Joe Peterson on the Amazing Shake

Did you know there’s such thing as a national handshaking competition for kids? The Amazing Shake was founded on the principle that you can shape children’s lives by teaching them simple skills they need to be successful, like how to shake someone’s hand. I recently had the privilege of attended an Amazing Shake event at Hawthorne Elementary and watch these truly exceptional elementary school students compete. It was an action packed competition for sure!

The Amazing Shake National Competition is open to any 5th to 8th grader. Schools across the country are encouraged to hold local and district competitions, then send their winners to the Nationals held in yearly in Atlanta, Georgia. The event at Hawthorne was for 5th graders, and I must admit I was impressed with the talent those kids had within themselves and what they’d been taught. Having worked for over a decade in another school program, I was also impressed with the community support for the program; educators, medical doctors, and business owners alike turned out to watch these kids compete.

The ability to look others in the eye, speak up and yet listen, introduce oneself and carry on a conversation is essential in the workplace, as well as other personal and business endeavors. It’s invaluable in leading a meaningful and productive life. I found myself encouraged by what I saw and experienced with them. In the Insurance business where we are either selling, servicing insurance products with our clients, or dealing with difficult situations of loss to life or property these skills have served me well. When practiced, they become second nature, contributing to a level of confidence and professional poise that allows businessmen like myself to focus on what’s most important in that moment, my client.

The kids outperformed my expectations in every way. A funny note, my daughter who is entering the educational profession this coming year student taught at Hawthorne Elementary last year and really hopes to have a shot at working there. She used to come home with some of the most heart wrenching stories from the class room and home visits. Some of these kids start out in life with much bigger challenges than you and I. It’s such a good feeling to know we have this kind of thing going on to give kids the opportunity to overcome barriers and become successful adults – I’d like to see it expanded to other schools soon.

Let’s grab coffee down at the Local sometime and talk about it.

Check out the videos below: