My Journey to I Pour Life

Bodhi is a LifeStrengths Coach at I Pour Life. He coaches 15-20 youth per week to support them through life’s challenges and guide them to a place of self-sufficiency. He is an incredible coach and we are so grateful to have him on our team! Here is his story:

My journey to I Pour Life started with a vision. A vision of serving youth in an empowering and motivating way. A chance to impact the youth outside of the traditional systems that have been failing them for so long. 

I am grateful for all the valuable experiences I was afforded during my career as an educator in the New York Public School System. I taught Physical Education on every level, from Kindergarten through 12th grade. I was inspired to obtain a Master’s Degree in Adolescent Special Education, to continue to understand and serve my school and community. I was a varsity boys soccer coach for 11 years, as well as a track & field and baseball coach. In my last year in the public school system, I was promoted to the High School’s Athletic Coordinator position. Throughout all of my experiences working with youth and adults, I was searching for something more. I was trying to make a more authentic and genuine impact.

After 15 years in the public education system, I knew it was time for a change. In 2020, My wife and I bought some land in Versailles, Missouri. We packed up our lives into a 28 ft. school bus that we converted into a living space and began the next phase of our lives.

While I knew it was time to move on from the education system, my calling was still working with youth. When I came across I Pour Life and the LifeStrengths program, I knew it was the reason I had been called to Missouri. 

After about 3 months working as a LifeCoach, I have already had so many rewarding experiences working with our youth. For example, a few weeks ago I had the privilege of meeting a youth for the first time in person. He invited me for a visit on his 19th birthday. I brought his favorite Chinese food dish and together we shared a wonderful dinner and inspiring conversation. Having this 1-on-1 time together has brought our trust to a whole new level. 

The LifeStrengths program is such an important asset to helping our at-risk and foster youth reach their potential. Having the ability to work with our youth, in a 1-on-1 virtual connection or in person session, has given me the freedom to make a deeper and more focused connection. LifeStrengths has given our youth the confidence and awareness to realize their own unique strengths and how to best utilize their individual talents. This confidence sets the foundation for our youth to succeed while gaining social capital skills that will continue to help them make positive strides forward throughout the rest of their lives. LifeStrengths empowers our youth to take control of their own lives and reduces the dependency on state and/or federal assistance programs in the future. These skills learned are invaluable in helping our youth overcome trauma and enabling future generations to be free from negative patterns and cycles. 

I believe great change comes from effective leadership. The leadership and expertise exhibited by the directors and supervisors at I Pour Life has created an environment that is both encouraging and exciting. This collaborative environment creates a space for the LifeCoaches and youth to thrive. I believe the positive impact that I Pour Life and the LifeStrengths program are only just beginning to take shape. The future is certainly looking brighter and brighter for Missouri’s at-risk and foster youth with each new day!

By: Bodhi Marcus

To support Bodhi and other LifeStrengths Coaches, you can give monthly to our organization so we can continue coaching youth around Missouri!