Chaney Students Draw Motivation from Community –

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Nakaia McRae believes the biggest obstacle to getting through high school is oneself.

“Your teachers don’t give you a grade, you earn your grade,” said the senior from Chaney High School. “Some teachers make it a little bit harder, but they’re preparing you for the rest of your life whether you see it or not.”

Students may face times where they want to go out and have fun, but have to stay home and study for a test or complete an assignment, or risk not passing a class, said McRae, who aspires to be a defense attorney after studying prelaw at Central State University.

“It’s all up to you and your commitment to school and what you decide to do with it,” McRae said during a panel discussion Monday evening.

The panel was part of the City Club of Mahoning Valley’s Views and Brews series and was co-hosted by The Business Journal as part of its Brain Gain program. McRae joined four other students from Chaney — J.R. Tellington, Tylen Hawthorne, Ke’Lynn Dean and Ja’Kiyah Rushton — to discuss their aspirations and goals, obstacles to achieving those goals and resources in the community that helps them along.

While the students agreed they must rely on themselves to achieve their goals, there is a mentality in the area that makes it difficult, they said. For some young people living in the Youngstown area, they feel as if they won’t make it, whether it’s in school or finding success in employment, said Hawthorne, who studies interactive app and game development at Choffin Career and Technical Center.

“That’s one of the main reasons why a lot of kids don’t go to college,” Hawthorne said. “They feel like it’s a waste of money and if they do go, they might fail or the money they spend won’t be used [well] because they may not find a job.”

Although it’s a mindset that they see reflected in their peers, the students have found ways to maintain their motivation through their struggles. For Hawthorne, hearing stories of those who have found success in Youngstown inspires him to pursue his goal of working in video game development, he said. And coursework at Choffin is giving him the skills he needs to take the first step toward doing what he wants to do for the rest of his life, he said.

There are many success stories that come out of Youngstown, but no one knows about them, McRae said. So, people assume Youngstown is a bad place, she said.

“Youngstown is not a giant hole,” McRae said. “Youngstown has a lot to offer and it’s a good city. It’s just the mindset that makes it bad. Youngstown is not a bad place, it’s an amazing place and I just want everybody to know that.”

McRae and Dean are involved with Inspiring Minds Youngstown, which they say provides mentors to help keep them on the path toward their goal. It also gives them an opportunity to pass on their experiences to younger kids in their community.

Dean says having other people of color as teachers and mentors goes a long way to connecting with youth facing struggles such as single-parent households and mental health issues — problems Dean has faced in his own home. Dean plans to study education at Youngstown State University and become a teacher in Youngstown City Schools so he can use his experience to connect with younger members of his community, he said. It’s something he’s already putting into practice by volunteering with kids around the community, including mentoring youth with Inspiring Minds and working as a counselor at Camp Fitch.

Inspiring Minds has been particularly beneficial to Dean, he says, because the mentors stress the importance of graduating high school and moving on to college.

“I’m glad that I found the Inspiring Minds program because without that I’m not sure how I would’ve managed,” Dean said. “It’s just preparing you for after high school. Not a lot of schools do that because they’re focused on getting you out of high school.”

All five students on the panel said they eventually would like to come back to the Youngstown area to live and work. Rushton plans to major in psychology at Ohio State University and is getting a head start through its Young Scholars program with Youngstown City Schools.

If she follows through with the college classes she’s taking now, she can earn a scholarship to OSU, she said.

However, course material can be a challenge, forcing Rushton to find her own way of learning things in schools, she said. She says one-on-one tutoring has helped her with difficult material and teachers at Chaney are always accessible.

McRae has been taking college courses since her freshman year of high school through Upward Bound, a college readiness program at YSU. For six weeks during the summer, students in Upward Bound “take college courses from an actual professor at the college,” she said. In addition to preparing McRae for the college experience, the program gives her college credits she can take with her after graduating high school.

“I would say I have maybe six college credits already with Upward Bound,” McRae said.

Adding to the pressure of graduating high school and getting accepted to a university is the fact that many of the students would be the first generation of their families to attend college. Their families support their dreams, they say, including Tellington, who plans to leave to attend the University of Kentucky to play sports. Should sports not work out — he currently plays three at Chaney — Tellington said he would want to come back to Youngstown to pursue a career in construction.

“What motivates me is knowing that my parents have my back,” Tellington said.

Pictured: Jeremy Lydic, content manager for The Business Journal, moderates the panel with Chaney High School students Tylen Hawthorne, Nakaia McRae, Ke’Lynn Dean, J.R. Tellington and Ja’Kiyah Rushton.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

Want to be a better employee? Try desire, motivation and engagement – The San Diego Union-Tribune

We always talk about managing our own career and the need to make things happen for yourself.

A good friend of mine, business book author Don Phin, recently produced a series of videos about what employees can actively do to excel in their jobs. They were so well done that I want you to hear what he had to say.

Follow Don’s guidelines below and you will be favorably noticed by management. The effort spent will move your career along faster than you ever thought possible.

1) Be trustworthy


Trust is the most important fabric in any relationship and for employees, that equation is based on two essential factors.

First comes skills and knowledge.

Generally, this is something you can be tested for. For example, half of the JAVA programmers are more skilled than the other half. Without proper testing, you’ll never know how your own job performance stacks up.

The second part of the trust conversation centers on desire, motivation, and engagement. If you lack desire, what good are your skills? Remind yourself that it’s your choice whether to have a positive attitude or not.


Then ask yourself to define how you are doing in these critical trust factors:

· Accountability: You understand your job

· Responsibility: The buck stops with you

· Honesty: You’re willing to do the “right thing”

· Integrity: You do what you say you’ll do

· Confidentiality: You keep private what should be

2) Be productive

In Don’s executive workshops, he often has a CEO invite their HR executive to be a guest. Then they both go through a simple exercise.


He asks them to take out a blank sheet of paper and write down what each believes are the three most important strategic objectives of that HR executive.

He has them show their lists to each other. Guess what? They rarely match.

Getting yourself on the same page as the company is where to start. Whether you call it bottom-line results, objectives, key indicators or some other name, what quality and quantity benchmarks define great results for you? Are they the same as the company’s?

All employers want their employees to be responsible for their performance. They want you to know your job, and know whether you are succeeding or failing, without having to be asked or without having to be told, because you understand your job so well.

To be productive, make sure you manage your time, follow performance agreements, and focus on results.

3) Have a plan with goals

As Mary Kay Ash famously said, “Most people plan their vacations better than their careers.”

And this is true. When people don’t have a plan for their career, they are working in what Don calls “the gray zone.” That’s not who I want working for me.


He encourages employees to define short-term performance goals (90 days) and longer-term career goals (3 to 5 years out). He also stresses the importance of having defined deadlines and provided tools they can use for long-term career planning and short-term, 90-day “rolling” plans.

4) Keep learning

It is a sad fact that only a handful of employees make a concerted effort to educate themselves once they’ve graduated from school.

Many do the same job, at the same level, year after year. Given tight budgets and time constraints, many employers have backed off their training initiatives which further reduces continuing education.

To combat that, Don likes to remind employees of one of the great truths of success — to earn more, learn more. And doing so is the employee’s responsibility.

5) Be a team player

Like life itself, running a business with at least one employee and more is a team sport. Same with being an employee. Helping foster a spirit of teamwork gives your fellow employees a sense of belonging to a bigger cause than themselves.

Cooperation, collaboration, and contribution really do work wonders.

There it is, a condensed version of Don Phin’s Holy Grail of career success.

If you are in management, what will you do to help employees embrace these truths? If you are an employee, what are you waiting for?

Phil Blair, co-founder of Manpower San Diego and author of “Job Won;” [email protected]

Twitter: @PhilManpowerSD

How a defensive graduate assistant position in 1987 launched Mike McCarthy’s coaching career – The Athletic

“You really need to interview this guy.”

Duane Dirk, the defensive coordinator at Fort Hays State in 1987, remembers those words on a phone call from the late Charlie Richard, a College Football Hall of Fame coach who was at the helm of Baker University. Richard was talking about Mike McCarthy, a kid who played tight end for him and aspired to explore the coaching realm.

Dirk was in his first year as the defensive coordinator on John Vincent’s staff at Fort Hays and was looking for a graduate assistant. In those days, once a small school like Fort Hays State had an opening for a GA, they would let it be known in the wider college football coaching circuit and then field recommendations.

This call was different than the others, though. Richard wasn’t just another coach throwing out just another name; Dirk and Richard had been friends for years, and Richard insisted that McCarthy was a football mind Dirk would not want to miss out on. So McCarthy came…

Year of the Rat by Holiday Mathis – Boston Herald

[email protected] (Holiday Mathis)

The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, in which the start of each month are marked according to the moon. Though China also uses the Gregorian calendar, most holidays are calculated by the lunisolar way of time tracking, and many celebrate their birthdays by this calendar as well. Happy 4718, the year of the Metal Rat.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). You’ll be struck by the number of people around you who you genuinely admire, a few in your actual circle, many in the cultural community and a few who happen to be versions of yourself.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Each person travels in a cloud of their own convictions. You’ll know right away which personal atmospheres will mix well with yours and which will be intolerable (in which case this is no day to argue, just leave).

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, the higher ones only become an issue after the lower ones have been fulfilled. In a way, you’re grateful for your complex problems. It’s a sign that your basics are solid.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). Dopamine is to the brain what cupcakes are to the world of carbohydrates. In both cases, little goes a long way. Too much pleasure, anticipation and wanting is unhealthy, addictive even.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). It seems there are dozens of reasons why you shouldn’t do a thing and only one reason you should. When the one reason is important enough — as in love, ethics, family, country — opposition is inconsequential.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Enlightenment is a terrible goal, as it cannot be achieved or even discovered. Instead, it’s a state in which it is found that there is nothing to find. Your peace will come inside the moments you inhabit. No striving.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). People who ask for your opinion are really just trying to figure out who you are, where you stand and what you might possibly do for them. They want to know, like and trust you more than they want your inner thought process.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). The philosopher Seneca believed that to laugh in the face of fear or stay calm in tumult could only be the result of “a beam of divinity that influences a mortal body.” Maybe. Or maybe you’re there because you did the work.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). Yes, you are the prophet of your own story, generating numerous predictions per hour and seeing many of them come true. Wisdom comes of you being willing, and even excited, to be proven wrong.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). You’re already in a constant collaboration with yourself. Mix in a few more opinions from the peanut gallery and it all becomes a little much. It will be more peaceful and more fun if you go this one solo.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). Get creative on paper. How much brainstorming do you need to do to get to a real solution for your problem? As much as it takes. You’ll know it when you see it.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). You’re not sure what’s on the other side of your fear, but you can certain that whatever its qualities, you will experience them in retrospect as the sublime reward for courage in motion.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY (Jan. 25). This year rolls in on a float of flowers and waving well-wishers throwing candy. Ah, the spectacle! But work prevents you from staying too long at the parade. The months ahead let you expand into the joy and liberation that have for too long been an unclaimed destiny. This is yours. Clasp it and bring it in. Sagittarius and Virgo adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 27, 2, 18, 33 and 6.

THE YEAR OF THE RAT: This Lunar New Year arrives at the intersection of taxonomy and mythology with a pressing question: What is good about a rat?

Historically, millions of humans have been killed by rat-borne diseases such as the plague and salmonellosis. However, many have also been saved by the studies done on rats, whose behaviors, for scientific intents and purposes, often mimic that of humans. Rats are loyal and exhibit empathetic behaviors including making selfless choices, exhibiting affection, mourning their dead and even laughing. It also bears mention that rats are extremely high on the animal intelligence scale.

In a mythological context, the rat represents a year in which intelligence reigns, cleverness wins, and people can turn misfortune into felicity through empathy, morality and proper attention to priorities. This is also an omen for prosperity as rats were respected symbols of opulence and fertility. (An average female rat can produce six times a year with four to eight pups a litter.)

As for the metal element of this year, it’s a harbinger of hope for industry, especially transportation and tech. May our better angels guide us toward responsible and sustainable solutions in this regard. Happy New Year!

CELEBRITY PROFILES: The intellectual energy of Aquarius encompasses intellectual developments including mathematics, the language of science, the cosmos and also the language of music. Hit-maker Alicia Keys has natal sun, Mercury and Mars all in Aquarius. Keys also leans into the philanthropy of her sign as co-founder of Keep a Child Alive, a foundation that provides medicine to African families.

Write Holiday Mathis at


Last Updated: Thursday, Dec 26, 2019 13:55:35 -0800