How to get through leaving the "cool group" in middle school

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How to get through leaving the "cool group" in middle school

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One of the great things to tell all young men and women is to be their own best friend. There's a great line by a poet Nellie Lincoln: on the road of life, you only have one constant companion. Make sure you're good company for yourself. Teaching self-reliance to a kid is that you become a person who realizes that you are a fortress. Don't lower the drawbridge to people that will ruin your castle. Keep the drawbridge up. The most tangible way to do that is to teach them three things: self-reliance and self-acceptance and self-advocacy. Self-reliance and self-advocacy are really urgent to kids. Being able to speak up. Many young women don't know how to speak up. And this is why many people are shocked when they have me getting the girls up. One of the great lines I have for one of the 4th grade kids, she goes, I refuse to bow down to bullies. And I refuse to be a slave to the fear that bullies bring. Well they bring you fear. I'm not going to be your friend unless you do this. That's not friendship. That's again fearship. These people don't have relationships. You are their hostage. And the kid that's bullied early and becomes a victim and volunteers to be a victim later on in life is bullied again and again and again, maybe in marriage, maybe at work. And it's a continuum. Teaching them early to be strong, to be self-reliant, be self-advocating. And sometimes really it's important to be self-effacing, to make fun of yourself. To say, this is where I'm at right now, and to laugh at the situation. Humor is a great way to be deflective and reflective at the same time. You push that away, but then you also say, hey, this is what life is like. Life isn't logical. If it was logical, men would ride side saddle. The best way to teach a child that is new neural pathways - art, music, theater, dance. Teaching yourself that you're here for a reason, that you have a gift, that you have been given a gift. Find out what that gift is and express it to yourself. So find ways to express yourself and the pain or loneliness that you feel by doing artistic things that are helpful to you to help you re-program your brain and not sit in a depressive state and be angry or disappointed with yourself. Never allow your disappointment to turn to disillusionment. That means to take the light out of. Be a person of strong character in this sense. You find something that makes you happy, that you do artistically, and do it. Every person should find a passion in life and nail it, something they love to do. Find what makes you happy. Do that.

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Michael Pritchard

Humanist & Child Advocate

Michael Pritchard is a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker praised by the Wall Street Journal, CNN and Time for his ability to use humor to inspire and educate his audiences on communication skills. Michael Pritchard is a big guy with a warm heart who as one student described him, “truly walks as he talks.”

He began his career on both the comedy stage and as a juvenile counselor in San Francisco’s Youth Guidance Center. In 1980, Michael Pritchard won first place in the San Francisco International Stand Up Comedy Competition as well as winning the prestigious California Probation Officer of the Year.

Michael’s offers from Hollywood rolled in including a guest appearance on an Emmy Award winning episode of “Taxi”. His sensational standup comedy billed him with Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Dana Carvey and Whoopi Goldberg playing venues as Caesar’s, the Comedy Store, Universal Ampitheater and opening for such names as Diana Ross, the Grateful Dead, Kenny Rogers, Mike Mc Donald and Boz Scaggs. But Michael rejected offers from Hollywood to focus on using his comic talents for inspiring youth and adults.

Drawing from his counseling background, Michael Pritchard began using humor to inspire, teach communication skills, anger management, diversity, conflict resolution and overcoming burnout and stress.

His broad base of audience from corporate employees, healthcare workers, government and state officials have honored him with countless standing ovations and numerous awards including: President’s Volunteer Action Award, Commendation - Office of the Attorney General , Paul Harris Fellowship - Rotary International, Toastmaster’s International Speaker, Outstanding Performance - Federal Executive Board , Josephine Duveneck Humanitarian Award and the Key to the City of San Francisco.As a result of his work, Michael Pritchard has been featured on CNN, NBC’s “The Today Show”, “The Tonight Show”, CBS “Sunday Morning” with Charles Kuralt, “Time” magazine and “People” magazine.

His seven educational series for PBS and distribution has been seen by millions and focuses on youth guidance in the areas of violence prevention. “The Power of Choice” “You can Choose”, “Big Changes, Big Choices”.

Forming Heartland Media, he continued with “Red Ribbon Week” and “PeaceTalks” teaching students to make positive choices.“SOS: Saving Our Schools from Hate and Violence”, featured in both Time magazine and on CNN, filmed after the tragic Columbine disaster. His new series: “Lifesteps” builds the social and emotional intelligence in youth and has already received the Parents Choice Award

For his work in promoting nonviolence with youth, Dr. Michael Pritchard was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Hartwick University and winning, 2001 Lewis Hine’s Award for Service to Children & Youth Certificate of Appreciation and the 2002 Marin Community Foundations Beryl Buck Fund Award for achievement in Promoting Nonviolence.

As an extension of Heartland Media, he established Heartland Media Foundation building character and emotional intelligence, violence prevention, inciting motivation and leadership in both youth and adults to improve schools and communities. The foundation provides youth guidance programs, including video, print curriculum, and live presentations by Michael Pritchard to aid in schools and communities where the funding is limited.

In the fund raising capacity, Michael Pritchard has help raise millions of dollars by donating his time and talent to events and various charitable organizations including: Boys and Girls Club – Ronald McDonald House –Salvation Army - Jewish Family Services – SF Giants Community Fund – American Heart Association –Women’s Wellness Forum – Special Olympics - CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates - Bread & Roses – Recreation Center for the Handicapped –– DARE –– Texan’s War on Drugs –– Vietnam Vets of America - Guide Dogs for the Blind

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