Let’s genuinely love those around us

April 15, 2021

By Jeff Becraft

In Youth Corps, what you see is what you get.

We recently had a virtual “luncheon.”  It was basically 30 minutes of people telling of the impact of the Youth Corps experience on their lives. None of it was scripted.

When you hear someone talk about their experience, it is what they want to say. It is what is on their heart.

Artificial flowers look just right. The stay in the position they were put in. They never turn brown. They never wilt. But there is no smell of life to them.

In any of our events (previous live Luncheons, Graduations, Orientations, etc.), we never script what a student or adult is going to say. One of the principles that we live by is “let the horses run.”

Even in our official video that is on our website, the only scripted parts are when a person is describing what happens with the program modules. When anyone is talking about their experience, that is totally up to them.

Over the years, a few students have gotten up at Graduation or the Luncheon and said something like, “Mr. Becraft told me I couldn’t use any notes.”  That is not what I really said to them.  What I said was, “Don’t get up there and read a speech.  People have heard all kinds of speeches.  Get up there and be yourself.  Let people see who you are.  We want them to see you.”

I like people who are genuine.  We all have weaknesses, blemishes, and imperfections… but one of the most important elements is being genuine.  Youth Corps (like anything else) is made up of real people. It is not a cookie cutter operation and I would never want it to be. It is about people helping one another become who they were really meant to be.  And that usually means they wind up accomplishing things they thought they were not capable of.

There are times when someone says something that you would not have had in a script. But that is part of being real. Dancing doesn’t have to be perfect.

As one YC alumni stated, “You are completely accepted despite your flaws and insecurities. When you can’t attend an activity, you are missed, and everyone is happy to see you return.” Love should be sincere.

Let’s genuinely love those around us.

Make it a great day!


Jeff Becraft is the Executive Director for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives.  Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].