Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Become a Mentor

Execution is having a game plan and working it.
Execution is taking what is there and not trying to create something that isn’t.
Execution is following through on the fundamentals.
Execution is not making mistakes.
Execution is making the big plays when it counts.
Rory Vaden, drew this analogy to football in his blog.
How do you plan to execute your big plan? Do you have any plan?  Are you just a student and have no idea? At the beginning of each Youth Leadership Speech term, I have them fill out vision boards. See samples:
It is amazing to see the ideas these 5th graders have for their future. This group is special, they go to a fundamental school, the student, parents and of course the teacher strive to meet the requirements below.
  • Mandatory parent meetings each month
  • Regular communication with teachers
  • A homework heavy curriculum
  • A system of demerits that requires students to stay on task
  • A stricter dress code than other high schools
  • High expectations for student behavior and cooperation
Each Monday that I enter their classroon, it's a challenge, but a challenge with a smile.  It's the world of children, the world of dreams, the future leaders of our country!  This small place I have in their lives, is so very powerful!  Being a mentor/teacher may be the most important jobs one could undertake.

Do you have something to give, job skills, leadership skills, public speaking, just life skills become a mentor, it's powerful.

Stop in and see the future

Be a Mentor, create futures!
YSTA is building children to become leaders

Monday, January 20, 2014

MLK Day Presentation

Today, I was called to present to Mt. Zion Baptist Youth Group, in St. Petersburg, Florida. After these chosen words below, I spoke about  public speaking, and why it was so important to their future. If you read my last blog, or blogs I hope you get my passion.

YOUR INVITED: If you live in or around the Tampa Bay area and would love to see this current class of 5th grade speakers, and find out why your child should join our summer speech program, please contact me.
  • Date: 2/14
  • Just RSVP me by: 2/8.
  • The speech/graduation  contest
  • Start time: 5:30 pm
  • 24 - 5th graders will preform speeches and Table Topics  questions
  • Location: Pasadena Fundamental Elementary School, 
  • Address:95, 72nd St N. St. Petersburg 33710

A few years back in my third childhood, I read:  Dr. Michio Kaku's interesting book:

Hyperspace and a Theory of Everything

"When I was a child, I used to visit the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco.

I would spend hours fascinated by the carp, who lived in a very shallow pond just inches beneath the lily pads, just beneath my fingers, totally oblivious to the universe above them.

    I would ask myself a question only a child could ask: what would it be like
      to be a carp?

What a strange world it would be! I imagined that the pond would be an entire universe, one that is two-dimensional in space.

The carp would only be able to swim forwards and backwards, and left and right.
But I imagined that the concept of “up”, beyond the lily pads, would be totally alien to them, or would it?
I thought what a wondrous story I would tell the others!
The carp would babble on about unbelievable new laws of physics: beings who could move without fins.

Beings who could breathe without gills. Beings who could emit sounds without bubbles.
Then, one day it rained, and I saw the rain drops forming gentle ripples on the surface of the pond.

Then I wondered?

Would the carp see thru the ripples?  Would he then dream as I did?
What was that world out there about?
Do you have a dream?

Then one day a man, a great man with a dream stood on the steps of history, he said:
In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check.
When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men -- yes, black men as well as white men -- would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.
Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check that has come back marked "insufficient funds."
Spoken by Martin Luther King, August 28th 1963
Do You Have A Dream
In 2003,  as a  3 month Toastmaster I was invited to speak at The Great American Teach-in at Alonso High School in Tampa.

It was that 16 year old boy in the front row ( yes the class clown ) who got my attention.

I had a flashback,  you see I was that boy long ago.
That was the day I knew why I had become a Toastmaster?

You see they threw me out of school at 16, for the third time.  
Then I had a Dream!

My dream was take my new found speaking skills to the Youth of America, my message STAY IN SCHOOL!
Do You Have A Dream?

For more about creating a youth program or our summer youth program contact:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

5th Grade Speech/Graduation Program and Summer Class Sign-up


All information is private


"I hear, I know.  I see, I remember.  I do, I understand."


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reinvest in America?

"In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men -- yes, black men as well as white men -- would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check that has come back marked "insufficient funds."  From the 'I Have A Dream Speech' : by Martin Luther King
Friends, our unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are slowly eroding away!  That promissory note has been bankrupted by our own so called leaders!
So how do we survive this kerfuffle?  How do we reinvest in America?  
When Walt Kelly said: "We have met the enemy and he is us" on a poster for Earth Day in 1970, little did we know how right he was. 
The men who wrote and signed the US Constitution endured unbelievable hardships, for the future of this great country.  
The greatest document ever written the 'US Constitution' has taken America to greatness.  We have saved the world threw war, and with our donations, while wasting billions and hundreds of thousands of lives, for what we call peace.  

It's time to take a stand on the blatant throwing away of (our) hard earned tax dollars!

The sad effect of paying people to not work; as ethics, honesty and hard work, have been left on the ash heap of history, bring shame to this great country . 

Sadly, politics is only about power, money and votes!

"That Shinning City on the Hill"  an early example of American exceptionalism, spoken by Ronald Reagan, " when John F. Kennedy said "  Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.";  the thought that Martin Luther King's 'Dream' is buried on that City on the Hill.  With the grave stone reading " I Had a Dream !"

What do we do?
  •   Teach our children to read about men like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King.  teach them how important the words of Morrie are:  “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” 

― Mitch AlbomTuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson

Some Ideas:
  • Have every politician sign a contract, holding them to the promises they make.
  • Throw out every politician who has lied to us!
  • Teach our children ethics, honesty and the 'Constitution'
Teach our (children) what they can do for their country, set them on a path to rebuilding that "Shinning City on the Hill". Then the (Dream) will become true.

Break down that wall!   Remember you don't have to be rich, just be real!


"I hear, I know.  I see, I remember.  I do, I understand."


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Changing your mind!

" All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become." BUDDHA

Happy New Year!  What exactly does, or better yet what do we mean Happy New Year?  Do we hope to leave 2013 behind,  or was it a great year?

Have you ever thought about having your birthday at the end of the year?  You can combine all the thoughts of your better days, cry because your (older), or decide it's not to late to make changes!

Change what?  Yes the Budda is such a smart guy, lets follows his words.  Let's improve our minds?
Ok, I talk a lot about reading here, da! On this Blog:, featuring the book below. And try Yesware, it's cool.

Each day I wake thinking what am I going to do with the rest of my life?  Do you? Will 2014, be different? Maybe you want to go to the 'palya', and meet the burners. In my blog 'Break Down the Wall'  in this special book 'The Art of Being Unmistakable" the author Srinivas Rao,
"The future belongs to the misfits?

Perhaps it always has.
It seems fitting that I'm writing this at Burning Man, a strange and alternative pop-up city that had to venture into the middle of nowhere - an ancient lakebed in the Nevada desert, known as playa - to bring itself into being near the end of every August.
  Each time I come here, to this world of portapotties, alkaline dust storms, sweltering days, freezing nights, and no Starbucks - I swear to myself, this is the last freaking time.  And yet there's a point when something in me shifts over and I know I will return.  How could I not? "Welcome home," Burners say as we reunite with each other on the playa, and it's true.  Even if you've never been here before, the playa calls you home."

Friends what is that wall, or is it just something you built?  Can you take your car and crash through it, or just have another beer, or burn another one to break it down! Or is it being told, your to old, your to dumb, you can't do that? 

Does age have anything to do with the wall?

When Cornell Sanders built KFC ' Kentucky Fried Chicken' at the age 67, do you think he was up against a wall!  Do you think Morrie 'Tuesday's with Morrie' cared about the wall, he was dying!  Do you think Albert Einstein cared, when his teacher told his parents he was to dumb?  These people have done their part to change the world, how about you?

So how do you be come unmistakable, I have some ideas.  

Now you think who is this guy York, he's not a doctor, a educator, a millionaire, Dr. Oz or even DR. Phil or a World Class anything?  He is just a guy who was thrown of the 9th grade at 16, not recommended.

 True, but I am what I write. Not like those who claim to lead our country!  Friends when you make it not about the money, not about the power, maybe it's  just like going to the 'playa'. When you read my blog ' The Kids Say Thank You ' the focus of your life, you are taking a giant step to breaking down that wall!

Just in case your new here, YSTA is about the future. My experience now with teaching the art of public speaking to children, is a powerful experience. Do I have any a PHD, BA or MA, not one.  One time many years ago a friend of mine who had just received her PHD said "York you have more commonsense than most people."  Have you ever had that ah ha moment, over the years I have tried to make sense of my so called commonsense, eke!

It's a powerful moment, when you have a part in building our future leaders.

How do you sift through all the noise, yes the noise is part of the wall.  Is the noise powerful, you bet. The  best medicine for breaking down the wall I believe is reading....

  • If your depressed it's much cheaper that the doctor
  • Much cheaper than pills
  • You can learn how real people like you overcame the wall
  • Your gain knowledge
Recommended reading, for breaking down that wall!

  • Rory Vaden:Take the Stairs   

No matter how you define success, it always requires one thing: self-discipline. But as popular speaker and strategist Rory Vaden explains, we live in an "escalator world"-one that's filled with shortcuts, quick fixes, and distractions that make it all too easy to slide into procrastination, compromise, and mediocrity. What seems like an easier path is really much harder in the end-and, most important, it won't take you where you want to go.
How do successful people stay focused and achieve results? This lively and insightful guide presents a simple program for taking the stairs-that is, for overcoming the temptations of quick fixes and procrastination, conquering creative avoidance, and transcending personal setbacks in order to tackle the work that leads to real success.

  • Sam Walton: Made In America
Meet a genuine American folk hero cut from the homespun cloth of America's heartland: Sam Walton, who parlayed a single dime store in a hardscrabble cotton town into Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world.  The undisputed merchant king of the late twentieth century, Sam never lost the common touch.  Here, finally, inimitable words.  Genuinely modest, but always sure if his ambitions and achievements.  Sam shares his thinking in a candid, straight-from-the-shoulder style. 

In a story rich with anecdotes and the "rules of the road" of both Main Street and Wall Street, Sam Walton chronicles the inspiration, heart, a
nd optimism that propelled him to lasso the American Dream.

  • John Corcoran: The Teacher Who Couldn't Read: One Man's Triumph Over Illiteracy

I'll say it here, upfront, to make sure you do too: It is as important in America Today to teach an adult to read as it is a child.

  • Dan Millman:  

    Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives

During his junior year at the University of California, while training to become a world-champion gymnast, Dan Millman stumbled on a 94-year-old mentor nicknamed Socrates, a powerful, unpredictable, and elusive character. He taught a way to maximize performance using a unique blend of Eastern philosophy and Western fitness to cultivate the true essence of a champion - the "way of the peaceful warrior." Millman's first-person account of his odyssey into realms of light, darkness, mind, body, and spirit has since become an international bestseller about the universal quest for happiness.

  • Mitch Albom:Tuesdays with Morrie

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.
For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

  • Mitch Albom:The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Eddie is a grizzled war veteran who feels trapped in a meaningless life of fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. His days are a dull routine of work, loneliness, and regret.

Then, on his 83rd birthday, Eddie dies in a tragic accident, trying to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden, but a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people. These people may have been loved ones or distant strangers. Yet each of them changed your path forever.

One by one, Eddie's five people illuminate the unseen connections of his earthly life. As the story builds to its stunning conclusion, Eddie desperately seeks redemption in the still-unknown last act of his life: Was it a heroic success or a devastating failure The answer, which comes from the most unlikely of sources, is as inspirational as a glimpse of heaven itself

  • Sam Nall:  Dick and Rick HoytIt's Only a Mountain, Men of Iron 

The inspirational story of Dick Hoyt and his son Rick who was born with cerebral palsy and is a non-vocal quadriplegic.

  • Lee Iacocca:Talking Straight

This is a continuation of Lee Iacocca's autobiography which is one of the all-time best-selling hardcovers and sold 6.5 million copies worldwide. Iacocca recounts some untold life experiences as son, husband, father and friend as well as Chrysler Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He also writes candidly on world economic issues and provides insights into achieving business success.

  • Glenn Beck: Being George Washington


This is the amazing true story of a real-life superhero who wore no cape and possessed no special powers—yet changed the world forever. 

His life reads as if it were torn from the pages of an action novel: Bullet holes through his clothing. Horses shot out from under him. Unimaginable hardship. Disease. Spies and double-agents. And while we celebrate his great heroism and character, we discover he was also a flawed man. It’s those flaws that should give us hope for today. Understanding the very human way he turned himself from an uneducated farmer into the Indispensable (yet imperfect) Man is the only way to build a new generation of George Washingtons who can take on the extraordinary challenges that America is once again facing.

  • Norman Doidge,MD:The Brain That Changes Itself

What is neuroplasticity? Is it possible to change your brain? Norman Doidge’s inspiring guide to the new brain science explains all of this and more 
An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable, and proving that it is, in fact, possible to change your brain. Psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, M.D., traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity, its healing powers, and the people whose lives they’ve transformed—people whose mental limitations, brain damage or brain trauma were seen as unalterable. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, blind people who learn to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, stroke patients learning to speak, children with cerebral palsy learning to move with more grace, depression and anxiety disorders successfully treated, and lifelong character traits changed. Using these marvelous stories to probe mysteries of the body, emotion, love, sex, culture, and education, Dr. Doidge has written an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.