A Q&A with Eric Golden, Facilitator and Coach at StandUp.
Access Opportunity: Tell us a little about StandUp and your role there.
Eric Golden: We coach community-centric individuals, teams and young people to rise to their best–and then inspire them to do the same for the communities they serve and are a part of. We work within the education, government and non-profit sectors to maximize grassroots impact. I am a Certified Professional Coach and Facilitator. I do 1:1 coaching for individuals at all levels of an organization. I also facilitate workshops in DEI, emotional intelligence, youth development, and more. In addition, I am an account manager for our online experience called The Flourish lab.
AO: StandUP has facilitated sessions for AO students at our annual Summer Workshop for the last two years, and has quickly become one of our students' favorite sessions. Can you tell us a little about those sessions? What topics do you focus on? What types of activities do you lead?
EG: I love our work with the young people in Access Opportunity! We believe deeply in the power of Emotional Intelligence and what it can mean for your life. I come in and have conversations with different groups about how some of these concepts come up in their daily lives. We have talked about belonging, building and breaking trust, what support looks like for each of them, and much more. One thing I really love to do with young people is our "Values" activity. It is so beautiful to see them tackle a subject they either thought they knew for sure or have never thought about at all. Almost all of our activities have young people interacting with each other, and examining themselves and thoughts in a new way.
AO: Like AO, StandUP believes in a community-centered approach to its work. Can you tell us what community-centrism means to you and give us an example or two of what that looks like in practice?
EG: Community-centrism for us starts with humanity first. We operate from the foundation that every human being has value. We strive to understand the communities we serve and what their needs are. One of the ways is through our DEI work. We believe the more we understand ourselves and culture the more we can understand our impact on other cultures and communities. We also meet organizations where they are. We believe in a "what can we do" approach when working with organizations. We never want access to be a barrier to our services.
AO: Do you have any advice for AO students as they head into a new school year?
EG: Lean fully, completely, lovingly into yourself. Learn who you are. Be that person unapologetically. And do the HARD things!!
AO: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our community?
EG: We value the work you all do every day. Our goal is to support organizations like Access Opportunity so they can continue the important, impactful work they do.
Thank you, Eric and StandUp, for your continued partnership and for your commitment to AO and our students!