Juvan Langford is a Refined Man.
From the first moment I saw Juvan, I knew he was a leader. Every pore of his body exudes leadership; it is just who he is. He envisions a world where leaders create other leaders, where older men and women invest into the next generation of world changers. He is committed to living a life of purpose.
This is a man that you want to know, because my friends he is going places. He has a great Youtube Channel called Thought Life, and has many more projects in line to make this world a better place.
Now…say hello to my friend Juvan!
Mentorship saved my life. My maternal grandmother legally adopted me at age 4 and I’ll never forget the day the adoption papers were officially signed. She sat my sister and I down on the couch and told us, “your father is with God in heaven and your mother has gone to get some help and so you’re both staying with me. Grandma is not going anywhere.” Although I had not fully comprehended the significance of that event, I did trust that Grandma was going to be there, no matter what. Interestingly enough, two decades have passed and that is exactly how I would define a mentor, a no matter what.
Mentorship is by far the most undervalued gift one person can give to another. If I were to paint a portrait to further illustrate this idea, the world would be one big room. On one side of the room there would be a large number of young people standing tall, but empty. On the other side you would see wise and seasoned individuals sitting, but filled with information.
Information is the only thing standing between where someone is right now in his or her life and wherever it is that they desire to be. It’s not that the young people don’t have dreams, goals and visions within them, they certainly do. It’s that the young people are not taking a seat and the wise ones are not taking a stand. It’s fair to say that this is not a problem, it’s the problem.
One of my most memorable mentorship relationships is with a phenomenal man I call, Pops. He was the father of one of my friends who offered me a ride home after football practice in junior high. He was aware of the fact that all was not well with me and offered to take me to hear me out over a bite to eat that evening. That was the most empowering conversation I had ever had with any man. He told me he believed in me, that I was bigger than my circumstances and that he was committed to being there for me, no mater what. Since that day he has not only kept his word but pours into me daily. My relationship with Pops provided me with an innerstanding™ that mentors are not meant to be looked up to for the answers, but looked into for wisdom.
The beauty lies in the fact that we are raised and surrounded by people who are carriers of information. I am certain that without the succession of mentors, who continuously stood for me, I would have entered into a life filled with obstacles. Mentorship is relational currency, an unapologetic exchange of support and resources between two individuals who recognize that the getting in the giving. This is precisely why it is my personal mission is to not only embody mentorship in my personal life, but also create a virtuous cycle of mentors around the globe. Deep and meaningful relationships are a essential, however, I am committed to shedding light on the power of mentorship to the extent that every child grows up with a “no matter what.”
Photos by me: Kat Harris