The role of mentors in raising children into leaders

Published 29 March 2013  |  
AP

We all know children are an important part of every society and the future of the world, but David Johns believes there are ways we can actively help children to become future global leaders.

Johns is Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans and was in Brussels this month for the Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders programme.

Naturally he stresses the importance of education and the crucial role it can play in moulding a child's future career ambitions.

But there's more, he says.

"I think there are a couple of ways to improve many of the challenges that inhibit young children and poor children in particular from having opportunities to become global leaders.

"One is to find mentors who have the experiences that you and I have, who have been able to take advantage of language development and opportunities to travel and build relationships across the world and find ways to tell these children about those opportunities."

Mr Johns explains the importance of children having positive role models who they can look up to and emulate.

Reflecting on his own childhood experience, he said: "I grew up in Los Angeles, California but went to undergrad in New York and the things that my classmates who grew up in the Northeast talked about were not the same as those that I was at least used to in California.

"I often joke now that it was through reading and through exposure that I even understood what the tundra was having again grown up in Los Angeles, California, a place that we don't see a whole lot of snow.

"So finding ways to embed those types of learning opportunities and experiences is critically important."

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