At Risk Youth
The Eagle Wings Life Skills and Leadership Program was originally designed to provide young people with a blueprint on how to reach their tremendous potential and live an abundant, happy, and creative life. I have now developed a special version of this program for struggling, at-risk youth.
At-risk youth are those individuals who may have acute situations that call for immediate and effective action. These situations include, but are not limited to: depression, suicide prevention, eating disorders, family and home life problems, drug and alcohol problems, pregnancy, academic problems, ADHD, and so forth.
There are a variety of reasons why any young person, at any time, is at risk. But one thing is for sure: By all rational accounts, the numbers of youth at risk are at epidemic proportions and rising.
The desperate condition of so many young people today is reflective, in part, of the desperate condition of society as a whole. The moral, spiritual, social and creative decline evidenced everywhere in our nation’s culture has created an environment that is subversive of young people’s health and well-being. They are simply not receiving the necessary inspiration to live above the tide of dysfunctional behavior. They are overwhelmed with negativity, lies, and examples of superficial living perpetrated through every medium of society. The consequence is a constant weakening at the core of their being, which opens the door for deep emotional conflicts and sets the stage for crisis, disorders, and depression.
When these problems arise, parents understandably, are often at a loss for what to do or where to turn. Conventional therapies are generally inadequate to produce true, lasting results. They tend to ignore the spiritual and inspirational realms of life and healing and instead rely heavily on psychiatric drugs to do the work that can only be done by the life process.
These drugs not only create false positives, but also further burden the individual with harmful physical and emotional side effects. The convoluted system of labeling and drugging necessarily produces a mentality of symptom suppression and crisis management.
My approach to dealing with at-risk youth is very different. It creates a clean pathway forward that a young person can embrace as his own, with real hope and great expectation. It is a total plan, for the whole person, with the goal of laying the foundation for a lifetime of happiness and health. It is simple (yet in-depth), straightforward, and powerful. Problems and dysfunctional behavior are dealt with as foreign, rather than endogenic to the individual, and therefore are eradicated rather than palliated.
Furthermore, I relate to youth and direct my work toward them with the understanding that despite the interference and addictions that have held back them back and blocked their true personalities from coming out, they fundamentally have a desire to feel good about themselves, to know they are loved and needed and that life is worth living. Young people have tremendous resilience. However, they can only respond wholeheartedly to something that strikes at the core of their being with greater intensity than do the problems and pain that assail them. And that is exactly why it is essential to teach an overcoming way of life.
The program is centered on seven pillars of health, happiness, and success, which I have identified and refined over years of working in the inspirational fields. The seven pillars are as follows:
- Purposeful living
- Commitment to truth and excellence
- Holistic development
- Spiritual empowerment
- Inspirational training
- Progressive victory (total victory)
Each of these concepts is integrated into an individualized life plan. The total process involves three key steps:
- Evaluate exactly what is currently happening in the person’s life at a foundational level. Determine how the condition evolved, and identify which elements and aspects of the individual’s lifestyle and structure are positive and which are negative.
- Deconstruct and throw away negative and unhealthy elements and aspects of the individual’s lifestyle and structure.
- Replace the unhealthy elements and aspects with new vital, healthy ones, and thereby rebuild the foundations.
The result of this process is that light replaces darkness, and the individual has a whole new inner framework that is strong, endurable, and reliable for the battle that is life. Only with this reality in place can a new life of hope and joy begin.