What do you call it when life exceeds your greatest fantasy? At Parenting 2.o we call her Bobbi DePorter. Haven’t heard of Bobbi previously? Don’t feel bad because we have you beat by a kilometer in the humble pie department. Bobbi DePorter is one of the most accomplished Life Skills Educators in the history of humanity. Think I am exaggerating? Permit me to elaborate.
Bobbi founded something called Super Camp roughly thirty years ago to teach teens interpersonal communication and other Life Skills they were not learning at home or in schools. Since that time she, her husband Joe Chapon, and her amazing staff at Quantum Learning Network educated millions – yes millions – of teens in more than twenty countries and published also multiple books on the topic of Life Skills.
While numerous organizations focus on non-academic skill development, Bobbi has proven herself a rare pioneer by proudly embracing the phrase “Life Skills” in all of QLN’s promotional and educational materials. Why? Because Bobbi DePorter possesses a keen appreciation for the role of Life Skills in human beings thriving – not simply surviving.
Despite being a decades long Life Skills activist myself, I didn’t learn about Bobbi and her exceptional achievements until this summer when she was interviewed by one of our Parenting 2.0 members for a webinar series. So much for believing I was on top of Life Skills around the world via Google Alerts! As if learning about Bobbi and her phenomenal contributions in the Life Skills arena was not sufficiently humbling, I discovered she and I are also – by sheer coincidence – San Diego County (California, USA) neighbors. Suffice to say sometimes life delivers you a dollop of humble to grace your humble pie.
When you meet Bobbi DePorter in person you understand a bit better how she can have accomplished as much as she has, yet remained under the headlines. Like so many high achieving individuals that dedicate their lives to serving others, Bobbi is refreshingly humble, gracious, and soft spoken. There is, however, another variable that warrants our attention. Absent a more established social platform – as we have for academic teachers – Life Skills Educators are forced to function primarily independently.
Changing this fact, and giving Bobbi and thousands of other Life Skills Educators a more solidified public platform to harmonize and collectively influence public discourse, was the stated mission for holding our first P20 Talks Conference. Today, I am proud to say that Bobbi, and dozens of other P20 humanitarians who travelled across land and sea to serve as Thought Leaders at P20 Talks, carried Life Skills a giant leap forward. Held in San Diego, CA August 16th-18th 2012, P20 Talks achieved multiple historic firsts by:
- Taking Life Skills out of parental junk drawers.
- Illuminating Life Skills as distinct, critical skill sets, foundational to human beings thriving.
- Unifying Life Skills Educators from multiple disciplines: Finance, safety, interpersonal communications.
- Providing Life Skills Educators the opportunity to present with peers within their own specific Life Skills subject area.
- Proving, through sharing of personal stories, that Life Skills are not merely important, they are – in fact – sacred seeds for personal transformation when properly appreciated.
Next month I will begin discussing these P20 Talks historic firsts in greater detail. Today, however, our collective praise and gratitude goes purely and most deservedly to Bobbi DePorter for the privilege of awarding her our first Parenting 2.0 Global Presence Humanitarian Award.