“Do it afraid” they told me! In 2016, when YouthMax Plus was launched, I embraced the idea to begin conducting training sessions for Youth in my community. It was the first time I was using the John Maxwell resources for youth and I had to fight off the many reasons that came to mind saying it would not work in Nigeria. I chose to listen to my mentors who said “Do it Afraid.” That was all I needed to let me know my heart was in the right place.

This set the pace for doing more youth events in schools and churches as well as participating in the month long GYI held twice a year in April and October. During the GYI, in October 2018, with the support of other members of the John Maxwell Team (JMT), I organized and facilitated GYI events in multiple locations.

In one of the schools, we held events for two days with students in grades 7-12 using the YouthMax curricula – Stand Up and Be Counted and Failing Forward. I did not know how much impact Stand Up and Be Counted, the YouthMax anti-bullying curriculum, would resonate with the students.

As we prepared to leave the venue, I saw a note scribbled by a grade 7 student placed underneath my laptop. It read: “Thank you Ms. Teena for coming to teach anti-bullying in our school today. I have been bullied before and never knew how to deal with bullies. I have learnt that I can say no to bullying and I can also stand up for others who are been bullied. You changed my life as I can speak up freely today.” Wow! This YouthMax resource had deep impact.

But the impact did not stop there. As we were leaving, the student came to me to say thank you in person to our team and she wanted to know if she could have my contact information. She couldn’t wait to get home and share with her parents what she had learned and how that was going to help her overcome her fear of being bullied. Today, I mentor and coach her on leadership and personal growth and we have gone through the study of Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn for Teens with her friends.

That one experience fills me with joy. This young lady’s life has been changed because of the encouragement and support I received from the JMT Community and because I dared to reach out to the school to do a free GYI event with their students. Now, this young lady can excel in her academics and other areas of her life without fear of being a victim to bullies.

If you are not already a member of the JMT, you are missing out on tremendous resources for leadership training for yourself and the adults or youth in your community. The JMT will equip you to go out and make a difference in the lives of others. Do you have a lot of reasons why you think you cannot serve youth? Is your fear not knowing how to get started or not having resources to use? Do you think because you are not in the education field, you cannot serve youth? If any of the above is what you feel, I have been there and thought so but I utilized the rich and powerful resources in JMT and listened to our mentors say “Do it afraid.”

The next Global Youth Initiative (GYI) event comes up in the month of April 2019 and you can be a part of this event and help impact the life of our youth one at a time. Step out of your comfort zone and Do it Afraid!


Teena Ogbugoh is an Executive Director on the John Maxwell Team as well as a certified coach, trainer and speaker. She is also the Founder and Lead Coach at Joan Lugards Consulting Services Limited. Teena is passionate about helping people, inspiring them to reach new heights in their life and businesses through changing the mindsets and belief systems.

Teena is a warm and inspirational leader. Teena left Corporate world and Banking in Nigeria to follow her passion of serving people through personal development and training. Teena has led teams in customer service, sales, marketing and people development. Teena holds a Master’s degree in International Human Resource Development from Kingston University, London in the United Kingdom. With over 20 years of leadership and training experience, belonging to the best team of leadership development in the world, The John Maxwell Team, and having some of the best mentors in the world, Teena is very resourced and equipped to bring value to you and/or your organization. Her axiom is, “You can unleash the power within you!”