“Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterwards.” –Tina Fey

October 8, 2014


September 24th, 2014


Everyone was ready to hit the ground running. Teams had been chosen and they were meeting for the first time today. Even though the training doesn’t officially start until 1 both participants and mentors began to trickle in shortly after 12:15. This makes our training facilitator, Dick, very happy. One of his goals is to have all our participants use that time to network and become familiar with people outside of their team. It’s also beneficial because the early bird gets the best seat at the table.

As 1 o’clock approaches, Aretha Franklin begins to blast from the speakers. This is Dick’s own unique way of queuing everyone to take their seats. Once the commotion has settled, there’s a brief example of today’s lesson being used currently in the world, a review the schedule for the day, and an introduction to our first guest speaker, Sherry Sacino.

Sherry Sacino set the bar high for all future guest speakers. A smart as a whip business woman who’s combined her entrepreneurial experience and her passion for helping children in her current work. Her many accomplishments would take too long to name so I will just highlight a few:

  • Worked in over 74 countries
  • Serves a senior advisor to the UN and various government agencies
  • Worked with the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy’s national youth anti-drug media campaign during the Clinton administration
  • Authored numerous articles, wrote for Sports Illustrated for Kids, and has authored two books: Keeping the Drive Alive: Growing to be a Buccaneer and Spiritual Touchdowns: Inspirational Profiles from the NFL
  • Successfully led the debate with Committee on the Rights of the Child which resulted in agreement to move forward with Individual Complaint Mechanism for the Convention of the Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the United Nations in 2012
  • Speaks English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian
  • Tapped often by worldwide organizations including high level executives and politicians to be a resource in addressing critical business and social issues
  • In 1999 formed the Youth Empowerment Alliance, Inc. also Youth OUTLOUD! , which distributes youth generated stories to mainstream media.

[All information on Sherry Sacino found at yealliance.org]


I caught up with Sherry for a brief moment after she finished speaking. I asked her just 3 short questions.

  1. What was the best business advice you’ve ever received?

Sherry: Don’t be afraid, nobody knows what they’re doing.


  1. What drives you?

Sherry: Kid’s expressing themselves; I can do this, therefore I should.


  1. What’s your favorite place you’ve ever been to?

Sherry: I’d have to say Italy because I have a home there. I’ve also spent a lot of time in Africa.


As we talked, many participants came up to Sherry to shake her hand and say how much they enjoyed her talk and appreciated her coming in. She even took the time to recommend a book to a gentleman who was telling her how much his granddaughter enjoys creative writing.

After the guest speaker, participants buckled down and listened to the curriculum. Once the video lectures were finished they started working in their teams. First task: get acquainted with one another. Second task: assign team roles. Today will be a big adjustment as teams begin to find their rhythm and get a feel for different personalities. Teams who can work through their differences and manage their time wisely will be off to better start.

That sums it up for this session. See y’all next Wednesday.