By Noah Gorman (Colorado)
Jeff Myers was and still is my favorite Summit speaker, and his visit to Summit Semester was no different.
His lectures and classroom time were incredible. He always takes the time to talk with you or answer your questions during meals or outside of class. His ability to use stories to prove his argument is something I love to witness and look up to a lot. The first time I attended a Summit event was the summer of 2018 in Colorado for session one, and 85 percent of my biggest takeaways were things from Jeff Myers’ classes and conversations at meals with him. There are an art and a skill to being able to tell a story and creating a narrative that proves a point or articulates a worldview, and this is something that Jeff Myers’ is able to do very well.
Here at Summit Semester he talked about a run he went on in El Paso when he almost ran up a road where banditos lived.
He goes into great detail when he tells this story and is able to pull you into this world that he creates using very descriptive language, to the point where you feel like you’re watching a movie. After he explains the story he goes into telling the story of a Summit Alumnus who prosecuted the biggest gang leader in Juarez, which was an incredibly dangerous and life-threatening job. The Summit Alumnus stood up for what was right regardless of how dangerous it was. I’m truly impressed with Dr. Jeff’s ability to use his life stories to show God off and create a captivating class that causes the students to truly want to pay attention, gain from him, and learn from him.
When I was reading through Cultivate for class, a book by Jeff Myers with Paul and Paige Gutacker, I learned how to mentor and lead someone through their life in a concise, effective, and heartfelt way. This knowledge is something I plan on applying with my mentors and mentees back home. Chapter four had a lot to say about coaching gestures and how to help someone through their problems and life decisions. Dr. Jeff talked about this chapter in depth and focused on the mentorship tactic called G.R.O.W. (Goal, Reality, Options, and Walk), which is a “coaching gesture” that is used to help a mentee move through issues by asking them questions to help them figure out what the ideal situation would be, see their present reality, construct a plan on how to get from their current reality to their ideal situation, and help them take their ideas and turn them into a reality. This is something I wish I would have had in high school, and after I heard about it this last summer I implemented it in my own mentoring and taught it to my fellow mentors.
There are few teachers who I can say have not only affected how I think about a topic but have also given me tangible and effective techniques and skills that will help me through the rest of my life, but Jeff Myers is one of them. He has affected my life and the lives of many others here at Semester in huge ways.