If sports or socializing aren’t your thing, navigating school as an adolescent can be challenging. Avid reader Shayna Anne Rose, 10, discovered this truth in second grade when her teacher told her she could no longer read at recess and needed to interact with classmates.
To cope with this shift, Shayna started a class newspaper on the advice from her mom, Julie Rose, where she interviewed other students during recess. The paper was such a hit, classmates volunteered to help. Soon, Shayna had a “staff.”
As Shayna’s interviews grew in popularity, she reached beyond the playground and began interviewing teachers, police officers, and firefighters. The tipping point came when Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker agreed to be interviewed by the budding journalist. This interview was quickly followed by a chat with New England Patriot’s Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, and two rather well-known people with the last names Clinton and Trump.
Shayna even had a 20-minute heart to heart with Kiss’s Paul Stanley about bullying and the struggles he faced as a child.
These people have made it on Shayna’s favorites list because, as she puts it:
“They’re very inspirational and inspire my Facebook followers. They’ve also told me about the importance of treating other people with respect.”
These extraordinary people also exemplify one of Shayna’s favorite motivational messages from her grandmother: “If you can’t go over the mountain, then go around it.”
As idyllic as Shayna’s story may seem, it has been laced with struggle. Her mother shared that while Shayna’s classmates were initially excited about her interviews, they began teasing her as she gained notoriety. She was even slapped by a classmate. Her family decided that her school was not a good fit and moved to a town where she was met with enthusiasm and acceptance.
Shayna’s journey serves as an excellent lesson in the importance of empowering our children to decide their place in the world.
In my hypnotherapy practice, I’ve had many clients ask for support in helping their children utilize their innate talents to feel proud of their authentic selves. Inspired by Shayna’s mom Julie, this is now what I’ll be telling them:
“Spend time examining the various traits your child exhibits and brainstorming on how those traits, that society labels as ‘limitations,’ might be wonderful opportunities. Then, couple that with the obvious talents your child has and, working with them, think outside the box to determine various activities and pursuits that could allow your child to shine their full light and find acceptance and love for their whole self.”
And, while we’re at it, my fellow adults, let’s do this for ourselves!
If you need extra motivation, borrow a page from Shayna, who hopes the unexpected journey she’s taken to find her place in the world will inspire others to “do their own thing, don’t feel like they always have to go with the crowd, and never give up.” While this advice is often shared, it’s rare to find a child serving as a shining example of what it looks like to live by these words.
May we all be inspired by Shayna to use our creativity and uniqueness to carve our own paths through life.
What’s next for Shayna? Convincing her favorite Disney stars to be interviewed by The Rose Reporter! Oh, and she also hopes to go to Harvard, become a brain surgeon, and travel to China. If anyone can do it, it’s Shayna.