Last week we had the privilege of performing our interactive keynote program for AVID, an organization dedicated to the success and achievement of underprivileged students who are determined to not only be successful in school, but in all aspects of their lives. Introducing our new program to this team of 150 innovative educators and administrators was thrilling. We were honored to be able to unite, uplift and inspire them as much as they inspire those they teach.
From the moment the doors to the ballroom opened to the final beat, the receptivity of the entire room was altered. As participants gathered around their tables, most instinctively they picked up their drums and began drumming to the beat while others danced freely, smiling and laughing. With multiple schools and offices scattered throughout the United States, it was especially powerful for AVID to bring their entire organization together to illustrate and understand each individual’s contributions. Within minutes, individuals were united through one common purpose. They quickly formed a conga line and began celebrating what brought them together—their passion for education. The moment was as inspiring as it was entertaining.
Throughout the hour-long interactive drumming portion of our event, the room was electric. We successfully brought the team into alignment and left them feeling thoroughly jazzed. Following the keynote, we introduced our newest interactive module, “Brave & Brilliant,” led by writer, Deborah Pardes. Brave & Brilliant is a program centered around the power of storytelling. It encourages individuals to identify and share their strengths—to speak their magnificence. The AVID Leaders first learned about the basic structure of powerful verbal storytelling and its ability to open up doors for better communication and understanding. After listening to a few AVID leaders share their Brave & Brilliant personal stories on stage, each participant engaged in one-to-one exercises that enabled them to experience the methodology first hand. The personal bonds established during Brave & Brilliant are ones that those educators will take with them for the rest of their lives.
The employees of AVID are the mentors of our future; they’re there to motivate and hold students accountable to overcoming their struggles and celebrating their achievements. In the spirit of Ubuntu, we showed AVID’s team how to ignite each other’s greatest potential by relating their individual deﬁning stories to one another. Through this experience, AVID leaders were able to explore a new way of unearthing their students’ potential as well as their own. Storytelling can expand our understanding of one another, along with our capacity to push ourselves further than we’d ever imagined.
In utilizing the Brave & Brilliant module in addition to our Drum Cafe West keynote program, a powerhouse of unity and inspiration for AVID was born. Communicating through rhythm opened the door for individuals to acknowledge their contributions and find the heartbeat of their combined efforts in true collaboration.