I am blessed with the privilege and responsibility of engaging young minds. I have been a college professor for over thirty years; across Baby Boomers, GenX, GenY, and Millennials. I work across all levels; graduate students, managers and executives. Among the undergraduates though, my greatest teachers, there is one characteristic that keeps me going and ignites my soul:

They have hope in their eyes and believe that the world can be a better place.

And because of this my mantra has been: “I teach for free, they pay me to go to the meetings.”

I impart the thinking and frameworks of strategic management. But that is not my job. My job is to help young people find what is magnificent in themselves, so that when they enter the world of next; work, parenting, and leading, they know that they can reach, get out of their own way, discover great lessons in failure, choose how to respond to things out of their control, that they know that they are our future and we are confident that they can do it better than we have.

Each generation can look to the next and whine about something- my parents’ generation thought that rock and roll was noise, some of my generation think the same of rap or hip hop. This is all really just a response to change. Most people don’t like change. Managing change is work, it takes understanding, commitment and energy and at different points of life it feels too tiring. It is just easier to complain about what is unfamiliar.

It can be hard to find the beauty in the unfamiliar. That is what “The Kids Are Alright” is about. The purpose is to share stories about my students that demonstrates who they are, what they value, what drives them, so you can have faith in our future too.

Written by Helen Rothberg