Page 15

Nov-Dec-Cornerstone-PRINT

Director’s Report Our leadership team has been talking about courage a lot lately. The definition of courage is “the ability to do something that frightens one” and “strength in the face of pain or grief.” Brene Brown uses this quote by Theodore Roosevelt Karen Wolf to describe courage: “It is not the critic who counts; Executive Director not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes up short again and again… who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.” Courage is not about perfection, it isn’t about pleasing others, rather, it is about walking into pur own values, being vulnerable, failing, and getting back up to keep moving forward. There are a few things that get in the way of being truly courageous: shame, perfectionism, and the worry of what others will think. According to Brown, shame is “the feeling that washes over us and makes us feel so flawed that we question whether we’re worthy of love, belonging, and connection.” Perfectionism “is not self-improvement, at its core, it is about trying to earn approval.” Brown explains that “perfectionism hampers accomplishment and is correlated with depression, anxiety, addiction and life paralysis or missed opportunities.” Perfectionism and shame keep us from daring greatly and getting into the ring. Brown explains in her book Dare to Lead that there is no courage without vulnerability. Courage is a skillset that involves four areas: rumbling with our vulnerabilities; living into our values; braving trust; and learning to rise. Rumbling with vulnerability is a core skill and the other three are impossible without it. This means that we must be able to create an environment where it is safe to have tough conversations, stick through the difficult times, lean into our values, and own our parts of the situation. To be courageous, we need to identify our top values so we can walk into our story and own it without the shadow of shame and perfectionism. Courage is a requirement in our day-to-day work. The youth we serve face some of the same issues that often reflect our own past experiences. Being vulnerable and seeking help and supervision in these situations only help us and the youth grow. It is in these messy situations that we grow, and that is what life is all about. According to Brown, “When we have the courage to walk into our story and own it, we get to write the ending. And when we don’t own our stories of failure, setbacks, and hurt – they own us.” NOV/DEC 2018 | 14 Herrera conducts an event at the gym called the “Burpee Challenge” wherein participants raise funds by acquiring sponsors to pledge for every burpee they complete. He also receives donations through a Facebook fundraiser page and an open auction for autographed Minnesota Vikings memorabilia. Herrera has raised more than $50,000 for Operation Christmas Eve, and has delivered thousands of toys to the Salvation Army and local churches to be distributed to families and children for Christmas over the past five years. Herrera has organized other “missions,” as well. He also runs “Operation Feed the Community” and a school supply drive to help low-income students receive items needed for a successful school year. For Herrera, being an employee of Gerard Academy isn’t just a job. He brings the same mission and vision to truly making a difference in the lives of children and youth in his community. Marseille’s Clinical Supervisor Lindzee Chicas says, “Thomas has had a long relationship with Gerard Academy. He has consistently focused on demonstrating the cornerstone values and Nexus mission. He genuinely cares for the youth on campus, does his best to meet their needs, and ensures they are set up for success in the future. Throughout his relationship with Gerard Academy — whether as a guest speaker on bullying or working as a youth care professional — he continues to strive to better himself, the youth, and his community.”


Nov-Dec-Cornerstone-PRINT
To see the actual publication please follow the link above