Finding a New Path: Shine Kinesthetics
Changing the Game
Sometimes life takes you on a different path than you expected. That proved true for Andrew Campbell. Throughout high school and going into college, Andrew planned to pursue professional football. However, life decided to take him in a different direction when his high school football coach’s wife suggested that he come and help out with some of her students. Despite his initial hesitation to work with children, Andrew decided to visit the school and he has been working with, teaching, and mentoring youth in the community ever since. “I’ve been in the schools ever since; it changed my life,” Andrew said, regarding the curve his life had taken.
Working with students gave new momentum to Andrew’s career plans as well and he decided to return to school for his master’s degree. Despite his newfound enthusiasm for the education sector, Andrew decided to pursue business and get his MBA with an emphasis in technology. “I thought that I could offer a lot more to these kids by going back and learning the business,” Andrew said. “Once I graduated, I wanted to start my own before school/after school childcare for the kids. I wanted to be able to provide a safe haven, like what I do now for youth of color.”
And that is exactly what Andrew did. Andrew is the founder and facilitator of Shine Kinesthetics, an organization dedicated to enhancing and creating better lives for the youth in the community through tutoring, mentoring, and coaching. At Shine Kinesthetics, Andrew and his tutors use kinesthetic learning, a learning style that focuses on movement and physical activity, rather than just listening to a lecture. “It’s showing how you can learn with blocks, with manipulatives, and with technology; you can do other things than just putting a pen to a piece of paper,” Andrew explained. Kinesthetic learning offers an alternative to the traditional classroom style learning and it helps to engage youth and lead them towards educational success.
Having a safe place where the local youth can gather and learn together is especially important now. “These kids are coming off a year and a half at home, doing work on the computer,” Andrew said, explaining that the youth need someone they can relate to and get to know in order to have an optimal learning environment. “I’m not just a teacher; I’m an educator. I coach, I mentor, and I teach. We talk about how you can become a better person, become a leader, the extra stuff that’s not in the curriculum for Seattle public schools.”
Turning towards the future, “I want to take this show on the road. I want to expand and show that I made it out of South Seattle” Andrew said. “I want to try to change the narrative of youth of color, of them failing out and not having help. I’ve hit my personal goals, but now I’ve got community, family, and youth goals.”
Andrew is committed to being an example to the youth of color in his community and beyond and to showing that it is possible to move beyond what others might perceive as your limits. “It might take seven or more years, but never give up and do it at your own pace,” he said. “I had to go through everything to get where I’m at.” With that in mind, he believes that he can use his story to show his students what is possible and what opportunities they could have.
“I am going to try and be everything to the youth that I didn’t have when I was younger,” said Andrew. “I want to put these kids in a place where they have the opportunity to have options. That’s why I do what I do.”