Working for Youthlinc, I have the unique opportunity and privilege to hear and read about the experiences that our participants, both mentors and students, have had with our organization. Of all the responses I come across, there is one that is particularly salient: people are grateful for the “blessings” that they have in their lives.

I love these responses! It is sobering to feel gratitude for the many opportunities we have in life. I am also uplifted by the positivity that flows from an individual who is grateful for what they have.

This response from Youthlincers has caused me to reflect on the benefits of being apart of our program. From this reflection, a singular idea dominates and gives me great satisfaction. The idea touches on potential. Youthlinc is an amazing program because it allows people to realize their potential to do good in practical and applicable ways.

I believe that potential is realized when we recognize the blessings we have in our lives and understand that we can use those blessings for good. To the term blessing, I wish to add a few interpretations:

1) a blessing can be the financial resources that we possess;
2) a blessing can be our personal qualities, talents, and strengths;
3) and a blessing can be recognizing our weaknesses and limits.

There could be other interpretations of what a blessing is, but I will leave it at these three for the moment.

When we realize the resources with which we are endowed, and how we can use these resources for good, we realize our potential. When we understand that we have the talents of humor or determination or encouragement, we realize our potential. When we recognize that there are somethings that we are unable to do alone, we realize our potential. When we realize our potential, we can create change and improve and bless the lives of those around us.

In my opinion there is no other organization that allows people to experience and realize the potential they have in their lives, and how they can use these blessings to improve or bless the lives of those around them. This happens in our own communities through local service and in our five international sites through the amazing amount of work and service we put into those communities in the two weeks we are there.

It is a blessing to be apart of an organization that helps people realize and meet their potential. All of us are blessed with amazing potential. So I ask you, if you have not applied to be a student or a mentor on our trip, please do so. I promise you will uncover potential within that you never knew existed and you will not only change your life, but you will allow those around you to realize their own potential.


Smitty Monson
International Service Director- Youthlinc

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