Here to inspire. While you may know him as Joe from the PopTV sitcom This Just In, Jesse LeBeau has made an even bigger impact in his mentor role.
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The 35-year-old actor turned motivational speaker, best known as the “Celebrity Coach for Teenagers,” talks in an exclusive interview with Us Weekly about how to help young people cope with growth problems and mental health problems.
According to him, LeBeau’s love of basketball initially inspired him to become a self-help coach. Although he was only 5 feet 7 inches, the Alaska native defied the odds and became a master of basketball tricks. His skills led him to travel and play streetball with his childhood hero Allen Iverson, where he watched as young fans lined up to chat with the team. “I learned from this that children just want an adult to take care of them and show interest in them,” says LeBeau.
Inspired by his experiences with young people around the world, LeBeau later founded The Attitude Is Everything Foundation, a non-profit organization where he talks in schools about the pressing topics that teenagers face today. According to him, the most important aspect of helping the younger generation to build a solid foundation is to help them gain self-confidence: “If you can increase their confidence and self-esteem, you can influence all other areas of their lives.”
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First, LeBeau explains, use failures strategically — “treat failure not as a failure, but as feedback and help them realize that everyone is failing” — and teach resilience. “We want to promote kindness,” explains LeBeau, “but often when [teenagers] leave school and get into the real world, the world is not always kind.”
As a result, “they have to learn to be steady and persistent in order to stand on their own feet,” he continues. “We want them to be independent, strong young people.”
Do your job and be proud of your victories, no matter how small they may be. “The best way to gain trust is to achieve something,” he tells Us. “Whether it’s big or small things—if you work hard or get a better grade on this test than last time—you know you deserve it.”
LeBo also has good advice for parents: be sensitive. “I’m old—fashioned and often want to go, you know, your grandparents came to this country with a dollar in their pocket, eight children and survived the Great Depression, and you’re angry because you didn’t have enough likes on your TikTok video,” he laughs. But “The hardest thing you’ve ever been through is the hardest thing you’ve ever been through, and if it’s just that you’re being ostracized from your group of friends and your friends are hanging out, posting it and making sure you see it, then it’s big deal.”
“Social networks can ruin lives if there are no parameters, guidelines and understanding,” he adds. “It should be a team effort where people are on the same wavelength.”
Investing in finding suitable mentors that teens can trust can also be beneficial. “Children don’t want to hear it from their parents, they want to be told from someone else,” he says, adding: “Sometimes the same message comes from another messenger.”
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Most importantly, raise the bar — it’s not a babysitter! “Often parents have the best intentions, but bad practice,” says LeBeau. “You have to expect more from them, and children are most often on top.”
In addition to communicating with teenagers across the country, LeBeau has other interesting things to do: he is not only expanding the Attitude Advantage program, but also working on filming a TV show in which he and his team help teenagers in need of guidance. . LeBo is also collaborating with Magnifi U in the training process, which aims to enter the platform in August 2022.
Until then, however, LeBeau finds satisfaction in being a prop for struggling teenagers. “Do we joke all the time about how our life works? Because in fact, we just need to show interest in these children and invest in their lives,” he tells Us. “We are also vulnerable — and this really allows us to build mutual understanding.”