THE POWER OF WORDS
We dedicate these stories to the people who help make our work possible.
Written by Amy Hupe
An Interview with CLF staff about the crucial ingredient of encouragement and our dream to give second chances to those who want them.
"Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me" I think we all know that this is not true at all. We know that really, long after the “real cuts” heal, word cuts fester become infected and manifest as insecurities, negative self-talk and other sense of self symptoms. Dr. Mario Martines, Clinical Neuropsychologist, in his research found that words of shame have the exact same stress cortisol reactions as if a person was actually stabbed. Saying those words cut me deep takes on a whole new meaning.
For many it is the absence of support mixed with the a barrage of negativity that sets up a perfect storm to push lives off track. The antidote to this storm is good strong positive mentorship. This month I sat down with a CLF staff member and discussed how this need for encouragement and mentorship is instrumental.
CLF staff and woman’s advocate extraordinaire Mint knows this deeply! She shared how she felt alone with no one to encourage her and only negative voices coming at her in her teen years. This led her to make the decision to drop out of school . "Amy, I was a really good student, top of my class, but my family problems overwhelmed me and I dropped out, all my teachers were so sad to see me go." She shared how it was a supportive meaningful community that helped her turn back time and get her diploma. "I’m telling you Amy, if I could go back I would never drop out of school, but my family had no money and no time, I was just a teenager. I didn’t have parents and my grandmother couldn’t do anything." Mint wants to see a supportive community like this for Thai woman who have made a similar choice. Here are segments from our interview on how CLF’s education program could give that second chance.
Amy: "So Mint, from what I’m hearing it sound like you are saying money was a problem but also it was significant that you had no one to talk to, no one helping you to walk through your life challenges, what do you think, if everything financially was the same do you think that just having encouragement would have helped you stay in school"
Mint: "Absolutely, yes. Many Thai families don’t encourage their children, poor families have problems, some don’t have parents. The grandparents have to do everything, they don’t have time and energy to encourage. I saw so many friends of mine that have success because they have three things: money, encouragement and parents. Not having good relationship in family is a big deal"
Amy: "Mint it sounds like you are saying that for teenagers in this situation they feel sad, lonely, angry and are searching for a way out, searching for something that work no matter what it is. That if someone had been there to check-in and to help you find that in your home and school you might have stayed."
Mint: "Yes. Really its about confidence. Later in life I met people who encouraged me. I went back to school I worked hard on this road, people lit my candle, so many people. Now I have a chance again and I want to do this for others, I know this can be the future for so many
Everyone has a dream, like me when I was a kid I wanted to be something in my dreams. But when I was young I only had negative from my family. When I grew up I had people encourage me to go for my dreams. I want to have opportunity to encourage people to have dreams again. I want to let people have a second chance with their dreams. I don’t want to have people live forever the consequences of one mistake when they were young and unsupported."
Amy: "It seems like it’s important to you that mistakes that a person made when they were young, unclear and unsupported not have the power to ruin their opportunities permanently, that people deserve a second chance and you want to be part of helping make that happen."
Creative Life Foundations believes in Mint’s vision for those who dropped out too early to get a second chance.
Creative Life believes that we can intercede with financial and mentorship support before teenagers make the choice to drop out.
This year we are providing scholarships for 50 students, we are committed to seeing these candles stay lit! We also want to see more. If you would like to support the work of Creative Life Foundation by student sponsorship please email to get involved.
*this is interview is a condensed version translated from Thai that is true to the content.