In Savannah, Georgia, Gulfstream Aerospace has pushed the envelope from employer and aviation manufacturer to leading the way in community and education, partnering with Stedman Graham and Associates. Leadership training for students in Savannah area schools is one project; engaging other area businesses and community leaders—together with educators and parents—has created a network of support for advancement. A four-year Student Leadership Program targets at-risk students for enrichment opportunities, mentorship, and community interaction.
In this urban center, the barriers to minority youth entering the Healthcare professions—especially in pharmacies—impelled the Coalition for United Community Labor Force and CVS Pharmacy to join forces with the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy and Chicago Public Schools, creating an 8-week enrichment and internship program for 30 minority students. Stedman Graham and Associates provided a 3 hour career development workshop, based on Teens Can Make It Happen, showing the participants how to make education and opportunities relevant to their self-chosen identities and goals. Post-workshop responses indicated a 98 percent assessment of relevance, usefulness, quality of materials and personal importance.
The international hotel chain spans the globe—yet needed to keep key staff motivated and engaged in order to keep quality of service high. Stedman Graham and Associates created a corporate training program to improve life balance, mentorship and leadership and skill development opportunities. A successful pilot program expanded to deliver training to managers and high-potential individuals throughout six regions, based on the book You Can Make It Happen, a companion workbook and numerous activities.
Workforce development is one of the biggest needs for every business in the marketplace. However, weaknesses in the educational system have left millions of employment-age youth unprepared for the skills and responsibilities of a workplace. Stedman Graham and Associates were contracted by US Dept. of Labor’s Job Corps to develop a Success Process Initiative. The initial 10-week instructional program—based on the Nine Steps to Success—is augmented by longer term Career Development Services and Advanced Leadership Skills. A “train the trainer” component enabled Job Corps staff to become skilled Success Process instructors, and to use skills practice, to help students develop a Personal Career Development Plan. Both the staff development component and the student training component received high marks from participants for relevance, practical application, clarity and personal importance.
With nearly 20 million Americans enrolled in post-secondary education, college is one of the biggest investments any individual will make into his or her own professional success. However, 51% of those students report regretting one or more of their key decisions (the institution they chose, the major they chose, or the degree they chose) according to the 2017 Education Consumer Pulse, conducted by Gallup and Strada, concluding “Education consumers’ regret about their previous decisions could be read as a signal to improve the resources available to inform future education decisions.”
Stedman Graham and Associates are answering that need. They have partnered with numerous colleges to engage students and faculty in the process of self-discovery, deliberate self-leadership, and becoming pro-active, self-starters in their own learning process. Helping students to self-orient—to define abilities, interests, goals and needs—eliminates wasted time and poor decisions.
Stedman Graham has been invited to present at Harvard Business School, Wharton, Ball State University, Coker College and many other institutions. He has served as an adjunct professor at Northwestern Kellogg School of Business teaching, “The Dynamics of Leadership.” He developed a curriculum for the University of Phoenix on the Nine Step Success Process.
He has also been active with the sports programs and athletic leadership of many colleges, through his Athletes Against Drugs and “Move Without the Ball” programs.
Tens of thousands of students and educators from 130 schools participated in the Identity Leadership training conducted by Stedman Graham in 2015. By learning how to discover and determine their own identity, students learned how they can avoid the pitfalls of repetition and non-engagement and can choose to make each minute count. Students responded warmly to the highly interactive presentation, which invited them to become the leaders of their own lives, initiating their own learning, not just in school, but all their lives.
Cleveland Foundation and Stedman Graham and Associates collaborated in the True2U program, bringing 1200 eight graders in 30 schools—as well as 250 mentors—together to facilitate goal-setting based on the Identity process Mr. Graham shared, in quarterly presentations. By equipping students at a critical phase with the tools for self-leadership, this project helps develop ownership of each one’s goals, ensuring that studies and time management attain relevance and significance in their lives. The program began in 2015, and expanded over the next few years.
With less than 900 tribe members living on the 11,800 acres of this tribal reservation, the Pala Band of Mission Indians has a 40 percent unemployment rate, with youth overrepresented as crime victims and perpetrators, prisoners and alcohol fatalities. Suicide is three times higher than the national average. In 2004, Stedman Graham conducted training for teachers, community leaders and mentors, based on the Teens Can Make It Happen program. The two-year community wide project had the full support of the Tribal Chief and Tribal Council.
The community of service members—regardless of branch—represents a cross-section of a nation, but also has a special set of challenges unique to the structure and experience of military life. Despite the unparalleled breadth of opportunities, it may be difficult to convert the discipline and comradeship of their service into selfinitiative and effectiveness in civilian life.
A Pew Research Center study in 2011 found that one in four veterans finds readjustment difficult, especially if they have experienced trauma, been injured, lost a comrade, or are married. Significantly, those having a smoother adjustment were those who had graduated college, understood their mission, held a leadership position, or had strong religious faith.
Stedman Graham—himself a veteran—helps servicemembers navigate the process, by adding new tools to their kit. While building from the strong assets they develop in the “chain of command” structure of the services, the Identity Leadership adds a new approach to leadership—from the inside out.
By uncovering the natural talent, passion, skills and purposeful vision that can be found within, the service member develops a new context of meaning and purpose. Previous training gains new relevance. By focusing within, purpose becomes clear. He or she learns to become the leader of his own life, and to influence others in new ways, through the natural model of being fully engaged in his or her vision, taking effective action to accomplish goals.
As the research suggests, giving our men and women in uniform the tools to understand their mission, become lifelong learners, take leadership roles, and find ways of overcoming trauma and building good relationships is key to success in the next chapter of their lives.
As the natural heroes of our youth and communities, athletes play a key role in creating positive examples and messaging. In 1985, Stedman Graham founded Athletes Against Drugs, engaging 500 professional athletes and celebrities to help encourage youth in healthy life decisions, living drug-free and developing life skills needed for positive economic, academic and professional development.
Not only does AAD help fight the poverty cycle in which many minority and disadvantaged youth are placed—but it also fights the crime cycle, in which gangs and prisons become the destination for kids without healthy alternatives.
Working with schools, corporations, and athletic organizations, AAD creates ways to “give back” to our youth. Programs include literacy, health, sports, leadership, scholarship and life skill training. For more than 30 years, AAD has reached out and offered a hand up to hundreds of thousands of young men and women.
A small, historically black town in Cape May County, New Jersey, has transformed through this grassroots organization into a strong and vibrant community. As a “native son” of the town, Stedman Graham has played a key role in engaging residents, organizations and educators in the development work. They have built a $1.4 million community center, attracted $800,000 in grant funds to refurbish the local school, and another $50,000 grant to preserve the history of the area. Voter registration drives, senior citizen services, academic scholarships for youth, and recreational programs have been developed. An annual Reunion Festival helps build community pride, conveying the vision of a strong Whitesboro for years to come.
From Oceanside, California, the Quantum Learning Network of Bobbi DePorter partnered with Stedman Graham and Associates to involve community leaders from all areas to empower youth success from many angles and sectors.
Founded in 1997, the Concerned Citizens of Lake Waccamaw supports the growth of physical, economic and social aspects of the Waccamaw Siouan People and surrounding communities in the Southeastern area of North Carolina. The St. James area is a mix of ethnic peoples and the CCSW sponsors efforts to support education, community programs and a community center there. Stedman Graham has been a key supporter of the CCLW.
In conjunction with NetworKing BV hosted by Charle Ruffolo, Stedman Graham & Associates has facilitated workshops with corporate, military, educational, and public agencies on a regular basis since 2007. Media interviews also helped promote the issues being discussed, including diversity, immigration and development, and how Identity helps develop individual excellence—and effective business and social change.
Together with noted educators, filmmakers and humanitarian leaders, Stedman Graham visited the nation in 2014, researching the roots of the genocide in 1994, and the subsequent rebuilding of the people and the nation. He met President Kagame, and many of his key ministers, as well as leaders of many organizations that have helped heal the damage done by the bloody massacres. Of especial significance in the discussions is the way that externally imposed labels and policies created the conditions for repression and hostility that erupted into violent civil war. Healing the nation required changing the mindset of identifying as separate groups, understanding that all are Rwandans. The power of Stedman Graham’s Identity message strongly resonated with the Rwandan people, who are now engaged in identifying personal and national goals, to build lives and a nation of peace and prosperity.
Since the late 1980s, Stedman Graham has been visiting this country, meeting with Nelson Mandela, observing the transition from a racially-based caste system of Apartheid to a full democracy, and supporting the process of re-building the nation’s social and economic strength with his training programs. Drawing on the experience of overcoming labels and restrictions in his own life, he has inspired many youth through the Teens Can Make It Happen program, through Life College in South Africa, from 2004 until the present. His work with township leaders has helped build new approaches to assess needs and develop solutions.
With international leaders of computer and technology development, Stedman Graham has presented his Identity Leadership content for key audiences in 2015 in the nation of China. He spoke to professors, business leaders, health executives and youth. He was invited back to lead a special training in Identity Leadership for the international conglomerate Reignwood Group, for 300 top executives. Significant partnerships were created with academic and economic policy leaders to build cultural exchanges and other projects.
With the sponsorship of Tokio Millennium Re, (Reinsurance firm) and the Family Centre, Stedman Graham & Associates conducted “Who Are You Leadership Development” training for 200 youth and adult professionals in 2007. Participants overwhelmingly responded to the content, with high retention of the tools and information presented, and new awareness of their own power.