I choose Mike Smith for my leader of choose for my requirement to blog about a leader.
Who is Mike Smith? Besides, a professional teenager he is a motivational speaker, consultant, ambassador, entrepreneur, non-profit founder, and executive producer.
I first heard of him when he spoke at 2016 MASC MAHS State Conference in Traverse, City MI. He reminded me a lot of my brother and of myself. He reminded me of my brother by his skater like appearance, long hair, and passion for skating. However, I aligned with him for his passion for service and positive speech. His performance struck me because of his brotherly like persona and his passion for helping. Mike’s speech was about what he did to make a difference and what he wanted his legacy to be and then wrapped it up by asking us to create something of ourselves and to think about what we want to be remembered as. It was an inspirational talk and it really got me thinking what I wanted to be remembered as.
Anyways, who is Mike and why do I look up to him?
Mike created a non-profit skate park where he can work with children to encourage their dreams and allow the skaters in the community a place to be themselves. He hires people to work at the skate park that need the job, which truly shows his commitment to helping those around him.
Also, he created Skate for Change. It is a group of skaters that give back to low income and homeless people in the community, by giving out food or clothing. Most of the skaters at his skate park come and skate with Mike in thee Skate for Change. Mike once said, “If you teach a kid not to be selfish, you change the way they think forever.” He connects both of his organizations in teaching local skaters the importance of giving and also helping those in need in the community.
Mike is also the face of Beanies4Life, which is a program Yea.Nice created to make a difference in the lives of the homeless around the country that are fighting life threatening conditions. Every beanie sold, one gets donated to a homeless shelter.
He also paired up with Jostens, on their Harbor TV. Harbor TV is a website of episodes that showcase life lessons and help with character development. He is passionate about speaking to children about important topics and coaching them through life through the videos.
Mike partnered with J.R. Galardi and did a month adventure called Hot Dogs for the Homeless. They set out and gave out hot dogs to the homeless as well as raised $100,000, which was matched to $200,000 for Skate for Change.
He even raised money by sleeping under a bridge for 30 days and skated across the country to get awareness out for Skate for Change. It is incredible the distances he will go to raise awareness for his causes.
There is a scholarship fund he is starting for students that have improved grades and behaviors in school- or families with financial hardships. He was not the best student in high school and he came from poverty, so this shows he remembers where he came form and he wants to give back to those that resemble where he was.
His achievements and attitudes speak so loudly. He truly does want to make a difference. He has a tattoo that says, Speak for the Silent, Stand for the Broken. It is there to remind him each day what his life is about.
In high school I did on a project on Mike Smith as someone that was self-actualized. He is selfless as a leader, giving back whenever and wherever he can. He took his passion and turned in into doing good for others. He also encourages others like influencing the skaters in the community to help out with the Skate for Change. He also never gives up for what he loves and keeps striving to meet the needs he sees. He spreads positive messages directly through his episodes on Harbor TV proving that he wants to make this world a better place in every aspect.Others are motivated to follow him because he is not demanding. He inspires others by his actions and it encourages others to join him.
He started everything alone and with that had the courage to do so. I admire his courage and his effortless way in getting people involved. Also, his selfless determined attitude like sleeping under a bridge to get awareness and raise money. His efforts have touched many lives. Those that he helps he goes beyond superficial meetings. He gets to know them not as a homeless person, but as a human being. Not only does he help those in need, but influences the children in his community by being a positive role model to them and instilling in them many admirable lessons. When he goes to schools and events speaking he touches even more lives by telling his story and encouraging others to help and find their legacy. His leadership has affected me tremendously. He really made me contemplate what I wanted to do with my life, what my legacy was going to be. He did not have money, but it did not stop him from making a difference. His courage, selflessness, and determination inspires me to live each day better in service to others. Now, everyday I am going to work on creating my legacy, like Mike. To work at my legacy I am going to be more self-less and creative in order to start something that will help change people’s lives.
We all matter. Be nice to all. Use your passion to help others. Never give up.