Carolyn recently joined a group of entrepreneurs and leaders to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged Cambodian youth with Sunrise Cambodia and Project Gen Z. This social impact trip to Cambodia was to educate, inspire and motivate young people to ‘Dare to Dream’.
The ‘Dare to Dream’ program included workshops from the volunteers around mindset (that’s Carolyn), sales, marketing, social media, teamwork, and presentation skills. They also coached a team of 8-10 young people through ‘The Apprentice Challenge’ where they received a surprise business in a box and had two days to develop the following:
- Rebrand their product (Carolyn’s first team had a handbag and second team had boxing gloves)
- Design and develop a logo, slogan and branding
- Sales and marketing campaign
- Social media strategy
- 30 second TV commercial
- 5 minute business pitch in English to a panel of judges
We are proud to say that Carolyn’s Red Team won in Phnom Penh and her Yellow Team won in Siem Reap – the only coach in 5 years to take out two wins! Carolyn witnessed great leadership, incredible courage, determination and motivation that was inspiring, teamwork that makes your heart sing and gratitude like she’s never seen before. These young people cried when they won telling Carolyn that ‘dreams really do come true’. Winning is great but these wins mean more opportunities for these young people to change their own futures and that of their communities.
Here’s some of what Carolyn’s took away from this incredible experience:
- Our capacity to love is a choice. These kids have heartbreaking stories yet love quickly and openly. They open themselves up to you and love you freely and generously. Open yourself to love and being loved.
- Family is who you make it. These kids wrap their arms around each other and create a deep sense of family. They invite you in with open arms and open hearts and I know now that I have new family.
- Be present. Your time and attention costs you nothing but can make the world of difference to you and others. We need to stop stepping through the paces and really immerse ourselves in our life, relationships and experiences. In a world where we can buy anything else but time, make sure you spend yours wisely and invest in what truly matters.
- Seize opportunities like they are the only one you’ll get. These kids grabbed this challenge with both hands and saw it as an opportunity to change their life… and so it has. Stop thinking you have time. We let opportunities slip through our fingers because we think another one is just around the corner.
- Be grateful. This was always going to be an easy lesson but it is far more profound than I expected. We need to train ourselves to see the good, recognise the smallest of details and cultivate a real and deep feeling of gratitude. Make it normal to express that gratitude and get comfortable with accepting it from others.
- You mean more than you realise. Ordinary people can make a big difference in this world. I didn’t think I had much to offer in this program and thanks to a friend who pushed me (a lot) to apply, I know that you need to do things before you feel ready. I realised that you don’t need any special skills, you just need to care and have a deep sense of purpose and be aligned to your values.
- You never know where your next connection, friend, new family member or inspiration is going to come from. Look up, open your heart and be open to having new people in your life. An enormous and heartfelt thank you to Liz, Geraldine, Sheryl, Tash, Caroline, Pierina, Laura and Rachael who have all changed my life.
What a trip! Carolyn feels like she got more than she gave but knows that those ripples will be felt for a while to come. Geraldine Cox said that when the group goes home, they don’t get to see the lasting impact the trip has on the lives of these kids and young people and that it is truly life changing – their confidence grows and the seeds of dreams are planted.
We are truly grateful to everyone who donated and supported ‘Dare to Dream’. Some of our clients took advantage of our offer to run mindfulness training in exchange for a donation and they gave generously. Carolyn saw first-hand the difference that this money makes to the lives of these kids, building a better future for them and Cambodia.
The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention – Oscar Wilde