Packaged For Success™ is not just a portfolio development program – it is a brand – my lifestyle. I founded The Teen Toolbox because I am my client. Through the Packaged For Success Program I deliver the customer service and support that I wanted to receive. I created programs and workshops that were not available to me as a teen.
Packaged is a common theme in my programs, services, and blog posts — Packaged For Success™, Pack-A-Purse. Being ready and/or prepared is a common theme in my life. I think it’s part of my DNA. I’m drawn to news stories and movies where people survive for days in the wilderness or in a blizzard. I will watch the weather channel for hours. Recently I became a Disaster Mobilization Center Volunteer for my county. The Volunteer Training and Coordinator asked me what interested me in volunteering and I couldn’t think of one specific event. I’ve always known that I would somehow be involved in the emergency preparedness field but I wasn’t sure when or how.
One of the most important questions asked of Disaster Mobilization Center Volunteers is “do you have an emergency kit”. My answer was “of course”. My home first aid kit is always stocked and I travel with a trial size first aid kit. Extra batteries and flashlights are in each area of my home. I change my emergency food and clothing supplies with the seasons. And yes, I even do the same in my car. Did I mention that I always have a pair of tennis shoes in my trunk and flat shoes under my desk in case I need some relief from a beautiful pair of high heels?
What does “A Teen’s Life Is Worth Documenting” mean to you?
For a child in the foster care system it probably means those words that are written about them in their personal file. You know the file that precedes them at every meeting, placement, and court hearing. The file that attempts to explain the reason they entered foster care, the length of time in the system, the changes in schools, the number of foster placements, health concerns, and any mental health screenings and diagnoses. The file containing this documentation is extremely important right? Essential even?!
I’m not speaking of the file that documents the thoughts and judgments of countless social workers, lawyers, doctors, and educators and barely contains the views of the youth in foster care. The accomplishments, aspirations, and support systems in a teen’s life are worth documenting. Every teen is unique and full of promise and potential. My teens document their lives in a professional portfolio — a visual tool that gives employers, recruiters, scouts, and mentors a complete picture of who you are. I believe that a professional portfolio can be an integral element not only in building skills and confidence in youth but also in helping them develop and maintain crucial personal and professional connections.
Many of us we are skilled in a variety of areas. Our culture has taught us to multi-task like our lives depend on it (often times it does). Throughout my career and definitely as an entrepreneur I have felt like a jack of all trades and a master of none on many occasions. I have helped clients with housing, food, medical assistance, and clothing. I have played the role of “work mom”, chauffer, parenting coach, stylist, and teacher. Some days I have worn the hat of scholarship consultant, academic advisor, counselor, tour guide, and career coach. I am truly a “do what needs to be done” kind of lady. In fact, two of my most used phrases are “get it done” and “keep it moving”. That’s good right? Well, usually it is.
A few years ago I had begun to run on “auto pilot” for a couple months. At times I would do a presentation or workshop simply because I had the knowledge or because I was asked. I was forced to be honest with myself and take a look at how I was spending my time. I realized that busy doesn’t always equate to productive. I needed to make some changes.