, economic growth, and mental and physical health.
2. Nutrition & Health:
Eating a balanced diet and engaging in physical exercise is vital to long term health (mental and physical). Countless studies, including those published by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Harvard Medical School have shown that there are many consequences and correlations between not only what we eat, and how we feel, but also how we ultimately behave. Our brain runs on the fuel that we feed it; and, without proper diet and exercise, we put ourselves at a cognitive disadvantage.
Our economy is driven by our production, distribution, trade, and consumption of goods and services. Our economy is driven by our people – business owners and consumers. It is important that young people understand that their role in creating and supporting local economies (and by extension our national economy). And, that economic growth and prosperity leads to reduced unemployment and crime, increased job opportunities, and an improved quality of life.
4. Cultural Awareness:
Cultural Awareness is the foundation for communication and involves our understanding of the differences between our personal values and those of others, particularly those from other countries or backgrounds. It invites us to expose ourselves to new ideas and viewpoints as we connect more meaningfully within our own social groups as well as with those from different cultures.
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