Name: Curt Wells Title: Sole Proprietor/Independent Consultant
Organization: SOUL Pro
Organization's mission statement: SOUL Pro means Seeking One's Ultimate Level in a PROfound way. SOUL Pro, Seeking One’s Ultimate Level in a Profound Way, is a program that I have developed over the past 15 years and is aimed at helping young people understand how to get the most out of themselves as they make the transition from high school and into college.
As an AmeriCorps member working with students from Indiana’s Twenty-first Century Scholars Program in 1995, I realized that the fine line between kids labeled “at-risk” and kids in the mainstream can be overcome if students are helped to understand what they are up against in life, shown the paths that some successful, and often well-known, people in similar situations have taken to overcome the obstacles they have faced and are given the chance to believe in themselves.
Website: Email: curt.purpas.wells at gmail.com Phone: (317) 292-2480
How many years have you worked in the field- serving youth?: 19
What is the minimum degree required for this job?: bachelor's degree
What is your educational background? (schools, degrees, certificates, etc.): I didn't really know how to respond to the question about minimum degree, so I said bachelor's degree. I think having a four year degree certainly gives one more credibility - especially if it is in education. I do not have a degree in education. I have a four year degree in business administration and an advanced degree in liberal studies. Quite frankly, I fell into the youth development business. I had every intent on becomimg a banker (mainly because my mom wanted me to - she always said it was a respectable gig in the community). Just short of being a preacher or pastor, I don't know of anything else in our community that compares in respect to youth work. So, I guess I still did my mom proud!
What are the three main roles/responsibilities that make up your current work?: 1. Identify schools, youth serving organizations, churches, etc that may be interested in my services. Once that is done and I am able to get a meeting with a potential client/customer I try to make the sell.
2. If the sell is made, I must develop and design a program plan for the client. I am also responsible for submitting a post program report that includes participant evaluation information. Hopefully the evals are excellent so the client will utilize my youth development services again -which creates a soft sell for me the next time out with that same client.
3. Execute the plan. I facilitate all the activities with the youth, but in the next year or so I am moving away from being the doer and having someone else (young, up and coming)take on the responsibility of working directly with the youth. I will continue to set things up with clients, develop plans and write reports, but I am getting too old for the hands-on work with the youth (smile)
What is the salary range and benfits for a position like yours?: It varies from contract to contract. I make enough to eat and take a vacation every now and then.
What's something you're really passionate about?: Well, I am self-proclaimed human development enthusiast. In the last year or two I have become particularly concerned with the direction of young black males when it comes to college readiness.
What is your best piece of advice for those considering a career in youth work?: Do it because you want to be like Mother Teresa and not Donald Trump because you will never get rich doing this work!
What is your favorite story about your experiences working with youth?: I have too many to identify just one, but I did run into a young lady that was a cashier at Staples and she told me that she had gone through one of my summer programs four years ago (I did actually remember her). She is now a senior in high school considering a career in education. She was inspired by the things she experienced and saw me do that summer. I was like WOW! Man, if you inspire only one - then you have won.
Would you be willing to answer questions from those exploring a career in youth work?: yes
Would you be willing to offer job shadowing?: yes Would you be willing to have an intern?: yes Would you be willing to discuss youth work with prospective youth workers?: yes
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, please provide appropriate contact information if it is different from above.: