We heard about this project that is “encouraging kids to be the best version of themselves”. It’s a camp that fosters self belief and teaches youngsters leadership, wealth creation and how to start a business.
It’s an amazing concept, so we took some time to interview Julie Bowden, the director of Magic Moments Foundation Ltd.
Q: Tell us about your work!
Julie: There are three of us involved in creating, developing and running the Youth Leadership & Business Summit. Myself, Cory Andrews and Sharon Finucan.
The common ground is that we are all passionate about encouraging kids to be the best version of themselves; with growth and contribution as a vehicle for fulfillment and for living life on purpose.
The annual camp has grown to see over 200 young participants from communities across Australia each year.
Its reach now extends beyond Australia’s borders, attracting participants and guest speakers from other countries to learn new life skills, empowering them to set their own standards for their future.
In a conference-style format with a variety of internationally accredited speakers, games and team challenges, the camp provides a powerful euphoric atmosphere of self-belief, encouragement and positive emotion.
The program then continues in an online format where participants share their personal and project successes and are invited to attend Magic Moments podcasts and webinars to continue their learning all year round.
The participants have an opportunity to come back as graduates, then invited to return as youth leaders and from these, we select outstanding graduates to become team leaders.
This means they have the opportunity to run a team, supported by a business coach or psychologist.
We teach leadership, property investing, share trading and how to create and sustain a business. The business ideas are judged and a cash prize and business coaching provided to help set up and help these young entrepreneurs grow the business idea.
Q: What inspired you to set it all up?
Julie: My own journey in personal development which was life changing and wondering why this was not taught in schools. We have children as young as 8 committing suicide; bullying is rampant throughout schools.
Bullies in the playground become bullies in the office space and at home and the cycle is perpetuated. All young people have greatness within; all we do is help to facilitate the change that will allow this to awaken.
Q: On encouraging kids to be socially conscious…
Julie: We have them look at living life on purpose and provide strategies, resources and skill sets to support this journey. There is a 40 day challenge starting at camp and every day they have a question to answer or a task to perform.
For example: What are you grateful for? Write three things in your journal; Who have you been kind to today – and who can you be kind to tomorrow. They share their answers in a private Facebook page.
Q: What results have come out of it?
Julie: We provide the resources which allow young people to be able to make better choices. Our outcome for each and every child is that they realise their greatness. We know that every child has the ability to shine.
We just show the way and the program connects them to a peer group of leaders who share their wins and support one other. They are hungry for this information, which unfortunately is not taught in schools.
Just 3 weeks after the program, the “shyest girl in the school” became an amazing presenter to over 450 people. Another teenager, looked at argument with her mum and sister, remembered what she had learnt at the program and decided to stop this negative and continuous circle of blame.
Another teenager raised nearly $10,000 to help an orphanage. Another wrote and published a book.
Business ideas are created at every program and each team presents their idea and marketing plan. These are judged and the winners provided with a business coach for a year and prize money which allows a company to be set up .
Young entrepreneurs are the key to a better economy and a better future.
Q: What is your hope for this work?
Julie: Our vision is to have this available for every teenager and we are working towards this.
Q: How do you instill values in kids?
Julie: Be authentic. Kids of all ages are very astute. If you are not “walking your talk” they know. What are the values you would like your kids to have? If it is kindness – be kind; Truth – be truthful; Love – be loving.
And be present when you are with your child; ensure to have quality time (turn off the TV, put all other thoughts aside, pay attention and focus solely on them) – it is one of the greatest gifts you can give.
Q: If I had my way, everyone would spend 5 minutes a day…
Julie: Being thankful; being grateful; being appreciative; being kind.
Julie Bowden, Australia
“With a successful track record of over 30 years in business development and personal development, Jules is a Certified Trainer of NLP, with a background in NLP and Positive Psychology techniques.
Jules joined the Magic Moments Foundation in 1998 and is passionate about raising the conscious level of our planet through growth and contribution.
She moved into helping Australian youth in 2001, with a vision that is now being achieved for the Youth Leadership and Business Summit.”