Why not be a little disruptive?

I like to be disruptive, it’s true. I like to take calculated risks, shake things up and color outside the lines.  I embrace that role.

Being disruptive is often viewed as adverse; the Latin root isdisrumpere, which means”to break apart.” So, naturally we think about breaking someone’s  concentration, breaking a glass, or breaking apart a system.

But there is a great deal of good that comes from “breaking apart”; we break bread and we break tired routines, we break up soil to plant seeds, and bird eggs break apart to release new life.  I’d argue disruption is necessary and constructive and I’m proud it’s at the core of what JA does every day. Through mentor-led learning experiences, coupled with an amazing network of educators, volunteers and supporters, we immerse students in disruptive, real-world experiences that challenge low expectations, push comfort zones and awaken possibilities.

Just last month I witnessed disruption at its best during JA Business Week, presented by Arrow Electronics. JA Business Week is an intensive week-long boot camp on business and entrepreneurship that is held on the beautiful campus of Johnson & Wales University. Attending high school students are immersed in project-based learning that culminates with a “Shark-Tank”-style competition at the end of the week.

High school students attending the program for the first time were immediately immersed in situations with strangers that challenged them to meet new people, embrace new experiences and to think differently about themselves, their abilities and their futures. Students had to make quick decisions, look out for the good of their teams, and quickly apply what they were learning.

It was crazy fun!

Disruption? When it leads to kids breaking the bounds of their self-imposed limits, discovering their enterprising spirit, and feeling the power and pride of their earned success, I say “Bring It On!”.