Daniel Bielak is the founder of YouEmpower Media and the Youth Empowerment Podcast and is currently a second year business student at the University of Guelph-Humber. He is heavily involved in school and volunteering within his community. He wants to make a difference in the world, a difference in youth, an impact for the positive. He wants to become prime minister in 2035 and along the way hopes to give youth the opportunities, resources and knowledge they need in order to be successful. Oh and he believes without a doubt that you need to spread love and be kind
“Building Resilience in the face of adversity”
I remember connecting with Daniel back in 2016 when he contacted me about his podcast: YouEmpower Media and the Youth Empowerment Podcast. And as I began listening to his podcast, I was taken away by his outgoing personality and the easiness with which he connected with his audience. I decided to reach out to learn more about the story of why he started his inspiring youth podcast and why he was so determined to empower youth. His story has a lot to do with overcoming obstacles and through that journey of finding resilience in the face of adversity, he was able to be vulnerable and share his aspirations through his podcast and create a powerful network of youth leaders.
Daniel recalls much of his childhood tackling a rare case of asthma with the complication of being allergic to normal medications. From the minute he was born, he was nine weeks pre-mature with his twin sister. Despite, being in the hospital countless of times and not having the typical childhood, he felt he was still able to have a beautiful childhood because of his super supportive and loving family. His health complications, however terrible, did provide him the opportunity and ability to live gratefully because he believed that his situation could have been much worse. A lot of what he does today is focused on being vulnerable to bring out honesty and it is only through that vulnerability that there can be opportunities to share and build real connections.
His support network really helped him to overcome various obstacles, especially his mother. She founded Crafting for a Cure and being a part of his mother’s organization through volunteering helped him understand that helping others was something he wanted to do. He kept challenging himself and pushing himself because of his outlook at failure as an opportunity for growing. Much of his childhood experiences gave him the push to keep going because he understood at a young age, how even just getting through one day, was a challenge and an accomplishment in itself. Beyond his support network, listening to podcasts in Gr.9 helped him prepare for a lot of challenges especially throughout high-school and in university. He started his podcast because he wanted to hone his purpose and work towards something every single day and use his unique speaking abilities to enjoy life. His podcast started on the foundation of vulnerability. “Having a deep conversation or a connection with someone stems from being vulnerable and trusting someone else through your story and emotions; it’s truly a journey and process,” he tells me. A great difficulty for Daniel was finding that courage to share his story and strive to share the stories of others. Society often teaches men not to be vulnerable so especially, I had to work hard with communicating with others.
Throughout sharing his story and connecting with many others, Daniel has learned how to appreciate life and to have a positive outlook. He shares this quote by Tony Robbins: “You choose the way you live your life.” He knew he had a choice of whether to live life beautifully by being appreciative and humble, or to live in suffering by not letting go and feeling lost. Overcoming his health circumstances and the challenge of being vulnerable in his work took a lot of time. He was only able to overcome his obstacles through having the privilege working with his mother’s charity and seeing the challenges that people in the hospital faced. Seeing patients and acknowledging his own hospital experiences kept him grounded. A lot of people had it worse than him and through that acknowledgement, he realized he would not take another moment for granted.
As we finish, Daniel shares some wonderful tips on how he overcame some of the toughest moments in his life.
Choose people you surround yourself carefully have the people around you, lift you up and inspire you. Positivity is contagious.
Find your passions and dreams, and hone your purpose to work towards something every single day. It doesn’t have to be big, it’s about taking small steps.
Knowing that God has a plan for you. For Daniel, knowing that there was someone bigger than himself kept him at peace because he knew that everything happens for a reason and that there is someone looking out for him. Whether you are religious or not, knowing that there’s someone else who cares for you and is concerned with your well-being is crucial. Know that there are people who love and are rooting for you.
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