I suppose my ambition for this started with my mom. She was never an outspoken, preachy person, but she always spent a lot of time helping people. Kids definitely learn from watching adults’ actions, and I really think that’s why this all stuck with me.

Then, when she was 50, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. And a year later, we lost her. When you’re 25 and have mortality smacking you in the face like that, it changes you. I started thinking a lot about my life & the legacy we leave behind. So many times someone came up to me, that I barely knew, who just said how much they would miss her. Her goodness radiated out in the work she did in the special needs room at the local elementary school – where her pay was little but the reward was huge.

How do we find that reward in corporate America? Is it possible to be fulfilled while still putting away for retirement?

A couple years ago I got the offer to come on at Thrive. Our mission statement is “helping people have better days.” And I thought: maybe this could be how I have a balance of making a living and helping people.

Thrive programs are able to shift mindsets and drive behavior change through the cognitive science our performance platform is built on. Of course, this benefits the organizations we work with, but we always want to make sure there is something there that is affecting the individual in a positive way.

Our recent partnership with Dr. John Beiter reinforces this mission statement. Dr. Beiter’s social and mental wellness content, combined with our platform, provides students with support that helps them have better days. Our goal is to teach techniques to help them be happier and less stressed, and these techniques will support their mental well-being into their adult lives, as well. Schools can do a wonderful job teaching facts and figures, but most do not have the time and resources available to teach the “soft skills” that are becoming necessary in our high intensity, “always-on” world.

And the other issue – how do you get through to teenagers? Our platform communicates via text or email; when phones are essentially glued to kids’ hands (or pop-socketed to them), we have a barrier-free way to communicate. Another consideration: what teenager feels comfortable talking about their feelings in front of a peer group? Our platform is conversational and inviting, but anonymous and safe at the same time. We share feedback in a way that isn’t anxiety-inducing, allowing for honesty and meaningful dialogue.

While we work on launching this program, it really gets back to helping people have better days. When we invest in our future leaders and figure out how to communicate and provide support that actually works, we make a large impact on those that truly need it. On a personal level, its work we can be proud of, just like the work I watched my mom do throughout her life.

 

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