Jennifer is a certified Speaker, Trainer, and Coach for the John Maxwell Team. She is the founder of JRS Leadership Development who help others with their personal and organizational growth. She participates in serving the youth in her community through The John Maxwell Global Youth Initiative Program. The initiative is design to reach 1 million youth around the globe each year.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
John C. Maxwell
Get to know Travis Blas, a seventeen-year-old youth leader making a difference in his community. Travis was inaugurated to Guam Youth Congress last year and made him the first featured Youth Leader in our Youth Leadership Spotlight.
According to John Maxwell, “People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life” and that’s exactly what Travis Blas decided to do. Pursuing leadership at such a young age, Travis took baby steps starting his journey as early as sixth grade.
Now a graduating High School student from St. Paul Christian School, Travis continue to get himself involved in school activities as well as community leadership opportunities. Inspired by his mother who holds a position in one of the Airlines on Guam, Travis saw her mother’s leadership skills and decided to emulate her.
So, Travis at what age did you become interested in leadership?
Travis: I became interested in leadership when I was in sixth grade.
That’s pretty young, I am proud that you elected to add value to yourself and pursue leadership at such a young age!
Who inspired you to pursue leadership?
Travis: I have to say that it’s my mother. She holds the position of Human Resources Manager at United Airlines, and through everything she’s done for the company, she is an embodiment of what a leader can be.
Wow, I love it! She must be proud! It is quite rewarding to have parents who are beautiful examples for their children.
What were your first steps in getting involved in leadership?
Travis: I would have to say, I took baby steps from the very beginning. My first steps were getting more involved in school functions and class as project leaders. I would also say that I involved myself in lots of service learning as well.
Well, that’s where it all begins right – baby steps? We must take that first step toward success, and from the looks of it, you did! Were there books that helped you get more knowledge about leadership?
Travis: I owe it all to mostly one book, “Success for Teens” it really taught me how to take charge of my life and pursue what I love to do.
Success for Teens by John Fleming – definitely an excellent book for teens! Do you encourage other youth to get involved in leadership? Why and how?
Travis: Yes! Definitely! They are the future voices of our world, and they matter so much even if they don’t think they do. They should really get involved because it helps them be productive and humble citizens that contribute to society. In this world we live in, they have the power to make a difference just like everyone else. They can always start establishing themselves by starting to get involved in their own school and community through functions, service, etc.
I’m sure you are very proud of your accomplishments, but I’m sure there were some challenges that came along the way. What were the difficulties you’ve encountered being in leadership at a young age?
Travis: One definite challenge would be the decisions I’ve made. Like everyone else, the decisions we make as leaders aren’t always the best, but it’s for the good of our people. Another challenge would be having mud getting slung on my name and status. I’ve had my leadership tested and held against me.
Those are some challenges for sure! However, challenges are what makes us stronger – we learn from our mistakes, and we fail forward to success, as my mentor John Maxwell reminds us.
In what ways can you help our community as a youth leader?
Travis: I can help our community by encouraging other people to do the right things no matter what may come. I can also help by always getting involved in functions and important events that would benefit the good of our island and nation.
What a simple yet significant factor to remember – do the right thing. I love that you have the best interest of our island and nation in mind. What message would you give other youth who may want to pursue leadership in the future?
Travis: I would say go for it. The sky is the limit, and only YOU can take charge of your life and the decisions you make. With confidence in yourself, you can really make a difference in our society. Never settle for less and always be kind to yourself.
Amazing message! I agree with you, Travis, just go for it - sky is the limit. Taking charge of your life and the decisions you make will help you make a difference in society. I’m glad you remind us about being confident, confidence is a valuable character to have as a leader. I love the way you end this interview, “Never settle for less and always be kind to yourself.” What an excellent message to share with other youth! Not only to those who are interested in leadership but to anyone who wants to be successful in the future. Thank you, Travis! Continue to pursue excellence, and I wish you more success in your future endeavors!
Travis Blas is planning on attending University of Guam this year and is pursuing a degree in theater with minor in music.