Preparing for Deann Cleveland's appearance on the Missoula Podcast was an intriguing journey. It took us about two months of effort to secure a time slot for her. She approached the podcast with uncertainty, questioning whether her story would resonate with a broader audience or make a meaningful impact. Deann wasn't sure if her narrative could leave a lasting impression on our listeners.
Often, it's the unassuming individuals in our lives who possess the most transformative stories to share. Those who quietly carry their wisdom and humility are often the ones making the most significant impact. Our conversation with Deann during Episode 14 confirmed this notion.
Deann doesn't seek the limelight or recognition; her primary goal is to serve and love others. Her desire is to let people know that they are not alone and that faith holds the power to transform lives and heal the wounds of the past. Her deep passion for children motivates her to undertake substantial, albeit often unnoticeable, work in our city through Youth For Christ and Juvenile Justice Ministry. This episode truly encapsulates the spirit of the Missoula Podcast, which is to spotlight exceptional individuals in our community who might otherwise remain unnoticed. It's about telling stories that reveal the remarkable people residing in our city. The Missoula Podcast acts as a platform to raise awareness about the significant need for people like Deann in our community.
Here are the three takeaways from our conversation:
Takeaway #1: The Impact of Consistency
One of the most crucial insights from our conversation with Deann is the power of consistency in making a child feel special. You don't have to do something grand; simply showing up regularly can make a significant difference. Children, in their pursuit of recognition and appreciation, often long for this consistent presence.
Takeaway #2: The Strength of Introverts
Our conversation underscores the incredible value that introverts bring to the table, provided you take the time to engage them with thoughtful questions. Deann, an introvert herself, excels in the art of listening and forming meaningful connections. Her ability to connect with young individuals through active listening and thoughtful questions highlights the unique strengths introverts possess. It's a reminder that meaningful connections often begin with simple questions and attentive listening.
Takeaway #3: The Power of Persistence
Deann's journey sheds light on the considerable challenges involved in working with youth. It's a task that requires unwavering persistence and resilience. In the realm of youth development, moments of doubt and frustration can make it seem like your efforts are in vain. However, Deann exemplifies the importance of not giving up. She shared that there are many days that she wants to quit but she understands that change may not always be immediate or visible, but her belief in the enduring power of showing up and persisting is sowing seeds of hope and empowerment in the lives of young people.
There are so many hurting youth in our community and I’m thankful for people like Deann and organizations like Youth For Christ and JJM.
I hope you enjoy the episode!