Who are the adults that helped shape you as a child? I know many would jump to answer, “my parents!” when that question is asked.

And for most of us, I think parents are certainly the No. 1 influence. They mold our morals, behavior, outlook on life and so much more. We’d be doing them a disservice if we didn’t recognize the impact they’ve had on each one of our lives.

But what about the mentors, teachers, coaches and others? The people who stepped into loving, caring, guiding roles simply because they wanted to.

In elementary school, I participated in competitive gymnastics. My coaches were strict and particular. They taught me the importance of attention to detail and a strong work ethic.

For nearly 13 years, I took piano lessons. I had several different teachers and got a lot of “tough love” from them. They taught me the importance of consistent practice and that I could see the results of my work when I put in the effort.

In high school, I took my first journalism class, the subject of which eventually became my career. My teacher’s passion for her students and the topic inspired me and her encouragement motivated me to pursue a job in journalism.

My youth group leaders at church took time out of their week to connect with a group of high school students. Their selfless willingness to spend their Sunday nights with us was a statement of love in and of itself. Now, I’m a youth group leader for a group of sixth grade girls and hope to show them that same love.

At Little Rock Family, we think it’s important to recognize these types of people.

So this month, we’re featuring four teachers who are helping to shape the lives of their students and inspiring them to aim high. These “Amazing Educators” were recognized for their passion, hard work and dedication and you can read about each of them at Little Rock Family’s Amazing Educators 2018.

Our cover story highlights the work of a group of adults at Life Skills for Youth who are molding the lives of young people in order to better prepare them for successful futures in whatever career fields they choose. 

As you work to motivate, mold and coach your child, remember the influence that other adults can have on him or her. As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Who’s in your child’s village?