Omaha native seeks to empower community
June 19th, 2013
Omaha, NE — Omaha native Ean Garrett knows a thing or two about changing the world.Â The author and motivational speaker has traveled the country as a spokesperson for a program called the MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership after receiving his law degree from UNL.[audio:https://kvnonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/FINAL1.mp3]
And now he is giving back to the place he calls home through a series of workshops he created called Infinite 8.
â€œEssentially itâ€™s a program that focuses on non-cognitive skills as opposed to cognitive,â€ Garrett said.Â â€œNon-cognitive skills are those that canâ€™t be measured but are still essential to a personâ€™s success.â€
Currently, Garrett is working with students in Creighton Universityâ€™s Upward Bound Summer Academy. The usual eight-week program was shortened to five for these students. Each week they practice two skills. By the end of the academy they will have focused on self-discipline, self-responsibility, persistence, fearlessness, excellence, foresight, character and humility.
Maria Hill, 15, feels that the program will help her now and in the future.
â€œI feel like I have benefited most from the self-discipline lesson,â€ Hill said. â€œI have no self-control. When I speak I donâ€™t really filter myself and so that has kind of helped me refrain from saying things that could hurt people.â€
Garrett said the idea for Infinite 8 came about as a way to address what he regards as issues associated with a decline in community morality. His own experiences growing up would ultimately drive him to pen his debut book “Rebirth of a Dream,” which chronicles what he has done to overcome tragic incidents in his life. He promised himself that no one would grow up like he did, if he could help it.
â€œI grew up in poverty myself,â€ Garrett said. â€œI saw how poverty was affecting so many individuals. I tried to outline a blueprint of what I had done even though my father was killed and I had been there and I had seen it. How I was still able to make it through that situation. Even though my mother was on drugs how I was still able to make it through that situation and to gain all of the accolades I was able to gain during that time.â€
Garrett has given new meaning to the popular rubber wristband fashion trend through Infinite 8. Each skill is embossed on a black wristband that students wear to remind them of their goals for the week.
â€œI like wearing the wristband because it makes me feel like I have a skill, kind of like a superhero,â€ said 17-year-old Austin Pena.
The program, which began in 2011 at Northwest High Magnet School, may still be in its infancy, but Garrett sees it becoming a global phenomenon.
â€œLooking ahead I definitely see it spreading on an international level thatâ€™s the end goal,â€ Garrett said. â€œIf we can motivate the masses to help themselves and their own environment and to realize their full potential then regardless of whatever problems we face in the future weâ€™ll have the tools necessary to overcome those.â€
Garrett said his passion for helping people brings him an immeasurable amount of satisfaction.
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