This is the first in our new series, Everyday Champions. Helping youth succeed takes commitment and action from our whole community. Everyday Champions are people who are committed and who act in small and big ways to support youth in central Indiana. Find out more ways you can be a champion through our Community Compact for Youth.
Our first Everyday Champion is Chad Richards, an Account Manager at Firebelly Marketing. Leveraging his expertise as a marketing professional, Chad volunteers with youth and with organizations that support youth. In addition to his classroom volunteerism described below, Chad also contributed his internet marketing expertise at MCCOY’s Social Media Marketing for Nonprofits training. He was also recently asked to join the Board of Directors of IndyDads.
How are you an Everyday Champion for Youth?
I originally went in to Mrs. Russo’s business class at Westfield High School to talk to them about what I do, how I got here, Internet/social media marketing strategy, and to answer their questions. I was then invited back to help the students develop marketing campaigns for an end of the year project in which they each had to create a “healthy burger” and the marketing materials that would be used to promote said burger in restaurants.
What impact do you hope to make on youth?
Ha-ha. I don’t know how much of an impact I’ve made… or will make. I enjoying working with young people. Their optimism is inspiring. I just want to encourage them and help them understand how to make themselves and their dreams more “marketable” if you will.
What’s one thing that you wish an adult had told you when you were a young person?
I was lucky. My parents were always incredibly supportive of me. They knew “not all who wander are lost.” I was a late bloomer and needed time to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do with myself. I tried a lot of different things and finally found my place at 28. I wish more adults would tell young people “You don’t have to have it all figured out by 18. Everyone’s timeline is different. A destination can be reached from many different paths.”
What do you want to do next to support youth?
Well I hope to return to Mrs. Russo’s class in the Fall. She’s doing amazing things with her students. I was also recently invited to join the Dads Inc. Board of Directors. The mission of Dads Inc. is to provide support and education for fathers in order for them to develop healthy relationships and involvement with their children.