Annette Estrada of Mini Manifesters: “Failures are GOOD!”

Today’s generation of kids and young adults are consuming more than producing. Technology and instant gratification allow our youth to dim their creative minds! Additionally, parents are just as consumed. My book opens the door to positive creative energy! It gives parents activities that directly relate to bringing in positive energy. It allows room to […]

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Today’s generation of kids and young adults are consuming more than producing. Technology and instant gratification allow our youth to dim their creative minds! Additionally, parents are just as consumed. My book opens the door to positive creative energy! It gives parents activities that directly relate to bringing in positive energy. It allows room to teach children how to create a social impact movement by chasing the passion within!

As part of my series about “authors 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 19 years and continues to teach as a credentialed classroom teacher. Annette proudly presents her first book, Mini Manifesters, A Pocketbook To Energize The Young Leaders Of The Now, available at As the founder of Mini Manifesters, she is piloting her program, The Mini Manifesters’ Discovery Program, and publicizing the team’s efforts on her podcast, Mini Manifesters: Small Talk Big Minds.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

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 involved. My young life was a blur, but luckily, I was blessed to have good people in my life.

When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life? Can you share a story about that?

A book that impacted my life greatly was Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Both movie and book reminded me of the importance of being a good-hearted person; it doesn’t matter how much you don’t have, being a good person makes you the richest. It takes huge amounts of awareness to do what’s right and not fall into unhealthy self-serving habits.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

The funniest mistake thus far is how I’ve anticipated a huge rush of attention once I revealed my project. Granted there has been a lot of support and other times, things don’t land as well. 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, Mini Manifesters.

Can you describe how you aim to make a significant social impact with your book?

Today’s generation of kids and young adults are consuming more than producing. Technology and instant gratification allow our youth to dim their creative minds! Additionally, parents are just as consumed. My book opens the door to positive creative energy! It gives parents activities that directly relate to bringing in positive energy. It allows room to teach children how to create a social impact movement by chasing the passion within!

Can you share with us the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

Any adult willing to generate and elevate the energy against the daily grind; perfection is not required of you; it is in your imperfections and continual self-work of your own journey that show your Mini Manifesters the way. I know this first-hand; after healing from a divorce and becoming a single mother, life was difficult to endure, and many times having the energy to be present for the kids was my main priority. At times, it was hard to muster up additional energy to be THERE! But, by seeing me show up for them despite the chaos, baggage, and issues that life brought on, my children and students saw manifestation in action, despite all blockages and setbacks.

What was the “aha moment” or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world? Can you share a story about that?

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.

Without sharing specific names, can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

Of course, my own children were the catalyst to it all; in addition, another 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!

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

  1. 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, but we must first BELIEVE in ALL YOUTH and FAMILIES!
  2. ENCOURAGE and NURTURE the growth of POSITIVE INFLUENCERS! Our global community is fueled by a deficit perspective, we know not EVERYONE sees the beauty that exists! Our greatest resource is PEOPLE!
  3. SEE the BEAUTY in OTHERS! Especially those that don’t look like you! We have to change the way we see ourselves and those that don’t look like us and realize in the end, we are all HUMAN

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

In its simplest form, I define leadership as the ability to direct, inspire, guide others to meet a common goal, and most importantly ELEVATE their energy. Energy is important; it is the fuel that ignites the soul. With all the good work happening in the world today, there is still more we can do to serve humanity. People can feel good energy; people can sense when a cause will directly benefit humankind, and that is important.

The best experience that exemplifies my definition of “Leadership” was when I led The Wellness Initiative at my daughter’s school. I was the parent leader in this effort together with my project partner, a lead teacher. My project partner and I had such a belief in our wellness efforts that our belief spread to the school staff and parents of the school community! The support our initiative received was amazing. We invited city council and state senators to come and kick off the event and they came!! Not only did we direct, inspire, and guide our community to meet a common goal, we executed it with an effervescent energy that was contagious and effective! Energy is key!

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. PATIENCE: 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 anxiety and disappointment.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. KEEP UP YOUR SHINE and 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.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

A life quote that impacts my life daily is “If you want to be trusted, be honest. If you want to be honest, be true. If you want to be true, be yourself. In a world full of lies, opinions, truths, and half-truths, in the end, the only thing we ever have is ourselves. If we are not true to ourselves, becoming the best version of ourselves will come slowly. If we aren’t true to ourselves beginning within will be difficult leaving the void within unexamined and not allowing ourselves to walk with purpose. If we’re not walking with purpose, there will be nothing to disrupt, all we will encounter is the superficial reality that has been created for us; without purpose, we will follow blindly and follow the reality that have no plans for us all to meet our purpose.

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 further follow your work online?

Mini Manifesters: Small Talk Big Minds Podcast:

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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