Friday, 26 July 2013

Isossy Children meets Renee Jain, The founder of GoStrengths!

Here at Isossy Children we love anything that educates and inspires the children who wear our clothes so we were super excited to meet Renee Jain the founder of who has created an amazing business service for young people to tap into and learn from!

What inspired you to start your business?
I run an organization called GoStrengths! dedicated to teaching kids skills of resilience and happiness using animated-story and science. Many of the stories within my programs are based on the challenges I faced while growing up.  You see, I was raised by loving and supportive parents and had a pretty decent life, but I never learned to cope with adversity -not properly, at least. When I hit middle school, I was faced with the trials and tribulations of being a young adult: peer pressure, grade pressure, parental pressure and I just couldn’t deal. This may seem like the ordinary ups and downs of tweendom, but it was the beginning of a very bad pattern for me. Everyone faces challenges in life, but every time I faced a new one, it would take me longer and longer to recover until the negativity finally got the better of me and I fell into a full blown state of depression in my early twenties.
I, fortunately, began to research the science of resilience and found there are very practical pathways to cultivating mental strength. In fact, being resilient is a skill. And beyond just surviving, there are ways to thrive. There are skills we can learn to increase our engagement, fulfilment, and purpose in life—skills to increase our happiness.  Once I learned how to bounce back from adversity, I decided these invaluable tools needed to be passed on to our youth. This was the inspiration for starting GoStrengths!

What have been your favourite client experiences?
Each and every time I work with a child to help discover their character strengths, I have a memorable experience. I generally start by giving kids the VIA youth survey which helps them identify their signature strengths. I was recently touched by the words of an 8-year old who after taking the survey said, “I never knew I was good at ANYTHING!”

What advice would you give to someone starting up in your industry?
I work in the wellness industry and I work mostly with children; I use research-based techniques to help my clients. I would recommend to anyone working in this space (either with adults or kids) to inspect new studies, research, and interventions with a discerning eye. This is a burgeoning field and there are no one-size fit all solutions for clients, so be open and flexible in what you offer.

What are your long term goals?
This sounds lofty, but my long-term goal is to help eradicate childhood depression. Social and emotional learning programs (such as GoStrengths! and many others) are prevention programs. It is my belief we can prevent a large portion if not all of the epidemic of childhood depression. We cannot help our children sidestep adversity, however, we can inoculate them with coping skills to help overcome and grow from challenges.

Isossy Children celebrates diversity through global clothing for children. Why do you think diversity matters for every generation?
Immersing our children in diversity of background, language, customs, rituals, culture etc. is one of the best things we can do to both open their eyes to the world that exists and help cultivate critical thinking skills. Diversity helps children avoid “group think” mentalities and truly assists in solidifying their own value set.

What words of wisdom do you think every child should grow up knowing?
You are not alone. There are some simple skills you can learn to cope with your challenges and to even go far beyond to live a fulfilling, engaging, and happy life. 

Contact Details
Renee Jain
Chief Storyteller


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