Thank You.

To my JCI Shakopee Family and JCI Minnesota,

I wanted to thank all of you for supporting Matt Duffy and me by sending us to the North American Academy.

Our time at the North American Academy was sacred. Our boundaries were pushed, we learned new skills, as well as learned more about ourselves. We made several new friends, and I am sure that those friendships will last years. We challenged ourselves in several different ways. We were revitalized and energized.

Looking through my notes, all 14 double-sided pages of them, I see that we had formal lessons on what it means to get out of your comfort zone, how to hold a good coaching session, how to change habits, something called “design thinking methodology”, and about advocacy. We sat down and analyzed how the American Dream is vastly different in 2020 from its whimsical days in the 50s. These were the formal lessons. There were far more lessons that weren’t necessarily on the formal itinerary. They occurred from team building exercises and relationship building. They occurred when you happened to be sleep deprived around a bunch of amazing strangers whom you wanted to impress. They happened unexpectedly in a mall when someone you cared about was demonized.

We talked little of the past, and mostly about the future. We made sure to circle back to the present to put in place a plan to get to the future we wanted. But mostly, we found, today we must live intentionally, that way we can arrive at our idyllic future sooner.

We were empowered. I have never felt so much love emanating from one room. We put aside all judgment. We spoke passionately and dreamed fiercely. 63 attendees, all different backgrounds, from all different parts of the world, and we became family. It was beautiful.

So, thank you all for giving us the opportunity to experience this. We look forward to bringing our learned lessons back to you. We look forward to sharing this incredible energy with you. And if you ever have a chance to go in the future, I highly encourage you to do so.

A Million Thanks,
Carolyn Kostelecky

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