2013. We welcome in the New Year with the anticipation of great things in store for impact Society!
As I personally look ahead, this is what I see: opportunity. As we have grown to impact thousands of youth each year we continue to witness the impact of what we do in the lives of young people and those who lead them – educators, community volunteers and parents. The outcome of this is a growing recognition that the way to lead people, especially young people to success is by building their personal belief in who they are, what they can achieve and giving them the tools to make character decisions around their personal strengths. This is being recognized in education and in communities including First Nations communities, and we are being asked to assist them in building their youth and those who lead them. This is tremendously encouraging to me, because when my wife Collette and I began Impact Society in 1994 with a vision of impacting youth through education many people told us it couldn’t be done, that we didn’t know enough about education and all it would take. And although there was much truth to this, there was and still is a calling on our lives to powerfully impact the lives of youth. Today we are seeing that being fulfilled greater than we could have ever imagined.
With opportunities also comes challenges. As I am so passionate about youth and people, it is hard for me to not see opportunity around every corner. Everywhere I look I see youth I see youth and adults looking for a way to discover purpose for life. I see and hear the doubt in young people that they can make a significant contribution to the world. But I also see what happens when youth begin to come alive to purpose and significance. It is like they have new eyes as they see themselves and the world around them in a new way. They believe they can and will make a difference. So what is the challenge? As opportunities increase, we need to respond with wisdom so we can continue to impact youth in a powerful way while at the same time have a sustainable organization.
As I have thought about the opportunities and challenges in front of us, I have come to realize how thankful I am. At times it is hard for me to believe that we have helped to positively impact thousands of youth across the nation on an annual basis. It is sobering to consider the educators and community leaders who are looking to us for guidance in moving their youth and practices forward. It is humbling to consider the people and corporations who have invested their time and financial resources to make it all possible – corporate leaders like Mr. Mac Van Weilingan of ARC Financial and Mr. Regan Davis of STEP Energy who just before Christmas put out a matching donation challenge of $55,000 which by the end of the seaseon had exceeded the match with a total of $111,978.50 received in donations. I’m also full of gratitude when I consider the many people who have in the past and currently make up the team working with or supporting the Impact vision. Although we cannot meet every need and request that comes our way, it is an incredible honour to be able to impact the lives that we do.
For every youth that says thank you, who says how much they have changed, who turns from a taker to a giver, it is a privilege to be part of their story. And for every person who invests time, energy and resources, you too are part of their amazing story. There will always be opportunities and there will always be challenges, and there will always be the ability to change another life. That is what we are committed to do this year at Impact Society – we are changing one life at a time and your support means you will be too. Thank you.