Self-care is the best care! There are times when you’re grinding in your 9–5 and your personal project and some days neither is done well due to the daily grind. Resting until your tank fills up is OK! Do it! Exercise, eat well, laugh, be lazy, and then jump back on the saddle and continue the grind!
As part of my series about young people who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Annette Estrada.
Annette and her life partner have four children; she has taught elementary, middle, and high school students in formal and informal settings for 20 years and continues to teach as a credentialed classroom teacher. Annette has created workshops and groups involving healing, peace, technology, science, engineering, and many more! Annette proudly presents her first book, Mini Manifesters, A Pocketbook To Energize The Young Leaders Of The Now, available at www.minimanifesters.com. She is piloting her program, The Mini Manifesters’ Discovery, and publicizing the team’s efforts on her podcast, Mini Manifesters: Small Talk Big Minds.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit how you grew up?
I am a first-generation Filipina American. My life started in a small migrant working town, Orange Cove, located close to Fresno, California. In the latter part of my elementary school years, my parents separated, and my mother relocated us to San Jose, California. It was a tough beginning, where my family of six lived within meager means. My parents finally divorced when I was in 3rd grade, and I continued to live with my mother, brother, and grandmother, in different multi-family homes where my father was rarely present. My young life was a blur, but luckily, I was blessed to have good people surrounding me.
You are currently leading an organization that aims to make a social impact. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to change in our world today?
It’s all about ENERGY FLIPPING!
Mini Manifesters is a SOCIAL MOVEMENT!
Energy is an esoteric idea lightly touched by mainstream, but my up-and-coming company, Mini Manifesters, harnesses the energy of our youth and make it more pronounced during these unprecedented times by creating solutions to a community issue; this is a result of the curriculum I’ve developed, The Mini Manifesters’ Discovery. All outputs are recorded and publicized in our blogs and podcast Mini Manifesters: Small Talk Big Minds (link pasted below). By the end of the program, our MMs (Mini Manifesters) will have tested their prototype in the community of their choice, make adjustments and reinsert their design into the test field. What I’m developing is a clearer path for any young leader and their adult mentor, teacher, guardian, family, etc. who want more for the world, NOW!
ENERGY FLIPPING is the name of the game for ALL!
With this, my book Mini Manifesters: A Pocketbook To Energize The Young Leaders Of The Now, gives any teacher, adult caregiver, or guardian who are interested in making adjustments in their immediate environment conducive for our young leaders to create. My organization has led several talks and book-based sessions/mini-workshops for all those on the go and who interact with youth.
Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?
I’ve served youth for 20 years now; technology has become more prevalent impacting our society. For adults with kids, attention is somewhat divided impacting our young ones. For youth, pop culture in addition to the myriad outlets of technology either amplify age-appropriate issues or distract our youth. Considering the impact of technology for both adults and youth I have noticed students requiring a different type of attention and engagement in the “real world”. Our youth are yearning to be involved and want to be challenged with problems to solve; it comes natural for our youth, when something is wrong, unlimited ideas, creativity, and energy are available at their fingertips! I experience this level of engagement first-hand with all my students either in class or after school.
Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?
For me it was a knowing. All along the way, since childhood, I was in-tune with my own introspection and leadership practice. Thinking back to childhood and beyond, it felt like the universe was preparing me for this moment. It all came together when I was helping some colleagues create a new high school and that’s when I started to branch off on my own project.
Many young people don’t know the steps to take to start a new organization. But you did. What are some of the things or steps you took to get your project started?
Be an ambassador of SELF-LOVE and walk with PURPOSE! These two actions won’t stop you when things get discouraging. SELF-LOVE will fuel your self-esteem when things feel chaotic and negative, and PURPOSE will fuel your intuition, vision, and course of direction! We just need MORE positive INFLUENCERS to ELEVATE HUMANITY’S ENERGY!!!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
The growth our MM’s (Mini Manifesters) throughout each Mini Manifesters’ passion project blows me away! The joy I receive from seeing young souls grow through life experiences warms my heart. One participant that stands out has ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). For years, I knew this leader to be timid during recess and in class. With Mini Manifesters, this leader stands out and supports their team as much as possible! This leader asks what they can do to help and has testified how Mini Manifesters has instilled motivation in his actions, especially with their team! I’ve known this leader since they were in 2nd grade and I am proud to be a part of this leader’s life and GROWTH, where others just saw this leader as someone “different”.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?
The funniest mistake thus far is how I’ve anticipated huge rush of events happening once I revealed my project. However, people can’t be interested if there isn’t enough data and if people aren’t aware of what I’ve been developing. With this, sure and steady is the pace I have had to accept while simultaneously piecing together all the moving foundational pieces and developing the heart of the organization. My excitement and acknowledgement for the need of a paradigm shift such as this will have to move at a steady pace during its developmental stages. If I release too early, there may be some crucial details that could be overlooked, which will open up my organization to a vulnerable unsteady state.
None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?
My partner, children, and students on a continuous basis, teach me so much about pure potentiality and the use of energy which has given me the ability to shift my own reality for the better.
Amidst the magic I observed, an important element was missing, I wasn’t evaluating, fast enough, the wounds that impacted my daily interactions. Once my partner and I got together, accountability on both ends skyrocketed through the roof, and I started to recognize how I would easily go into autopilot if I was triggered. To this day, we continue on this journey to self-betterment. Many times, when the journey seems bleak and heavy; I’m slowly practicing not to take things personally, the interactions with my partner remind me how taking things personally make the journey unbearable. My partner teaches me what I need in order to have a healthy relationship; he teaches me that I have to put up tough boundaries. My children and students are the perfect mirror to show and remind me how well I have set my boundaries. The best and biggest life lessons yet.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
The first group that comes to mind are the students I taught for 2-years straight in 2018–2020. This was the first group of students, at that point, that embraced the pure potential they all had living inside of them. The whole group was insightful, mature beyond their years, intelligent, and TALENTED! I’m not saying all other students I taught before this class lacked any of these qualities, it just seemed as a whole, Room A1 created the most CREATIVE energy as a TEAM! The synergy was amazing! I didn’t feel like I was teaching! I felt like, we were all partners in ELEVATING the energy around! That class taught me pure potential lives in every
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
- BELIEVE in our marginalized communities! Our society influences all! Creating essential systemic pathways that lead all youth down a successful path only benefits EVERYONE; thus, enriching our society’s economic strength. Every community contains unlimited amounts of brilliant youth that will make a massive positive difference in our world of tomorrow!
- Educate our communities! We need more education and resources available to our marginalized communities to ensure everyone gets a fair chance.
- Improve and Invest in our public schools:
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- I wish someone could have told me sooner than later that patience is one of the keys to success. Many times, when I’d launch something, I would quickly get impatient and anxious because I wanted people to know about all the good work going on with either my pilot group or materials for release; but all I got was more anxious and disappointment. As with any good thing, things take some time.
- Self-care is the best care! There are times when you’re grinding in your 9–5 and your personal project and some days neither is done well due to the daily grind. Resting until your tank fills up is OK! Do it! Exercise, eat well, laugh, be lazy, and then jump back on the saddle and continue the grind!
- Failures are GOOD! When you fail, just keep going until you’re satisfied. There have been a number of times even to this day, where mistakes are made as a teacher, parent, partner, and entrepreneur and you have to keep moving forward. No one is perfect. Now if you’re like me and you like to dwell in your dark mental cave for a bit, go ahead, but eventually you have to get back up and keep moving forward.
- Feedback is good, and you can choose to take it or leave it. The good thing about feedback is it exists, and it is definitely there for consideration. Take it or leave it! Simply put, no need to take anything personal.
- Don’t take it personal! Through this whole process of creating, output, and existence, there will be many opportunities to take things personally, but the best thing I’m learning is monitoring the good work at play! When I focus on all the positive outcomes, nothing else matters.
If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?
Shoot for the moon! And if you miss, at least you will be among the stars… No goal is too high to achieve. You can flip your energy today and start producing positive change that will impact the world around you forever!
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would love to meet with Ellen Degeneres and or Malala. It has been a dream to collaborate with either of these women because of the struggles they have endured. Regardless of these struggles, they are thriving and have stories to share about how they crossed over from the world’s illusory limits! They continue to thrive by elevating the energy and by spreading truth and joy to the world around them.
How can our readers follow you online?
Mini Manifesters: Small Talk Big Minds Podcast: https://anchor.fm/s/2a11d6e8/podcast/rss
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!