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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lifeplan Develops Some “Swagger” in Toledo, Ohio.

John Henry Livingston is an energetic Lifeplan Ninja who has brought Lifeplan to Toledo’s young people.

John runs leadership courses at 15 area middle and high schools using the Lifeplan program. Students he works with focus on learning to identify risk factors, their most important values, strengths, and dreams, build goals and identify those they can enlist as a board of directors to help them succeed.

John has been innovative by melding the Lifeplan work with a student-developed University of Toledo marketing campaign to help young people develop some “swagger.” In this case “swag” stands for “study, work, achieve, and graduate.” Bottom line here is getting the young people to recognize swagger as something far more important than clothing and attitude. It is supporting young people to build a positive inner voice, a game plan for life, selflessness, and encouraging them to be warm when so many peers would urge them to just be cool.

One of the joys I have in seeing the development of Lifeplan around the country has been the innovations Lifeplan leaders, like John, have achieved in their local communities. I recently highlighted others in Chapel, Colorado, First Tee in San Francisco, University High in St. Louis, the Foster Care efforts in Georgia, Juvenile Hall in Marin, Positive Coaching Alliance work, pioneering efforts in the State of Hawaii and others. The bottom line here is that Lifeplan is a core program that can be adopted within any environment working with young people. It can enhance and compliment existing efforts already in place.

John Livingston has done a wonderful job in bringing Lifeplan to Toledo today and, he hopes, to all of Ohio over the next few years. John has dedicated his life to helping young people find their swagger and Lifeplan is a key piece in his strategy.


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