Saturday, November 15, 2014

Faces Behind The Forecasts

TOP (L TO R) EMILY DAY recent Towson graduate; JOEY KRASTEL Screenprinter, Stormchaser, recent CCBC graduate;
DIANDRE WILLIAMS Director of Strategic Media, designer of our Nationwide Facebook logos;
BOTTOM (L TO R) MIKE NATOLI Central MD Lead Forecaster, UM College Park Junior; MEAGAN BUSTER IT Networking, Towson graduate; 
TYLER RICHMAN Central MD Lead Forecaster & Volleyball team captain, C. Milton Wright High School senior
Foot's Forecast is not the work of one person, a single idea, or one team. It was founded in a science classroom of a working class community. Over the past 10 years, the contributions of many have made it much more.

Today, it is a collaborative investment of passion by talented young adults in unlikely places, united by their drive to communicate science with the public. They are intelligent, dynamic and funny. They are healthy, handsome, and pretty. (Weather people always are, it must be an outdoor thing.)

But above it all ...

.. they are inspirational evidence that, despite what the media may say about the youth of America, there are still many hard-working, reliable contributors to our society who make a difference in countless lives every day.

The "Alex From Target" (NYT article) phenomenon of the past month is an interesting look at how and why we use social media today. We are excited that a dedicated, down-to-earth student has earned some credit on behalf of many unsung youth heroes who go about their work and school in a humble way.

Although winter is descending early across America, the lives of our forecasters are brimming hot with potential, highly-marketable skills, and an attitude of service that I think any employer should break down our door to get these rockstars on THEIR team.

And if it was known truly knew how talented these servants really are, employers would be contacting me for referrals. So over time we are going to paint the true story about each of our stars, and if you're interested in seeing a resume from any of them, send me a note: team@footsforecast.org. 



In your travels about, you may come across what looks like "some kid" - texting on their phone, wearing a hoody, standing on a corner. It's easy to think, "Yep, just another kid, drifting through life."

I bet someone thought that about Kevin Plank when he came up with the idea for making a better athletic tee-shirt. Or when Michael Dell decided he could sell computers directly to consumers, and do it better than the retail giants. Or when Lara Merriken had an intuitive moment and realized that snack bars were lacking in nutrition, and designed a healthier alternative in the LaraBar.

Each of them had potential, and chances are their vision succeeded in part because someone believed in them, recognized their contributions would have impact, and saw that these visionaries possessed the passion to make it happen.

I see the same potential in each of our forecasters. Yes, I am guilty of being a Mother Hen and sensing the incredible future that lies before them others may not see. Those featured above are just a 6 of the 100 or so volunteers who have made the Foot's Forecast experience possible.

They all did it without asking for recognition, without seeking a paycheck, and with a lot of personal heartache that few will ever know the true extent. They serve the public because it's an opportunity to make a difference. Perhaps "that kid" you saw on the corner was actually posting an update after their shift, to a page read by 70,000 people. 

Some say, "Great, you all should do an app!!" or "When will you move beyond Facebook?" Those are excellent ideas and someday I hope we can make good on that effort. Right now, I am focused on seeing that our team members are able to secure their careers...

...so that the years of hard work they have devoted to us, the readers, will not have been in vain.

When you see that kid on the street corner, I encourage you to consider that he or she is truly the future of the country, because without the dedicated workers of tomorrow, there is no economy of tomorrow.

I took a chance on them, and provided opportunities to build career skills.
The evidence is in: It worked. The question now becomes: What's the best choice to make with it?

For those who are employers in our audience, I can think of a few referrals for your company if you are interested. Mind you, some are teenagers and young adults with whom I have trusted my life and upon whom I have staked my reputation. But it worked for me, because they are workers.

I guarantee they'll be workers for you. Proof of their performance goes beyond the internet, beyond weather, beyond science. It's because they know how to be excellent in a way that doesn't flaunt, but flourishes through collaboration with others. If those are the kinds of people you need in your company today, let me know: rich.foot (at) footsforecast.org.

This special report ends with an open question: How has their work impacted your life?

Thank you for being our reader, and my thanks to our forecasters, for their service to us all.

Mr. Foot
Dundalk, Maryland
November 2014

3 comments:

Day by Day said...

What a wonderful tribute to all of your unsung heroes and heroines! And - a lovely letter of recommendation. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. You all keep us informed and prepared.

NeedaSnowday said...

Sleeting!

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

The 5 days before Thanksgiving is our best chance at plowable snow in my opinion. Time will tell!