Michael Arterberry: Master Encourager
Michael Arterberry: Master Encourager
”Be the driver of your car, rather than the passenger of your car.”
Overcoming Adversity Despite Your Past
Are you allowing your past struggles to stop you from living to your fullest potential? This week’s guest, Michael Arterberry, is master encourager and motivational speaker who is an inspiring example of someone who has been able to succeed despite his less-than-ideal upbringing with the help of amazing mentors and has dedicated his professional life to helping people navigate the difficulties of life and launch their future into motion.
As Michael describes in the podcast, he “grew up in dysfunction” in poverty, with a “raging alcoholic” father, and both parents who worked full-time. The money his father made went towards alcohol, so Michael and his 3 siblings were mostly raised on his mother’s housekeeper salary.
Fortunately, Michael had mentors, who served as positive role models for him that helped him form going down a bad path. He now works with both adults and teens and one of the ways he helps teens is by running four-day programs in schools working with at least 30 teens two days at a time. As he describes, “I run them through an experiential program that allows them to get to know themselves on a personal level, but at the same time, get to know the other kids from the different parts, ‘cause they’re diverse.”
*Either you’re going to make this a pattern that’s going to continue, or you gotta take this experience as one to say, “I’m never going to come back. Unfortunately, that kid ended up- what happens with some, is if it doesn’t scare them when they get locked up the first time, then that’s it. It didn’t scare him enough.”
The Right Mindset Is Essential For Change
On the podcast, Michael also spoke about how he tried to help a teen who went to jail, but it did not work because the teen ended up back in jail. It is a difficult thing to accept, but sometimes, no matter how much you want to help someone, ultimately, you cannot help someone who does not want to help themselves. The desire for change has to come from within first.
Michael also helps empower those he works with by teaching them that they can “kick thoughts” of of their head, because as he says, “If you don’t kick it out, it plants itself and it germinates like a seed and it grows.” You have to work on your mind first before you can make significant changes in your life, or else, you will be holding yourself back.
“You know what’s crazy? She disrespected me, but if I told her what I felt, I get labeled the “Angry Black Man.”I can’t freaking win.”
Racism Is Unfortunately, Still Very Much A Thing
Michael also shares a few of the many instances he has experienced prejudice and racism, such as when a woman who eventually hired him and told him she assumed he was white because of how he sounded on the phone, and another who assumed he had been incarcerated just because she had read that Michael had done volunteer work in prisons. Racism is still so prevalent and it is up to all of us to be a part in fighting against it by listening, learning, sharing information, voting, and more. Listen to more of Michael’s inspiring story on this week’s “What’s Up Down There?” podcast!
Michael received the 2010 USA Network’s Characters Unite Award for exceptional commitment to combating prejudice and discrimination while increasing tolerance and acceptance within the community. He is also the recipient of the 2014 100 Men of Color Award for leadership in education, government, mentorship, entrepreneurial success and community service. Most recently, he was awarded the Educator of the Year Award from Y-COP, the Youth Community Outreach Program in Mt. Vernon at the First Annual Dinner Dance on September 29th, 2016.
Listen to more of Michael Arterberry’s inspiring story and how he changes lives on this week’s episode of “What’s Up Down There?” Check it out on the podcast player at the top of this post!
• Use your struggles as a catalyst for success.
• It’s never too late to change your life for the better.
• It’s important to acknowledge and work on things from your past that may be holding you back.
• Mental health is an important component of one’s overall health that should not be neglected.
• Children need great, supportive mentors in their life, especially if their home life is not great.
• Why some people become repeat offenders.
Get in touch with Michael: