(WDEF) MTV MADE teen life coach Jeff Yalden took his award-winning youth motivational speeches to a Chattanooga audience Friday. He said from the stage, "You've got to enjoy the journey. You want to be successful? Be willing to get hurt."
Yalden was brought in by the Southeast Tennessee Development District's Summer Work Experience Program.
Program Development Specialist James Chapman explained, "Our program is geared towards helping young people obtain their career goals. Whether that be getting into school or obtaining their GED or obtaining self-sufficient income, whatever their career and employment goal is, that's what this program is geared to do and its for young people ages 17-21."
The 90 young adults in the program get real-life know how to help them prepare for their future careers. And words of wisdom from Yalden like, "Take time to think. I live by that. The four Ts. Take time to think." should help in their chosen careers as well.
Shannon Cooley's in his second year in the program. The hopeful future marketing manager has worked at recreation centers during the past two summers. He said, "It helps you be patient with even adults in life because the kids, you know, they're younger than you, and they sometimes go off on a rampage and you got to just be patient and it helps you later on in life."
And hearing from a successful businessman who's been in their shoes can give them that extra confidence boost they may need. Julia Kinsey said Yalden has been through some of the same childhood experiences she had. She said, "You know right now I'm doing exactly what he's telling. He's saying you know just keep going through, let your ego go, and that's exactly what I've been doing is one more obstacle I can jump over and keep going."
Friday morning the Summer Work Experience Program participants attended a job fair with 25 different employers like Blue Cross Blue Shield and Chattem.
The Summer Work Experience Program is in its 13th year.