Who remembers being a kid? Okay. Now, who can say they are doing exactly what they wanted to do when they “grew up?” I remember the days growing up, not knowing where I really fit in, if what I wanted to do was possible or if what I wanted to do would be supported. As kids, I think many of us go through this.Fortunately, more programs are out there supporting kids in what they really want to do.
When I first heard that the Interactive Intelligence Foundation was supporting Indiana FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), I was intrigued to learn more about the organization. I decided to attend the robotics competition we held at our corporate headquarters to discover what this group was about. The organization was founded in 1989, and strives to make the world of technology as cool as the world of athletics. After learning that the program inspires kids to be driven by science, technology, and engineering I thought to myself, “what a cool idea, I wish I had a group like that to join growing up.” Then after watching in amazement the talent these kids had building and maneuvering their robots, I remembered what it was like to create and dream big.
Seeing the passion that the kids had for what they did, made me step back and think about the important role we have as mentors to this younger generation. As adults in the real world we tend to lose sight of the passion we once had for our interests. With the drone of the work week and responsibilities at home, we often forget to keep learning and pushing our experiential boundaries.
I’m a true believer that we can always be learning, especially from those younger than ourselves. That day watching those kids, I learned that even as our responsibilities weigh heavily on our everyday lives, that we are somewhat obliged to harness the passion we once had for our interests, to share our experiences, and to impart our knowledge by volunteering so that these kids can achieve their dreams.
Today’s world is driven by technology. Odds are that these kids will go on to college and gain the skills they need to be successful. However, I think most of us can agree that success is not just about what you do, it’s about how passionate you are about what you do.
It has been about 5 years since I last volunteered for a program. Thinking back, volunteering was a tremendous passion of mine. I volunteered all through high school, some in college, and slowly but surely life happened and I stopped giving my time. I forgot how good it felt to give. I think it’s fair to ask ourselves, does our passion co-exist with our success? Or are they merely entities that after time we have learned to separate? Why not at least give of our time and share our passion with children so we can help them to be successful?
P.S. If you would like to learn more about how to volunteer, please visit the Interactive Intelligence Foundation web site.
A kid at heart