At some point in our lives, we all experience a feeling of loneliness. It’s a natural human experience and for some, the struggle is worse than others… but it can be a struggle nonetheless. And loneliness doesn’t discriminate based upon age… but I’d venture to say that for kids and teens today, the feeling of loneliness can be crippling. I know for me, I struggled with feeling lonely a lot growing up. I was bullied in elementary and middle school and I never felt like I fit in. There were days where I’d wake up and I wouldn’t want to go to school… I’d fake sick hoping I could avoid the lunch cafeteria for another day. I just felt lost and I didn’t know what to do… I eventually learned ways to cope with that feeling and make a solid group of friends, but those years were so hard. have you ever felt that way? Was this something you ever struggled with? How did you handle it? Did you go with the motions or do you decide to take matters in to your own hands?
My guest this week is Shane Feldman, the founder and CEO of Count Me In, the largest youth-run organization in the world that has impacted over 10 million youth in over 100 countries. Count Me In inspires youth to be positive change agents in their community, and aims to transform the way teens see themselves in connection to the world through volunteerism, community, and mentorship. With Shane at the helm, Count Me In is a global leader in immersive and practical student leadership training and community building, and Shane now travels the globe sharing his story and inspiring corporate and educational audiences to create an inclusive culture of connection. Shane is currently on the A&E docuseries “Undercover High” and has been featured on the Hallmark Channel, CBS, Fox, Yahoo, and the Huffington Post. I loved my time with him and I know you will love this episode!
Shane Feldman is an internationally recognized youth empowerment expert, motivational speaker, producer, and social entrepreneur. As Founder and CEO of Count Me In, Shane is the creative strategist and visionary behind the world’s largest youth-run organization that has impacted over 10-million youth in over 100 countries. Shane appears in the new docuseries “Undercover High”, premiering on A&E this fall. The eye-opening television series takes a first-hand look at the inner-workings of the universal American experience of life in public high school. The groundbreaking series sent Shane back to high school, embedded as a teenager, to uncover what life is really like for a public high school student today.
As a child of divorce, Shane was constantly moving with his mom, lacked consistent male role models, experienced relentless bullying, and felt socially isolated. He had moved upwards of eight times before entering high school. After moving to yet another brand new city, Shane was rejected by his first choice school, and entered 9th grade desperate for a positive experience, but instead felt lost and invisible. With the help of a very committed guidance counselor, Shane became active in local clubs, theater and volunteerism. Getting involved turned Shane’s life around, and inspired him to launch a school project to help his peers find their passion through community involvement. What started as a small project remarkably went viral, and has since evolved into the global phenomenon known as Count Me In.
Born out of Shane’s own challenges and experiences, Count Me In inspires youth to be positive change agents in their community. With Shane at the helm, Count Me In is a global leader in immersive and practical student leadership training, and community building. Over the past decade, the organization has inspired tens of thousands of youth-led volunteer projects, equating to over 100-million hours of community service worldwide, worth $2.4 billion.
Once socially isolated, Shane is now a renowned youth advocate committed to energizing those who feel lost or disenfranchised as he once did. As an expert on the power of positivity and human potential, Shane travels the globe sharing his story, inspiring corporate and educational audiences to create an inclusive culture of connection, and helping them uncover their value and potential.
Shane has consulted for Microsoft, the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), GEAR UP, the International Student Leadership Conference, and Pencils of Promise. He has appeared on national media, was recognized by The United Nations Youth Assembly and the President’s volunteer initiative, Serve.Gov, and was named on Youth In Motion’s 20 Under 20 list.
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