Follow Your Dreams

by | Nov 10, 2020 | Teenagers | 0 comments

A young illustrator who follows her dreams

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting a live book launch and introducing Shinhae Kang, the illustrator of Power Up Your Parenting.

Shinhae is a senior at Canyon Crest Academy and a talented artist with an inspiring story of following her dreams. Since her early childhood, she has loved drawing and creating. Her parents noticed that when she was absorbed in the creative process, she was content and joyful. Although they had a slightly different vision for her future, they encouraged her to explore her interest and pursue a path that aligned with her innate talent and passion.

Dreams & Goals Online Event For Teens

I first met Shinhae when she was in elementary school. I was a teacher at Torrey Hills School, and she was in my math enrichment class. Our paths crossed again when the publisher of Power Up Your Parenting, Colleen Ster, suggested including illustrations in my book, and Shinhae’s name came our way. Both my mission and the mission of Colleen and her publishing company, Reflections, is to support youth and Shinhae was a natural fit. Her illustrations capture perfectly the mood and essence of teens and bring to life the pages of Power Up your Parenting.

Passion is not always obvious from a young age

While Shinhae identified her passion at an early age, many teen girls are still on the path of discovery and can find themselves at a loss. It is important to remember that while some people are “born knowing,” others need to move through life’s experiences in order to connect with what lights them up.

Below are some highlights from the conversation at the book launch. Whether your daughter is clear about her passion or on the path to discovery, these ideas can open up a discussion about following her dreams.

Shinhae and Erica’s Tips for Following Your Dreams

  • Take healthy risks and try new things. Sometimes we have to explore in order to discover what we like or what we are good at. If you are still figuring out what lights you up, challenge yourself to try something new.
  • Do what makes you happy! Embrace your unique gifts and talents, no matter what others may say. When you let happiness be the goal, you can’t go wrong.
  • Follow your interests and be open to new opportunities. Shinhae pointed out how important it is to take advantage of opportunities that come your way, even if you are a little hesitant or fearful.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have a passion or purpose yet. Allow yourself time to explore and discover. Remember that sometimes a person has many passions in a lifetime. Let yourself be guided by your heart.


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