When we are offered a safe space to use our voice and speak about our experiences, pain is no longer a source of shame, but becomes wisdom; invisible gifts that can help the community.
For my series Giving Feedback; How To Be Honest Without Being Hurtful, I had the pleasure of interviewing Yanna Papadopoulos.
Yanna has been teaching for 16 years. She is a high school and college instructor, a professional development workshop facilitator for educators, the Vice president of Seeds Connections Organization, and founder and owner of Teenacers Inc, where she offers academic and leadership coaching for teens and young adults moving through their academic careers and entering the workforce. Yanna holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts, a Bachelors of Education, and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Gonzaga University. She teaches teens and young adults the mindset strategies that have been successful among leaders in becoming resilient and empowered change-makers in their lives; she inspires them to make an impact in their schools and communities.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Growing up, I spent most of my time drawing and daydreaming. I struggled with reading and writing in school, so it was my way of escaping and manifesting my dreams. My Greek immigrant parents contributed my struggles to the fact that I was bilingual and an “artist”. As it turns out, I was dyslexic; a learning disability I didn’t discover until I was in university. Unbeknownst to me, I had developed other ways of learning. Because of this learning disability, I relied heavily on the art of listening, paying attention and observing the world around me, and my gift in the arts. Did I ever imagine that I would accomplish all I have in my career? Yes, because I knew early on, that I was intelligent in ways that school could not measure; something I can also attest to as a teacher, meeting students who are much like I was, who have what I call “invisible gifts;” passion and imagination. I…