Below you'll find Q&A that will give you an in-depth look at Sir Aaron:
 
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Q: Usually we hear motivational speakers refer to themselves as a success coach, life coach, etc. What is a success advocate?

A: I appreciate you asking this question and what a perfect way to kick off this interview!

I believe it’s important to support an individual’s sense of autonomy. This guiding principle is captivated in the word advocate. I strongly believe a person already has what it take to be successful and it is my job to support them.  The term “coach” establishes a power differential that could potential foster a sense of dependency. I want those who I have the pleasure of working with to hold ownership of the progress they make. I view myself as a collaborative consultant who wants to celebrate your success alongside of you and not out in front.  

Q: What makes you better than other speakers?

A: (Laughter)…   you really want me to answer this?

Let me say this; I don’t feel I am better than other speakers.  We each have our own stories and a skillful way of motivating the masses.  What does separate us is our journey to getting where we are today.

I grew up in a single parent home. While growing up, I was exposed to many variables that had the potential to impede my ability to get the most out of life. Some of these variables included domestic violence, gangs, drug abuse, and life-threatening illnesses. These variables would lead to me being placed into foster care when I was 10. While in foster care, I was surrounded by great role models who genuinely cared about my well-being. I was also taught to believe in my ability to break through the barriers that kept me from living up to my full potential.

After leaving foster care and being reunited with my family, I began to approach life differently. I grew confident in my ability to succeed. This new confidence led to opportunities. I began to excel as a student, as an athlete and most importantly, as a person. I have been awarded three college degrees and I am currently working on my forth. It was not until I was placed into foster care that I learned of the many opportunities that life had to offer. 

My life has not been picture perfect, but it has made me who I am today. Today, I am an abuse survivor, a  former child in foster care, a first generation college student, a student athlete, a college graduate, a father, a mentor, a therapist and soon to be Dr. Sir Aaron C. Mason.

Q: How did you overcome the obstacles of being a foster child to paving a road leading to educational and career success?

A: Let me clarify something. I was a child in foster care, not a “foster child.”  Holding this perspective has been very empowering and has allowed me to separate my identity from the labels that come along with being a child in foster care.

Along with this, I grew up with the awareness that all things are interdependent with each other and that we all exist within a system.  Acknowledging this as a child helped me successfully navigate the foster care system by building relationships with caring professionals. These relationships gave me the opportunity to feel a part of a nurturing community where I began to believe in my own ability to overcome the challenges that I face.

Growing up in Los Angeles’ foster care system, I became attuned to the effect that I have on others as well as the effect that they have on me. With this realization, I was able to notice how simple changes in my life not only improved my well-being but also the well-being of others.

Since leaving the foster care system; I have been drawn to the helping profession, using my own story as a resource to help guide others to change their lives. Guided by my natural, intuitive systemic thinking, I found myself working in foster homes, residential treatment centers, the director of a youth centers, and working with students as a Multicultural Student Advisor and Associate Counselor within a university system. In these positions, working through a systemic lens has allowed me to assist in fostering a community of change within the different organizations I have been employed.

Q: You market yourself as a diversity trainer. What does that entail?

It is my thoughts that the way we look at issues surrounding differences are limiting. Much of my work and research has revolved around taking a look at "issues of differences" through a relation lens. This approach has allowed me to personally heal as a Black man and witness the internal suffering of those who take on an oppressive role.

The diversity training that I provide allow participants to witness the shared humanity in us all, while also validating the complex needs of an individual who has been socialized in a society where categories of differences are significant hindrances to a their over all well-being.

Q: You’re famous for your line, “What we don’t know about one another can be the common thread that binds us all together". What does that mean?

A: I can answer this question in so many ways; for the sake of time I’ll keep it simple.

At times we are afraid to trust and as a result we miss out on a tremendous opportunity to deeply connect with people who might share a similar experience.   After ever speaking engagement I‘ll have a number of individuals come up to me and say how much my story resonate with their experience. When I engage in conversation with someone about our similar experiences I feel a deep connection and compassion. Those little moments is what motivates me to keep on motivating!  

Beside, we all are little vessels of inspiration, hope, and motivation; however it’s only a matter of unlocking what we are most afraid of.