Highly successful author, speaker, coach and businessman Mark Papadas has worked with world class self-help authors and motivational leaders like Tony Robins, Brian Tracy, and Zig Ziglar. After years of improving the lives of adults, Mark turned his focus to the most important people in the world — OUR KIDS!
Mark Papadas created I AM 4 Kids
the needs of children!
Let’s find out more about this incredible educational foundation and the man behind it!
Alex: Please tell us a bit about yourself and what motivated you to create this phenomenal non-profit organization known as I AM 4 KIDS?
Mark Papadas Bio:
Mark Papadas is an author, speaker, coach and founder of I AM 4 Kids™, an innovative children’s empowerment program that is revolutionizing elementary education. After years of training and coaching adults, he’s delivering those same self-empowerment tools to children.
Being blessed to work in the self-development field for over 20 years, working with and for such leaders as Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, and Anthony Robbins, Mark has been witness to countless success stories by those who realize their power and achieve their goals using proven tools and strategies.
When introduced to the concepts of personal growth and self-empowerment in high school, Mark was immediately hooked. Growing up in the 70’s, his parents worked hard to keep food on the table and make ends meet. Frequently, Mark was in the care of two older brothers – one of which often got his point across with his fists. Many times, he was beaten severely. While it was a difficult period growing up, he learned to control his mind and look inward for strength. Those tough childhood years are the threads that help Mark relate to the challenges many children face today.
Mark is an engaging leader, great motivator and superb teacher. His creative energy has compelled him to create several innovative programs that are helping tens of thousands of people today.
Some of his career achievements are:
- Created I AM 4 Kids – an innovative new children’s empowerment program taught in elementary schools teaching each child how to create their own empowering identity.
- Authored the book 10 Secrets to Empower Kids and Awaken the Child in You!
- Nominated for 2011 Chicago Innovation Award for I AM 4 Kids.
- Wrote final chapter in collaborative eBook, "The Way Out…Your Guided Path to Success" with Brian Tracy, Bill Bartmann, Jim Cathcart, Steve Siebold, Hyrum Smith, Marsha Petrie Sue, Ivan Misner, Don Hutson, & others.
- Appeared with legends such as Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy.
- Hosted live talk radio show - The Motivational Hour - on AM 560 WIND on Sunday mornings from 2005 – 2007.
- Managed the operations of Anthony Robbins & Associates - Chicago.
- Designed programs such as I AM…The Power of Your True Identity™, The R.A.P.I.D. Sales Method™, and Their Lips are Moving™ - which have changed the lives and fortunes of individuals and businesses.
Mark is bringing his message of identity, empowerment and leadership to the most important people in the world — OUR KIDS!
Why I AM 4 Kids:
As someone who has been a student of personal development for decades and trained/coached adults successfully for years, I can’t tell you how many times people have said, “Why didn’t they teach me this stuff in school?” Also, as a parent of three amazing kids and a coach of multiple youth sports, I had been teaching kids “informally” for a number of years. Then, one night as if by fate, I had an epiphany - a stream of consciousness in which the program, the characters, the format, and the business model came to life. I realized that I had found my life’s purpose. The reason I was on the planet. The “why” of all the things I had learned and experienced up to that moment. All that was left was to build an organization and execute the plan.
Alex: This may seem like a simple or naive question but why does empowering kids at an early age work?
Mark Papadas: First off, let me tell you that I believe every child is born with all the traits and characteristics they need to be successful throughout their lives. It is the stuff they learn from adults as they are growing up that handicaps them.
There is a reason why we chose the age group of 2nd thru 5th graders. It is the optimal time to reach kids. It is the point in where they are developing both their cognitive thought processes as well as their belief system. Unlike adults who have to “unlearn” their disempowering patterns, belief system, and lack of identity, kids are a blank slate at this point in their development. The identity that a person develops as a child is the identity they will have as adults. The younger a child develops an empowering identity, the more likely he/she is to succeed…not just now but as teens and adults.
Alex: What are some of the educational results parents and teachers can expect by implementing I AM 4 KIDS strategies?
Mark: Children will do better in school. By capitalizing on the Mind/Body connection, the child will be in their peak learning state in school. In our pilot classrooms, over 60% of the kids grades improved and disciplinary actions decreased by over 70%. As the program is implemented in more schools across the country, we fully expect that attendance will improve as well.
Alex: How long does a typical I AM 4 KIDS program take and what are the costs associated with the program?
Mark: The I AM program only takes a couple hours of in-class time but is a lifelong gift for anyone who goes through it. The DVD portion of the program takes between 90-120 minutes – depending on the class size. After that, it literally takes less than two minutes of time in class each day to keep anchoring the identity. All other aspects of the program are extracurricular. We designed the program with input from classroom teachers as well as administrators. We have eliminated all of the objections that a school would have to implementing the program… including cost. The program costs the school ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! The costs of implementing (about $3,500 per school) are paid by corporate sponsors and philanthropic donors.
Alex: What does a typical I AM 4 KIDS class look like?
Mark: I think you are asking what happens in the class rather than the socio-economic demographics. So, that’s the direction I’ll go with this answer. The program consists of an interactive DVD of me interacting with the 5 animated I AM 4 Kids characters. It is divided into several short engaging segments with each followed by an exercise to be done in class or for homework. After that, we use technology to communicate and challenge the kids and their family to live up to their identity each and every day.
Alex: I ‘m sure there are many, but can you tell us a few of the success stories from the I AM 4 KIDS graduates?
Mark: Due to privacy laws dealing with minors, I cannot give specific details of individual children. There have been several children who went from failing grades to Honor Roll within a year. But the real successes come from the projects the kids do in the final step of the process. For examples of projects that kids have come up with:
Alex: The I AM 4 KIDS supporters/sponsors are people and companies that embrace the mantra “Make a Difference EVERY Day!” Who are some of the big name supporters for this phenomenal foundation?
Mark: Some of the big name corporations who have supported us to date are Jones Lang LaSalle – the world’s largest commercial real estate company and Goldman Sachs.
In terms of celebrity backing, there is Barbara Niven – one of Hollywood’s busiest actresses, celebrity fragrance designer Geir Ness, and several former NFL players like Emery Moorehead and Shafer Suggs.
Alex: IAM4KIDS works within the educational system how can an interested educator or parent become involved within the United States? Would it be possible to recreate the IAM4KIDS experience overseas?
Mark: Absolutely. That is part of the reason we chose animated characters. This is becoming a movement that will spread across the globe. It is too important not to.
Alex: Mr. Papadas your new book, “10 Secrets to Empower Kids & Awaken the Child in You!” has been receiving accolades from various educational stakeholders, can you give us a few practical parenting tips that we could start on right away?
1. Expect greatness and let your kids know it. For many years, the last thing my wife and I say to our kids when they leave for school each day is “Be Great!” to which they reply enthusiastically, “I AM!” It is a little thing that has an amazing impact over time.
2. Lead by Example. This is important for many reasons. We all know the old quote, “Action speaks louder than words.” If your words are not congruent with your actions, your kids will doubt what you tell them. They hear one thing but see another. If you are not the trusted source, who then fills that void? Gangs? Cliques?
3. Decisions have consequences. We have to let our kids learn from their mistakes and accept the consequences for their choices and actions. If kids never experience the “bad” of a bad choice, how can we expect them to consistently make good ones?
Alex: Where can we get hold of your new book “10 Secrets to Empower Kids & Awaken theChild in You!”?
Alex:Mr. Mark Papadas, once again thank you for taking the time out of your hectic schedule!
Mark: Thank you Alex!
For more information check out this IAM4KIDS informational video!
Make a Difference EVERY Day!
More information on I Am 4 Kids
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